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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › US AP operators..
12-27-2008 04:30 AM  8 years agoPost 81
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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Man, I got to hand it to you.

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12-27-2008 04:34 AM  8 years agoPost 82
iflybyu77

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Fort Wayne, IN

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The FAA is going to adopt the AMA guidelines as they have worked well for years to inspect your own equipment and flying site. They then will have everyone doing this type of work file their name and address with the FAA so if there is a problem they have a way to contact you.
John, while I'd like to believe this, I think it's probably another line from another individual who doesn't have the whole story or is trying to disarm you. It is inconceivable that they would even want to maintain the AMA guidlines, as we are not using AMA fields. Even the park-pilot program clamps down further than standard AMA fields. Who is to believe that you flying for WGEM on a breaking news story over a busy intersection is the same as flying at an AMA sanctioned field?

I don't doubt there are people who want Patrick to leave them alone. We are a spec on the radar, and we want to be recognized. Why should I not be happy someone is making a ruckus and getting in peoples faces if there is a possibility our plight is being overlooked? I think it is foolish to assume that if we didn't say anything at all that they would NOT bring regulations down on us. Most people have ZERO idea that R/C AP even exists in a form that is viable, let alone that some of the machines we use are as big and sophisticated as they are.

I noticed you edited this from
As far as I can tell several have donated money to a guy that's wants nothing more than to shut you down.
to
regulate this industry himself.
Why do you think "he" would do this? Who is "he"? I'm looking for clarification. If you know something we don't know, tell us. I don't want to be pushing a goal of unifying a body of APers behind a organization that has some ulterior motive.
Sorry just sick of all the BS threads about what the FAA is doing. They are not against us. Regs will be out in late 2009 we all will like. You don't need to write or call anyone just set tight.
This I'd like to believe. Can you be sure of it? I really think that would be the optimal thing, but does "Mr. Davis" even really know what is going to come from this. Let me propose a hypothetical situation.

Say Mr. Davis believes this statement to be true, but there is an incident that occurs that draws someones ire during the crafting of the rules. Or one of the major players (read full scale aviation manufacturer) is able to muscle their way into crafting stricter regulations. All the while we have no one as a voice saying "hey, wait a minute!" Is that a completely impossible scenario? If for nothing else, why is everyone so against at least being there, and listening to what MIGHT be happening? That being said, if Patrick has been sitting on the ARC, and he says regs are coming, do you really want to gamble with the chance that he's bluffing you? And if you think he is the CAUSE of why it's happening, why are you "sitting tight till the end of '09" if you really think he's hosing up things?

Just valid questions. I hope you don't take offense to them, John. I say lay the past behind at least when dealing with this situation and try to figure out what is rhetoric and what is truth.

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12-27-2008 04:37 AM  8 years agoPost 83
BigguyOz

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Forster, New South​Wales, Australia

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If I sold camera mounts, and had no ethics, I would tell everyone not to worry too.

Tony Stott

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12-27-2008 04:41 AM  8 years agoPost 84
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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Maybe Wendell should ask Bruce if that's what Mr. Davis said?

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12-27-2008 05:01 AM  8 years agoPost 85
classic

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All over the place!

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As far as I can tell several have donated money to a guy that's wants nothing more than to regulate this industry himself.
I have had my moments with John AF, belive me, I am not a fan,
But as someone who is on the outside looking in,
The description of one guy "owning" RCAPA and basically having full control over it; playground rules= {my Ball, My rules, My money}

And while I would like to support a group of professional A/P'ers by being a paying member,
I would love to see this proven wrong because as of right now from what I have read from here, John's description seems pretty accurate of one or two guys having basically last say in it.

I would love to hear what guys like DJ, Gary T and others who do A/P on a more full time basis have to say.

Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care!

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12-27-2008 06:38 AM  8 years agoPost 86
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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John,
I’d call Davis back and hold him to it, Boeing might even give you a job.

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12-27-2008 10:51 AM  8 years agoPost 87
macsgrafs

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Barnstaple, Devon,​UK

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Ross,
If you mean for sUAS, it’s complicated and can’t really get into details.
But Patrick this is why I ask. Correct me if I'm wrong but that link you provided to the FAA pdf doc, said "For integration into NAS". Hang on!!!! In the UK NAS is 500FT up? If that's the case in the states...who really wants to fly at 500ft? R/C heli's look very small at 400ft let alone any higher.

Ross

Seems to me that ALL heli's beat the air into submission

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12-27-2008 03:50 PM  8 years agoPost 88
TCGliderguy

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Albuquerque, New​Mexico

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Hey.... I've got an idea. Why not form an association of ALL of those folks who claim that THEY have an inside line to the FAA...
There's FAR more of those than could ever be counted as RCAPA members...

