This week in drone news, we have four stories for you. This might be a little longer than usual, but we have a UK drone pilot who was fined after flying too close to a warbird. AUVSI has come up with the Green UAS program. We also have DJI discontinuing Aeroscope, which was a bit of a surprise. Lastly, there is a campaign to raise registration limits for drones, and this is a good one. Let’s get to it.
Before we get started, I wanted to give a big thank you to the team at Granite Defense for putting on the Texas Robotics Summit this year. We just came back from the event, which was held this week in Burnet, Texas. We got to see a lot of cool equipment, fly drones, drive underwater robots, learn about new technology and different solutions, and visit with our industry friends and partners.
We even got to meet some students on Sunday night. So this was a week well spent. We’ll be posting more shorts in the next few days and will let you know what we saw.
UK Drone Pilot Arrested
Alright, let’s get to the first story this week, which is from the UK. We don’t usually talk about the UK, but we wanted to cover this one because the consequences could have been pretty catastrophic.
A drone pilot was fined for flying too close to a Hawker Hurricane. You can see in the images playing on the screen that the drone was definitely pretty close to the airplane.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. Yes, those pictures were taken with the telephoto lens, and the drone could have been in front of it. Still, it was definitely a little too close for comfort for most people.
He was actually arrested after this and charged. Nobody actually saw this until the photographer that took pictures during the event went through them.
So, just a reminder: don’t risk it. This is not worth it. Especially not at an air show like this where you have aircraft that are flying low and fast. Just stay on the ground to take pictures and enjoy the show. Don’t be that guy.
AUVSI Green UAS
Right, your second story this week is AUVSI’s new green program. No, this is not about ‘green’ vehicles or green energy. This is the unmanned aircraft classification that will go along with the Blue UAS program.
Now, you may have heard of the DIU’s Blue UAS program. Green is essentially the same thing, but now validated by AUVSI instead of the Department of Defense.
AUVSI’s goal with the Green program is to test remotely piloted vehicles, including UAS, to determine if there are any security issues regarding cybersecurity. In addition to this, the process would streamline entry into the Blue UAS program.
Now we’re hoping that this program does not have the same restrictions as far as the country of origin and that it actually uses some metrics and standards to determine whether a vehicle, whether it’s a flying one or one on the ground, complies or doesn’t comply. Then we can put an end to all of this mess that we’ve seen in the last couple of years.
DJI Aeroscope retired
The third story this week is a bit of a surprise. DJI has decided to retire their Aeroscope program. Now, if you don’t know what Aeroscope is, we’re going to put a link right here to a video that we did a year and a half ago or so when we tested an Aeroscope program.
Aeroscope is a way for DJI to keep track of drones in different locations and to help law enforcement and local authorities figure out if a drone that’s not supposed to be there is present and then take action from there.
DJI has decided to discontinue building the Aeroscope program, and there’s currently no replacement available on DJI’s website. But we will let you know if there is a new product. We don’t know if there’s a new product in place, but if that happens, we’ll definitely keep you posted.
With Remote ID being around the corner, much of the information transmitted by Aeroscope is duplicated with Remote ID, so we wonder if this is one of the reasons why DJI stopped manufacturing these devices. But we’ll certainly keep you posted.
Remote ID petition
Okay, and then your last story this week is that the FPV Freedom Coalition and Flight Test Community Association are teaming up to petition the FAA to raise the registration requirements for drones and RC model aircraft.
Currently, the limit is 250 grams, which is 0.55 pounds, and they are pushing for it to be raised to one kilogram, which is 2.2 pounds.
The goal is to reduce the number of aircrafts that need to be compliant with Remote ID, which is tied to registration requirements. This would lessen the burden of equipping unmanned aircraft, especially those that are home-built.
The push is aimed at recreational pilots and would require expensive and heavy tracking equipment. We invite you to visit their website, raisingthelimit.org, which is put on by two of the Community-Based Organizations that the FAA approved.
You will find more information about the effort and how you can get involved. This is something that we highly recommend and could help everyone in the recreational community.
In lieu of bloopers this week, let’s take a look at a trailer that we put out for our latest video.
This was a fun one, so see you next week! Today, we’re playing a drone search and rescue competition for the first-ever Pilot Institute Desk Trophy.
Three pilots will fly three missions to find three missing persons. Greg, your first stop is First Flight.
Sounds good! The truth is out there, and so is Beau, waiting for you to find him.
I made it to my spot where my sleeping bag is. Your time starts now. Round one, you are searching for a lost hiker whose name is WhereIAm. He was last seen around 7:30 a.m. walking in the direction of the sun, carrying a yellow sleeping bag.
All right, drones in the air in under a minute. All right, Greg, what’s your strategy here for the first flight?
Well, I’m going to split the screen between the thermal and non-thermal modes in the RGB camera.
All right, I’m heading east now. I’m going to be looking for that yellow bag. Oh, he just flew a little bit past me. How far out is he? You just passed four minutes; you’ve got one minute left. One minute! All right, here we go. He is very close again. All right, come on, come on, foreign.
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