3D Robotics


Very interesting post from Nathan Wambold on LinkedIn:

I watched this documentary today on the history of and new potential uses of "drone" technology. In of itself, it's an interesting and good documentary. But, one thing in particular I found very interesting is a statement made in the video about (military) UAV pilots and how the FAA had conducted a study proving that traditionally trained airplane pilots are NOT as good at piloting these crafts as those who have never been trained to fly a real airplane (find this comment @ 23 mins. into the video).

Now, there's still no comparison in piloting a military grade RPA or UAV to today's commercial products. Methodology and equipment are completely different. But, if the FAA conducted a study proving it's better to NOT be a traditionally trained airplane pilot when piloting a UAV, then why is the FAA currently in process of trying to mandate a commercial pilot's license to fly today's UAV copters and planes?

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  • My 2cents.

    Very few commercial drones operate higher than about 150 M AGL, after that, you lose the advantage of very high resolution, on your average camera, that can be carried on a small drone.

    Full size aircraft, other than crop sprayers and rescue heli"s, aren't supposed to be that low, except during landing or rescues.

    ALL of them are supposed to give "blind" position reports at regular intervals, once they drop out of controlled airspace.

    So, design a basic "Drone Air Band Radio Course", force all commercial drone operators to pass/attend this course, and use air band radios correctly, and limit them to 150M AGL.

    Something like "Listen, Report, and Reply"

    Then, you are going to get the little knobs flying their DJI's over people and houses, same as the IQ deprived, buying green lasers off ebay, and pointing those at overhead aircraft.

    I have nothing against DJI, it just seems that every negative drone news report, has been about a DJI quad.

    I don't even want a DJI, give it to me, I'll sell it, same with IRIS, or Walkera.

    I want to build it myself, figure it out, get it flying.

    The day it changed from "You really need to know what you are doing", to "No experience necessary", is when things went wrong.

    Grumpy, I know, don't care...

  • Doug how would one know what airspace they are in, and what the rules are if they have no training on how the system works?  That is precisely the reason they want a certificated pilot or passing of the ground knowledge test.  Knowledge tests expire, hence the certificated pilot with the required currency training.  

  • As an AMA pilot of several years I see one of the problems is that at the technology advances with auto pilot and gps it gives a new pilot the feeling he is in control but in all actuality if something goes wrong in the air they have no understanding of how to SAVE the aircraft, the RC skills are just not there. I would suggest learning to fly before you fly your equipment, I see more and more examples of this every day. I wish the AMA and FAA could carve out regulations together, as a team. This way the clubs could gain membership and the new pilots can learn the proper way to operate their aircraft, before loading it up with all the goodies.  One of the reasons I joined the AMA was the insurance that is offered. Not a lot of talk of that, wonder why?  Anyways that's what lead me to UAV's and UAS I will say there is a lot of information that needs to be learned when setting up a system, I think the average Joe Just would not invest the time that is required to learn the whole systems, (aircraft) (ground control) (auto piloting) (power systems) on and on.  This started out as a hobby for me, but I see an opportunity to advance my skills to the next level. I want to fly the AGG. industry, and I think the farmers want it as well.

  • Charles is correct. There's a reason that the average time to complete a PPL is going up and it's due to the bookwork, understanding the regs and what is expected from you and other aircraft. There's also a learning curve to talking on the radio correctly and recognizing ground locations from the air. 

    The hard part of flying RC versus an actual plane is point of view and feel. Since a critical part of flying is energy management I miss all the energy cues we get in real aircraft like control forces, sound, and speed relative to the ground. It's trainable but different muscle memory.

  • Today robots and human-controlled robots can do many things better and safer than a human.  But many decisions are made not because one thing is "better" than another but because of many other factors such as public perception, risk, cost, politics etc.  I think they want UAVs to integrate into manned aviation, so pilot qualifications are necessary. I guess the public will feel safer knowing that there is a trained pilot behind the "wheel" of the UAV, even if statistically the risk of pilot error is higher than a non-pilot operator or no operator at all.  Many aviation accidents are caused by a failure in the human-machine interaction, not really because the human or the machine themselves are error-prone. It comes down to who is better at interacting with machines - probably the person who is better at understanding the machine. 

  • Developer

    It's not about safety in the traditional sense I think. But instead politics where the goal is to raise the threshold for commercial operation to such a level, that only large corporations have the resources needed.

  • "PIPFA, "Pilot Interfering with a Perfectly Flying Aircraft" !"

    That's gold.

  • Charles, I think the reason a lot of folks are up in arms is that the FAA currently also wants folks to actually get the license, as in do all of the time in the air in the real plane and solo.  I doubt you would have many folks complaining if the only requirement was to pass the ground school and maintain a class 3 medical.  The COAs I have worked with were also ground school tests, but class 2 medical, which is hard for some folks because of medical conditions that would not apply to UAV aircraft. 

  • While stick and rudder skills may not translate well to flying a drone, the knowledge gained from earning a private pilot liscense is essential. COAs I've been apart of in the past required our crew to have at the minimum passed the FAA Private Pilot written exam. While some stuff like cross country planning wasn't very relevant, a lot of the knowledge gained is irreplaceable.

  • Moderator

    @Gustav most full sized and model aircraft incidents are from PIPFA love the term, I am going to start using it. Don't remove drone from the worlds memory because the aircraft it really came from was a classic.


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