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Old Jan 02, 2016, 12:39 PM
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It would be interesting to know the safety record of all indoor blimp operations combined. Have you ever heard of anyone getting hurt? It sounds like the insurance industry is just making a big money grab without any basis for the increase just because they can. This is kind of like when all the major shipping companies (UPS, USPS and FedEx) started charging big bucks in "Hazmat" fees for a continually expanding list of items which never had a track record of causing problems. "Safety" is the catch-all excuse for all manner of extortion now.
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Reading Ed's response I was thinking the same thing. While I have no understanding of the "possible injuries" of an airship going down in a crowd <seen a video once> compared to a RC Trainer Glow .40 or a Quad?

Insurance Companies invented "Risk Based Rating" system that near everyone uses today, even information security which I am involved in. I get over time and volume the risk increases... no question, but I question where the risk was to start with.
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 04:26 PM
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With an insurance company nothing has to be real its only a theory some ass come up with. I know of a couple instances where a couple of shaped vehicles went down in the crowd. Most pilots are taught that when the vehicle is going down before you touch down shut the throttles down and don't fight it. Let it become a beach ball and the crowd bless their little pea picking heart will bounce it down to the floor or push it out over the ice. I know of no one in the last 16 plus years to have ever been hurt by a flying airship even those that have been holed and deflating. The problem is that it is perceived possible that someone can get hurt. When the words Drone or UAS is brought into the picture its a bad thing and the world is falling apart. In other words "the sky is falling"

ed
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 04:57 PM
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Problem I am having is no once can quantify drone other then the blanket FAA if it uses a transmitter... I really think there should be some grandfather cause used for most RC that has flown for ever and Drone can have more the autonomous flight / FPV / Camera and clear some of the smoke and mirrors.

I think they shaped one I had seen was a car shaped (red maybe) and yeah, it was a beach ball and the crowd had fun with it. If its all powered down the worst is someone getting a neck strain leaning back in the seat to play with it. Befuddling it all has become.
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 06:30 PM
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Day

The term transmitter is not in the regulations put out by the FAA. If you read the definition that congress passed on 2012 what the AMA put out is incorrect.

91-57A states that according to Section 336 of PL 112-95 a model aircraft is an unmanned aircraft that is capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere, flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft, and flown only for hobby or recreational purposes." Basically if it flies and weighs more than eight ounces it is a drone period. Register yourself and get on with life.

The five mile limit to an airport is also wrong. The COA (certificate of waiver or authorization) for a valid 333 exemption the distances are as noted:

FAA Form 7711-1 (7-74) states on page 5 of 6 that one must be

a) 5 nautical miles (NM) from an airport having an operational control tower or

b) 3 NM from an airport having a published instrument flight procedure, but not having an operational control tower: or

c) 2 NM from an airport not having a published instrument flight procedure or an operational control tower; or

d) 2 NM from a heliport, gliderport or seaplane base.

Everybody seems to want to add their little interpretation of what is being stated and only confuse the damn issue.

The red SUV you noted was from the Washington state area and I talked to the "new" pilot a week or so after the incident. They caused a delay in the game and the team was fined by the broadcaster for the delay of the game. In my business that is the worst thing that can happen and is quite expensive. Shaped vehicles are the worst to fly and all leak quite a bit as well. Conventional shaped vehicles (aka: cigar shaped) fly the best and leak the least and that is from experience.
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 07:09 PM
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Agreed about the transmitter, bad choice of words. It was my short for what the FAA puts in their FAQ
What is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS)?
A UAS is the unmanned aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft.
The UA is the flying portion of the system, flown by a pilot via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an on-board computer, communication links and any additional equipment that is necessary for the UA to operate safely. The FAA issues an experimental airworthiness certificate for the entire system, not just the flying portion of the system.

To your point, there are so many definitions running around, its difficult to sort out what was right.

Yes.. the Red SUV... I never seen the cause but delay would be a problem, not sure how you could adjust for that.
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 07:35 PM
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Preparing for a problem in my business means you carry a very sharp knife and are willing to use it. It is fairly easy to repair an envelope. Price for a large tear comes in about 5 bills but a fine could be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Many of the arena exits are to small to get a large shape such as the SUV out of the arena proper especially during a basketball game. Hockey you have the Zam tunnel and can get them out that way. We actually keep the ships on the ceiling of the arena and have a crew in the rafters that can drop a long line down to us and pull it back into its dock. Only takes a couple of minutes to do when needed.

The material you quote on the UA and UAS is for commercial purposes and do not apply to the model end. The hard part is to keep them separated from each other. Model definition was that quoted earlier and when you get right down to it control line and free flight over eight ounce would also apply but I believe they are trying to let that slip or at least the AMA is stating it does not apply. Don't bet on it.
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Old Jan 02, 2016, 07:41 PM
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Very cool... Penn State has some activities <I believe they do it in house> with the Blimps at some events, one of our local club members <college student> was involved for some time. He has shared some similar rafter shots.

I really hope you are able to manage weathering all of this, I would hate to see these activities be impacted.
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Old Jan 05, 2016, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Couch View Post
After 16 plus years of flying many different vehicles without incident Lloyds of London decided to cancel our liability insurance at the end of January 2016.
Sorry to hear that, Ed!

Have you asked the larger teams/sponsors whether they would be willing to ask their own insurance to cover your work? Their insurance contracts are likely worth a lot of money, so they would have more leverage, if they are willing to help you out for providing a very unique service.

Another thought would be to ask the small agencies that provide insurance for hot air balloon pilots. They would hopefully have a better understanding of the inherently low risk involved in LTA operations, including indoor RC. IMC Insurance and the Schantz Agency are the two that I know. But I just checked my balloon magazine for insurance ads, and there's also a new one with a full page ad, Evolution Insurance Brokers.

Last thought would be to contact AUVSI and the Small UAV Coalition, which represent commercial "drone" operators. Presumably their constituents carry insurance and they might provide some leads.
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Old Jan 06, 2016, 10:50 AM
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Indoor RC blimps would certainly be a lot lower risk than what IMC and Schantz are used to covering. I was using Schantz for a while until I had to stop ballooning due to cost.
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Old Jan 06, 2016, 02:41 PM
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I believe the companies listed had been previously contacted. As I had to have the additional insurance in place prior to the two Cotton Bowl events and I was going to have to have a new policy in place I had to go ahead and spread the payments out a little. On the 20th of December I initiated the new policy to split the cost between the 2015/2016 seasons. The teams understand all the requirements of having the required insurance on board and have agreed to an increase in game charge next season but I have to hold the line right for those under a signed contract. Every team I work with at this time required the operators to have an independent policy although teams that get someone from the local flying club will provide normal coverage as part of their package. Mine is a small business thus I am responsible for having the proper liability coverage in hand at all times. As the "Drones" have increased so radically in number the lawyers for the cities and venues I work for have went out of their way to make things hard to work the various venues throughout the state. I recently did a show in the Dallas Convention Center and the City wanted me to show them a copy of the COI, 333 exemption, and COA plus asked when I was going to file a NOTAMS for the three day event. Talk about going to war. Finally got them to back off when I showed them a letter from the FAA stating they (the FAA) had nothing to do with anything flown indoors. I could not get permission to fly until the morning of the show and the client already had the insurance required as the promoter so they added me to their policy for the show. Saved me a lot of heartache but it could of been prevented in hind sight.
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