FliteTest Podcast 004 - Trappy (TBS) Is Here!

by FliteTest | October 21, 2013 | (73) Posted in Podcasts

Thank you for listening to the FliteTest podcast! In this episode we interview Trappy (Raphael Pirker) of Team Black Sheep. Instead of just having a podcast with Trappy as an interview segment, we decided to do the whole podcast with him. We wanted to use his extensive long range FPV knowledge, and his unique experiences to bring you some really valuable content.

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Long Range FPV Discussions:

1. What do you anticipate for the FPV hobby in 5 years? in the USA? Abroad?

Is it possible to simultaneously grow and protect the hobby we all love so much?

2. Integrated vs Modular designs

3. Long range FPV safety

4. Circular vs Polarized Antennas

 Some of our Q&A Questions:

1. TBS sometimes fly without spotters, use illegal equipment and film without permission. What is your rationale for this?

2. What is the most trouble you have gotten in while shooting a video?

3. Do you feel you are damaging the reputation of the FPV hobby by your actions?

4. Most epic fail, hardest to reach lost plane?

5. What's your favorite transmitter?

Motion To Dismiss: FAA-v-Pirker
Team Black Sheep
Ham Test Online
IB Crazy

Antennas 101 - Polarization, Diversity & Gain Patterns

Motion to Dismiss

RF Explorer (Spectrum Analyzer)

Podcast Fort...

TBS Video - The High Tech Line


TBS Video - Angkor Wat FPV 

Join the discussion below!
What do you anticipate for the FPV hobby in 5 years? In the USA? Abroad?



Johan on October 21, 2013
Great quote from David: "Other forums have trolls, our forums have CareBears", LOL
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santiago404 on October 21, 2013
Best podcast ever. If it had 5 hour duration i would listen it all.
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phoenix on October 25, 2013
Here here!
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Airborne Media Pros on October 22, 2013
Hey David Windestål and the rest of the flight test guys, Thanks for the shout out at 7:07.
I'd love to be on your show some time. If you would like some more info about Canada and UAVs I'd be happy to contribute.
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rocketscience on October 22, 2013
just wanted to put this here so it's easy to find.

antenna 101
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Airborne Media Pros on October 22, 2013
I have a question for Tappy,

Where do you get your great music for your vids and do you have to pay royalties? I'd love to use some of the same music.
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iPeel on October 24, 2013
I hope they don't have to pay royalties, as I have actually gone and bought albums from artists featured in their videos. I listen to K-Theory ( from the Costa Concordia video ) a lot.
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j0bro on October 22, 2013
Listened it all the way, very entertaining and informative. Thanks guys, looking forward to the YouTube episode!
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FinalFrag on October 22, 2013
Love the show, love the podcasts

Although I wouldn't mind if the podcasts were longer. The videos take a lot of editing and such, so I understand that they are a lot of work to get out there. However, I don't think editing the podcast is such a big job, right? So on that note, longer is better imo :D
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dammuozz on October 22, 2013
Loved this episode!!! You should totally do a part 2...even if it could be too late now...
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SilverWolvie on October 22, 2013
Loved the episode keep it up team flite test ;)
And Trappy love your FVP vids!
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Crashpilot1000 on October 22, 2013
Says one money shark to the other "nobody likes you", what a lol. Little man syndrome at its' best.
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RoyBro on October 22, 2013
As always, great podcast. And as always, a minor critique.

On your streaming controls, can you make the timeline bar longer? Or at least add a rewind 10 seconds button. At times there is some local noise that makes me miss something that is said and I want to go back one or two sentences. The current controls makes it like 15 or 30 minutes.

And once again, please make the podcasts available on Audible.com.

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MentalWhiplash on October 22, 2013
Bixler...would you really rather have an unknown commodity flying a multirotor FPV over a crowd than an FAA certified pilot who is required to maintain a minimum altitude/distance in certain locations? No, you wouldn't. Trappy is honest, though. He's not an ambassador...not at all. He doesn't care about the world outside of his bubble. As far as "I can do it wherever I want because my video isn't for commercial purposes" ...hmm...I see a profit center on their site directly related to the activity.

My 12 y/o likes to rationalize her behavior, too ("If you don't respect me, why should I respect you"....really? "yeah, but..."). I'm glad you had him on. David, good job of keeping your intellectual integrity. I'm not insulting him. He's just not the type of person I would personally choose to associate with.
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mordy on October 24, 2013
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Jake Wells on October 28, 2013
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tramsgar on October 22, 2013
I like your podcasts like i like cheezballs. No stopping until it's all finished.
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D-hive on October 22, 2013
Hi Guys! You have mentioned that you were going to put a link to the motion to dismiss regarding the FAA case. Do you by any chance have that link? Thanks
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24367dfa on October 23, 2013
this reddit thread has a lot of information on the case: http://www.reddit.com/r/Multicopter/comments/1oq9c2/media_collection_trappy_vs_faa/
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austinfurey on October 23, 2013
I updated the article with the link. Sorry about that!

