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Old Dec 04, 2012, 01:30 PM
3d NOOBular
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Joined Aug 2010
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My thinking is that unless a permit is actually required, you shouldn't obtain it. As soon as you obtain the permit you are legally bound by the body that you got it from. It is isn't actually required... wait until it is to get it.
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 01:31 PM
More Combat Please!
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Utah
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGArmy View Post
Hey all,

I haven't been around much in the past few years, but it is good to get back on here and see that everybody is still going strong. You guys have got some awesome footage!

I recently had an opportunity arise with a good friend who is starting a film and advertising business. We got talking and I showed him some aerial footage, then we straped a gopro to my glider just to try it out. We got some pretty cool footage flying around inside the BYU stadium - I'll have to put it up here - though my CG was off and it lost a lot of stability.

So I've been reading about some FAA regulation saying that you can't fly for commercial purposes. First of all, who gave the FAA permission to make laws? That's messed up if you ask me. Either way, I can't find anything concrete on it. Is this all true? Will we be prosecuted? Any ways around it?

Thanks for your help!
Actually, there is a NPRM on the books prohibiting commercial FPV use. It was done back in 2007. Occasionally the FAA does go after businesses doing commercial work, especially if they're doing anything obviously dangerous. There have been several pretty bad accidents with FPV pilots flying large vehicles in public areas around people, one in particular I know of where a dude flying a rather large heli with a camera on it started to follow a pretty girl walking down the street. Not sure what happened, but he lost control and flew it into her back and messed her up BAD.

The FAA went after a company in Cali that was doing rather large scale commercial FPV work in downtown Los Angeles. This was a couple months ago, it was in the papers.

The FAA doesn't have any real policing forces, but they do go after FPV pilots doing stupid things and have an investigation underway for Team Black Sheep's activities flying in town town city streets, around people, inside public buildings, etc. I've heard rumors that they've been "fined" for their activities, but don't know whether they actually paid the fines. Until they became a business selling stuff there really wasn't much to lose by doing whatever they wanted. A lot of their gear is sponsored, so even if they get raided occasionally, it doesn't cost them much... other than the annoyance of having to rebuild vehicles.

Until somebody does something really stupid and kills a lot of people (i.e. taking down a real aircraft intentionally or accidentally), I think we'll be okay for a few years. But eventually the crap will hit the fan and the sector will become more seriously regulated.

I've spoken with many professional FPV pilots, and they all say the same thing. If you're going to do it, do it on the "down low". Get in, and get out. Don't linger at your shoot sites, don't talk to people that are curious, just do the job and get out. When you're billing for work, bill for commercial photography and never mention what gear you're using. Never use the word Aerial or FPV in any paperwork.

And most of all, don't fly around or over people for any reason. And obviously, don't fly near airports or any higher than 500 ft. if there's any possibility of air traffic (i.e. life-flight, etc.)

Here is the formal document from the government.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2007...df/E7-2402.pdf

There's a forum for commercial RC pilots, can't find the link right now. I'll post it later. They always post on-goings and news items from the aviation community, and many of them tell horror stories.

The AMA rules are designed to help AMA pilots fly safely at AMA fields, and their rules make a lot of sense in that context. But frankly, very few people want to fly FPV at an AMA field, so it's sort of a bad deal that those rules are what the FAA is looking at as guidelines for the entire community. The problem they have in my mind is that the market is literally exploding with business, a lot of it in America. If they shut it all down, then tens of thousands of people are going to be affected out of a "knee jerk" reaction to make air traffic safe. They don't have to be so ridiculously stringent on the rules in order to achieve that goal, and everybody including the FAA knows it.
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Last edited by Wind_of_Change; Dec 06, 2012 at 09:24 AM.
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 04:04 PM
FPV junkie
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United States, UT
Joined Jan 2011
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that's the day I stop posting videos
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 09:17 AM
wheeeeee!
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United States, UT, Provo
Joined Oct 2011
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Has anyone with a GoPro Hero3 weighed the camera+case? I can find the weight of the camera by googling, but not the case.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 09:25 AM
wheeeeee!
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United States, UT, Provo
Joined Oct 2011
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Never mind. Just found this:
Tip #50 GoPro - Hero 2 / 3 Weight Comparison (1 min 26 sec)


results:
Hero 2 (alone): 3.5 oz
Hero 3 (alone): 2.6 oz

...nice difference...

Hero 2 (with case): 5.6 oz
Hero 3 (with case): 5.5 oz

...darnit. Now I need to know if fpvmanual's LayerLens will fit on a Hero3, because the case apparently weighs more than the camera!
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 02:16 PM
More Combat Please!
Wind_of_Change's Avatar
Utah
Joined Dec 2003
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Anybody else see the new AMA article? I don't know how much more I can take of this poor representation from our AMA leaders.

I'm in the process of writing a response to it, which I will initially post in the comments thread, so people can get a bigger idea of what's really happening in the community. If any of you guys on here would take a few minutes and browse over it, letting me know if there's any wording you don't like, incorrect facts, or concepts that don't work, I would appreciate it.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...2#post23458599
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 07:18 PM
wheeeeee!
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OK, I've been talking to myself about this so far, but in case anyone else cares, here's the response I got from the guys at fpvmanuals:

"The current one does not fit the GP3 but we are releasing a new version very soon."
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:03 PM
Fly, crash, repair, repeat....
BlenderBoy's Avatar
United States, UT, West Jordan
Joined Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elCapitan View Post
OK, I've been talking to myself about this so far, but in case anyone else cares, here's the response I got from the guys at fpvmanuals:

"The current one does not fit the GP3 but we are releasing a new version very soon."
I have a hero 3, but I don't know what you are talking about, so I'm little help.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:16 PM
wheeeeee!
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United States, UT, Provo
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Oh, just talking about how the hero3 is plenty lighter than the hero2, but the case weighs more. In fact, it now weighs more than the camera.

