Tag Archives: Transport Canada

UAV077 UAS Pilot Training

Sky-Futures

UAV training in Canada and Britain, a government hearing on UAS research and development, no date from FAA on the sUAS NPRM, a UAS communications study, and drugs on a drone.

News

1st Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) instruction designed specifically to meet Transport Canada’s new requirements

Aerobotika Aerial Intelligence and Pacific Rim Aviation Academy have partnered to offer a UAV pilot training academy. The 2-day ground school course will cover the new Transport Canada Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems for UAVs under 25 kg, operating within visual line of sight.

The curriculum includes standard pilot training, technical specifics of unmanned aircraft, industry practices and regulations, UAV rules and avoiding dangerous situations. Successful students will have met the special flight operations certificate (SFOC) knowledge requirements and receive a Letter of Completion that can be submitted to Transport Canada.

Aerobotika is an aerial systems development and operations company. Pacific Rim Aviation Academy operates out of Pitt Meadows Airport (CYPK) near Vancouver, Canada.

How should licensing work for commercial drone operators? A look at Britain’s solution

In Britain, the Civil Aviation Authority has approved three companies to provide UAV training: Sky-Futures, ResourceGroup, and EuroUSC. After receiving training, the pilot must provide a manual to the CAA describing how the UAV will be used and show they have liability insurance.

Sky-Futures provides trainees with a ground school manual to study at home for a month. After that, trainees have two days of ground school and three weeks of flight training in Spain.

The ResourceGroup training starts with an online learning program, followed by two days in the classroom, one day outside flying, then a one-day exam.

Committee Examines Status of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Regulations, and Research

The U.S. Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research and Development hearing in January.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) opened the hearing to examine research and development of UAS and “provide an overview of how UAS research, development and flight tests enable the integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.” Witnesses included representatives from NASA, FAA, the National Research Council, AUVSI, the Small UAV Coalition, and MIT.

Brian Wynne, President and CEO, AUVSI said, “for every day that UAS integration is delayed, the U.S. stands to lose $27.6 million in potential economic impact, according to AUVSI’s economic impact study.”

James H. Williams, the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office Manager, talked about the important role of interagency partnerships with DOD, NASA, etc. Williams noted work with NASA on, “air traffic control interoperability with the future UAS use of detect and avoid systems in controlled airspace,” and with both NASA and DOD on, “the appropriate minimum operational performance standards for UAS detect and avoid systems for UAS to remain clear of other aircraft.”

FAA Official Refuses To Give Date For UAV Rule

At the hearing, the big question was, when will the FAA issue its proposed sUAS rules? Chairman Lamar Smith asked James Williams from the FAA that question repeatedly. Williams had answers, but not the one Smith was looking for:

Smith: “Mr. Williams, when might we expect the FAA to propose some rules?”

Williams: The FAA is “doing everything we can to get that small unmanned aircraft rule out, but our main focus is to get it right.”

Smith: “When do you think you might get that [rule] out?”

Williams: “I at this point can’t give you a firm deadline.”

Smith: “Do you have a goal in mind? I mean, you’ve got a lot of people across the United States waiting. Do you have any kind of a working deadline or a working goal?”

Williams: “Our goals are to get it out as quickly as we can, as long as we get it out right.”

Smith: Is a rule is likely to come “this year or next year?”

Williams: “I can’t speculate. My own personal hope is we get it out as soon as possible, but it’s got to go through the regulatory process that has been put in place by Congress and we’re working our way through that.”

Williams added, “You’ve got to understand this is a very complex rulemaking.”

Smith: “Never mind. I can tell that I’m not going to get the answer that I was hoping for. But we’ll take your word for expediting the process….”

New unmanned aircraft research project proposed by UND to take off

The University of North Dakota plans to test “new radio communications” of unmanned aircraft beyond line of sight. The unmanned aircraft program staff at UND proposed the project, and the University’s research oversight committee approved the proposal.

UND will start with the Northrop Grumman SandShark at the Lakota, N.D., airport. Funding is with $500,000 from the North Dakota Department of Commerce and a matching $500,000 contribution from Rockwell Collins.

