The New Hampshire Techfest and the USDRA are hosting an open race event on Saturday, October 15th in Windham, NH. This is an open event any pilot with a drone can join. If you’re a new pilot or an old hand, this race promises to be a lot of fun. Last year we had an enthusiastic audience cheering from the sidelines, so come on out!
The FAA has released the final draft on the “part 107” rule set for drones and unattended aircraft.
The important part for most drone racers / enthusiasts is this:
Part 107 will not apply to model aircraft. Model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (PDF) (which will now be codified in Part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.
The included Section part 336 there is important, as that is what the AMA and other model aircraft enthusiasts settled in as ‘established law’ regarding remote control aircraft. This ruling, at least by our reading, seems to set things back where they were before the discussions started up again, which is good news.
The full FCC Press release is on the FAA.gov website.
What happens when you combine rainy spring Boston weather, a lot of hard work by organizers, and a nifty indoor industrial space? Why, you get Drone Day Boston, a part hobbyist, part social, part racing event held yesterday at the Boston Design Center this past Saturday, May 7th.
About 140 drone enthusiasts came to the one day event to geek and schmooze over technology, latest trends, take classes on safety, and talk about the latest in gear, events, and what’s happening in the world of drones and drone racing.
One of the biggest draws was the indoor race course managed by BMRC and others. The indoor space was small but the 22 participating pilots made the best of the twisting figure 8 course, running a series of heats and races. The challenge of the tight course made crashes even more of the norm than usual, with many races ending in under 10 seconds as tiny craft get tangled up in the safety netting or have trouble negotiating the mid-course tunnel. This was definitely not a course for full sized 250mm quads! 120mm and 180mm frames ruled the day.
Indoor racing shares many of the challenges other races have, in particular “how can the spectators enjoy the experience as much as the pilots?” – For this event, the organizers set up several large screen TVs showing the video feed from the drones – in essence ‘shoulder surfing’ the pilots, allowing the spectators to see exactly what the pilots were seeing. It gave a great experience to people seeing racing for the first time.
Have to give a big shout out to the event organizer Sean Tierney who wrangled the vendors, the space, and all the details necessary to make the event come together successfully.
As the USDRA predicted a few weeks ago, the FAA has announced the final details and launch date for online Drone Registration. The details are about as expected; using an online registration system a pilot will receive an identification number that must be visible on the craft. The registration number can be used on any number of hobbyist-built/owned craft owned by a single pilot. These rules are required for anything over 250 grams, which covers most racing quads.
According to the press release
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.
The site isn’t active yet – it will go live on December 21st. For the first 30 days, registration will be free. After that, it will be $5. Registrations are valid for 3 years.
The task force making recommendations regarding Drone Registration have published a paper outlining their findings.
The USDRA, while not on the advisory panel, did submit a paper to the panel recommending a very easy, self serve registration process, and it looks like the task force has come through with a well thought out, balanced set of guidelines for the FAA to use when implementing the process.
Some brief notes – again, these are recommendations, not ‘rules’. They have not been adopted into law yet…
- Drones less than 250g are exempt
- Registration is immediate and free. An online form with a name and an address will get you a registration number, which you can apply to your sUAS and go flying immediately.
- Registrants must be at least 13 years old
- A serial number is not required, so home built craft may be registered, as long as the registration number is easily visible on the craft.
The full PDF is available on the FAA website.
While we were out at NAFPV2015, we had the fun of having our Mobius Actioncam fall off the drone in mid-flight. Fortunately, it landed near some of the other pilots, and they returned it to us. Thanks guys!
Looks like the Multi-GP folks had a great time at the Second Annual Flying Circus FPG Festival, August 20-23rd in Wise, Virginia!
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.
Planning on coming to the #nafpv2015 2015 event in just FOUR DAYS? Make sure you track down folks from the US Drone Racing Association and get your free laser-cut event medallion! Perfect for decorating your toolbox, drone case, or laptop!
We only have a few dozen of these, so get ’em while they’re hot!