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Greg Carter - Blog Author about UAV

Connect with Greg at uavuas@charlotteaircraftmodeling.com

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Drone rule takes effect Monday, awaited by thousands

Drone rule takes effect Monday, awaited by thousands

Source: Bart Jansen, USA TODAY WASHINGTON – The first comprehensive federal rule governing drones takes effect Monday, when government and industry officials say thousands of pilots of remote-controlled aircraft are eager to start their engines. Earl Lawrence, director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone office, said 3,351 people signed up to take a test of aviation knowledge Monday —the first day possible — to certify themselves as drone pilots. Another hint of the pent-up demand is that 20,000 commercial drone operators have already registered to start flying, in anticipation of passing those tests that become available Monday, he said. “That’s a good indication we’re going to have a lot of people and a lot of aircraft operating from day one,” Lawrence told a group of dozens of congressional staffers Wednesday. The rule governing drones weighing up to 55 pounds will largely replace the special permission that FAA granted in recent years to 5,542 applications for commercial uses of drones, such as for aerial photography, utility inspection or crop observation. Special waivers could still be granted. But the rule basically allows pilots who pass the test to fly whenever they want up to 400 feet in the air during daylight hours while keeping the aircraft within sight of the pilot and away from other aircraft. Hobbyists have always been allowed to fly under similar guidelines, but commercial pilots have had to file cumbersome applications for special permission — until now. “Monday is a big day,” Lawrence said. “We’re expecting it to blossom tremendously.” The rule released in June was a long time coming. Congress ordered FAA in 2012 legislation to...
FAA PUNTS ON THE PREEMPTION ISSUE IN PART 107

FAA PUNTS ON THE PREEMPTION ISSUE IN PART 107

Source: Drone Laws Blog  Photo Credit: FAA The FAA’s recent announcement of Part 107, the final rule for commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS or drones), has justifiably received a lot of publicity and general praise.  There has been little comment on what the rule does, or rather does not do, on the issue of federal preemption of state and local drone regulations. Federal preemption is what’s referred to in political circles as a “third rail” issue. Like the electrified third rail on a subway system, you don’t touch it unless you absolutely have to, and it can shock and hurt whatever or whoever touches it.  For that reason, it was not surprising that the FAA’s 2015 SUAS NPRM did not mention preemption.  Nonetheless, during the rulemaking proceeding the FAA received a number of comments on federal preemption. Most contended that without a preemption provision, state and local governments would continue to attempt to regulate small UAS operations, resulting in potentially conflicting rules and hampering the industry’s development. They argued that conflicting rules lead to confusion and litigation costs, burden commercial and hobbyist UAS users, and delay the adoption of UAS technology. Under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, the FAA had a duty to review the preemption comments and make at least some response showing that it had considered the arguments made by commenters.  Continue reading the preemption issue in Part 107…  ...
AC 107-2 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

AC 107-2 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

Photo Credit: FAA         Source: FAA The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is amending its regulations to adopt specific rules for the operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) through a final rule. These changes address the classification of sUAS, certification of sUAS remote pilots, and sUAS operational limitations. This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance for conducting sUAS operations in the NAS in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107. Summary as of May 2016, see above link for current details signed June AC 107-2 (PDF, 404 KB): Category Proposed Provisions Aircraft Requirements The sUAS must be registered with the FAA prior to flight. Aircraft markings are required. FAA airworthiness certification not required. However, the Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) must maintain small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in a condition for safe operation and prior to flight must inspect the UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation. 14 CFR part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in Public Law 112–95 section 336. 14 CFR part 107 codifies the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101 by prohibiting model aircraft operators from endangering the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) Certification and Responsibilities Remote PICs are required to: • Be at least 16 years old • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language (FAA may make exceptions for medical reasons) • Be in a physical and mental condition that would not...
FAA Announces Final Small UAS Rule

FAA Announces Final Small UAS Rule

Photo Credit: FAA These Special Rules for Model Aircraft helps to maintain our exemptions for model aircraft. For more on the FAA’s final small UAS rule, we encourage you to read this USA Today story, “FAA completes landmark rules for commercial drones,” which includes a mention of AMA’s analysis of UAS sightings released earlier this month....
WE ARE RAPIDLY APPROACHING A TIME WHERE DRONE DELIVERY IS A REALITY

WE ARE RAPIDLY APPROACHING A TIME WHERE DRONE DELIVERY IS A REALITY

THE FIRST URBAN DRONE DELIVERY JUST HAPPENED IN NEVADA - MARCH 10 Source: By Kelsey D. Atherton - Popular Science Hawthorne, Nevada isn’t known for much. The town of roughly 3,000 sits on the western edge of the state, near an Army ammunition depot, and not much else. Announced today, Hawthorne is now the site of what might be a historic precedent: the first urban delivery in the United States by a fully autonomous drone. The drone was flown by drone delivery company Flirtey, which got it’s start in 2013 in Australia, delivering textbooks to universities, before it moved to Nevada. Its six-engine multicopter flew along a predetermined path. When it reached the target house, it lowered a package containing bottled water, emergency food, and a first aid kit. The house was uninhabited, as the flight was a demonstration of what a rescue drone might be able to carry to people in need. Flirtey already conducted a rural delivery test, so it makes sense that urban was next, even if that “urban” is defined as a fairly small town. According to Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeney, 86% of packages are 5.5 pounds or less, and that the drone is designed to carry payloads that size up to 10 miles away. “Hawthorne is a town with ideal characteristics for us, because you’ve got residential housing lots that have trees, power lines, that are perfect for research and testing precision delivery,” Sweeney told Popular Science, “the kinds of things you have in a regular suburban environment.” After Hawthorne, Sweeney said, the next step is to “do it over an urban populated area, the kind...
GoPro Hero 5: Everything You Need To Know