Meth-filled drone crashes in Mexican border town

According to Tijuana police, a hexacopter carrying more than 6 pounds of methamphetamine crashed into the parking lot of a supermarket. The DEA has reported that drones were used in about 150 drug flights in 2012 over the Mexico/US border.

Video of the Week

R/C Plane Crashes- Reveals Underwater WORLD

Footage from an RC airplane taken at The Cape Range National Park, in Exmouth Western Australia. After viewing the beautiful scenery, you’ll see the plane crash into the water and the GoPro keeps recording, capturing tropical fish and sea turtles.

UAV075 Charge Your Drone on a Pad

Skysense charging pad

A charging pad for your drone, USAF Unmanned Systems faces a huge manpower problem, real estate and agriculture gain FAA exemptions, timeline for ICAO RPAS standards, and UAS in Canada.

News

New Charging Pad for Parrot Drones Changes the Way You Charge Your Batteries

The portable Skysense Charging Pad is said to support nearly all existing multicopters and VTOL aircraft. Plug the Pad into an electrical outlet, land your drone on the Pad, and your batteries will charge at the same rate as your regular charging cable. Pads are available in different widths and should ship next month.

Skysense also offers the Droneport, “a protective closed structure that is managed remotely and can hold a Skysense Charging Pad and your drone. It also provides synching of sensor data to the cloud and connectivity within your Skysense Droneport network.”

Drone War pushes pilots to the Breaking Point

The U.S, Department of Defense wants 61 Combat Air Patrols (CAP) per day by April 15. Each CAP requires four Predators or Reapers for 24-hour coverage. These require ten “men” per drone per CAP, for a total of forty. With a shortage of drone pilots, the crews have high workload and low morale.

FAA Grants Real Estate, Agricultural UAS Exemptions

The FAA granted two exemptions on January 6. One was to Douglas Trudeau with Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Arizona. Their DJI Phantom 2+ quad will be used to “enhance academic community awareness and augment real estate listing videos.”

The second exemption was to Advanced Aviation Solutions in Spokane, Washington. Their fixed wing senseFly eBee will fly to take “photographic measurements and perform crop scouting for precision agriculture.”

Both still need a COA “that ensures the airspace for their proposed operations is safe, and that they have taken proper steps to see and avoid other aircraft. In addition, the COAs will mandate flight rules and timely reporting of any accident or incidents.”

The FAA has received 214 requests for exemptions from commercial entities.

ICAO Panel Will Recommend First UAV Standards in 2018

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) new Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Panel is focusing “on development of standards and recommended practices (SARPs) for adoption by the Council of ICAO in 2018 related to airworthiness, operations (including RPAS operator certification) and licensing of remote pilots.” Detect and avoid regulations are to follow in 2020.

Cameraman hit with $1,000 fine for filming with drone

The co-founder of a Canadian video and photography company that uses drones was fined by Transport Canada after a real estate shoot. He’s fighting the fine, saying that Transport Canada’s rules on flying unmanned aerial aircraft are not clear.

City man has high hopes for school for drone pilots

Buoyant Aircraft Systems International in Winnipeg wants to develop a flight school for UAV pilots. They plan to take the idea to Transport Canada’s UAV working group in April for approval, and could be teaching by August, if approved.

Video of the Week 

Coast Guard Helo takes out drone

In August 2014, a hurricane caused heavy surf off the coast of California. That brought out body surfers, boogie boarders, and surfers, along with thousands of spectators and some camera-equipped quadcopters. One of the copters didn’t fare too well in the Coast Guard helicopter downdraft.

Mentioned

50 Things You Can Do With A Drone

Some applications you’ve seen before, some you haven’t, and some you shouldn’t.

UAV072 Drone for the Holidays

Arca Space AirStrato

A new civilian HALE, 12 drones for the holidays, where to fly your drone in the UK and Canada, drone near misses and hits, and a holiday video of the week.

News

Arca Space Announces New Range of High-Altitude UAVs

New Mexico-based Arca Space Corporation announced the AirStrato line of electric HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) UAVs. These fill a gap between large, expensive military unmanned aerial vehicles and small, inexpensive civilian commercial drones. The target market is small-scale businesses and research institutions.

