Kevin Kelly is President and COO of Stampede Presentation Products, a large, value-added distributor of professional audio-visual (ProAV) products. They represent more than 150 technology manufacturers through a network of over 12,000 resellers.
Kevin introduced the ProAV industry to the business-building potential of unmanned aerial vehicles and drone-based video systems. He explains that moving video to the UAV platform is still within the ProAV arena, and it represents another channel to the market.
By bringing UAVs into the portfolio of products offered, integrators have the ability to offer what Kevin calls Drone Video Systems or DVS. This is a commercial channel where trusted advisors offer comprehensive solutions to the commercial market.
Kevin views DVS as comprised of four components in one solution: the UAV including all the platform hardware, add-on sensors, command and control systems including data management and software, and professional services such as Section 333 exemptions, education, and training. To provide customers with the training component of DVS, Stampede has a strategic alliance with Unmanned Vehicle University.
We talk about how the rate of regulation is pacing the UAV industry, and Kevin describes the Drone Video Systems.com website for those who want to get engaged with a DVS reseller, or who want to become a reseller. See Stampede Introduces ‘Drone Video Systems‘ in AVNetwork.
Kevin Kelly has more than 28 years of industry leadership experience in the ProAV, IT, CE and custom home theater markets. Stampede represents more than 150 technology manufacturers through a network that exceeds 12,000 resellers. The company has expanded into many new markets while supporting its resellers serving traditional corporate, government, education, non-profit, healthcare, and hospitality verticals.
In partnership with InfoComm and Unmanned Vehicle University, Stampede staged the industry’s first Drone Pavilion at InfoComm 2015 in Orlando, Florida.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and an MBA in Finance from the School of Management at the University of Buffalo. He is a Leadership Search Committee Member with InfoComm International, the trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries worldwide. He is also the founder and past board president of the non-profit Computers for Children, served on the board of directors of Leadership for Buffalo, and remains actively involved with the Buffalo Club, Brookfield Country Club, and Holimont Ski Resort. Among his many recognitions, Kevin was named among the “40 Under 40” by Dealerscope magazine and Business First.
You can find Kevin on Twitter as @StampedeKevin.
The criminal charge of firing a gun in city limits was dismissed by the judge who decided the drone invaded the man’s privacy. Two witnesses testified that the UAV flew below the tree line, but video evidence shows the UAV was flying 200 feet above the ground. The judge didn’t look at the video.
Steven Graham sent us the following email that includes his thoughts on the DOT/FAA plan for registering UAVs, the organizations who participated in the announcement, UAV terminology, FAA enforcement, and N-numbers:
Thanks for the great show guys. I’ve listened to every episode. I’ve spent my life around airplanes. Growing up as the son of an airline pilot, in the US Navy as an avionics technician, later as a civilian flight instructor and for the last 20 years flying B737 and A320 series A/C based in Colorado.
I’m also a UAS advocate. Whether it be for recreational or business purposes unmanned aircraft offer huge potential benefits as a powerful tool that deserves to be developed. As with any powerful tool they also embody the potential for harm. As a result, we need strong leadership within industry as well as from those who would lead us on the civil front. It is imperative that we demand educated and thoughtful solutions from these leaders.
What I’m seeing from the DOT and FAA with this initiative does not get high marks in those categories. You correctly identified several of the key challenges to effective implementation of this little bit of public theater. There are so many other fundamental problems with this initiative that I’ll leave it to those capable folks who sit on the panel and otherwise watch our government for us to ferret out. With any luck, they will very quickly identify so many problems that the Fed will have to admit their original plan is simply unworkable especially on anything near the timetable they set down.
The worst tenets of this proposal for me are the combined facts that it is once again an attempt to end run the administrative procedures act without justification other than instilling fear into the public’s mind with the appearance that there does not seem to have been any evaluation of the likely gigantic costs of this program to administrate against the seemingly ethereal benefits that when pressed for at the hearing the administration failed to even achieve a first grade rationalization for.
I felt the individual who kept telling the audience in response to questions was both condescending and dismissive as he repeatedly stated “LOOK” as if lecturing a recalcitrant child. Government like this can only happen when high-level officials with a myopic focus on their own press machines act in a totalitarian fashion and/or those who should be advising them lack either the real world experience necessary to know better or the backbone to tell their bosses their ideas are unwise. IMO this is nothing more than big government seeking to grow by finding a legislative solution to every perceived problem.
