Tag Archives: CASA

UAV047 FAA! We’re Going to Need a Stiff Drink!

Drone Prize 2014

FAA defines Model Aircraft, UAV’s banned from US National Parks, fourth UAS test site operational, Washington Post study of crashing UAVs, a prize for your drone video, the latest news on UAVs in Brazil and Australia, and CNN wants to prove news drones are safe.

The News

FAA Claims Authority Over Unsafe Model Aircraft Flights

The FAA has published a policy notice stating that the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 gives the FAA authority to regulate model aircraft as unmanned aircraft if the model is flown in an unsafe manner.

According to the FAA press release, this guidance “comes after recent incidents involving the reckless use of unmanned model aircraft near airports and involving large crowds of people.”

The Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft says:

“This action provides interested persons with the opportunity to comment on the FAA’s interpretation of the special rule for model aircraft established by Congress in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. In this interpretation, the FAA clarifies that: model aircraft must satisfy the criteria in the Act to qualify as model aircraft and to be exempt from future FAA rulemaking action; and consistent with the Act, if a model aircraft operator endangers the safety of the National Airspace System, the FAA has the authority to take enforcement action against those operators for those safety violations.”
Provide your comments to FAA by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal and searching for docket number FAA-2014-0396.

FAA Interpretive Rule addressing “Special Rule for Model Aircraft” Academy of Model Aeronautics response

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is not happy. They point out that they have managed model aircraft for 77 years. Furthermore, the Special Rule for Model Aircraft established by Congress exempts model aircraft from regulation as long as the activity “is conducted in accordance with and within the safety programing of a community-based organization,” that being the AMA.

US officials move to ban drones from national parks

Because it believes unmanned aircraft annoy visitors, harass wildlife and threaten safety, the U.S. National Park Service is banning unmanned aircraft.

In its press release, Prohibition of Unmanned Aircraft in National Parks, the NPS says the policy memorandum “directs superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.”

US ban for national park drones contrasts to AU indifference

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority is proposing that UAVs weighing less than two kg should not be regulated.

Writer Ben Sandilands says that he expects “that CASA and the Minister will embrace the chaos, and the maiming, damaging and even loss of life that is expected to ensue as the popularity of light weight drones costing small change takes off.”

FAA Announces Texas UAS Test Site Now Operational

The FAA has issued a two-year Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi UAS test site, making it the fourth of six to become operational. The COA allows the Texas site to use an American Aerospace Advisors RS-16 UAS.

This test site will concentrate on:

  • safety of operations and data gathering in authorized airspace,
  • UAS airworthiness standards,
  • command and control link technologies,
  • human-factors issues for UAS control-station layout,
  • detect-and-avoid technologies.

When Drones Fall from the Sky

A Washington Post investigation reveals that since 2001, more than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed around the world. The causes for the crashes are things like mechanical breakdowns, human error, and bad weather.

The Washington Post call this “a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic.”

Drone Prize 2014

Sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the AUVSI Cascade Chapter, this competition seeks to demonstrate drones used to serve the greater good. If you fly your drone with a civic purpose on a mission to improve society, share your video to show the difference you made, and enter to win more than $10,000 in prizes.

Participants who enter must fly their drone strictly for hobby or recreational purposes. Entries will be accepted through July 27th, 2014. Open to USA residents only.

All eyes on Brazil’s drone boom

Brazil doesn’t have restrictive regulations for UAVs, so business is booming. There are eight UAV manufacturers in São Paulo alone. But Brazilian Air Force Major Luiz Felipe says that doesn’t mean you can spy with your drone with impunity.

The Brazilian Air Force uses two Elbit Systems drones for patrol and surveillance of borders, major sporting events, and drug smuggling activity.

There is no new news on the World Cup spying incident. A FIFA spokesperson says there have been no further discoveries, and that they don’t even have confirmation that it even happened.

