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Old Jul 07, 2012, 11:38 AM
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Apr 2012
752 Posts
I was recently at a local concert down by the beach I live by. The band is pretty large and from around here, and they were putting on a benefit concert. To make a long story short, they were filming for their tour video, and they had hired a aerial film company to get some aerial shots. There were two guys in the setup and the had a large heli (700 size). I was astounded to see them fly directly over the crowd multiple times (this was a 2000 people sized crowd on the beach, densely packed). They also took an orbit shot that flew over some houses.

Now, I was thoroughly impressed with their setup and flying skills, but in the back of my mind I was thinking "please don't crash, please don't crash". They had a DJI systems for RTL and failsafe. So, they had thought of those possibilities, and they had obviously done this multiple times. I haven't seen the footage, but I am assuming that it was good. However, even the most redundant and tested systems fail every once in a while.

I like where this hobby/business is going, and I think that the next few years will be exciting. But personally (not that I do this in any capacity close to professional ), I am going to fly to under control and in areas where I am ok crashing.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 12:14 PM
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Joined Jun 2012
22 Posts
To All,

Im not here to start and argument as most posts like this end up being, I simply want to clarify a few things, and assure you all that I personally take every safety precaution into consideration before all fights.

Im sorry you all think this flight was too risky and I really appreciate everyones input. We had multiple meetings with the stadium before hand about safety, and also many practices with an empty stadium. We also did radio check with their live transmission video systems running to make sure we wouldnt have any interference. (I also run a diversity system on the "pilots" radio.) We run a cinestar and make sure to launch in an area where "just incase" the home function could be used to bring the copter away from objects and people (although I never have needed to use this feature). Just to clarify I would never spin up a large Trex this close to anyone! I stay well away from everyone in the crowd, and would NEVER fly it over people who didnt consent. But the entire flight was over the field.

Please dont make assumptions that we are a negligent AP company, and I appreciate the people that haven't damned us without getting any clarification. Tarro: I NEVER would take my eyes off the copter, before you blame us for something please watch the video again.

There are MANY videos out there that are exponentially more risky that this. We take safety very seriously, Im not in this business just for fun or for the short term, and to not consider safety as seriously as I do would be damning not only to my personal business but the entire industry, I assure you this is not how we conduct ourselves. I would appreciate it if we can make this a discussion about safety, Tarro even if you want to use our video as an example that is just fine, but you must also look at the things you cant see in the video that we did right, because I would bet we are more concerned with safety then most of the AP guys out there.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 12:35 PM
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Long Island, New York
Joined Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatcopter View Post
To All,

Im not here to start and argument as most posts like this end up being, I simply want to clarify a few things, and assure you all that I personally take every safety precaution into consideration before all fights.

Im sorry you all think this flight was too risky and I really appreciate everyones input. We had multiple meetings with the stadium before hand about safety, and also many practices with an empty stadium. We also did radio check with their live transmission video systems running to make sure we wouldnt have any interference. (I also run a diversity system on the "pilots" radio.) We run a cinestar and make sure to launch in an area where "just incase" the home function could be used to bring the copter away from objects and people (although I never have needed to use this feature). Just to clarify I would never spin up a large Trex this close to anyone! I stay well away from everyone in the crowd, and would NEVER fly it over people who didnt consent. But the entire flight was over the field.

Please dont make assumptions that we are a negligent AP company, and I appreciate the people that haven't damned us without getting any clarification. Tarro: I NEVER would take my eyes off the copter, before you blame us for something please watch the video again.

