Category Archives: blog

FAA To Roll Out Drone Registration

The FAA and US Transportation Association announced this week that in the next 30 days they will be making a recommendation on how to implement drone registration :

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today announced the creation of a task force to develop recommendations for a registration process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The USDRA is supportive of this process, and believes the FAA is acting in the best interest of the public. We have reached out to the FAA requesting that we have input into the decision process, so that the racing community will not be adversely affected by any new rules that are forthcoming.

California SB-142 Anti-Drone Bill Yas Been Vetoed

We talked about California Bill SB-142 previously here.  Well, according to Petapixel, the bill has been vetoed by California Governor Jerry Brown:

On Wednesday, September 9th, Governor brown vetoed the bill, arguing that the law would expose drone operators to “burdensome litigation and new causes of action.”

While this is a win for Drone operators everywhere, it will surely not be the last attempt to restrict drone usage.

Drone Pilot Accused of Being a Pedophile, Handles it Like a Pro

This article on Petapixel is a great reminder to all drone pilots that there are many out there who misunderstand what we’re doing, and classify all drones as either weapons of death and destruction, or tools to invade the privacy of others.

Throughout the entire confrontation, Hair deals with what he calls “drone paranoia” in a safe and respectable manner. Luckily, the altercation did not break out into any violence, but it is a reminder that people can get very concerned with new technology that threatens to invade their privacy – even if it is at a local public field.

“Model aircraft are not a crime. This is a public field,” says Hair. “I was testing my camera and gimbal settings on my quad and hexacopter. I fly here often, as do many others. It is a safe and wide open area to fly.”

Read the entire article on Petapixel.

California Bill on Drones Operating Over Private Property Moves to Senate

The California House of Representatives has just voted to amend the Civil Code to make it illegal to fly “Unmanned Aircraft” over private property to an altitude of 350′ without permission of the owner:

1708.83.

(a) A person wrongfully occupies real property and is liable for damages pursuant to Section 3334 if, without express permission of the person or entity with the legal authority to grant access or without legal authority, he or she operates an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system less than 350 feet above ground level within the airspace overlaying the real property.

 

As of this writing, the bill has passed to the senate after passing in the house.  It is not yet law.

It’s unsurprising this sort of legislation is coming through the pipeline, in the wake of certain incidents involving shotguns.  This particular legislation is aiming to clarify the ambiguity regarding “Below 400′ AGL” airspace.  The FAA provides guidelines to safe operation, but are unclear on how low an operator can legally fly…

  • Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
  • Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
  • Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
  • Don’t fly near people or stadiums
  • Don’t fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
  • Don’t be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft

Individuals who fly within the scope of these parameters do not require permission to operate their UAS; any flight outside these parameters (including any non-hobby, non-recreational operation) requires FAA authorization.

Expect more legislation like this as drones become more commonplace, and certain drone operators continue to operate them irresponsibly.

Jim Moore from AOPA talks to the USDRA at NAFPV2015…

Jim Moore, associate editor at AOPA, came out to NAFPV2015 and chatted with the specwing and drone pilots there, including a nice long chat with the USDRA…

Pilots who stick to manned aircraft need not worry much about this crowd. With hundreds of hours and hundreds or thousands of dollars invested in their flying machines, the FPV race pilots were well-briefed and careful to avoid exceeding the 400-foot altitude limit (most stay very close to the ground), or allow their drones to stray out of sight. Drones operated carelessly or in ignorance of airspace regulations, or by those who just don’t care, have drawn the ire of the FAA, and conflict prevention remains a major concern of AOPA and other organizations.

Read the entire article on AOPA.org

NAFPV 2015 recap. Awesome fun!

Last week the USDRA was happy to attend the North American FPV Meet in Stephentown, New York. I have to tip my hat to the NEFPV team for putting on a great event. The timeslots were managed well, the tag system for making sure FPV video channels were not being trodden upon, and the wonderful site and course made those days in the hills enjoyable, nighttime and day.

Did we have rain? Sure! But that just upped the silliness. Were there some destroyed rigs? Absolutely (including one dramatic LiPo fire!). Was there great racing? Definitely!

2015-08-16 NAFPV2015

Looking forward to flying with these guys more in the months ahead!