CASA plans legal action over drone crash in Geraldton

A triathlon competitor in Australia sustained injuries after she was allegedly hit in the head by a UAV, and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority plans to take legal action against the pilot. That pilot says he lost control after being “channel hopped.”

CNN wants to prove that drones are safe for news reporting

CNN and the Georgia Institute of Technology have started a research project to understand how news-gathering UAVs could be used safely in US airspace.

Video of the Week

Propellerheads Aerial Photography wedding video. Parker takes Airwolf up to document a wedding and the fireworks after the ceremony.

Mentioned

Drones Over America, a 60 Minutes Segment, via Charley.

UAV041 Regulating UAS

Flying Fire Breathing Dragon

UAS regulation proposals from CASA in Australia and from a listener in the U.S., a “Ten best drones” list, NASA testing sense and avoid with a Predator, and bright job prospects for those with UAS skills.

The News:

NPRM 1309OS – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
Australia’s ‘low risk’ drone strike stance could bring down airliners
Certified UAS operators in Australia hits 100

The Australian CASA released an NPRM (a Notice of Proposed Rule Making) on May 14 concerning Remotely Piloted Aircraft (or RPA) used for commercial operations. It excludes model aircraft used for recreational purposes, but it does have provisions for a “low risk” class of RPA with a gross weight of no more than 2 kilograms:

10 Best Remote Control Drones for 2014

The editors at Faveable made a list of what they believe to be the ten best consumer drones available today.

NASA Wants To Prove Predator Drones Can Play Nice With Airliners

NASA plans to fly an MQ-9 Predator B and two manned manned aircraft in the same airspace. The idea is to test sense and avoid algorithms under real world conditions.

Graduates with drone skills are going to be in demand soon

If you can design, build, or operate drones, you might have a bright future ahead of you. In a 2013 report, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International says we could see 70,000 new jobs in the U.S. within three years, and 100,000 new jobs by the year 2025.

Video of the Week:

Drone HDR with HDRinstant

Use stacking and morphing technology to create HDR images from your drone videos.

Listener Feedback:

Roy submits two articles for consideration:

Question: What Should the FAA Do About Small UAS? – General Aviation needs to participate in the conversation.

UAVs: Chafing (Rightfully) Against Regulation – The UAV industry and enthusiasts are different than “legacy” aviation. They are historically unrestrained by regulations, and live in a world of fast technology change. The FAA is talking like they are in charge, but they aren’t.

Roy also offers the things he thinks the FAA should be looking at when classifying UAS: weight, speed, and type of control. Type of control defined as:

    • Line of sight and the pilot has to watch it.
    • Point of view and the pilot flies it by watching a video feed from the drone.
    • Completely autonomous, so no pilot is required.

UAV012 We Want Drone Safety Rules

Piaggio

 

This Episode:

Drone safety rules, an affordable Piaggio MALE UAV, a drone incursion that turns out to be birds, the Taranis UAS makes it’s first flight, VTOL UAVs, the Aussie CASA threatens fines, the impact of UAVs on the NextGen ATC system, and looking at drones to deliver cargo in Africa.

The News:

No Seat Belts Required: Drone Hobbyists Talk Safety

Hobbies grow up and then the hard questions come up. Like when do you start to make rules? The FAA is working on regulations but at the local levels, authorities don’t know what to do.

Piaggio touts Avanti-based UAV as European MALE solution

Italian airframer Piaggio believes there is a market for an affordable medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned air vehicle. They have displayed a mock-up of their Hammerhead intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft based on the Piaggio P180 Avanti II twin-pusher business aircraft.

What IAF thought were Pakistani drones turned out to be migratory birds

India and Pakistan do not enjoy the best relationship, and airspace incursions are treated seriously. So when India detected the approach of unmanned aircraft, they scrambled the Air Force, which found nothing. A mystery. It turns out that with a strong tailwind, migratory birds can fly at high speeds.

