FAA releases pilot drone reports

The FAA has released a new list of pilot, air traffic and citizen reports of possible encounters with remotely piloted aircraft, also known as drones and unmanned aircraft (UAS). The reports cover Nov. 13, 2014, through Aug. 20, 2015.

Because pilot reports of unmanned aircraft have increased dramatically over the past year, FAA officials said they want to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal. Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time.

View the report here.

Drone restrictions supported by majority of Americans

NDRPA

While GA pilots have varied opinions about remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) — also known as drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) — a new survey by FindLaw.com finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans say they support restrictions on the use of drones as they become more commonplace.

The FindLaw.com survey says 78 percent of Americans support at least some restrictions on the use of drones by businesses. [Read more…]

Lockheed Martin deploys RPA traffic management system

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As remotely piloted aircraft — also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and drones — take to the skies, it is essential for safety that RPA operators and pilots are aware of each other. To help provide this shared situational awareness, Lockheed Martin has deployed the first components of a UAS traffic management (UTM) system that is available to the drone community now. [Read more…]

FAA: Wildfires and drones don’t mix

Asctec-Hummingbird-Drone-300x192

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to recent incidents in which remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) — also known as drones and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) — interfered with manned aircraft involved in fighting fires, the FAA is supporting the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service in a simple message to drone operators: If you fly, we can’t.

“Flying a drone near aerial firefighting aircraft doesn’t just pose a hazard to the pilots,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “When aircraft are grounded because an unmanned aircraft is in the vicinity, lives are put at greater risk.” [Read more…]

Drone safety campaign focused on ag flying launched

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The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) has launched a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) safety campaign to raise awareness and prevent accidents between RPA operators and low-altitude manned aircraft.

The first public outreach tool in the safety campaign is a “safety stuffer” designed for aerial applicators to share with farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. Sized to fit into a No. 10 envelope, the double-sided insert illustrates the safety concerns ag pilots have about hard-to-see RPAs — also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aerial systems and drones — and provides recommendations for safe and responsible operations in rural areas. [Read more…]

Amazon makes its case for drone highways in the sky

Much of the talk around the feasibility of Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery service is rightly centered around how the vehicles can be safely squeezed into US airspace, according to a post at GizMag. But Amazon officials have a plan, where drones would get exclusive access to that chunk of airspace between up to 400 feet. The first 200 feet would be dedicated to “low-speed localized traffic,” while 200 feet to 400 feet would be dedicated to “high-speed transit.” The airspace between 400 feet and 500 feet would be declared a no-fly zone to create a buffer between drones and general aviation. Check out the story here and then let us know what you think of the plan in our comment section.

Education and innovation the key to safer skies

Brian Wynne

By BRIAN WYNNE

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or drones, have grown in the past few years from a niche tool to a must-have holiday toy and business asset.

The increasing availability of this technology has led many new enthusiasts to take to the skies, sometimes in places where they shouldn’t be.

Newcomers to UAS technology are often excited to get their new systems off the ground. However, many of these users do not realize that just because the technology is easily acquired does not mean that it can be flown anywhere or for any purpose. [Read more…]

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…]