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FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies

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walter biscardiFAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Sep 25, 2014 at 4:02:22 pm

Because this topic is discussed repeatedly in this forum.

http://www.tvweek.com/tvbizwire/2014/09/faa-will-ease-drone-restrictions-fo...

Good news for those who are using the machines properly.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Todd TerryRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Sep 25, 2014 at 4:35:29 pm

I guess that's good news for those seven companies... on their closed sets.

I've been a "drone" (hate that word) owner for about three months, but have yet to use it on an actual job, for two reasons. Firstly, because the legality of it still seems to be firmly in a gray area, depending on whom you talk to at which particular moment. But secondly almost the entire time I've owned mine it has been in helicopter hospital at DJI in California. I had it about a week before it had a complete GPS failure. After that it spent 10 weeks at DJI for repairs. When it finally returned, right out of the box the camera gimbal was completely non-functioning on one axis (a brand new and different problem). So it's back at DJI now for the second round.

On the upside, they didn't charge me for the repair... although that unfortunately falls into the "you get what you pay for" category.

I'm all for the FAA getting on the stick and clarifying their regulations... or lack thereof. I'm a pilot and would be livid (and scared) if I saw one of these buzzing in my airspace. At least the DJI birds' GPS systems will not allow flight in certain airspace (and I'm guessing that's true for other brands, too), but that's only of limited use... the vast vast majority of general aviation airports in the US are uncontrolled fields (including the one I primarily fly from), and the GPS restrictors would have no effect there. I'm also a responsible RC operator when on the ground... but I know there are plenty of yahoos out there who are not. Sadly, government gears grind sooooo slowly.

T2

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Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark SuszkoRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Sep 25, 2014 at 4:59:19 pm

FAA and NASA have spent the past summer at a MOR and airport in Indiana's airspace, testing systems that will let drones and their operators inter-act with live pilots and live control towers/control centers, so they can all "see-and-avoid", using specific transponders and protocols. The problem I see is that adding the expensive hardware to make this work will probably only happen on "pro-level" drones. Drones classified as toys or hobbyist units will be much cheaper, but lack the additional safety functionality. A lot of "guerilla film makers" will short-cut cost and safety to get a quick and easy aerial shot... those scenarios probably pose more risk than a hired pro aerial photog who is operating to federal standards.


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walter biscardiRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:04:45 pm

[Todd Terry] "On the upside, they didn't charge me for the repair... although that unfortunately falls into the "you get what you pay for" category."

Yeah, those small ones are pretty useless quite honestly. Can't do a whole lot with them. The power of flight really comes in when you have independent control of the camera to the flight. I'm talking to the guys at Yonder Blue Films here in Georgia to help me set up a rig for our new Contemporary Living Network that can be both used as a single pilot operated unit and as a pilot / camera operator combo. Those guys are THE multi-rotor flyers in the southeast and pretty much the entire country. Their client list reads like a who's who in television and film.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Todd TerryRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:39:58 pm

[walter biscardi] "Yeah, those small ones are pretty useless quite honestly."

Now, now... don't go hatin' on my little quadcopter. Actually, the one that I have (Phantom 2 Vision+) is pretty stunning. That's the top end one in DJI's Phantom line (the Phantoms being their more consumer-priced line). I was only complaining about their customer service, not the quadcopter itself. It has a stabilized three-axis gimbal with an integrated 16 megapixel camera that can shoot stills or 1080 HD video in a variety of framerates.

When it works (and I'm cranky about that), it's pretty darn great, and the camera gimbal is as steady as I've ever seen. When hovering at altitude there have been times when I literally thought the screen was frozen... but it wasn't... it was just a rock-steady shot. I do wish the gimbal had pan (yaw) control, which it doesn't. Gimbal yaw is stabilized, but not controllable. if you want to pan you rotate the entire helicopter around the yaw axis. It can be done, and done smoothly, but it's not wildly intuitive (at least not for me, yet). I'll get better at that with more practice. The gimbal does have 90° of remote tilt control, though.

If I needed real complicated camera moves (or a better camera), there are some other guys here in town that fly a bigger DJI copter with an EPIC on board. It's nice... I think it's a 10-rotor job, retractable landing gear, very sweet gimbal... all that jazz. Then again, I think theirs is like a $15,000 helicopter, about ten times what I paid for mine. But the little one can still churn out some amazing stuff.

As soon as they fix the darn thing.

T2

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Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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walter biscardiRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:47:21 pm

[Todd Terry] " Then again, I think theirs is like a $15,000 helicopter, about ten times what I paid for mine. "

Yeah, that's about the cost of the Yonder Blue rig with the MOVi gimbal and the entire rig.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Rich RubaschRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Oct 1, 2014 at 12:03:34 am

They haven't exactly opened the floodgates....

"This allowance does come with limitations, however as the aircraft must be operated by a three-man team, including a UAS operator with private pilot certification. All flying must be done within line-of-sight and can’t be operated at night. The operator must also submit a detailed plan of operations three days before any filming takes place with an inspection of aircraft before flights."

But I am getting in plenty of hobbiest flight time and feeling much better at the controls. : )

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
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Mark SuszkoRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Jan 30, 2015 at 2:04:35 am

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/faa-drone-report-incidents-mish...


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Todd TerryRe: FAA to ease restrictions on drones for TV and Movies
by on Jan 30, 2015 at 2:11:28 am

Lots of idiot yahoos out there... but we knew that.

I'm between quadcopters right now (I refuse to use the "D" word). I had the opp to sell my Phantom Vision2+ for only a hundred bucks less than I paid for it, so I took that deal anticipating that I would buy a DJI Inspire 1 sometime around Spring or so.

I'm re-thinking that though, now. They just don't seem quite as cool anymore.

T2

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Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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