BAE Taranis Makes First Test Flight in Australia

BAE Systems had a successful maiden flight of their stealthy Taranis unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator.

Hybrid VTOL UAVs – Back to the Future

The Aerovel Flexrotor is the first autonomous launch and recovery of an unmanned aircraft from an unmanned boat. The Flexrotor takes off vertically, then transitions from rotor-borne to wing-borne flight.

The Aerie design harkens back to the 1944 Focke-Wulf Triebflügel (thrust-wing) where the wings spun like a rotor for vertical flight then transitioned to a propellor for horizontal flight.

CASA warns bushfire drone operators of potential fines

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority says two remotely piloted drone flights over wildfires in Lithgow and the Blue Mountains put firefighters at risk, and looks to have breached the Civic Aviation Safety Regulations, which state that remotely piloted aircraft must be kept 30 metres from people unless otherwise approved.

UAS Tidal Wave to Hit Future ATC Systems

At the Aviation Week NextGen conference, one panel looked at Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in light of the DOT report Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Service Demand, 2015-2035 [PDF], prepared for the U.S. Air Force. The report projects large numbers of UAS’s in the airspace, but this was not contemplated when NextGen was originally envisioned.

Can Cargo Drones Bring E-Commerce To Africa?

Countries that lag technologically sometimes leapfrog other more advanced economies. Perhaps the African continent has the opportunity to leapfrog the rest of the world and utilize drones to as a transportation method for goods. The Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is launching what they are calling the Flying Donkey Challenge, where teams create unmanned cargo aircraft to fly around Mount Kenya.

 

UAV011 The You In UAV Digest

DJI FlameWheel550

This Episode:

The “drone” word, a Cathedral view by quadcopter, Australia’s CASA regs on UAS, Trappy in trouble, a UAV Challenge, a must-see video of autonomous flying, and bad uses of UAVs, all from the listener mailbag.

The News:

We Are Not Drones Pilots: sensor operators put human element in RPA operations

Capt. Blain, a 29th Attack Squadron MQ-9 Reaper instructor pilot assigned to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, cringes at the term “drone” because it implies no human piloting. He prefers “remotely piloted” because there is a pilot, a sensor operator, tactical intelligence, and a ground commander involved.

Listener Mail:

Parker recorded Highland Cathedral (Performed and filmed at Fish Church, Stamford Ct.) with his UAS hexacopter.

Ben Jones notes that CASA in Australia is being proactive with UAS and sends some CASA links:

  • Unmanned aircraft systems – You are a UAS operator if you conduct air work – this includes commercial tasks (hire and reward), demonstrations, training, R&D, flying for company internal purposes, etc.

On our Facebook page, Ben posted a link to “Trappy versus the FAA (an opinion-piece rant)” on YouTube. This was recorded by XJet. “Trappy” is Raphael Pirker from Team Blacksheep who does First Person Video (FPV). Rafael received a $10,000 fine from the FAA for flying his drone for money “in a careless or reckless manner,” reportedly close to civilians, structures, even through a tunnel with moving cars.

Listener Ben is also thinking about entering the UAV Challenge, specifically the Search and Rescue contest, which is designed “to demonstrate the utility of Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) for civilian applications. The competitors will be required to develop a UAV that could save lives by quickly and cost effectively delivering medical supplies to critically ill patients in the Australian Outback.”

Steve in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is building a quad copter to be equipped with a Gopro camera. He intends to start off flying it RC, but he’s already thinking about how to make it fly autonomously. Steve sends a link to an amazing TED talk and demonstration, The astounding athletic power of quadcopters by roboticist Raffaello D’Andrea.

Micah asks, “how long before UAS technology is used in an attack against the USA?” Cat notes that the positive possibilities of UAV’s always push hard against concerns of misuse and loss of privacy.

Tony sent a link to Mystery drone collides with Sydney Harbour Bridge which reports that a quadcopter crashed into the Bridge and triggered a terrorism alert.