Fox Business Network's drone coverage


I work in TV news.  We've been doing a lot of coverage on the new FAA rules, particularly how the "line of sight" rule could impact businesses like Amazon.  Had a chance to appear on Varney & Co... the world's best business news show hosted by the brilliant Stuart Varney.  While Stuart knows quite a bit about finance and politics, tech is not his strong suit.  So I decided to put myself, and my drones on the show today to explain how flying outside of line of sight works.  First showed off a NAZA based drone with a Fatshark camera to give the audience an idea of how FPV works.  Next showed off my Pixhawk based hex, which is still in the works and has not been flown.  Had a bit of trouble arming the motors because I forgot to take it out of a GPS mode and there was no signal in the studio.  

I've spent nearly 10 years behind the camera.  This is my first time in front of one.  Hope I didn't screw it up too bad!  Thanks to everyone who watches, and a special thanks to my fellow producers, our stage crew and Stuart for making this happen.

Click here for the video:

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  • What good does LOS do you when your drone flies away uncontrollably? The whole FAA thing is an utter joke. I am so tired of this constant beating of the SAFETY drum. If we waited until drones were completely and utterly safe we would be waiting until the end of time. There is no way that you can ever make technology like this completely safe. If we applied the same criteria to motor vehicles we would still be using horse and buggy for transportation and even that can have unrealistic safety concerns. I think we all need to take a step back and realize that common sense safety precautions are welcome but this constant clamor for complete safety is unrealistic.

  • Nice job Eric.  It is unusual for such a long interview and its great to see.

  • we need more people spreading the good uses and debunking all the fear mongering and brain washing thats happening with our hobby. mr. varney has too been bitten with the bug, he posed the question of an operator using his expensive investment as a weapon and crashing it into someone... my retort with all due respect(i like mr. varney a lot) whats to stop people from pointing their vehicle or throwing baseballs at bystanders?

    used responsibly, there are obvious benefits

    Blade Nano is very light, has bumpers and is very rugged for its size/weight. 

    keep the pressure on him.

  • Great spot, Eric! And well composed for someone usually on the other side of the camera! 

  • Thanks for the kind words, Armen!  We love our fans here at the Fox Business Network.  I'm actually trying to get Stu to buy a drone of his own.  No way I'm letting him crash one of my babies!

  • that was soo cool. 

    Fox News is the best. 

    i thought Mr. Varney knew everything. i can see him flying a Nano FPV secretly just to get caught up.

    Great job and you did well

  • Very nice presentation, and pretty clearly illustrates how the media and the public in general perceive our stuff.

    I hope that the next year or two more clearly illustrate the benefits of these.

    And I agree totally with Rob, the whole VLOS thing is the only reasonable way to start.

    I am also an advocate of FPV, but their are still a lot of ways to do that even meeting their unimpeded VLOS rules.

    I would also say, that right now the Amazon delivery drone is a ludicrously impractical and dangerous concept in almost every way imagineable.

    One thing you didn't mention about LOS is that when you actually get your UAS behind something, you not only lose visual contact, but also very frequently radio contact as well, a characteristic of our high frequency radios is that they also are for all practical purposes LOS.

    We really have a serious bit of development to do before we are reasonably ready to fly out of LOS in any case.

    Best regards,


  • Thanks Rob.  I'm glad you enjoyed it!  Safety issues are a big concern, and one that we just didn't have time to discuss.  I totally agree.  Accidents ALWAYS happen.  And a 25 lb hunk of metal, plastic and potentially flammable LiPo batteries falling from 300 feet on your head is not going to be fun.  I think we're a long way from truly safe long-range autonomous flight.  The government's got a lot of work to do to figure this all out, and unfortunately, technology is outpacing bureaucracy. 

  • Not a bad job at all.  Technical difficulties always to be expected when live on TV. ;)

    I don't see what all the hubbub is about with the VLOS requirements.  Did anybody really expect the first cut at regulations would allow BVLOS flight, when there are currently no systems available to make this safe?  (ie: this should be illegal even for hobbyists, IMO)

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