There are MANY videos out there that are exponentially more risky that this. We take safety very seriously, Im not in this business just for fun or for the short term, and to not consider safety as seriously as I do would be damning not only to my personal business but the entire industry, I assure you this is not how we conduct ourselves. I would appreciate it if we can make this a discussion about safety, Tarro even if you want to use our video as an example that is just fine, but you must also look at the things you cant see in the video that we did right, because I would bet we are more concerned with safety then most of the AP guys out there.
I appreciate the well thought out and written response. My issue is that any real risk assessment would have concluded that the shoot as a whole was to risky for the footage agained. What was the reward for the risk taken? Money, footage for your reel? This looks like the flight was done as a cheap alternative to fire works to entertain the crowd, is that the case?
You guys look like you want to do the right thing, I just believe this was way to risky for the reward, thas all. Everyone has heard that story about the person getting killed by the Flying Lawn Mower in the stadium. Just remember you risked not only the future of your company but the whole industry if that rewardless flight went wrong.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Joined Jun 2012
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To answer your questions. it was a well paid job. I would not have done it if I was asked to fly over the crowd. But after discussing it with everyone running the event, I believed we took right precautions to make it very safe. At the altitudes we were flying any major malfunction would have landed us in the field, other wise I would have forced it to crash in the field if need be. It was done for the stadium/teams advertising purposes as well as a count down to the 4th of july fireworks. This is why the lights dim at the end.

Tarro thank you for understanding that we do take safety VERY seriously, and I will consider this conversation from now on as well. I would appreciate it if this forum title could be changed to be not so accusing and more of a discussion on safely, I would happily contribute my two cents on how customers should be briefed about safety and how to make sure you are operating with the safety of others in mind. I really do believe we do a great job of this and this job was no exception.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Long Island, New York
Joined Jun 2008
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I believe you guys are in it for the long term, I just believe that we as a group should come up with some rules on what we should and should not do. My beef with flying in a stadium is that an RC aircraft is already associated with 1 death there, if it happens again with RCAP it will be a big story.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Joined Jun 2012
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I agree 100% and Id love to start it here! I see your concern, however, that incident was a long time ago, and the news reports even state that the pilot was getting too confident and flying "aggressively" over crowds and close to bystanders. I think flying in a stadium can be done right and safely. Either way lets put that aside for now and Ill attempt to start a list of what I think should be included in the "rules"

Im going to list things and explain my reasoning, Lets try not to make this an argument of who is right but rather consider everyones points and use them all to come up with a comprehensive list. If you disagree or do things differently, state it and explain why, dont just shoot the idea down. It would be great if somewhere down the road we had standards put in place that everyone abided by and a way to enforce them (ourselves) rather than the FAA (although this seems imminent).

1. Always have written permission to fly on private property.
This needs no explaining, but it covers your business as well as indirectly requires a conversation concerning safety

2. Carry liability insurance
Our industry is definitely at a major turning point when it comes to regulation and carrying insurance at least gives us some real life reputability when it comes to safety. As well as actually protects you and your customer

3. Do not fly within close range of people (without their written consent)
Im not sure where the "line" should be but one thing I think is key is that it is in writing that this is what the job called for and the subject has agreed to put themselves in a position of higher risk. We should strive to never fly close to people, but we all know it happens and some jobs require it.

4. Use a log book
This might not seem to be a safety issue, but I carried it over from my private pilot training and it has already tipped me off to possible issues with my heli before any problem arose. There is a reason this system is used in aviation and we should do the same. Keep it neat, keep it VERY detailed!

5. Preflight Preflight Preflight
This should be a list all of its own, from scoping out the flying site before hand, to planning a flight ahead of time and talking it out, to physical preflight of the equipment, to post flight inspection, to regularly maintaining your craft.

There is just a start! Lets see what we can come up with.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 03:06 PM
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United States, CA, Ventura
Joined Aug 2007
650 Posts
1. What about permission to fly over public property? Most places require a permit to film...
2. Does your insurance cover you if you are doing illegal activities? ie flying for pay?
Who is your carrier and agent if you don't mind sharing so that I can look into coverage for myself?
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 03:15 PM
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Long Island, New York
Joined Jun 2008
6,428 Posts
I am closing this thread to shift the focus to safe flight operations. Here is the link.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...9#post22100243
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