Commercial drone rules should be in place by this time next year

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Commercial drone operations could take flight on a large scale by this time next year, according to a Reuters report. FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker told a Congressional committee the agency expects to finalize its regulations within the next 12 months. Previous forecasts had anticipated rules by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.

“The rule will be in place within a year,” Whitaker said in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Hopefully before June 17, 2016.”

Drones: A pilot’s perspective

Justin's DJI Inspire 1

By JUSTIN MOORE

A little more forward throttle, a bit more yaw to the left. Perfect. Click.

You might assume that I’m flying an airplane and taking a picture from one, but I’m not. I’m piloting a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) — also commonly known as an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) — and I just took a picture of San Pedro Springs Park, the second oldest city park in the nation. The picture will help San Antonio residents experience their city parks from a whole new perspective. [Read more…]

Educating the public — and pilots — about RPAs

Justin Newcomb and Lindsey Helland, Micro Drone Vision Creative Director marketing answer questions during SUN 'n FUN.

Can you imagine ordering an aircraft off the Internet, then learning to fly it by trial and error without knowledge of physics, weather or airspace?

That’s what’s happening when people buy Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), also referred to as drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS). These non-commercial RPAs can range in size from under five pounds and about the dimensions as a six pack of soda to ones that weigh more than 50 pounds and are larger than a medium-sized suitcase.

And they are sharing the airspace with full-sized aircraft, often because the owners don’t realize they are breaking the rules. [Read more…]

RPA encounters increasing

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Nearly 200 encounters with remotely piloted aircraft, ranging from amusing to chillingly dangerous, were reported to the FAA between February and November of 2014, according to a report at AOPA.org. Writer Jim Moore notes that a list published by a New Orleans television station May 26 documents the growing use of drones — authorized and otherwise — and their infiltration of the National Airspace System. Many of the reports document troubling encounters, he reports, including unmanned aircraft flying near manned aircraft, airports, or navigation aids. Read the full story here.