Transport Canada and the RCMP are investigating videos posted on YouTube showing an “unmanned air vehicle” flying near Vancouver International Airport and over Vancouver Harbour, the site of commercial float-plane operations.

Transport Canada spokesman Rod Nelson said Tuesday the federal department is “very concerned about the operations of this UAV and we have been working with the RMCP to determine the operator’s identity.”

More of the story published by The Vancouver Sun can be read here.

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  • I understand what you are saying about irresponsible hot dog operators. I am just curious as to why there is such a put down of the DJI product and the owners of those UAVs. It may be easy for newbies to jump right in, but I read stories of professional videographers from National Geographic and Discovery's Mythbusters that use or have used Phantoms. I find the product good for entry level flying and training. Yet, like you said, there will always be someone that doesn't take flying one of these serious and ruins it for everyone else. I suppose more time and money invested weeds out those idiots.

  • Well, I contacted NTSB.  The number published is wrong.  That 877 number is the 24/7 nation wide emergency reporting number.  Nice journalism there.  The nice lady forwarded me to the proper person.  He took my information and somebody is supposed to call me back.  If it goes anything like it did the last time I contacted the RCMP (in that case to give evidence of a widespread identity theft ring) then somebody will call me back in 6 months.

    Ric, we have no idea what they know or don't know.  That's why I called to offer assistance.  For example, this video was shot many months ago, yet I guess they didn't even see the image of the guy from his other video.  So maybe we can be of help.  Sometimes the authorities could use outside assistance identifying things:


  • Moderator
    Unfortunately, when people in this hobby "do dumb things." It can hurt people, and almost always makes front page news.
  • Sam, where parts come from for multirotors is not the point of contention. What is, is the ease of setup and use that the Phantom provides makes it easy for those that lack basic logic and common sense to get airborne.

    One could argue that building a multirotor with your own parts provides a sound foundation regarding how the multicopter works which requires a certain degree of research. Through this research (lots of reading of online forums) people are exposed to things such as how to safely operate a multirotor and examples like this article of what not to do.

    One could argue that some of the people buying a Phantom are not immersed in the  hobby. They purchase their second flying thing (besides the $30 Chinese mini-helicopter they got for Christmas) and see it as a 'cool way to get videos' rather than understanding that things do go wrong and you need to plan your flights. 

    I'm not saying all Phantom operators are bad. I'm just saying that the Phantom makes it very easy to pick up and fly it for those that are inexperienced. They tend not to think of the consequences which can be disastrous for something that seems so innocent.   

    I think what DJI have done is very clever. The Phantom has been designed for a certain market that DJI have nailed. With impressive flight times, camera features and ease of use, it's no wonder every man and his dog have started flying one.

    Given its success, I guess statistically we have to expect a percentage of people to do dumb things. 

  • The video was shot 5 months ago, but the press seems to have just become aware of the video in the last day or so (see his discussion page). This may become his 42 seconds of fame.

  • Moderator
    @Rob, you asked about contact info for the RCMP, and I wondered if we had anything they didn't (?)
  • Moderator
    @Rob, that is exactly my point, I don't believe we have much of interest for TC or the RCMP.
    At least nothing they haven't already looked at.
  • What do you guys think...

    My initial impression is that to get that kinda of stable footage on a zoom like that, he must be using a Sony camcorder with BOSS with a 3-axis gimbal.  It's the ONLY system I've ever seen where zoom is usable. 

    On the other hand, when he's fully zoomed out, it sure looks like classic GoPro fisheye effect. I've never seen a Sony camcorder pincushion that bad.

    Is it possible this was shot with GoPro (or similar), using 100% digital zoom in post?  I also see artifact that seems to indicate post-stabilization.  (ie: look at the clouds at the top wobbling around).  

  • Ric, what work has been done to connect his online accounts?  I haven't seen evidence that they have done much of anything yet.  Am I missing something?

  • He seems to like to travel the world.  You'd think he'd have a few more miles of respect for air safety.

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