Aerial Drones

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edfrank
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Aerial Drones

Post by edfrank » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:19 pm

ATTACK ON THE DRONES! IS SHOOTING WITH A DRONE CAMERA LEGAL?
http://www.videomaker.com/article/15795 ... mera-legal
Radio-controlled drones have revolutionized the video industry. But after the United States government's use of drone technology in Iraq and Afghanistan, drones are under a huge legal and ethical microscope.
What is a Drone?
Strictly speaking, "drone" used to be defined as an autonomous aircraft. Now, the word is used as slang for anything without a human pilot on board. This can include anything from your local hobby store’s cheapest radio-controlled aircraft to a Predator or Global Hawk. What the rest of us call a drone, the FAA refers to as an unmanned aerial system or UAS.

Radio-controlled helicopters have been a pipe dream of videographers for decades. But until recently, cameras have been too heavy, or the use of video tape was too prohibitive to make it practical. Helicopters either couldn’t get off the ground, or tapes would be degaussed by the electromagnetic fields put out by the motors.

With the use of tapeless media, and the stability of multi-rotor systems, it’s now practical to have a relatively low-cost platform to shoot video from. The first commercial multi-rotor system was known as the “Draganflyer” back in 1998. Compare that with the DJI Phantom’s modern guidance and cameras ... you have a very effective aerial system.

Drones have been used around the world for every purpose from inspecting oil pipelines and electrical lines, to surveillance, search and rescue, and even weapons delivery systems. Originally, even the Predator drone was designed to take pictures and replace the U-2 and the SR-71 spy planes. However, since the Predator has been outfitted with weapons delivery capabilities it has sparked protests, debates, and even hysteria over many types of drones.

So understandably, when the average person hears the word drone, they are filled with a feeling of uncertainty, and in some cases dread or fear.

Is it Legal to use a Drone to Shoot Video?
The short answer is both yes and no. There are many rules to flying an unmanned aerial system as presented by the Federation Aviation Administration. The most basic rules to follow (that should keep you safe, and the FAA off your case) are to keep your UAS in sight, never fly more than 400 feet above the ground (don’t fly within five miles of airports, and if you follow it everywhere, you’ll be pretty safe), never fly near people, and never fly where you can cause property damage. Basically, these are the same rules that you should follow when flying your standard hobby, electric, radio controlled aircraft.

You can fly any radio controlled aircraft with a camera on it. At least for now. There are currently 30 states attempting to outlaw radio-controlled aircraft with cameras on them. Where things really get dicey, is when flying a radio-controlled aircraft for commercial purposes (like shooting video).

According to Les Dorr (a spokesperson for the FAA out of Washington, D.C.) "…if you are taking video for your own personal use (including YouTube) and you're not going to do anything else with it, and you adhere to model aircraft guidelines, you're okay…" He continues, "…you cannot sell the video, and you cannot take money for shooting the video." Why? Because using unmanned aerial systems for commercial purposes is illegal.
So what about all of those drones that we saw at NAB last year? Well, in short they’re great for hobbyists. But you cannot (legally) make any money shooting video with a radio controlled aircraft. Again, at least for now.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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M.W.Taylor
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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by M.W.Taylor » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:29 pm

Ed,

The rules are a bit confusing. You can fly over 400 feet with a UAV license. But you can't use for comerical purposes. For RC planes flying strictly under 400 feet above Earth's surface you may be able to sell the videos depending on who you ask at the FAA. There were people last year flying UAVs over the Grand Canyon to sell aerial videos of the place. The rangers there confiscated their media.

But for research such as finding tall trees......There are few restrictions. The most import thing is to keep the drone below 400 feet of surface features. With the new GPS systems on the autopilot this is easy to do.

The UAV is an excellent tool for locating and measuring remote trees. But there is no substitute for a ground based search.

Michael Taylor

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edfrank
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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by edfrank » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:54 pm

Micheal,

I saw this article and was wondering on your take on the issue.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by M.W.Taylor » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:18 pm

edfrank wrote:Micheal,

I saw this article and was wondering on your take on the issue.

Ed

Ed,

Right now laws and ordinances are being enacted in many states to prohibit UAVs. There is a brief window to fly these for tree finding without breaking laws. As long as you stay under 400 feet, keep in eye sight if in NAS ( national air space--above 500ft) and your UAV weighs under 66 lbs. I believe the article is misleading. It's when you fly in commerical airspace 500 feet and above with a UAV you need a COA license. ALso in this domain you are not allowed to fly UAVs for comerical purposes.

A lot of private enterprises appear to mislead the public. Perhaps so that others don't attempt to make their own UAV companies. They want to promote their own products yet discourage others from tyring.. too many regs. etc.. I heard this one before.. There are 1000's upon 1000's of RC plane and helicopter videos for sale. These are low altitude fly-overs. They are not illegal to produce. To put a video camera in an RC plane and sell it is not illegal if being used as a model airplane...i.e. flown under 400 feet, under 66 lbs. >5 miles from airport or military base etc... When going into civilian airspace then I think it is illegal to use video for comerical purposes.

This is how I interpret the FAA website. I have seen a few articles on the newspapers that says it is illegal to fly UAVs in the form of RC planes with an autopilot system. They are mistaken.
Clearly they want to hinder others from dubplicating.