GoPro Hero 5: Everything You Need To Know

GoPro will ultimately deliver a completely autonomous drone, requiring absolutely no piloting? Source: Christopher Morris, at ValueWalk. The release of the GoPro Hero 5 will be an extremely important one for the action camera manufacturer, following the desperate slide of its share price. It is essential for the company to impress consumers with this next generation action camera, and it is also widely anticipated that numerous new features will be included. Smaller and lighter The first thing to note about the GoPro Hero 5 is that it will be significantly smaller and lighter than the previous releases in the series. That have been release delays with this camera thus far, and it is believed that this is related to manufacturing challenges in producing the sleekest and most mobile camera possible. GoPro Hero 5 with drone compatibility It has also been suggested that GoPro will ensure that drone compatibility is part of the makeup of the GoPro Hero 5, which would fit in with the other plans of the company. GoPro has reportedly been working on autonomous drones over the last few months, with the company wishing to make a serious investment in this potentially vast marketplace. GoPro will ultimately deliver a completely autonomous drone, requiring absolutely no piloting. Waterproofing Rumors have also indicated that the GoPro Hero 5 will feature outstanding underwater shooting capabilities, as the manufacturers look to widen the scope of this action camera. It is believed that the GoPro Hero 5 will deliver underwater shooting at a depth of 60 meters, which would be a 300 percent improvement over the existing GoPro Hero 4. This would hopefully...
Drones 101: An illustrated introduction to flying data collectors

Drones 101: An illustrated introduction to flying data collectors

Source: Chemical and Engineering News, By Sarah Everts and Matt Davenport For all the unique challenges and advantages flying robots bring, the story of drones borrows from several familiar tales. It’s a story about companies shrinking the size and price tag of electronics. It’s about scientists and engineers developing lighter and more compact sensors. It’s about military technology gliding peacefully into civilian life. For a primer on the various types of drones being harnessed for scientific research, C&EN turned to two experts: Michael G. Wing of Oregon State University, who’s building a catalog of small research drones, and Greg Crutsinger, who works for the drone developer 3D Robotics helping schools and students adopt these flying tools....
How drones can help keep our food supply safe

How drones can help keep our food supply safe

Source: Chemical and Engineering News, By Sarah Everts and Matt Davenport Every year, an estimated 30–40% of crop yield is lost to agricultural pests—an alarming statistic for those concerned with food security, our planet’s rising human population, and the imminent threats to crops laid bare by climate change.   Although scientists have long studied plant pathogens, most of the work has been at the microscopic level, learning the basic biology of these pests, or at the macroscopic scale, learning how these pests travel across continents by collecting samples near the ground, says Virginia Tech’s David G. Schmale III. What’s missing is a detailed understanding of pathogens’ so-called mesoscale transport. That’s transport that takes place over tens or hundreds of kilometers, from one infected field to another in the next county or state.   This is where drones can help. Schmale’s team studies the travel plans of these tiny plant predators by following them through the air with a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) carrying everything from petri dishes to surface plasmon resonance machines that can capture and detect specific pathogens on specially designed surfaces. In particular, Schmale has his eye on the fungus Fusarium graminearum, which he says is “a very common pathogen of corn and small grains that you find in virtually every wheat, barley, or corn field in the U.S .”   The fungus delivers a one-two punch to crops: First, it interferes with plant growth by shriveling and shrinking kernels, which results in a reduced harvest. Second, F. graminearum produces a potent toxin called deoxynivalenol, which is also known as vomitoxin because of its deleterious...
Ready or not, FAA forms committee to propose micro UAS rules

Ready or not, FAA forms committee to propose micro UAS rules

Source: UAS Magazine, By Patrick C. Miller | March 03, 2016 The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week announced the formation of a committee for rulemaking on micro unmanned aerial systems (UAS), but a UAS attorney questions whether the new rules will be ready within the next year. “I saw a couple of news stories that made it sound like this was a positive step in terms of speeding along the implementation of micro UAS,” said James Mackler, an attorney with the Frost Brown Todd law firm in Nashville who specializes in UAS law. “That’s not what’s happening at all—it’s the opposite.” The FAA said it was taking the action to “provide a more flexible, performance-based approach” than previously considered for micro UAS. The committee is expected to begin meeting in March and issue a final report on April 1. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has accepted an invitation to serve on the committee. “The short deadline reinforces our commitment to a flexible regulatory approach that can accommodate innovation while maintaining today’s high levels of safety,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. transportation secretary. According to the FAA, rather than focusing on a weight class for micro UAS, it will determine which drones are safe to fly over crowds through a performance-based standard. It will consider human injury thresholds, hazard and risk assessment methodologies and acceptable levels of risk for those not involved in the operation. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said, “Based on the comments about a ‘micro’ classification submitted as part of the small UAS proposed rule, the FAA will pursue a flexible, performance-based regulatory framework...