061 Drone Gate

by FliteTest | February 5, 2015 | (9) Posted in Podcasts

Chris,Mike,Eric,Wayne and Fred break down and discuss the latest hot  "Drone"  topics. 

Audio Link

Facebook: facebook.com/flitetest
Google+: google.com/+FliteTestHQ
Twitter: twitter.com/flitetest 
Vine: @FliteTest
FTAfterhours Twitter: twitter.com/ftafterhours 

FliteTest Instagram: @flitetest
Josh's Instagram: @flitetestjb
Alex's Instagram: @zvada 
Austin's Instagram: @austinfurey
FTAfterhours Instagram: @ftafterhours 

Have a thought about the show?
Rate us in iTunes! It helps us out a lot. :)


aeroncalover on February 6, 2015
Haven't listened yet, Just want the first comment!!
Log In to reply
Prestonjorgensen on February 6, 2015
i got second and third

Log In to reply
Prestonjorgensen on February 6, 2015

Log In to reply
Ano Pilot on February 7, 2015
Didn't Eric Cheng address the possible criticisms of DJI flight restrictions by saying that they (some/all) were over-ridable with the flight controller plugged into a computer ?
Log In to reply
STFDAC20 on February 7, 2015
I believe he did say you can override - but its not a simple click.
Log In to reply
HawkMan on February 9, 2015
I think that was only the max flight height and such. not no fly zones.
Log In to reply
STFDAC20 on February 7, 2015
Great Podcast - I have been having this talk with many non-RC coworkers as part of our "water cooler" talks. Ironically I was setting up a Naza M-Lite on a Quadlug, which will have FPV capabilities - IF all goes as planned. :)
Log In to reply
STFDAC20 on February 7, 2015
I was doing the setup as I listened. :) Sorry been up since 0415 EST. lol
Log In to reply
Auteur47 on February 7, 2015
Just curious what the FT community thinks will be the fallout of this incident on our hobby. The FAA is already threatening to put severe restrictions on what we can do. Now this has occurred with all the attendant publicity to stir up the already paranoid public hysteria over "the drones" coming to get us. Throw national security and presidential security into the mix and the result can't be good for us. Or am I just being alarmist?
Log In to reply
Ano Pilot on February 8, 2015
If they are out to get you then I suppose they will use this incident as a pretext. But if they are at all rational they will realise that NO laws or regulations could have prevented this incident because 'against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain'. Also, I would have thought that there should be a fair amount of concern within the 'government' community about their guys 'conduct unbecoming'.
Log In to reply
Auteur47 on February 8, 2015
Regarding the "government employee," I'm sure he has been made to feel the heat. The degree to which any sanctioning was appropriate is hard to judge because it will probably never be made public.
I hope you're right about rationality in this arena. My concern is about how the politics of this could run away and affect the hobby community. Public hysteria about "the drones" coupled with concerns voiced in the audio discussion of the proclivity of bureaucracies to get bigger and more powerful seem likely to result in laws that will hurt our community. My understanding is that the FAA is already intending to ban all flying FPV due in large part to privacy concerns by the public.
And the view in the audio discussion of how recklessly driving an SUV down an airport runway would never result in a ban on automobiles, doesn't cut it. Such a ban, as unlikely as it sounds, may have been imposed in 1907. But not in 2015 with the status that autos have in our culture and society. However, we RC hobbyists are perhaps in a similar position as those using autos in 1907. Just a thought.
Log In to reply
andre on February 7, 2015
I sat by my phone all night waiting for the call.
Log In to reply
FlyingMonkey on February 8, 2015
What they didn't say was they meant to call you... but they called me by accident.
Log In to reply
andre on February 8, 2015
To be honest and I told Chris this you guys were better suited to talk about the situation.
Log In to reply
Bob Lv on February 7, 2015
Log In to reply
Xaq on February 9, 2015
I'm %99 sure there's a way to turn off the "FAA mode" on the Phantom 2. You just have to dig through your settings?
Log In to reply
Xaq on February 10, 2015
Oh yeah! Just turn off the GPS to bypass it and you can fly wherever you want.
Log In to reply
DeeKaph on February 9, 2015
I agree with the general sentiment echoed in the show - that people who break the law (whether "spying" on people or flying in a no-fly zone) are the ones who should be punished and not the law-abiding hobbyists. If someone gets drunk and drives their car through a bus stop we don't outlaw cars. Analogies abound.

I'm relatively new to the hobby (only been flying a few months) and one thing I've noticed is how ridiculous a lot of the regulations are. Here in Canada, if you're under 2KG and doing it for a hobby and aren't flying near an airport or over people, then have fun. But if you're going to do it for money, then you have to file for a Special Flight Operations Certificate which can take as long as six months.

It is true that these "toys" can be dangerous but that's why I think both the FAA and TC (Transport Canada, our national FAA analog) need to come up with some sort of certification program. Graduated wings, basically.

No Accreditation = You can fly small aircraft by line of sight during the day (hobbyist level like it is now)
.. and then separate accreditations for different things:
- multirotors for commercial purposes
- fixed wing for commercial purposes
- fpv
- fpv long range
- night flying
- Search and Rescue

The point is, yes licensing would seem at first like a cash grab but let's face it, it needs to be done, these things are just too accessible and lots of people have a couple grand burning a hole in their pocket that without ever even considering the safety aspects could put the hobby at risk for all of us.

A license that would let a reporter put a phantom in the air over a river to get a sky view of an accident without having to scramble a full-sized chopper, which is waaaaay more dangerous (not to mention expensive). Something that would let me put my Blade 350QX2 above an acreage and charge my realtor friend $50 for taking a snapshot without having to file an 18 page flight plan and wait six months. Just like a driver's license, something that would say "this guy knows the safety rules and has demonstrated that he knows how to pilot his bird for this specific activity. And, it's something they could take away if you don't abide by the rules.