Instead of using the case, I personally prefer using fpvmanuals' LayerLens. Protects the lens in a crash, but keeps it all really lightweight. Because let's face it, if a crash is hard enough to break the camera, it's probably hard enough to break the case too. The only real benefit of the case is protecting the lens, and the LayerLens does that without the weight.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 09:14 PM
Fly, crash, repair, repeat....
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United States, UT, West Jordan
Joined Sep 2011
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Ahhh that's cool, I could've used that on my hero 2 when I cracked the lens.

The hero 3 is very small and light. I'm going to run it with the case and I'm sure I won't even notice any difference.

Do you know anyway I can get my lens fixed on my hero 2? I contacted gopro and they said the cost would be more then a new camera.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 10:20 PM
More Combat Please!
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Utah
Joined Dec 2003
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There are replacement lenses out there by a company named Sunex or something like that. If you do a google search I'm sure it'll turn up. It's a pain to do though, you have to get the old lens out carefully and there's a technique to it. Any mistakes and you've wasted money on a new lens that won't work in the camera. McGregor did it on one of his cameras and it's been working okay ever since, but it narrowed the FOV more than he liked. Here's what he said

"Umm I will have to look on my laptop. Sunex sounds right. But I would recommend that he just save the $50 that it costs and put that into a new GoPro. I don't really like the way the new lens narrows my shots."

Also, it's larger than the stock lens so your GoPro won't fit in the waterproof housing anymore.

Best thing for GoPro's is to always buy them at BestBuy and always buy a year of insurance on it. $40 guarantees a replacement, and they don't really care how it happened. It's an action camera. Other good advice is to try not to crash! Ha.

I've had three replaced. Insurance is worth every penny. If it survives the first year, you can add another year or two of coverage on it. Best Buy rocks.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 10:47 PM
FPV junkie
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United States, UT
Joined Jan 2011
3,390 Posts
FWIW,

I've been following you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by elCapitan View Post
OK, I've been talking to myself about this so far, but in case anyone else cares, here's the response I got from the guys at fpvmanuals:

"The current one does not fit the GP3 but we are releasing a new version very soon."
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 08:19 AM
Watch your 6
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USA, UT, Alpine
Joined Jul 2010
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Todd
I didn’t see your article because it looks like you took it down before I got there so you may have covered this already, but it looks like you were looking for some talking points. Having delt with similar regulatory issues in an earlier generation with ham radio I see some similar issues here. In an earlier situation the FCC kept moving ham bands around because of commercial interests in certain particular bands. Well it was in fact due to amateurs developing new technology that businesses found viable that they wanted our (ham) bands.

For example in one case the FCC took away some ham bands and relegated some of our bands to the hi frequency range because no one was using those particular hi frequency bands back in the 70s. Well, you can’t keep down the ingenuity of amateurs. Amateurs developed things like Slow Scan TV (SSTV) in those hi frequency ranges and the very first Jupiter mission used as part of their communications SSTV. It was cool because I remember recording the signal on cassette tape and then later on when someone in our group put together an SSTV display, we played back the tape and saw the pictures of Jupiter. I was in Japan at the time.

Also I remember amateurs developing a interface between 2 meter radio and a telephone. One of our guys built a interface and when I climbed Mount Fuji back in 76 I used my 2 meter radio to connect to the phone and I called my wife at Camp Zama in Japan.

Also in the 76 time frame this hot-dog electronics guy also a ham operator talked me into building a computer from popular electronics using an 8080A chip as he had done. WE hooked them up to our radios and sent and received Morse c ode. What was fun about that was that being in Japan and close to Russia, the Russians like to smoke us by doing Morse Code at 30 words per minute. With our computers we sent CW back to them at 50 words per minute and smoked their ears and places south.

So the point is Amateurs have a long history of making major contributions to new technology. It would be un-American to stifle new developments and technological innovations.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 08:33 AM
Watch your 6
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USA, UT, Alpine
Joined Jul 2010
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Can I tell one more fun story?
My friend was in charge of satellite communications between Japan and the US. One day he picked up and recorded a signal coming out of North Korea. He had been schooled in decryption techniques. He wrote a simple decryption algorithm on his computer and eventually broke the code. Remember those 8080 chips clipped along at the blinding speed of 250 milliseconds or something. He took the message to the 500th MI (Military Intelligence) group at Camp Zama Japan. When he told the 500th MI what he had done and they heard the recording they said it would take themÖ. I donít remember the numbers any more but like 25 guys 2 years to decrypt that and they showed him the door. They didnít believe him!!! That is why Military Intelligence is an oxymoron.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 01:49 AM
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United States, OR, Portland
Joined Feb 2012
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Been out of the loop lately so I thought I would post up a shot from a video shoot we're doing for Red Bull. It's a performance camp in Sun Valley for their winter Olympic athletes. Twenty of them flew in from all over the world. You would not believe how young and talented these kids are. I'm blown away. I'll post some video when we get it edited.
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