Nice reddit thread also.
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Jensen567 on October 23, 2013
Loved the podcast, I wish they were all this long if not longer.

While I do not necessarily agree with the way Trappy does things, and I don't think he approaches dealing with people with the best attitude, I do respect him for sticking to his beliefs, and at the very least being open and honest about what he does.

It was nice to see that despite having different views everyone was able to sit down and talk about it like adults, I completely agree that it would be damaging to not discuss something just because some people may view it as wrong. Right or wrong, things need to be put out on the table so that everyone can at least understand what it is.
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JasonEricAnderson on October 23, 2013
Great episode. I want to give big props (pun intended) to everyone on the show. This podcast episode is an example of adults having a mature conversation about a controversial topic. Everyone was open an honest and the result was a really great episode that has given us all a lot to think about.
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apnewton on October 23, 2013
Fantastic discussion. Intelligent and balanced, well done.

Sound quality was bad to start, over level distortion, but improved as it progressed. (downloaded via Downcast on iPhone 4s)
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Dynamic Lift on October 24, 2013
Very informative. I had no idea about the controversy surrounding this hobby, this has opened my eyes.
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iPeel on October 24, 2013
I find it interesting that in a discussion about long range FPV there was no mention of David piloting a plane from the edge of space.
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FliteTest on October 24, 2013
That is interesting. Wonder why nobody brought it up.
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Burly on October 24, 2013
Until specific regulations are put in place...common sense should be the rule in any RC activity. Flying over Niagara Falls is OK in my book. But flying over a crowd at a large event like the Bull Run...crashing into the crowd...then taking back off...and flying over the crowd a second time is just stupid. It's this kind of idiocy that what will ruin it for everyone.

Trappy comes off as more than a bit arrogant. He doesn't care how his actions affect the hobby. As long as it's "within the law", any buttons that Trappy can push to boost his personal notoriety, he will gladly push.

So let's say my neighborhood doesn't have laws against noise. That means I have the right to blast my stereo in the back yare at 1000 decibels. If the neighbors don't like it, that's just tough, because I like to listen to my music loud and outdoors...and there's no law against it.

In Trappy's mind everything seems to be black and white, and driven by statue. Common sense, courtesy, or good of the hobby really isn't a consideration.

It's a very tried and true method of generating publicity by pushing the limits and being the "gansta" or "bad boy or girl". His methods aren't much different than the controversy stirred up by retailers like Abercrombie and Fitch, or celebrities like Milley Cyrus. Yep, Trappy's sees himself as the Milley Cyrus of RC.

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Genetics101 on October 25, 2013
I couldn't of said it better! We are absolutely on the same page as is most of my state in the NW, I won't trash talk him anymore as I promised him through a personal apology but he needs to understand that he is coming into our country & that in itself demands a certain amount of respect for the way we think as a people. (Example) I went into Mexico as a young man & knowing it was legal to drink in public I totally took advantage of the "PRIVILEGE" & needless to say got completely wasted & made a crazy fool of myself, policia approached me & told me I could either leave their country immediately (Tijuana Mexico ) or go to jail, obviously I had enough sense to choose the latter of the two but the principle is the same! You come into our country & you do things the way we do them or you pay the price! OR LEAVE! Thank you for your commentary
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TheWW1FlyingAce on October 25, 2013
I'm a libertarian by nature, so I was ready to give Trappy the benefit of the doubt, but the podcast just made me understand that he doesn't give a rat's patootie about whether he ruins things for everyone or not. And it's not like he lives here, so the laws that might get passed because of his actions don't really affect him.

He needs to understand that politicians and governments are rarely logical when they pass laws. It's more important in their eyes to avoid liability by "doing something", and that "something" usually ends up being draconian. It's easier and faster to simply ban something that to attempt a nuanced response. And Trappy is giving them plenty of ammo to do that.

Flying right over people who have not given specific, informed consent is unconscionable.
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phoenix on October 25, 2013
Best podcast yet. Keep up the good work. Long podcasts are gooood!
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Paulobrasil on October 25, 2013
I really enjoyed this Pod Cast!

Special for the name for the TBS wing! Caipirinha, who ever drink it, knows how it´s good!
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Jensen567 on October 25, 2013
One thing I have to add to Trappy's comment about his videos not being a commercial product, and containing no ads. MANY of his videos contain ads, especially the more recent ones within the last 2 years. There are ads for HobbyKing, RiteWing, Immersion RC, etc. Along with the outside ads, many of the videos also feature an ad in the beginning for TBS products (Zephyr, Discovery, Caipirinha).

