ALPA (Airline Pilots Association) is lobbying congress for transponders on UAS and certified pilots: Captain Chet, a PFRE photographer and qualified ATP (Airline Transport Rating) pilot sent me this link to a recent ALPA press release. Chet commented that:
While I applaud the union for taking a stance, this is a bit absurd. Capt Moak is suggesting that all UAS have a transponder on board. Well that’s crazy as these radios weigh more than the entire Phantom quad. In addition, he wants pilots trained to the same standards as manned aircraft. While I’m fully qualified and hold an Airline Transport Rating (ATP), his suggestion will basically put the small quad out of business for commercial use. ALPA has a lot of money and power, we are the single largest airline pilots union. This is not good news based upon his testimony to congress. Let’s hope Congress doesn’t get pressured and implement such restrictions.
That's Capt Chet in the photo getting ready to take his UAS real estate photography/videography business to the next level when he retires from ExpressJet Airlines next March. Hey, I don't see a transponder on that rig!
The NAR posts another article reiterating it's members should not use UAS or hire UAS until FAA issues final guidelines: I find it disappointing that the NAR is not out there lobbying for it's members interests like the ALPA is. As far as NAR is concerned agents should just sit back wait a couple more years for FAA final rules. I think the NAR should be should be in there with the APLA demanding that there be immediate interim rules for commercial sUAS operation. Be serious, very few are going to wait another two years. They are already using them now!
New York City's Drone Ban Would Be the Strictest in the country: Jason Koebler over at Motherboard.vice.com has an article today on the effort by council member Paul Vallone to make Drones illegal except for "agencies of the city". Given the number of serious incidents in NYC it's not surprising that they are trying to crackdown on drones. One problem with this kind of effort by cities and states is that it is not clear that anyone can legally regulate airspace besides the FAA.
New software for stabilization and correction of video shot with GoPros on multicopters: Greg Nuspel pointed out a review of some software that can significantly improve the quality of video shot with GoPros on UAS. This is the software.
Alaska's Know Before You Fly Drone Safety Guidelines: Greg Utton pointed out that Alaska has come up with their own rules for sUAS. They are basically just the rules developed by the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) for hobbyists and the FAA guidance in Advisory Circular 91-57.
Don't expect all this craziness on drone regulations to get better any time soon. It will probably get more chaotic before it gets better.