-TC

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12-27-2008 03:55 PM  8 years agoPost 89
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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Ross,
From what they are saying all of the airspace is part of the NAS. While you statement is true some folks fly other platforms e.g. planks, LTA and feel that 400’ would be too low.

The bottom line time…

Many among us feel that with what is on the table, it will be difficult for someone operating even a slow stick to have a viable business model.

Anyway, I have to get back on it…

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12-30-2008 11:17 AM  8 years agoPost 90
macsgrafs

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Barnstaple, Devon,​UK

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Ross,
From what they are saying all of the airspace is part of the NAS. While you statement is true some folks fly other platforms e.g. planks, LTA and feel that 400’ would be too low.
We all have to have limits in life, so if they want more than 400ft then get a real aircraft to do the shoot, after all there are MANY companies doing aerial photography above 500ft with real aircraft, so it puts us R/Cers out of thier league...do we really want to go above 400ft??? I don't! Most of the best photos are between 100 -200ft in my book.

Ross

Seems to me that ALL heli's beat the air into submission

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12-30-2008 03:17 PM  8 years agoPost 91
lowandslow

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Spring Hill, TN

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That's totally true. Only twice have I needed to be over 400ft and I moved to full scale for the shoot. 99.9999% I've been well under 400 ft and in fact mostly never higher than about 100ft. There's no reason at all why a line-of-site AP ship needs to be or should be over 400ft.

Also, It's no secret that I have an inherent dislike for John O but I will say this. Manufacture or not, John has forgotten more than Patrick or RCAPA will ever know about AP or this industry.

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12-30-2008 03:27 PM  8 years agoPost 92
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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Ross,
Using the old tools in the toolbox analogy, it really depends on what types of images you are trying to acquire. If you are doing ag, broadcast, SAR or police work, you may find 400’ very limiting. That is without bringing privacy issues into play, which by the way, I think is going to be the next big battle. On the other hand you just want snaps of a house, not a big deal. With that said, having to be certificated with a medical (observers too), for aircraft under say 7kg is oppressive.(IMHO) I know some would disagree, but then again there is no shortage of opinions in this community.

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12-30-2008 03:56 PM  8 years agoPost 93
AirFoil Aerial Systems

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IL.

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broadcast, SAR or police work, you may find 400’ very limiting.
Have you ever done any of them? For Broadcast/Breaking news/ Search and rescue or generally assisting the Police I don't think we have ever been above 100-200ft. Generally they want you down on top of what’s going on.

You are bugging the FAA to try to fly higher than 400ft?

Keep in mind we are talking ground based not aircraft. It's 400ft up from where you stand. The same guide lines the AMA has used for years.

John

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12-30-2008 04:29 PM  8 years agoPost 94
Quandumphone

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Yuma, AZ

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The National Airspace System (NAS) is more than just airspace, it is people, equipment, airspace, procedures, etc... The airspace involved is pretty much everything above ground level in the US. I think the discussion above regarding altitude is more correctly referring to the difference between controlled and uncontrolled airspace. The altitude level of controlled airspace is different depending on where you are. It can be down to the surface, or different levels above that. The flight rules are different between the two but both are part of the NAS and both are under the potential game changing effect of the FAA.

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12-30-2008 05:03 PM  8 years agoPost 95
papatango

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Toronto, Ontario,​Canada

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Many among us feel that with what is on the table, it will be difficult for someone operating even a slow stick to have a viable business model.
Perhaps, if the market or demograph that RCAPA wishes to represent was clearly defined, those of us with opinions, and/or practical experience on the matter, could better respond to your queries.

Would a representative of RCAPA please define who it is they wish to assist/represent; i.e., sub 7kg, solo operators, 0-30kg, RC piloted, UAV, amatuer/part-time, professional teams, businesses grossing up to XXXX$$, over XXXX$$, up to 400ft, up to 800 ft, privately insured or uninsured.....etc.

It might help to clarify.

Thanks.

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12-30-2008 05:34 PM  8 years agoPost 96
macsgrafs

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Barnstaple, Devon,​UK

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John of AirFoil Aviation has shown what I thought to be the case, below 400ft is where 99.99% of us A/P & A/V operators will be working. I dont want to invent some military UAV to blow innocent people up 10,000's miles away..I just want to take photos & video of buldings & places both for commercial gain & pleasure. I'm sure I speak for 99% of guys/girls on here as well.

Quandumphone correctly states that some parts of the country have controlled airspace down to 0ft, in which case we as AP'ers & AV'ers should have access to NOTAM's & flight maps of the area to make sure we are flying safely..we dont need representing to achieve this.

Regards
Ross

Seems to me that ALL heli's beat the air into submission

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12-30-2008 09:05 PM  8 years agoPost 97
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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Maybe where "most" rotary wing want to operate.

