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Arise Drone - learn to buy, fly and know the rules


FAA Report Predicts 7 Million New Drones by 2020

It’s not every day that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) releases information, let alone 90+ pages of it, so when they do… we stop and listen. Yesterday, the Federal Aviation Administration released its annual Aerospace Forecast Report and we’ve spent the past half-day combing through the report to see what relevant information is contained within for the UAS community/industry.
Foremost, the report details the administrations forecast information for fiscal years 2016 to 2036 and within that time span, they’ve focused a fair amount of the report to UAS. The FAA estimates that more than 7 million small unmanned aircrafts are expected to be purchased by 2020 with 2.5 million sales forecasted for this year, alone. Sales of this magnitude would see a substantial increase from previous estimates as the Consumer Electronics Association estimated that roughly 700,000 UAVs would ship for 2015 in the United States.
While actual sales numbers are difficult to come by, it should be noted that as of March 2016, only 408,000 people had registered their drones with the FAA, so a 700,000 sales figure isn’t too far-fetched. Further, the forecast estimates that of these potential 7 million new UAVs that 4.3 millionaircrafts will be flying for recreational purposes and 2.7 million will be flying for commercial reasons. These figures show a marked anticipation of growth for both the hobbyist and commercial UAS markets over the coming years.
The forecast report is welcomed information for UAS operators, owners and enthusiasts as it is seen as a precursor to the FAA’s new regulations publication, which is expected later in spring or summer of this year. It is hoped that these new regulations with create a standardized and feasible path toward complete compliance for operators of small UAS. Without a specific rule in place for UAS, the current setup is criticized by some as cumbersome, inefficient, or overbearing. For those looking to operating legally and safely, the establishment of specialized rules is deeply desired.
The entire UAS community appears to see these regulations as the beginning of a new point for this fledgling industry and the FAA seems to agree with that sentiment. The finalization of this rule is expected to substantially increase the commercial viability for UAS.
The FAA estimates that industrial inspection will lead the field for UAS business sectors with aerial photography, agricultural, insurance, and government sectors rounding out the top five.
It is still unknown to what degree the new regulations will ease the process of using UAS for commercial purposes. Currently, it is illegal under Federal law to use drones or UAS for commercialization unless an exemption is obtained from the FAA. To date, more than 4000 exemptions have been authorized by the government agency.
Within the framework of the report, the FAA does offer some promising information when it comes to future prospects for UAS operators. While it doesn’t appear that the agency will be removing the visual line of sight requirements any time soon, they have established the UAS Focus Area Pathfinders initiative to explore issues such as operation beyond visual line of sight in rural areas and safe operation procedures in populated areas.
The FAA makes a point to state that the demand for commercial UAS “will soar once regulations more easily enable beyond visual line of sight operations and operations of multiple UA by a single pilot.” This recognition shows the agency recognizes the importance of these features, but knows they need to be careful in terms how they implement them, which is a valid and fair concern. Through their own admission they appear ready “to work with industry and stakeholders to safely integrate UAS into the [National Airspace],” as they write in the report.
From reviewing this report, the FAA is allotting a substantial amount of research and consideration into the future of UAS in the United States, which is comforting. As you read the report, you genuinely get the impression that they want to make this work and are trying to figure out how to weigh the safety and privacy concerns against the economic and innovation consideration – they’re seeking a balance. If this report is any indication of what the UAS community should expect from future regulations, then I think we may be pleasantly surprised.
This report is a step in the right direction. It’s good to see the FAA acknowledging the growth of the sUAS industry, and to commit again to publishing a final rule in late spring of 2016. Of course, even if a new rule is finalized, it might be several more months before sUAS pilots can go an FAA-recognized sUAS certification, but I’m still excited where the industry is heading.
Download the full FAA report here.

CaseCruzer Mobile Drone Charging Station
by Press • 7 May 2016

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CaseCruzer takes flight with its cutting edge SmartCruzer Drone Charging Station invented to help the film, news media and racing sport industries power up their hand launch drones whenever and wherever the action is. These professionals now have a way to safely store, transport, and charge UAVs such as DJI Phantom. On your mark, get ready, set drone!

CaseCruzer designed the durable and reusable SmartCruzer transport solution to simultaneously charge three UAV drone batteries and the remote control. The shock-proof case also provides ample space for propellers and cushioned saddles to secure man portable drones during travel. The case stores and charges tablets, as well, and includes custom-built compartments for batteries and remote controls with iPad/tablet mounts.

The mobile Drone Charging Station can juice drones from two power sources: 110-Volt household electrical outlets or DC 12-Volt car power plug-ins. Safety benefits include automatic shutdown of the charging process to prevent short circuits, excessive heat or battery drainage in the vehicle being used by media, film or racing teams.

