WEEKLY DRONE NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION - 24 APRIL 2017

In this weekly news transmission:

WORLD NEWS HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

BRIGHT SPOT OF THE WEEK

LESSON OF THE WEEK

NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAFETY MESSAGE

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER NEWS

 

WORLD NEWS HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

FAA to be audited on waiver process.

The U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) notified the FAA with this memo on April 11th that it isn't satisfied with the FAA process for waiver requests against the new Part 107 rules for operating drones in the United States national airspace system (NAS).  According to the FAA UAS page for waivers granted, they have made decisions on 318 waivers as of April 23rd, 2017. According to Christopher Korody of dronebusiness.center (one of our DPF partners), as of April 21st 2017 the FAA has 2,775 waiver requests. Obviously the FAA still has a very large backlog.  Understanding the timeliness of waiver responses (or lack thereof) is one objective of the audit.  The second concern is an apparent lack of a risk-based safety-oriented process to evaluate and monitor the waiver requests.  Noble intents, but expect the audit to slow down the waiver process even more as FAA employees have to spend their time explaining why it takes them so long to respond to waiver requests -- instead of actually working on the waiver requests.  (Wasn't this scene in a movie?)

 

BRIGHT SPOT OF THE WEEK

DPF partner EasyAerial featured on technology leadership podcast. 

Ivan Stamatovski, founder of EasyAerial (a DPF partner), was the featured guest on the 22Lightbulbs podcast from The Level Market.  Ivan talked about drones as a transformational tool for first responders.  That makes drones "zero responders."  To learn a lot about drones are improving communities as a tool with first responders, listen to Ivan and this podcast: 22Lightbulbs: Search and Rescue Drones or click the image below.  Congratulations Ivan for a great podcast appearance and representing our industry so well.

LESSON OF THE WEEK

Local drone bans continue to be a persistent threat.

In a humbling and frustrating development, we at DPF headquarters recently learned about a new drone ban in our very own region of northern California. Despite our dedicated efforts at educating local and regional officials near us, drones are now banned in Sacramento County parks as reported by NBC Affiliate KCRA in this story.  

"If you aren't sitting at the table, you're on the menu." So says Margo Parks, a lobbyist and legislative aid who partners with Drone Pilots Federation. More officials near us (and probably near you) need to read this letter from Vic Moss:

An Open Letter to State and Local Policy Makers Considering Drone Laws

For you drone pilots out there, here is an article just for you:

How to Help Defeat State and Local UAS (drone) Regulations in the U.S.

 

NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION

Local regulations hit DPF close to home.  (See above.)  Other more encouraging efforts to promote the legal, safe, and productive uses of drones aren't quite ready to share yet.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

International Drone Day Year 3 – May 6th across the globe.  This is an open call and invitation for drone enthusiasts and leaders in every community across the world to showcase and promote their efforts to the public, educate others, and inspire people. Do you have plans or groups in your area to collaborate with?  Now is the time to start planning!   Let us know if you want help connecting with others in your area and we will do our best to help. 

3rd annual Drone Focus conference  May 31 - June 1, Fargo, ND, USA. This event will convene industry leaders in the unmanned aerial systems and autonomous vehicles in an engaging space to learn and connect.  

Interdrone 2017 – September 6-8th in Las Vegas, NV, USA.  This drone-centered conference made news itself recently when it was named one of the 50 fastest-growing trade shows in the U.S. by Trade Show Executive. Learn more about the event at the InterDrone website.

 

SAFETY MESSAGE

THINK SAFETY AND PRACTICE SAFETY WITH BATTERIES. 

Those high energy-density batteries we put into our drones are not to be treated carelessly or recklessly.  It is no accident that the FAA forbids the transport of LiPo batteries as payload under Part 107 laws because they are classified as HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.  (It’s ironic because the very same batteries are on the drone already, but whatever...)

We won’t take time and space here to go through proper procedures and equipment.  One excellent guide is on this page from Drone Registration: Safety Tips for LiPo Batteries Be sure you know and practice safety with batteries!

Here is one dramatic example of what can go wrong with a battery.  A faint “burp” sound was heard during charging of a LiPo battery. Less than a minute later, things got very exciting.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The 2017 Q1 Drone Industry Review from Ian Smith on the Commercial Drones FM Podcast.

Invest 20 minutes listening to this concentrated and comprehensive roundup of our industry or read excellent report in the show notes here. Great effort and service from Ian Smith.

 

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER NEWS

Do you have a drone or some UAS hardware that needs repair?  Are you stuck trying to figure out how to get your drone to work properly?  Are you dealing with frustrating software glitches and questions?  Maybe you have some obsolete drones or equipment that you would love to trade or sell in order to recoup some of your expense?  We are planning an event in May just for you. Stay tuned for details!