My deepest suspicions are this initiative rises out of our current administration’s desire to be seen to be doing something about the largely hyped media attention to the relatively small number of UAS users who make unwise and dangerous choices when they fly. Knowing Mr Rich Hanson personally now for several years I feel quite confident that he and the AMA were likely “persuaded” to attend the press conference and show a modicum of support under a threat along the lines of “The boss wants this NOW and it will happen with or without your support and participation so if you want to have a voice in the process you WILL attend and support this” FWIW the AMA released a follow-up statement that clarified that they do not support registration of UAS that fall under the category defined as “Traditional Model Aircraft.” (AMA’s Response to the U.S. DOT announcement) Now if we can just get the AMA to define just what the hell a traditional model aircraft is we could all stop yelling at each other in the online forums. I know I’ve been called a pollyanna before!
The previous brings me to my sadness with the continued confusion among just about everyone regarding UAS terminology. I know you’ve talked about it on the show in the past and I have no problem with the word drone. I personally believe our use of drones in conflict to be justified given the American lives it saved as well as the efficacy with which the platforms were brought to bear in spite of the national media’s attempts to vilify their use. Really the preceding shouldn’t even be a part of our discussion of civil UAS, unfortunately, the media again has seen fit to try and tie the two together.
Language is a tricky thing as it tends to develop organically often times without rational thought being part of the process. Add the fact that less evolved individuals tend to use words as weapons for marketing granting them greater power than even the things they represent and we end up where we are presently. If I were king for a day I’d ban the use of the word drone and call all things that fly unmanned, wait for it………….. UAS or UAV’s if you will. If we must we can further define UAS by purpose such as model aviation to denote the hobby vs commercial, research, or public aircraft. Multis, single rotor, fixed wing, powered or glider could serve to subcategorize by fundamental design characteristic.
The simple fact is ALL of these things are UAS and ALL of them can be misused. It is my firm belief that if we’re going to denounce anything in the UAS world we should be seeking to define the types of flying that we collectively feel are contrary to community relations and most importantly the safety of the NAS. To suggest that any specific type of model, DJI Phantoms for example (sorry I couldn’t resist) are the root cause of UAS ills is quite simply flawed logic that seeks to remove the human from the responsibility to exercise judgment as an aviator.
I was a bit confused the claim that the “FAA doesn’t really have any enforcement thing”? The FAA indeed has an army of what they call inspectors who work daily investigating claims of FAR violations. While it’s true most inspectors do not have the power to arrest, there are some that do. The FAA also definitely has the authority to file federal charges against those they feel are in violation. In the case of a clear and present threat to the NAS, they can work with local and federal law enforcement agencies to take appropriate police measures. It’s true however that the FAA is perennially understaffed and their claims that they will utilize their fellow law enforcement partners to help enforce registration is highly suspect due to the fact that most law enforcement agencies are also understaffed.
Years ago I asked law enforcement to meet my aircraft when we had an individual who was smoking onboard and refused to comply with flight attendant requests to put out his cigarette. After briefly chatting with Smokey the local cops at the airport we landed at allowed him to simply walk away. Later when I asked them about their procedures they informed me in no uncertain terms that they have neither the interest or time to be the smoking police for the FAA. From this and other incidents, I learned that when I have a significant threat to flight safety that my best chance for a legitimate enforcement of federal law was to call specifically for FAA law enforcement which, fortunately, most of the larger airports we serve have on duty for just such occasions. This real world example flies in the face of the administrators public proclamations of local resources as available to enforce FAR’s.
I feel compelled to comment on the repeated use of the word November to refer to registration numbers. While it’s true that occasionally ATC will use the terminology in their radio communications with aircraft ie “Skyhawk November 123 Charlie climb and maintain 6000 feet”; I can’t recall a single instance when the word November was used to describe a registration number. I’ve often heard people use the term “N number” to describe a registration number, but even that lacks specificity. I think there’s a historical failure here on the part of pilots to use proper terminology. Perhaps since many people don’t travel outside the US they don’t often see foreign registration numbers and as a result they come to calling the numbers and letters they see on the side of aircraft N numbers in a mistaken belief all registration numbers start with N. A minor nit I’ll admit but offered in the interest of improving the podcast.