The design is as modern and sleek as the drones. Exterior dimensions and weight vary, depending on the size of drone fleets. Most cases are equipped with a pull-out handle and embedded wheels to make travel easy in any region. Mobility is definitely an added perk for the UAV charging station, so when professionals are on the fly, drones can be quickly stored in the drone bed, charged via wall outlet, or in the car. Ez-Pack ‘N’ Ship options allow film, media and sport organizations to transport drone cases via airlines, or FedEx and UPS. All cases include an unconditional lifetime warranty.

CaseCruzer recognized the need for mobile charging stations as helicopters and cranes were replaced with a new class of lightweight unmanned drones for aerial cinematography and news coverage.

Likewise, the SmartCruzer mobile UAV charging station follows in the same path of the drones, besides being beautiful as well, it also supports the flying device with simple, secure, storage and charging. CaseCruzer aims to keep drones where they belong, up in the air.

“Hand launch drones are safer, cheaper, convenient, and a more aesthetic solution for filming in remote locations. So we looked for a way to make sure drones would always be frequent fliers—in any kind of weather or terrain. Wherever they travel, CaseCruzer travels too,” says Tatiana Briceno, CaseCruzer marketing director.

The SmartCruzer Drone Charging Station is fitted with an automatic pressure purge system with a neoprene O-ring seal. Airtight and watertight means extreme weather conditions cannot harm drone components and accessories. Theft-proof molded-in padlock holes and sturdy latches provide security.

“If it’s mobile, pad lockable, watertight, and virtually indestructible – it’s a go,” says Briceno.

CaseCruzer has been inspired by the creativity of filmmakers who continue to astonish audiences with explosive, choreographed action scenes and other forms of entertainment. But by developing a new gadget that is supportive and travel-ready, CaseCruzer also hopes to inspire more cinematic daring.

CaseCruzer UAV Charging Station, reaching new heights and new flights.

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How Drones Are Transforming The Way You Shop For Real Estate

[Photo: Flickr user Christopher Michel]
Your local real-estate agent might have a new trick up their sleeve very soon: Using drones for aerial photography of sprawling properties. The practice is increasingly commonplace in other countries, and the national trade association for real-estate agents has written up a set of guidelines for agents looking for their own personal eye in the sky.
Drone photography is far cheaper than the next cheapest alternative—helicopters—and much easier to implement in terms of logistics and planning. Stephanie Spear, an attorney at the National Association of Realtors who works on the issue, told Fast Company that the demand for drone photography is simple: Many properties, especially commercial facilities or rural tracts of land, don’t necessarily photograph well on the ground. In late 2015, the NAR issued a FAQ and a sort of best practices guide for real-estate agents who want to use drones.
And, as the FAA streamlines their rules, expect many more real-estate agents to use drones in the future.

The FAA currently allows commercial, for-profit drone use under limited circumstances and through a complicated registration process; however, the agency is reportedly working on a more streamlined process for registration and permission with a wide variety of stakeholders. In the meantime, private companies are waiting; Spear says that to come up with their guidelines for real-estate agents interested in drones, the NAR had to work with both policy and legal counsel and the FAA itself. In recent congressional testimony, the NAR’s president at the time, Chris Polychron, said the organization and its members were “excited” about the commercial use of drones and called for federal regulations allowing clear and unambiguous use of UAVs for for-profit aerial photography.
“Drone technology offers a tremendous opportunity for the business of real estate and the broader economy. That’s why NAR continues to support the integration of drones into the National Airspace and a regulatory landscape that allows for the responsible commercial use of drones,” said the NAR’s current president, Tom Salomone, in a statement emailed to Fast Company.

Currently, many real-estate agents are believed to be using drones without seeking formal government approval in a sort of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” situation. The first agent believed to have sought government approval for UAV photography is Douglas Trudeau of Arizona’s Tierra Antigua realty, who obtained permission to “to fly a Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter to enhance academic community awareness and augment real-estate listing videos.” The Phantom 2 Vision+ is part of a larger family of DJI Phantom drones increasingly used by commercial customers thanks to their relatively low price points and ease of use.
A rich industry exists of third parties working with commercial clients to produce and leverage drone photography. At the recent International Drone Expo, a trade show in Los Angeles, approximately one-third of the booths were dedicated to small startups offering to help existing companies with FAA reporting requirements, image analysis needs, and consulting services.
One of the companies in this space, a Bay Area-based startup called BetterView, essentially serves as a drone consultancy that links businesses seeking aerial photography with qualified experts who both fly the UAVs and then help clients leverage information from the photographs. David Lyman, the company’s CEO, says they initially worked in the real estate space before pivoting to primarily serving insurers and commercial roofers looking to find damage from aerial photos they couldn’t otherwise easily obtain.
The shift to insurance was partially due to cofounder David Tobias’s background in the insurance world, but Lyman added that aerial photography for real estate was “for the pure marketing stuff, it was something that looks great and plays out well. We did it for residential and commercial, and would take some shots that end up in a real estate listing. Its either the leading shot or ones that enhance a listing quite a bit.”

