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Aug 10, 2007, 03:05 PM
Chris Anderson
Discussion

Want to be on a TV show about amateur UAVs?


Hi all. I'm the editor of Wired Magazine and also an amateur UAV builder (see our site at diydrones.com). This October we're going to be starting a prime-time show on PBS called Wired Science, which will have a national audience of about 6 million people per night. One of the episodes is going to be on non-military UAVs, with a focus on the parallel evolutions of the pros and the amateurs.

We want to film a number of amateurs (including me) flying their UAVs in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime over the next two weeks. If you're in the area and would like to participate in a UAV fly-in for TV broadcast please respond here or contact me directly at canderson@wiredmag.com.
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Aug 10, 2007, 06:21 PM
Registered User
Jack Crossfire's Avatar
Chances are 1 in 10 that mine will B completely autonomous in 2 weeks. Although she can hold orientation right now, that doesn't go very far in an extremely windy environment like Alameda/Emeryville. You might have a better show in a more sheltered area like Pleasanton, but you lose the coverage of San Francisco. Other than that, there's always shots of her sitting on the ground.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Aug 10, 2007 at 06:29 PM.
Aug 10, 2007, 06:52 PM
Chris Anderson
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Crossfire
Chances are 1 in 10 that mine will B completely autonomous in 2 weeks. Although she can hold orientation right now, that doesn't go very far in an extremely windy environment like Alameda/Emeryville. You might have a better show in a more sheltered area like Pleasanton, but you lose the coverage of San Francisco. Other than that, there's always shots of her sitting on the ground.
It doesn't have to really work (the magic of video is that viewers won't be able to tell anyway). The point is that we're working on autonomous UAVs. Rough edges are dramatic tension!

Ping me at the email and I'll keep you in the loop about timing, place etc. If you know a good site for planes and helis in Pleasanton we could move to there and do without the SF backdrop for the sake of better flying conditions.
Aug 10, 2007, 08:47 PM
Registered User
..... and of course, you'll have your COA all buttoned up nice and neat......
Aug 10, 2007, 10:08 PM
Chris Anderson
Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTexFlyer
..... and of course, you'll have your COA all buttoned up nice and neat......
All flights will be under 400 feet, line of sight and manual override at all times. That's totally within regs as generally understood.
Aug 10, 2007, 10:33 PM
Registered User
unmanned autonomous flight falls under r/c rules? How do you figure?
Aug 10, 2007, 10:38 PM
Chris Anderson
Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTexFlyer
unmanned autonomous flight falls under r/c rules? How do you figure?
"Semi-autonomous". All UAVs will have a pilot on the stick at all times. No different than using a wing-leveler or gyro on a heli. It misses a waypoint, you bring it around manually ("pilot in command"). You read the regs differently?
Last edited by zlite; Aug 10, 2007 at 10:45 PM.
Aug 10, 2007, 10:53 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by zlite
Hi all. I'm the editor of Wired Magazine and also an amateur UAV builder (see our site at diydrones.com). This October we're going to be starting a prime-time show on PBS called Wired Science, which will have a national audience of about 6 million people per night. One of the episodes is going to be on non-military UAVs, with a focus on the parallel evolutions of the pros and the amateurs.

We want to film a number of amateurs (including me) flying their UAVs in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime over the next two weeks. If you're in the area and would like to participate in a UAV fly-in for TV broadcast please respond here or contact me directly at canderson@wiredmag.com.
...Never mind
Aug 10, 2007, 11:03 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by reedchristiansen
...bring the FAA and we'll have a big party
Just keep the veggy trays under 400' and the beer within line of sight. (Sorry caught your comment before the edit) :-)
Aug 11, 2007, 12:27 AM
Registered User
Reed, Reed, Reed,....(and Zlite too).....

I'm just a simple businessman trying to produce civilian UA's. I have no DoD contracts, contractor sponsorships, or university endowments,...... I have no friends that can get me into controlled airspace. Because I use my UA's in humanitarian situations that get alot of attention, and to have the FAA call me directly and tell me to "cease and desist", I think it's reasonable for me to ask the question. Why do *I* have to stop doing humanitarian work when you guys are logging hours in a commercial endeavor and what (in this case) would appear to be public airspace?

All I'm asking for is a level playing field. Is that too much to ask?

Respectfully,

Gene
Aug 11, 2007, 12:36 AM
Chris Anderson
Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTexFlyer
Reed, Reed, Reed,....(and Zlite too).....

I'm just a simple businessman trying to produce civilian UA's. I have no DoD contracts, contractor sponsorships, or university endowments,...... I have no friends that can get me into controlled airspace. Because I use my UA's in humanitarian situations that get alot of attention, and to have the FAA call me directly and tell me to "cease and desist", I think it's reasonable for me to ask the question. Why do *I* have to stop doing humanitarian work when you guys are logging hours in a commercial endeavor and what (in this case) would appear to be public airspace?

