This Week In Real Estate Drone Photography News

August 11th, 2014

DJIPhantom2News from the last few weeks that affects or is related to real estate sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles): 

  • Peter Sachs’s The Drone Pilot Association – As of right now Peter is up to 1,354 members. As Peter says, “Time is running out to legally challenge the FAA’s June 25, 2014 Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. If not successfully challenged before August 25, 2014, drone pilots will be barred from operating commercially, barred from flying in “first person view,” barred from operating within 5 miles of any airport without prior permission and will suddenly be subject to all Federal Aviation Regulations. The DPA is trying to raise money to fund a legal challenge.
  • Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to speed up regulations on drones and release them by the end of the year. In a statement, Schumer said the city has “become the wild, wild west” for commercial and recreational use of drones, formally called “unmanned aircraft systems.” “There are a number of unregulated small drones throughout New York City, as well as other parts of the state, threatening safety and privacy,” Schumer wrote in a letter to the FAA and Commerce Department.
  • Drones Outpacing Rules as Popularity Soars in New York “Right now, unlike a manned-aircraft pilot who can get a license from the FAA, there’s no official training program for small drones,” said Brendan M. Schulman, a lawyer in Manhattan who represents a number of drone operators and enthusiasts. “What you’re seeing is popularity because they don’t require any particular expertise to get going. What you’re seeing is people buying these devices off the shelf and operating them without any experience or training because they’re easy to use.”
  • The Drones Will Have Their Day – In state legislatures, drone regulation is one of the few issues that has enjoyed bipartisan support. In 2013, according to the ACLU, 43 states debated 96 drone bills; however, all but eight of these bills died in session. This year, just four out of 36 states that considered drone legislation have enacted any laws. This is not enough to keep pace with drone proliferation.
  • LAPD want to crack down on civilian drones after police station incident – Los Angeles police officials say they may have to set boundaries on hobbyist drone use because local ordinances are vague and federal regulators are unlikely to to put clear-cut rules in place anytime soon.
  • No Unmanned Flights ‘Anytime Soon,’ FAA Assures Pilots – Airlines should not expect to see unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying regularly in U.S. airspace “anytime soon,” a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration told pilots August 7. The assurance came amid continuing reports of unauthorized UAS flights near airliners.

Wow, a lot of things happening, and this is just a selection of articles from the last 2 weeks! If you want to stay up to the minute with this subject follow me on Twitter because I tweet these articles as they happen.

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6 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Drone Photography News”

  • If my government has drones, I can have drones. If my government has guns, I can have guns. Is there anyone left who thinks our dysfunctional federal government has any ability left to regulate with wisdom? You cannot legislate safety, common sense or personal responsibility. I guess law abiding, responsible citizens are easier to prosecute than the government acting on its own constitutional responsibilities (illegal immigration and much more…). Stand up for what is right!

  • In response to above comment. YIKES!!

  • Between the politicians, and the citizens, I’m not sure which is more paranoid, or whom has the better case for it. The media has them both ratcheted-up in flaming rhetoric. I wonder where Schumer is getting primed for his statements? Pretty sure he has zero personal experience with drones. He probably has a secret fetish for FOX news, but mostly commentary, in the evenings. Or maybe he tunes in to Alex Jones while he’s on the road. You just never know where someone’s getting their crazy talking points from. I think somebody in the media should ask Schumer directly where his statements originate, or perhaps we should hire a drone……… Maybe he gets a kick out of leaving the drapes open… Think about it, is the fact that there are drones flying all about in “wild-west” fashion forcing politicians and celebs to change their lifestyles to some vanilla-eske unbearable state of complete banality? hahahaha (“this job ain’t fun no mo’, my wife’s all ‘close the drapes, close the drapes!… I can’t work like thhis!!!!), said the ghost of Robin Williams on Aug 12th, 2014.

    Pretty sure I’ve had more then my share of coffee this morning. Off to do flyovers with the hardware I dare not mention. When questioned, I will use some famous Harry Tasker lines “This is an espresso machine. No, no wait. It’s a snow cone maker. Is it a water heater?”

  • @Win Wobbe


  • I’ll second that, christian!

  • I did my first shoot with drones yesterday. I have no real interest in flying them myself, really for practical reasons. I hired a two man drone crew to do the job. They charged me $100 for an hour of their time. What we needed was an ariel view of some property on a bluff, so the POV to look straight at it was 300-400ft about ground level. One man piloted the drone, the other controlled the camera, and it was my job to look at the monitor and tell them what i needed (director). That, for me, was the perfect scenario. These guys had an $8000 8-blade drone, and 20 years of RC experience. And even then… while in flight, both of the landing legs of the drone came off and fell to the ground (one stayed in a tree). Had I tried that myself, I’d have been force to crash land an $8K piece of equipment loaded with $4000 of photography gear. Definitely NOT something I’d be willing to risk for the few dollars the job will generate. Between the 3 of us though, the work was really pretty good, and they were able to bring the drone down and have one of the guys “catch” it.

    Some things I noticed though. It was next to impossible to control anything below the drone, and the drone had to maneuver within a radius of 5-600ft, 300-400ft high. It was in a neighborhood, which meant that it flew over 5-6 homes and the adjacent streets, trees, cars, etc… which meant it wasn’t even really possible to know what was below the flight path (kids, pets, naked sunbathers, whatever) So, plenty of possibilities for damage to property or people. This is not something I would be willing to risk in doing the piloting myself. I think $100 was well worth it for a very nice and extremely precise drone, capable of a 30lb payload, live video feed, and a team capable of running it professionally. From a business POV, it just wouldn’t make sense for me to take that kind of risk on.

    Secondly, the guys who piloted for me own or manage an RC shop, and they said they have an entire repair department chock full of… guess what? “drones that realtors have crashed” That kinda made me laugh a little. But, they love it. They sell and fix drones all day. Their only real concern is that they might get grounded due to the misadventures of others.

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