Outside of the United States, aerial regulations are generally more liberal when it comes to aerial photography and drone shots for real estate listings are increasingly routine. AirVu is a Cayman Islands-based drone firm that started off doing aerial real estate photography and then expanded into areas like flying drones over prisons to patrol perimeter fences.
AirVu’s cofounder, Adam Cockerill, told Fast Company that the company was the first in the Cayman Islands to obtain a permit to use drones for aerial commercial photography. “We were one of the first businesses in Caribbean to do so, and were in uncharted territory. We needed to establish ourselves as a drone business, so we did photography for real estate. […] Initially, it was a lot of residential properties, and we were hired by brokers and some homeowners. There are some beautiful beachfront properties that benefit from aerial views. The only other way you can obtain it is from helicopter, which is both cost-prohibitive and takes place from a higher altitude.”
Cockerill’s company uses another firm in turn, Skyward, which produces cloud-based software that conducts drone airspace mapping, logs flights, and takes care of FAA compliance requirements. Because of the safety issues around using drones and the risk of unqualified pilots causing property damage or worse, it’s crucial for realtors or property owners to be careful and err on the side of caution when doing aerial photography.
For most apartments or homes, drone photography is an extravagance. However, it does hold very real appeal to anyone attempting to sell industrial properties, large tracts of land, large estates, or especially photogenic properties. If, as believed, the FAA issues updated commercial requirements for drones in 2016, expect the category to skyrocket.

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3 Things Public Safety Officials Should Know About Drones

This past year, as I attended many drone conferences, I was struck by how eager public safety officials and first responders are to learn how they can incorporate drones into their operations. Their curiosity is not without good reason. Small drones with video and infrared cameras are excellent tools for things like situational awareness of critical incidents, search and rescue operations, crime scene processing, and fire damage assessments.
If you are part of one of these outfits and are considering an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for your operation, then you should know the FAA treats Public Aircraft Operations differently than civilian aircraft operations. At first glance, the FAA’s requirements for Public Aircraft Operations seem overwhelming, but take heart. Some of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) do not apply to you, and hopefully this post will clarify and ease what’s required of you.
At the outset I need to say I highly recommend speaking with someone who is knowledgeable about the FAA’s FAR’s, especially if you are seeking to fly your aircraft as a public aircraft operation. The FAA will make sure you follow the very strict requirements to be classified as a public aircraft. If you do not meet the requirements, you will be considered a civil aircraft and could be in violation of multiple regulations.
At the outset, you should know about these three benefits of public aircraft operations status:
The pilot of a public aircraft does NOT need to be an FAA licensed pilot.
This comes as one of the biggest surprises to public agencies. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 61.3says, “(a) Required pilot certificate for operating a civil aircraft of the United States. No person may serve as a required pilot flight crewmember of a civil aircraft of the United States[.]” Notice that is said “civil aircraft”, not “aircraft” which would mean all aircraft. Instead, public agencies self-certify their pilots which means that training can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of the public agency as opposed to picking one of the less applicable manned pilot certificates.
The aircraft flown does not need to have an FAA airworthiness certificate.
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 91.203(a), “no person may operate a civil aircraft unless it has within it the following: (1) An appropriate and current airworthiness certificate[.]” Additionally, 91.401 says, “(a) This subpart prescribes rules governing the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations of U.S.-registered civil aircraft operating within or outside of the United States.” Notice that they both said “civil aircraft.” This means that public aircraft operations self-certify their own aircraft and maintenance.
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
It’s important to note you cannot slack on operations or maintenance standards. If there is an accident, depending on your entity and the jurisdiction, there is potential for liability. Civilian aircraft are flying according to the safety standard created by the FAA. If you self-certify your pilots, aircraft, and maintenance, then the burden will be more on YOU to prove that you, operating under your own standards, were safe, as opposed to saying you flew under the FAA’s standards which they said were safe. It might be helpful to get someone who is extremely familiar with drones to help set up maintenance standards. (I would suggest Gus Calderon, a commercial pilot who ran his own Part 135 aircraft charter company and has extensive expensive in multi-rotors.)
Public aircraft operators can rapidly deploy their drones in emergencies.
Commercial operators operating under FAA Section 333 exemptions and their ‘blanket’ certificates of waiver or authorizations (COA) are required to file a notice to airmen (NOTAM) at least 24 hours before operations. This is extremely impracticable because 24 hours is a long time and the NOTAMs are usually for a particular location.
Public aircraft operators can ask for their COAs to not have a 24-hour NOTAM. Moreover, provided that a public aircraft operator already has a COA in place at some location, they can rapidly move that location and obtain an emergency COA for another location outside the geographic boundaries of their original COA. Keep in mind that this all is with the understanding you have a COA in place already, so public safety officials should start looking into setting up things before they need them. Like the Boy Scout Motto, “Be Prepared.”
I hope this helps inspire you to use unmanned aircraft for public safety purposes. Public aircraft operators have a difficult time completing their jobs, but the Federal Aviation Regulations are not as difficult as you might think. Stay safe!

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