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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  • Interesting, I have a friend that has been flying both PPL and RC for years, and he also thinks it is easier to fly the full size.

    What I do find weird is in the USA a 16 year old kid can legally drive a sports car on public roads, buy a semi auto attack rifle, and then all these rules and regs for a 2Kg drone that most probably going to be totalled and forgotten in a month or two anyway?

    As for "Line of Sight", well just go view the carnage at local RC clubs, on a bad day :-)

    Most crashes at our club are referred to as PIPFA, "Pilot Interfering with a Perfectly Flying Aircraft" !

    Wish I could erase the word drone from the world's collective memory......

  • Moderator

    Accident rates are often compared between Army and Air Force pilots with the Army being generally safer because they just press the green button to land whilst the air force guy wants to hand land. Things have improved though. I don't think the study would come up with the same answer now. They are studying other XBox generation pilot attitudes and that shows up some bad stuff for non pilot trained RPAS drivers.

    The 333 exemptions will not be the only show in town forever. The FAA will allow smaller sizes with simple requirements once the small rule NPRM has happened and that's the rub they just keep kicking that can further up the road. The next important date is coming up, its the 15th I think that would be 90 days after it had been sent to OMB at sUAS News we believe it has actually been returned to the FAA for tweaking.

  • couple of legal points here..

    if the FAA indeed wants to legally place drones in its aircraft body of regulations then nearly ALL civilian drones would presently fall under "experimental" category classification which mean the pilot simply has to have a 3rd class medical, a knowledge of flying regulations and weather AND a solo signoff from a CFI with operational limitations during the first 50 hours and some for the lifetime of the experimental aircraft(ie pilot has a student pilots license for experimentals)

    Unless things have changed greatly since I built my old beast. in the 1980's this is what drones look like legally "experimental category" (course they are really ultralights legally  with FAR103 due to weight and size(no further licensing necessary))


  • 100KM

    pilot induced oscillations anyone? should of had an rc guy do it.

  • I very much understand the pilots viewpoint, it is hard enough to fly a plane from the pilots seat, trying to fly a plane you are not actually in, but looking at is much harder.

    Fortunately the mishaps are not as profound.

    This revelation does of course even more so make folly of the FAAs current intention to foist off private pilot (or worse commercial pilot) with full in flight training requirements on all commercial UAS operators.

    Clearly what is needed are specific training requirements for each type or classification of UAS, but lacking any practical experience in this the FAA is just set on requiring what they already have even if it is utterly inappropriate.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think this is a very important issue, it just seems to me that the FAA is continuously headed in the wrong direction away from all common sense.

    I'll bet you knew I'd stick in something like this didn't you Chris.

    Best regards,


  • Even with FPV, you dont realise how limited your view is via the camera compared the view you get if you were actually in the vehicle. You see much less.

    Then we have the chicken and egg problem, who teaches the teachers ?

  • Moderator

    That makes perfect sense to me. In my own experience I have worked with a number of "new" rc-pilots who hold valid pilot's licenses. In every case they make the statement after their first lesson that it is in many ways harder to fly remotely that from the cockpit. I don't think they realize it at the time they are in the pilots seat, but their senses beyond their sight, play a huge roll in flying the plane.


    Nathaniel ~KD2DEY

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