All I'm asking for is a level playing field. Is that too much to ask?

Respectfully,

Gene
Gene,

We're total amateurs. Nobody's getting paid for any of this. PBS (a non-profit, BTW) is filming me and people like me practicing our hobby (in my case, with my kids). We're totally within all regs as I understand them and are responsibly flying (with permission) on a former naval air field miles from any populated area.

Don't you think you might be over-reacting a bit? I'm sorry the FAA came after you, but I don't see why you're coming after us.

Chris (zlite)
Aug 11, 2007, 01:18 AM
Registered User
Hmmmm......

I've been in R/C for about 30 years now.... I've been in the business of building UA's for about the last 6.... I've been on the RTCA SC203 for the development of Best Practices for UA in the NAS for the last 3 years. I have what is likely the first nationally televised use of a UA in a Search and Rescue operation in 05.... I think the term "overreacting" may be a stretch.

My question was more directly aimed at Reed since his is a commercial endeavor, with you as a secondary recipient. And I think it's a fair question. If you are involved in UA even on the amateur level one would expect that you would be current with the situation and the most recent curtailment of UA activity. One might assume you would certainly have an opinion on it, or at the very least see the validity of the question.

and BTW.... I am registered, tax exempt, non-profit, 501(c)3 Search and Rescue organizition as well..... would you like to make a donation?
Last edited by CenTexFlyer; Aug 11, 2007 at 08:59 PM.
Aug 11, 2007, 07:39 PM
Registered User
Wow! The silence is deafening.........
Aug 11, 2007, 11:14 PM
Registered User
CenTex,

The way I read it, Chris is within the law to operate his aircraft (within visual line-of-site) because it is for recreational purposes. I realize many of us are upset that we can't fly for commercial purposes (profit or non-profit doesn't matter here) but I think the rage needs to be focused on the FAA, and not the hobbyists who can legally fly.

A recent speaker at the AUVSI conference in D.C. brought up many of your points (see excerpt from a news report listed below). Maybe you should contact him for advice on how to proceed.


Steve Morris
MLB Co.
---------
http://www.shephard.co.uk/UVOnline/D...2-97940680b1f7

Reported by David S. Harvey for the Shephard Group:

Police Chief Donald Shinnamon (Holly Hills, Fla.,) is an angry cop – angry that police are denied small UAVs while RC modelers fly unconstrained.

Shinnamon is a highly respected national authority on airborne policing who says the FAA is both wrong and unhelpful on the subject of law enforcement UAVs. In a nutshell he says the agency’s claims that public service aircraft need to go through extensive certification are wrong. ‘They don’t. The CFRs (code of federal regulations) are clear on that, and the FAA just doesn’t understand them.’

But their rudeness in their dealings with him, their high handedness and their ‘ignorance’ of the law are damaging the effort to move forward on the more beneficial aspects of UAV airspace integration. Shinnamon- who we think may just be right, given the way surplus helicopters were handed out by the Army to unqualified police flight departments a few years ago (legitimately so under public service rules) – says it’s time for people to stand up to the FAA and demand change. Even, maybe, by a direct challenge…
Aug 12, 2007, 12:09 AM
Registered User
There is no "rage" in any of my posts..... maybe a firm conviction of words that is borne of extended experience, but I'm well past being "mad" about this. And....With all due respect, I haven't gotten an answer, or even a response to my question.......

Autonomous, or semi-autonomous flight is VERY different than that of hobby R/C with the use of a gyro or a horizon sensing stabilization system. While I agree with Mr. Shinnamon wholeheartedly, his is just essentially another opinion that has been quoted by the media. It carries no weight and will make little impact on the situation. I've been quoted more times than I care to count on national television and it makes no difference to the Feds.

I spend many telecons with the FAA and have heard first hand many of the responses that Mr. Shinnamon considers rude or unhelpful, and many times they seem that way. Imagine having to tell a man you can't go search for his missing wife's body because the FAA doesn't deem it an emergency. How do you think THAT feels? Especially in the light of the fact that we have found many victims and have brought closure to a grieving family and THEY KNOW IT!

Many know that Myron and myself at RPFlight Systems have been working within the system that is available to us. Served on the committees, contacted the congressmen, Ombudsman, Senators, etc. etc. so we know from whence all this comes. For those to state "Oh... this is only a hobby" while promoting patently obvious commercial aspirations requires a call out for what it is. I will not, and do not call the FAA and rat out people who are flying - that's just bad karma, but it is happening. It's happened to us. I just raised the question here and still have not gotten a valid response as to why ANYONE would think it's OK for that situation to exist.

Gene

P.S. Oh Steve... have you guys begun your certification process on the Bat? How are you flying your prove out flights?
Last edited by CenTexFlyer; Aug 12, 2007 at 10:22 AM.


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