The Twelve Drones of Christmas

FlightBots.com picked their favorite drones for the holiday season:

  1. Quadcopter Q4 Nano – A very small RTF.
  2. Hubsan X4 HD – A low cost little starter drone quadcopter with HD 2MP Camera.
  3. Hubsan X4 H107D FPV – An out of the box basic first person view (FPV) starter drone.
  4. Blade 180 QX HD ready to fly (RTF) – A low cost starter drone for aerial photography.
  5. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite – Control this using your smartphone or tablet.
  6. Quanum Nova – Outperforms other drone in its price range.
  7. Walkera QR X350 PRO – An RTF FPV Quadcopter that generally costs less than competing products.
  8. DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ – The easy to fly all-in-one consumer drone with advanced software.
  9. 3DR IRIS+ – For real consumer and professional applications.
  10. 3DR X8+ – A real workhorse with modular design and autonomous delivery capabilities.
  11. Walkera Scout X4 – Features include the ability change from quadcopter with 4 motors to octocopter with 8 motors, real time telemetry and flight times up to 25 minutes.
  12. DJI Inspire 1- Carbon fiber arms lift out of sight, 360 degree view, 4K video, 12 megapixel photos.

Where you can and can’t fly a drone

The niche hobby has turned mainstream, and that means lots of new drone pilots after the holidays. What are the rules in the UK?

TGI Friday’s Dumb Mistletoe Drone Cut Somebody’s Face Open

TGI Friday’s idea for drones carrying mistletoe inside the restaurant has already resulted in an accident. During a demonstration for the Brooklyn Daily, the pilot encouraged the reporter to let him land the drone on her hand. She flinched and the drone struck a photographer in the face.

Pilots fear private drones after Heathrow near-miss

The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) is expected to release its report on December 12 about the Heathrow Airport incident earlier this year where an Airbus A320 with passengers had a close encounter with a civilian drone.

Near-collisions between drones, airliners surge, new FAA reports show

Reports of near collisions between unmanned and manned aircraft continue to be reported to the FAA by commercial pilots, private pilots, and air traffic controllers. Since June 1, there have been 25 such encounters of small drones coming “within a few seconds or a few feet of crashing into much larger aircraft.”

The list is available from The Washington Post in Near Mid-Air Collisions With Drones.

The Government Admits Drone Rules Won’t Be Ready Until at Least 2017

The FAA was given until September 2015 to establish regulations that integrate UAS into the National Airspace. The The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the rules won’t be in place until 2017 or later.

Video of the Week

This Drone Video of Synchronized Holiday Lights Is the Most American Thing Ever

A subdivision in the American Southwest synced up a neighborhood-spanning light show to Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards of Winter,” ​and filmed the whole thing with a drone.

Feedback

DroneIQ – How to freely operate a commercial or research drone in Canada

By freelance reporter and UAV enthusiast William Levasseur. This video provides details about the new Transport Canada regulations for commercial UAV operations.

DroneIQ – Why the Transport Canada UAV exemption is useless

This follow-on video explains why the Transport Canada definition for “built-up area” might make the new exemption useless for anything other than surveying very remote farmland or working in the wilderness.

UAV071 Are Strict sUAS Regulations Better Than No Regulations?

SkySpecsShould we be satisfied with strict regulations if that will allow commercial operation of UAVs to begin? Also: The FAA looks to focus on drone certification and pilot standards, Canada makes it easier to fly small UAVs, UAS pilot training, model aircrafters getting swept up in drone regulations, and a proposal to allow drones to fly in US National Parks.

Guest

Ryan MortonRyan Morton is a roboticist. He’s the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of SkySpecs, which produces innovative drone technologies that help pilots focus on the mission without worrying about what they might crash into next. SkySpecs is also working with various government agencies to integrate drones into the airspace.

Ryan was recently interviewed for the Wired article, The FAA’s Drone Rules Are Too Narrow, But They’re Better Than Nothing.

Ryan is a veteran of the USAF and graduated from both the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and the University of Michigan. He was a member of the winning team at MAGIC 2010, a US/Australian-funded multi-robot exploration competition wherein (mostly) autonomous ground-based robots explored an unknown environment and detected various objects of interest.

