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  • Moderator

    In the end quality will win through.

  • @Rob L - Do you think there _should_ be an engineering requirement? I know a lot of pilots, including military pilots, who have no engineering quals at all yet they can fly planes quite well. What I'm hearing here is a bit of engineer snobbery. These guys probably can't build a Red Epic camera either but they sure come up with some amazing results with them. 

  • I'm a bit confused here. Nothing unusual about that but... We all know that many companies are using multirotors for aerial photography and have been doing so for many years. Hasn't it been determined that the FAA does not have the authority to restrict commercial activities with RPAS? 

  • "closed set" could mean many different things.  Maybe they get to fly any altitude they like if they file for a TFR in advance?  That alleviates any airspace conflicts that could happen.  And I feel your pain with the how do these people get to where they are?  Some of the people I see masquerading as professional unmanned vehicle operators and photographers just had access to money and the right people.  They cannot do anything for themselves in regards to design, build, fix, and in most cases fly.  Without the automated modes, and simple modes they could barely stare airborne for a few seconds!  Im going to guess as the market matures some those types will be weeded out, or will have to pay someone who knows what they are doing to operate the aircraft.  Right now there is few expectations in regards to quality of skills, knowledge, and final products vs. cost.  Eventually that will change too once the "wow" factor wears off, and the demands increase from the production end.

  • The disclosing article said that all the companies had submitted extensive safety related information, but details were not disclosed.

    I would guess over then next few days what sort of operation the "exemptions" permit will become clear.

    I would be very surprised if they are permitted to operate above 400 feet, since it is above that that the FAA starts to see a clear threat.

    Piloted airplanes, general aviation and VFR are supposed to normally conduct operations above 500 feet AGL. And IFR considerably above that.

    It will be very interesting to see what the specific operational restrictions are.

    I may be wrong but what seemed to be interperable from what was said was that beyond specific (as yet unknown) safety measures it did not appear that the FAA was going to be certifying or establishing any requirements for equipment operated under this exemption.

    True or not that information will also be of interest to our future.



  • Moderator

    Not a great deal of detail Absolutely no surprise. If writing a manual and having a PPL is all it takes then  here we go! As they say though the devil is in the detail.

  • Are there altitude limits with the "no threat to airspace" conclusion?

  • Looks like the FAA has approved "exemptions"  for seven UAV filming companies for closed sets.

    FAA said the exemptions were granted because they "Pose no threat to the National Airspace."

    Think you could probably say the same thing about a Realtor photographing the exterior of the building he is trying to sell.

    Or me flying FPV with goggles in my back yard.

    The FAA has so far tried to reinterpret simple English words to have specific technical meanings so that it could basically ban everything and now they are doing the opposite to let the "chosen" industries fly.

    Still, it is a start and maybe it opens some window for reason to prevail, I hope so.

    Best Regards,


  • Moderator

    It certainly will weaken the position of ASTM F-38 and hopefully not create another monopoly over there. The rumor mill says we will hear in a few hours time, PM O çlock in California.

    I can't help thinking that the Next Gen and N numbers messages are timed to coincide with this PM. 

  • Gary, your post is interesting.  I'm somewhat familiar with the "engineering" skills of at least one of the applicants.  It will be very interesting to see what comes out of this.  If the company I'm referring to is allowed to fly their equipment, it can only mean that there is no engineering requirement at all to be granted these permissions.  Their design process goes something like this:

    "What is the most expensive frame on the market?  Ok, that's the best, buy that.  What are the most expensive motors on the market?  Ok, those are the best, buy some of those."  "Oooh, look how black and shiny and carbon-fibery it is!  It's state of the art!"  "Man, I'd love to use higher voltage to get more power, but my closed-source Chinese flight controller manufacturer only makes a power module rated up to 6S, so it's impossible to use 8S." "What do you mean just wire in another BEC?  That's complicated.  Can you give me a wiring diagram?"  "What's MTBF?"  "What is HDOP?" "Crashes happen.  It's just the risk you take whenever you fly."

    I really do not understand how some of these guys got to be where they are.  And yes, that is some amount of jealousy you're hearing.

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