I agree about the military use, the vendors like to say they are doing the same thing we are doing and these craft are just like the hobby stuff. I call BS on that as most of us haven’t received DARPA grants to design and build our craft. We don’t use military radios, Kevlar and other components that were designed for the battlefield. Today I was out at the river and three teams from Department and fish and game were looking for salmon. Two groups on foot and one in a boat, that job could be done with one boat and either an unmanned plane or helicopter. The point with all of this is, there are millions of dollars worth of work out there to be done with sUAS, and I think small business people should have a crack at it.

Most of these folks feel 400' is low.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VfmTsyMVhk
http://cropcam.com/samples.htm

Police (strait from DOJ)
SAR when searching large swaths of land/water.
Mapping
Mineral exploration
Weather monitoring
Livestock monitoring/tracking
The guys at NASA have a division utilizing sUAS and are working on all kinds of different applications.

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12-30-2008 10:18 PM  8 years agoPost 98
papatango

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Toronto, Ontario,​Canada

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The point with all of this is, there are millions of dollars worth of work out there to be done with sUAS, and I think small business people should have a crack at it.
You're absolutely right, Mr. Egan, but "small business" does not mean a one man operation with $5000 or less in rc gear.
$5000 may be a good first-quarter insurance figure to look at, for starters; however, that's with qualified pilot & spotters.
We don’t use military radios, Kevlar and other components that were designed for the battlefield.
Not true. Carbon fibre, Mil Spec or better components, Guidance systems & Gyros, Radio Tagging, GPS- based mapping, thermal cameras and more, are all common place items, used by hobbyists AND professionals for the jobs you listed:
Police (strait from DOJ)
SAR when searching large swaths of land/water.
Mapping
Mineral exploration
Weather monitoring
Livestock monitoring/tracking
The guys at NASA have a division utilizing sUAS and are working on all kinds of different applications.
I doubt you'll find a slow stick with GPS based mapping and thermography capability, that can stay on station for 2 hours for a SAR mission, for under $20 grand; and that's just the airship.
These fields of operation require a little mopre than a point and shoot on a small heli or plane, which the bulk of your "99.9%" appear to operate.

Please don't try to scare prospective AP'ers with medicals & FAA regs, as these are just not that hard to work with, and not that expensive considering, as you stated, the millions of dollars of business available, perhaps yet another point I agree with you on.

FAA, CAA, NTSB etc standards are there to protect both you, your crafts and the people you service; not to bankrupt you and drive you insane with paperwork.

From the FAA:

"If the FAA determines the project does not present an unreasonable safety risk, the local FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office will issue a Special Airworthiness Certificate in the Experimental Category with operating limitations applicable to the particular UAS."

Now, that doesn't sound unreasonable or tyrranical, does it?

I've finished grinding my axe, Pat, but you've got to start listening to people who are looking for whats best for the industry too, not just the broadstrokes RCAPA mission.

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12-31-2008 03:01 AM  8 years agoPost 99
patrickegan

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Sacramento, CA

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There are systems available for under $20,000 that can do a lot of different kinds of work. They can serve as a test bed for other remote sensing equipment, sniffers and maybe even ADS-B. Besides that, one has to weigh the operational limits, environment and design before throwing a regulatory blanket on all craft and operators. In certain applications full certification makes sense and in others it doesn’t. A closed set is one environment and a 45lbs aircraft flying at 75knots in a metro area is another. One has a much higher level of lethality and risk than the other. In the Proposed Guidelines such factors as UA speed and lethality (both in the air and on the ground), were taken into consideration as were other factors. I think one of the misnomers here is we are only taking a small group into consideration and that is not the case. I have never claimed to be an expert on all of the different platforms and applications, but speak to people who have applications from a myriad of disciplines. With a lack of common sense regulations and relying upon bureaucrats for exceptions (with no set guidelines), is a hard sell to investors. The main concerned for those involved (not just RCAPA), is that a bad precedent is set that haunts the industry far into the future.

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12-31-2008 03:46 AM  8 years agoPost 100
Ira B

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Coupeville, WA

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If you are good at what you do there is darn good money to be made with a Slow Stick type platform.
The big concern here is the nature of the FAA and big industry's goals regarding the intent and tone of pending regulations.

Is the goal to assure safety while promoting a dynamic and opportunity rich business environment for enterprising individuals or to direct the market towards established and well connected players and tamp down startups.
The regulations can be crafted in such a way as to sound reasonable overall but still have plenty of poison pills for Joe APer trying to run a small business.
The more hoops there are to jump through the greater the proportional burden on the individual business operator and what wouldn't make Aerovironment blink twice could make an AP business impossible for you or me.

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