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Friday, 22 January 2021


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The FAA is implementing stict new regulations with respect to flying drones (UAVs). Bottom-line is that drones must be registered and meticulous record-keeping will be required. Also, many flights now required LAANC authorization.

There is over 300 pages in the night flight/flying regulations around people document that the FAA has released. This kind of language is all over the final rule, especially in relation to requirements for Category 1-4 verification. Without proper record keeping (flight logs, real ID data, maintenance) you will not be certified to fly over people. Real ID integration will do away with “flying under the radar".


KittyHawk.io is just what you need to stay compliant. Right now the FAA Is taking an “education” stance but once RealID is in full effect that will change. No compliance, no fly. FYI if your drone is <250 grams but are still recording and posting that is a 107 flight and requires registration.

Bottom-line is that flying drones will soon become as regulated as flying aircraft. I've listened to podcasts from a couple years ago from people who were seriously injured from drones dropping out of the sky and hitting people on the head. Additionally, in 2019, there were a number of instances of drones interfering with, or colliding with aircraft doing water drops in Southern California during the catastrophic fires there.

Just another tidbit of very useful UAV flying information from my friend and fellow TWiP* Pro member, Fredy Sedano. Fredy is a professional videographer based of the Inland Empire area of SoCal.


*– TWiP Pro: This Week in Photography Pro, a paid membership-based photo community

My first serious drone was an original Phantom. To capture images, it was fitted with a gimbal, GoPro, and wireless video transmission system so that one could see what the camera was pointed at. Like your solution, the camera had to be set to whatever capture mode you wanted before takeoff, as there way no way to control it once airborne. The GoPro's image quality left much to be desired, and I eventually upgraded to a Phantom 4 Pro. I have tested DJI's larger-sensor cameras (X5 and X7) on larger drones, but came away unimpressed with their output compared to the P4P, especially considering the cost of the drones needed to carry those cameras. Sony's new drone platform looks very interesting (with A7 camera payload) but the cost has not yet been announced...

Mitchell Kanashkevish has some terrific aerial shots trailing his van as he heads up into the Andes, undoubtedly done with DJI or similar tool. The video context suggests that he's managing all of this by himself in pretty much the middle of nowhere. They're well worth viewing; look for MitchellKPhotos on YouTube.

Hi Bruce, Yes the drone/photography/video market has advanced at a typical modern technology rate. Too fast for many and not fast enough for some.

For the past 12 years or so I have been a key part of the biggest aerial photography company in the US, www.skypanintl.com Yes, that's the company that was fined by the FAA one million $ while it worked for years to try and help the FAA to develop drone (or RC - Remote controlled preferred term ) rules. While skypan was able to get that greatly reduced it still felt bad as Skypan was so active in trying to help the FAA draft drone rules and regulations. Anyway, that's also all in the past.

And to the claim that Skypan was the biggest aerial company in the US, we shot all the new super tall billionaires developments in NYC and pretty much all of Hudson Yards, plus thousands of projects in NYC, Miami, Chicago, Hawaii, LA, SF, and on. I have thousands of aerial 360's on over 80 terabytes of backups in a safe. It's a good thing I guess as a few days ago I had a British request a few 360's from the first major project we shot in 2011, what is now known as 1W57 in NYC - it was the first new major development after the 2008 recession.

Today a five year old could easily fly a drone and make great images safety. That's a huge change from even 6 years ago. We use to use a drone that was essential a mini heli - single blade - that could have killed you if the blades hit you. Think of a carbon fiber sword hitting you at 2,000 RPM. Not a pretty site.

Now we use a pro level quad for DSLR work and various DJI models when the client budget is limited, but still viable to make a bit of money.

The aerial market has like many other forms of pro photography basically been in a price collapse since late 2011-2016. It's now entering a period where you most likely can not make a reasonable living from it. The modern tech simply makes it too easy for the side job person to undercut you and provide a perceived good enough work. Note, most buyers of commercial photography have no idea of quality vs OK.

The collapse of professional commercial will continue. As of now I would estimate for most areas of this it's down at least 50%, the aerial market is probably closer per provider to 60%+

Times change, we all hopefully move on.

OK, time to investigate this. Thanks for the info.

"Heath Robinson", in the Australian and British Commonwealth variants of English, is the exact equivalent of "Rube Goldberg" in American English.

Heath Robinson (b. 1872) was a British cartoonist who drew impossibly complicated machines that did extremely simple tasks—in the most roundabout way possible. The American cartoonist Rube Goldberg (b. 1883) did exactly the same thing, but on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Each of the two men appears to have worked separately, unaware of the other.

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