So they are a commercial product, at least the newer ones.
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iflylilplanes on October 26, 2013
Great interview, all your topics are informative and fun, BUT, we the RC FPV model aircraft flyers need to stop using the term "drone", drone is a military term and as far as I know none of the interviewers or interviewees along with 99% of RC flyers around the world do not fly for the military. It would help the hobby (FPV)more if the uninformed see us as model aircraft flyers, drones have the reputation of surveillance and attacking the enemy. This is a stigma we the hobbyists don't need. I love what Flite Test and Trappy do
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JimCR120 on November 26, 2013
I agree. Words can carry with them extra ideas and while the particulars of the FPV flavor of the hobby get sorted out I wouldn't want to antagonize the issue.
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-Gijs- on October 26, 2013
great podcast!
fpv is a subject for discussion. government would like to forbid completely but us hobbyists are hurt by that. the government forget that every individual is equipped with something like "common sense" or at least a brain in your skull. it's sensible to think about the risk your gonna take. nobody is gonna fly a plane in his house because of the danger of hitting the closet with the delicate china and stuff.
If your able to set up a plane, equipe it with fpv and fly it, you should have some intelligence.

but if you want to harm, nobody will stop you.....

keep up the good work!
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Approx on November 7, 2013
Im from Portugal, im in rc for 12 years, i love and build my tricopters, and well... among other things, i disarm kk2`s in the air... so no frustrations here... i personally like what TBS does and think that some of of the TBS hatters just envy what they do, but not all of them... i don't approve or like trappy position in some aspects, for example saying " they don't respect why should i respect?" Well... trappy you seem like an intelligent guy, and things can't be treated in such a linear way, wean your dealing with big stuff... also take in mind that most of the people DON'T KNOW WEAN THEIR IN DANGER trust me they don't, and that doesn't mean that they're stupid, not at all... let me give you a small example, wean i was a kid i have been under an helicopter wille he was filling his bambi bucket, and i managed to touched his skids, even knowing, that if something goes wrong, i will probably die... what i mean is that most people trust you wean your flying, and thet simply dismiss the fact that they can be hurt, so don't take chances! You got a name, projection, and your good in what you do, but that doesn't mean everything you may say, think or do is entirely correct. As for FlightTest Team, i clearly think that they were one of the best things that happened in rc world in the last decade. Their position and their values are a must in this wonderful hobby.
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sokol on November 10, 2013
There is missing link to the RF explorer, not that its hard to find but I could not remmber the name and I had to listen to couple of podcasts again as I did not remmber in which one it was mentioned :)
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FKreider on November 10, 2013
This was my favorite podcast so far. Being long is not a negative in my book, if the topic is good then let the conversation go as long as you find it interesting. Lots of really good information and points about FPV in this episode!
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fish360 on November 24, 2013
Kudos for calling out Trappy on his disrespectful commenting habits. Flite Test rocks - keep it coming!
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JimCR120 on November 26, 2013
Excellent show. I wasn't sure about the podcast route but I am really liking how this is going, especially because of this one. The questions were respectful yet "hot seat" type questions that would put some on edge. Trappy though is a cool cucumber who has thought a lot through. I'm not saying I agree totally but there was good discussion. And what a great example that is to the rest of us that we could discuss the issues we disagree on in a respectful way. I would have liked to have heard Trappy's own ideas of how really is too far. He defended his position but I still am not sure what he considers as his ethical/moral/safe boundaries for FPV flying.
Great show.
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Ano Pilot on March 25, 2014
A really worthwhile Podcast I thought. Too late I suppose to be worth the effort of writing them but these are my few thoughts from the UK: TBS videos? I started off being very impressed by Trappy and co. but by now, having watched a few dozen, I am beginning to find the jumpy, 'pop-video' style of particularly the more recent videos annoying, visually straining, and difficult to watch, more often than not I have to mute the sound because as a professional musician it often quickly starts to annoy me. Please, FT, don't copy it.

I am still really outside the hobby and have never done any of these wonderful things, yet, but the idea of flying low over roads, or even alongside from a moving vehicle makes me VERY uncomfortable, given the known potential for unusual distractions to cause RTAs.

I think that any legislation that is created needs to recognise the extreme light-weightedness of many of the FPV fixed wings. On the other hand, I personally wouldn't fancy having a TBS Discovery Pro dropped on my head from any distance at all.

Whilst I applaud TBS's commitment to innovation, I would question whether a necessary cost of this must be to so often challenge and irritate authority. Plus, it's probably a good thing that the military airforces don't routinely develop their tech. by flying it low over urbanised areas. LOL

I started out being a fan of TBS and their disciples, but now I am NOT comfortable with it at all. The trouble is, I will still probably watch, and THAT then encourages them: awkward.

Again, great show, great resource,

God bless

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Daniel Kezar on December 6, 2017
starting with this one i am going to download them all and listen to them
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Daniel Kezar on December 6, 2017
a bit of a disagreement there at 1:00:00 and for the next 7 minutes or so.
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FliteTest Podcast 004 - Trappy (TBS) Is Here!