As it stands right now, FPV is essentially not allowed in Canada at all - it has to be specifically line of sight and with a spotter on a buddy box no matter where you are. I see quad racing as soon becoming a big thing - Red Bull is gonna sponsor it and really awesome courses will be set up and it will be broadcast on TSN, but not until there are some licensing and legislation about it.

Not to mention Search and Rescue - how many lives would be saved if the mountain's SAR society had a drone they could fly at night to look for lost skiers and drop them a blanket or radio?

I'm preaching to the choir here I know, the applications for these things are enormous and it's not going to happen until there are ACTUAL laws and licensing. I don't think you should need a license to BUY one but if you want to do certain things you ought to have to take a course. Even firearms, here in Canada you need to take a course called PAL (Possession and Acquisition). They teach you how rifles and shotguns work, the ammo, all the basics - even if you're only planning on buying a bolt action, you need to know how to clean a shotgun. Then, if you want a handgun you need an extra accreditation called a Restricted Pal (PAL-R). It's a one-day course and then you send off the paperwork and your $60 and your license comes in the mail and you can go buy all the guns you want. Makes sense when you're working with dangerous things and I think the same applies here when you've got props that are made of carbon fibre and spin at thousands of RPM.
Log In to reply
Zeb Ludlow on February 9, 2015
Really like what they said in this one
Log In to reply
Mcgiver1 on February 12, 2015
When is Flight Fest 2015???
Log In to reply
themajik1 on February 12, 2015
This was a great topic Chris! So many thoughts and ideas as to what to do.
My only concern is that our hobby gets so hard to participate in, that people would just rather walk away then try and keep it alive. I know that some of us will continue to be involved in this hobby no matter what, but our government is really going to make it more difficult as time passes.
Awesome podcast guys, can't wait to see everyone again at FTFF 2015!!!
Log In to reply
doensi on February 18, 2015
I truly can understand the trouble caused by the FAA.
Being an instructor for gliders and powered aircraft itself in Germany we also face a lot of changes in Europe as well.
Being a little off topic - but the regulations are now gathered to European rules. Before they were national regulations. By gathering a lot of topics they now throw everything in one pot and write down something else ;-) Unfortunately the people making these regulations have no idea about flying. They are usually lawyers - but when you are a lawyer for money making purpose in an regulating authority, you have to create rules for staying in this authority. If they make sense or not does not matter.

About the FAA
Anyway I am quite polite about canceling the Air Prime project of Amazon. Because it is a delivery service for a short flight range due to battery capacity. That also includes that they will autonomous fly with quadcopters within village or even bigger cities - with a larger number of people living. The danger of accidents is not predictable so far. So that is why I think it is okay not to allow this.
About the case mentioned in the podcast .. I think a regulation about the knowledge of air space is necessary - but it has to be practicable for hobbyists. I also had air to air conflicts with rc-aircrafts in 800m altitude. But I know how to complain at the rc pilot by myself.
I also saw parents using kites close to the airfield.

It is hard to get a practicable rule for all of us.
All of us get punished because less than 1% using multicopters and rc planes are idiots giving work for less than 1% of stupid lawyers who want to make carrier with rule making about topics they are not knowing / practicing.

An offer to the FAA: Employ more pilots, less lawyers.

(I will excuse to all lawyers at flitetest, if they think that I am wrong :-) )
Log In to reply
RKuyoth on February 22, 2015
Yes we absolutely should create more laws to restrict the hobby, because the drunken idiot that crashed the quad into the White House lawn at 3 AM would have realized there is a law against him flying at not and stopped what he was doing immediately.

The only thing the laws are going to do is create a financial burden and limit the freedom of folks who try to do the right thing and just want to enjoy their hobby.

There are plenty of existing laws that can be used in most instances as it comes to private and public property. Peeping with a quad or peeping in person should carry the same weight, The technology does not mitigate intent. Same goes for damage to private property and personal injury. Those laws are already in place. The technology does not excuse the actions or behavior.

Just my $.02, but I think looking for an increased legislation from people with no knowledge of the industry isn't going to make problems go away, and it's not going to make the hobby more fun to spend disposable income on.

Have fun, fly today.
Log In to reply
dcarter52 on February 24, 2015
About the drone landing on the White House lawn, I think it is a little strange that a Government wants more control over drones and that a Government employee landed the drone on the white house lawn, didn't get charged and now the Government going to use this incident to take away more of our rights. This has "Black Flag" written all over it!! The Government wants to control us more, so they create a crisis situation, then come in with the answer. Which usually entails citizens losing freedom.
Log In to reply
razor02097 on April 24, 2015
While I agree DJI limiting users on where they can fly is concerning, I believe they as a company can do what they want. Let the consumer decide to buy or not. People being into commercial photography and be in the hobby enough to build a multi rotor is rare... most average people want to pull it out of the box and fly immediately.

I certainly would not buy one of their multi rotor crafts for 2 reasons. They are expensive and I think building something is more than half the fun of owning it.
Log In to reply
Capt_Sigmar on July 3, 2015
I wanted to post this for the FT Afterhours crew, the guys who still DO podcasts (and thank you very much for that, you are great companions while I'm walking at night for exercise). I saw this article on Fox News, so at least one major market news vendor is reporting some good "drone" news, a firefighter uses a DJI drone to deliver a lifevest to a pair of stranded kids in a river, then parks it above the scene to get professional quality video of the whole rescue. Here's the link:
Log In to reply

You need to log-in to comment on articles.

061 Drone Gate