At the Executive Order 12866 meeting at the White House with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Ryan had the opportunity to assist Lisa Ellman and others from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA), as well as another industry startup, Measure, in discussing some views on sUAS integration. One of those is that stalling the process to get the UAS regulations “perfect” from the start is a mistake. Instead, we should implement some regulations now, even if overly restrictive, then iterate.

The excellent MLA blog Plane-ly Spoken covers topics such as recent decisions and litigation, legal trends, airworthiness directives, regulatory interpretations, FAA counsel opinions, and FAA enforcement actions.

News

Huerta Says UAS Rules Stress Certification, Pilot Standards

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta reconfirms that the FAA intends to issue the proposed small UAS regulations by year-end. He says, “I can’t say what is going to be in it but broadly speaking, what we are looking at are all the questions relating to how we certify the aircraft and what are the qualifications of the operator as well as what uses they can be put to.”

New rules for small unmanned aircraft: Transport Canada makes it easier to fly small UAVs for work and research

Transport Canada released Advisory Circular (AC) No. 600-004, Guidance Material for Operating Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems under an Exemption. This introduces two exemptions that will not require a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). These are for very small UAVs (under 2 kg) and small UAVs (between 2 kg and 25 kg).

Unmanned Experts Partners with Gold Seal to Provide FAA Ground School

As we speculate about what the FAA will propose for sUAS regulations, it’s a pretty good bet that some type of operator certification or license will be required. That implies there will be some training for pilots. Flight training provider Gold Seal has teamed up with Unmanned Experts to adapt the manned aircraft training for UAS. The UAV Ground School PPL Course is now available for purchase.

Fraunhofer developing flying inventory robots to keep tabs on stock

A project of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics would have autonomous drones perform warehouse operations like stock taking and record keeping. Under the InventAIRy Project, warehouses wouldn’t have to shut down while employees took a physical inventory.

In a conventional RFID inventory tracking system, the chips are in the goods which are recorded as they pass by the antennas. In this system, the chips remain stationary, but the antennas move – on a flying robot.

Domestic Drone Casualties

The writer is concerned that the model airplane hobby is getting swept into the whole UAS regulations process, and this isn’t good for R/C and it isn’t good for full sized aviation either.

Video of the Week

DJI Phantom 2 Epic (Domtoren Utrecht)

Listener Frank sends us this beautiful video of a drone flying in the mist.

Feedback

Listener Andy offers three points concerning the US National Park ban on UAVs:

  1. As a hiker, scrambler, and a lover of peace, quiet, and solitude… I do not want some bozo flying these things around me or my family while I am trying to enjoy mother nature.  The reason I am there in the first place is to get some respite from some of the bozos in my everyday life.
  2. As a photographer/videographer, and lover of all things that fly (except mosquitoes  – the bug, not the plane),  I also love getting that unique viewpoint that only a drone/UAV can provide.
  3. But… Point 2 cannot be at the expense of safety or annoying someone who relates to Point 1. 

Andy describes how most National Parks are large, with visitors tending to concentrate in a few areas, leaving many isolated locations away from the crowds. There is plenty of space to fly to get unique aerial footage without compromising safety, space, and solitude.

With that, Andy recommends that hobby drone/sUAV flight should be permitted in the National Parks with the following guidelines…

  • No flying at High Density Area Lookouts/Features or Ecologically sensitive locations (e.g. Mt. Rushmore/Yosemite ValleyOld Faithful Geyser Basin). This can be defined/zoned and given to the pilot when they obtain a permit. 
  • Charge a permit fee – make it reasonable ($10 a day, $20 a week). The permit process would force the “pilot” to get current information on where flying is or is not permitted.
  • Operator must be an AMA member or certificated pilot. This would ensure at least some training/knowledge/exposure to things that fly as compared to the standard individual.
  • As part of the conditions of the permit: common courtesy. If there are any other visitors in the vicinity that flying disrupts or once an objection is raised, the operator must quit.  (Offering the other guests a dronie may help promote positive responses.)
  • General AC 91-57 adherence (400 feet, LOS, etc.).
  • No Wildlife harassment (set a distance restriction.)

Mount Rushmore

In his visits to the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Mt Rushmore, Andy noticed helicopter operations present. These, he says, are noisier than typical multicopters.