The attached FAA document actually does say using model UAV for comerical purposes to be ilegal without a COA license. So yes, it is not legal to use these comercially without a COA license. See attached. You can fly out of sight if under 400 feet if I interpret the document correctly. For recreational purposes I would consider tree hunting applicable.

Michael T.
Attachments
frnotice_uas.pdf
regulations for model aircraft
(29.34 KiB) Downloaded 52 times

Joe

Re: Aerial Drones

Post by Joe » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:04 am

Aside from spying on us from the air- my biggest concern is that they could crash- into our properties!

Under 400'? I don't want any *&^%$ plane, however small, flying just a few hundred feet up over my house- it's enough to make me go out and buy a &^%$$# gun and shoot it down- for one thing, they'll be noisey.
Joe

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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by M.W.Taylor » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:30 am

Joe wrote:Aside from spying on us from the air- my biggest concern is that they could crash- into our properties!

Under 400'? I don't want any *&^%$ plane, however small, flying just a few hundred feet up over my house- it's enough to make me go out and buy a &^%$$# gun and shoot it down- for one thing, they'll be noisey.
Joe

Joe, They sound like giant mosquitos. And the get louder and louder. They could also cause property damage, injury or even death to people if they crashed in a populated area. That is why I don't fly over private property or populated areas. If I flew one over your house and your shot it down I guess I could say I would not blame you. I am using these out in the wilderness to search areas too remote to reach by foot. If they were accessable, I would be there on foot most likely.

Michael

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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by edfrank » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:16 pm

NTS,

This isn't a tree video, but it was so cool I wanted to share it:


Man Captures Video Of Niagara Falls with a Phantom Quadcopter (VIDEO)
By Irina Dvalidze
Posted: 07/17/2013 5:32 pm EDT | Updated: 07/17/2013 8:26 pm EDT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfoLYTKObiU
Maid Of The Mist may have some competition for the best viewing spot in Niagara Falls. Youtube user questpact recently shared a stunning video of the falls, which was shot using a GoPro camera and DJI Innovations Phantom quadcopter.

Phantom quadcopter, briefly seen at the beginning of the video, is a small radio-controlled aircraft. DJI Innovations has been promoting the copter's compatibility with GoPro HERO Action Cams, which may have prompted the Phantom Video Contest that this stunning video was created for.
continued
B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?ci ... 4042754142

A review: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/01/the-gp ... ike-a-toy/

Videomaker review: http://www.videomaker.com/article/16035 ... ter-review

GoPro: http://gopro.com/

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Don
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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by Don » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:02 pm

Mike/Ed/Joe-
In the years 1998 through 2003, I was a GIS Technician at Grand Canyon NP. My boss, and later my nearest co-worker did the GIS work for the Park in the extensive collaboration with FAA folks. I can tell you there was considerable high-level interest in Congress, and the airspace issues over Grand Canyon were hotly debated then, and I suspect still.

I wish I could grab one of the 3D 'maps' that Tracey put together to display the 3D nature of the airspace over Grand Canyon, to demonstrate the effects of various decisions. THese discussions controlled what rather large commercial entities could, and couldn't do (and they had 'influence' in spades).
I'm not surprised that folks flying their UAV's were stopped. For the reasons above. But at a more personal level, for the visitors, the wildlife, and the silence that Grand Canyon NP fights really, really hard for, I would want them stopped too.

Or, if I were mean, at least force them to go through the same environmental assessment processes I had to as an employee trying to accomplish assigned tasks (like hazard tree treatments down in Phantom Ranch, or wildfire hazard reduction research).
-Don

M.W.Taylor wrote:Ed,

The rules are a bit confusing. You can fly over 400 feet with a UAV license. But you can't use for comerical purposes. For RC planes flying strictly under 400 feet above Earth's surface you may be able to sell the videos depending on who you ask at the FAA. There were people last year flying UAVs over the Grand Canyon to sell aerial videos of the place. The rangers there confiscated their media.

But for research such as finding tall trees......There are few restrictions. The most import thing is to keep the drone below 400 feet of surface features. With the new GPS systems on the autopilot this is easy to do.

The UAV is an excellent tool for locating and measuring remote trees. But there is no substitute for a ground based search.

Michael Taylor
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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Don
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Re: Aerial Drones

Post by Don » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:26 pm

I thought that the following YouTube video would be of interest...
My reaction? I was plain and simply gobsmacked!!
-Don

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2itwFJCgFQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2itwFJCgFQ

.
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

Joe

Re: Aerial Drones

Post by Joe » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:38 am

Don wrote:Mike/Ed/Joe-
In the years 1998 through 2003, I was a GIS Technician at Grand Canyon NP. My boss, and later my nearest co-worker did the GIS work for the Park in the extensive collaboration with FAA folks. I can tell you there was considerable high-level interest in Congress, and the airspace issues over Grand Canyon were hotly debated then, and I suspect still.
I visited the GC twice in the early '90s and even then people we complaining about the helicopters flying over the canyon. I believe there was a commercial service for the 'copters to freak people out by flying over and even into the canyon. I do recall one day standing on the south rim and I saw a 'copter fly over the rim and right down to the bottom. I was told it was a service 'copter, going down with some plumbers to work on the water pump houses or whatever. Even watching that 'copter was frightening.
Joe

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