SIGN OFF

Thanks for reading this edition of our weekly drone news from Drone Pilots Federation.  Fly safe, be well, and do Good.

 

Bruce Parks,

President

 

Brett Hoffstadt, PMP

Vice President

WEEKLY DRONE NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION - 17 APRIL 2017

In this weekly news transmission:

WORLD NEWS HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

BRIGHT SPOT OF THE WEEK

NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAFETY MESSAGE

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER NEWS

 

WORLD NEWS HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced announced. In keeping with what appears to be a fierce 6-month product launch cycle, DJI announced their newest drone, the Phantom 4 Advanced and Advanced+.  Included in the announcement is that the original Phantom 4 will cease production on April 30, 2017. At Drone Pilots Federation, we focus on you, the pilots and operators, more than the technologies.  But for this week we acknowledge that this technology news was a major highlight in the news for drone pilots around the world. Click here to read the announcement on the DJI page or click the image below.  

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced on DJI website

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced on DJI website

BRIGHT SPOT OF THE WEEK

Drone Pilots Federation and many DPF members featured in Crain's Sacramento article.  The Crain's Business news franchise wanted to do a story about drones in greater Sacramento.  Who else would they contact to learn about the best drone pilots in Sacramento but Drone Pilots Federation?!  The article mentions leading efforts (and people) on drones for recreation and hobby, FPV racing, commercial uses, education, and public safety / emergency response.  To see who was included in the article, read our blog article here or click the image below.  That article includes a link to the original Crain's Sacramento article on drones published earlier this month.  

Kudos and congrats to everyone leading the way for the safe, legal, and beneficial uses of drones in Sacramento!  (Whether or not you are a member of Drone Pilots Federation.)

NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION

We are honored to be featured in the recent article about drones in the Sacramento region by Crain's Sacramento.  To read their article, see All Drones Lead to Sacramento.  To see photos of people behind the many of the drone efforts mentioned in the article, see our other blog article here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

International Drone Day Year 3 – May 6th across the globe.  This is an open call and invitation for drone enthusiasts and leaders in every community across the world to showcase and promote their efforts to the public, educate others, and inspire people. Do you have plans or groups in your area to collaborate with?  Now is the time to start planning!   Let us know if you want help connecting with others in your area and we will do our best to help. 

3rd annual Drone Focus conference  May 31 - June 1, Fargo, ND, USA. This event will convene industry leaders in the unmanned aerial systems and autonomous vehicles in an engaging space to learn and connect.  

Interdrone 2017 – September 6-8th in Las Vegas, NV, USA.  This drone-centered conference made news itself recently when it was named one of the 50 fastest-growing trade shows in the U.S. by Trade Show Executive. Learn more about the event at the InterDrone website.

 

SAFETY MESSAGE

Never Fly Alone.

You may know that SCUBA divers have a saying: Never Dive Alone.  Wilderness hikers also have a saying: Never Hike Alone.  (Have you seen the movie 127 Hours with James Franco?)  Mountain climbers have a saying: Never Climb Alone. Note the pattern!  Here are just a few relevant reasons for drone pilots:  

  1. What if a STRANGER or CHILDREN or a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) approaches you to question, interrogate, or complain about your drone flying?
  2. How will you ensure that you are keeping a SAFE and LEGAL separation distance from OTHER AIRCRAFT?
  3. What if your drone suffers a MALFUNCTION or INTERFERENCE, or you make an UNSCHEDULED LANDING away from your position?  (Perhaps due to battery power loss.) Conducting a DRONE SAR (Search and Rescue) OPERATION by yourself is NOT FUN and NOT SAFE AND EFFECTIVE.
  4. What if something goes badly with your physical health or well-being?  It could be something completely unrelated to the drone. Or it could be an unfortunate impact with a spinning rotor blade. 

For all these reasons and more - to fly safe and be safe - for you, your drone, and for others - NEVER FLY ALONE.

You may think this advice is impractical or unrealistic.  Are you struggling to find other drone pilots in your region who also care about operating safely, legally, and responsibly?  (Even if it's for fun, this still matters.)  This is where your membership in Drone Pilots Federation benefits you!  Our membership list is private. But it includes people from over 53 countries around the world.  Most of them are in the United States.  

Here's what to do:

  1. Write a comment below introducing yourself with your name, location, and primary interest with drones. Include a link to your website if you have one.
  2. After confirming your membership, we will search for other members in your region and make a personal introduction via email.
  3. This public comment also provides an opportunity for you to be discovered organically and spontaneously by people looking for drone pilots in your city. (Online Marketing 101.) 

Thanks for stepping forward to be an advocate and representative for  the safe, legal, and responsible use of drones in your corner of the world.  We look forward to hearing from you and connecting you with other Drone Federation Pilots in your area with a comment below.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Are you familiar with the PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS of Drone Pilot Federation?  Not only are some of these companies mentioned in the Crain's Sacramento article, they offer valuable products, services, or expertise for your drone efforts!  By working together with other people who also value safe, legal, and responsible drone operations, we will continue to be a force for Good in the drone revolution.  

 

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER NEWS

Nothing beats the positive attention many of our members and leaders got in this recent Crain's Sacramento article. We encourage you to share the "good news" story about drones in Sacramento. 

 

SIGN OFF

Thanks for reading this edition of our weekly drone news from Drone Pilots Federation.  Fly safe, be well, and do Good.

 

Bruce Parks,

President

 

Brett Hoffstadt, PMP

Vice President

Crains Sacramento article features drone leaders in Sacramento

An article in Crain's Sacramento on April 5th 2017 about drones in Sacramento featured many of our members in the Sacramento region, with quotes from two leaders of Drone Pilots Federation.  "All Drones Lead to Sacramento" describes how drones are finding their way into a wide range of applications, uses, and opportunities. A link to the article will be at the end of this post. But let's use this space to add some faces for the names of drone leaders in Sacramento that are mentioned in the article!

Crains Sacramento logo.png

The article notes that Drone Pilots Federation was started as a race sanctioning organization to support the first ever U.S. Nationals Drone Racing championship held in Sacramento in 2015.  Bruce Parks, co-founder and President of Drone Pilots Federation, was instrumental in organizing and hosting this event.

Bruce Parks, co-founder and President of Drone Pilots Federation

Bruce Parks, co-founder and President of Drone Pilots Federation

Drone University USA is training the next generation of drone pilots at several locations in California, including their home base in Sacramento.  Barry Morris is founder and CEO of Drone University USA and is also a DPF member.

Barry Morris, CEO of Drone University USA

Barry Morris, CEO of Drone University USA

Parallax is putting drones into the classroom with STEM robotics kits.  Founder Chuck Gracie along with his son Ken run this business with other family and employees. Both Chuck and Ken are members of Drone Pilots Federation.

Chuck Gracie, founder of Parallax

Chuck Gracie, founder of Parallax

Drones in entertainment are happening through the efforts of Intel (with a large facility in Folsom, a Sacramento suburb) and a drone FPV racing demonstration in the new Golden 1 Arena organized by Drone Pilots Federation. 

Drone Pilots Federation members demonstrated First Person Viewer (FPV) drone flying in the Golden 1 sports arena for an event with business and technology leaders

Drone Pilots Federation members demonstrated First Person Viewer (FPV) drone flying in the Golden 1 sports arena for an event with business and technology leaders

World-class FPV racing pilots live in the Sacramento region.  Some fly quadcopters. Some fly flying wing aircraft.  Some of these pilots actually design and build their own.  One such pilot is Reuben Jauregui, founder and owner of Sweepwings.  Reuben got to fly in the 2016 Drone Racing World Championship held in Hawaii.  Drone Pilots Federation provided event support and training for judges at this event.  And of course, Reuben is a member of Drone Pilots Federation!

Reuben Jauregui of Sweepwings

Reuben Jauregui of Sweepwings

The Crain's Business article also notes how drones for public safety and emergency responders are also making progress in the region.  

Earlier in 2017, DPF brought first responders from across the Sacramento region together to learn about the safe, legal, and effective use of drones for their applications.  Read more about that in our other blog article here.

First responders from across the Sacramento region gather in Elk Grove to learn about drones

First responders from across the Sacramento region gather in Elk Grove to learn about drones

In summary, drones represent an incredible and historic opportunity to benefit the Sacramento region as well as every other region of the country.  Our thanks to journalist Beth Newhart and the staff at Crain's Sacramento for the "good news" story about drones in Sacramento!

If you liked this good news story about drones, please share it with your friends and colleagues. Use a social media link below and let others know that drones are a comprehensive force for Good!  

To read the Crain's Sacramento article, click the image for All Drones Lead to Sacramento.  Standing in this photo is Brett Hoffstadt, Vice-President of Drone Pilots Federation.  Brett conducted a town hall for drone pilots at Drone World Expo 2016 where this photo was taken.

Thanks for reading and sharing this story.  Be safe, be successful, and do Good with your drones.

From Drone Pilots Federation