Multirotor RC

Related to the DJI Phantom 2, Blade 350 QX, and/or other multirotor RC equipment.

Waukee Fire Dept – House Burn

This morning, I had the pleasure of being invited by the Waukee Fire Department to shoot some aerial drone video for a controlled house fire that the department coordinated. The goal of the burn was to give firefighters a real-world opportunity to fight a house fire in a controlled environment. While I don’t know the back story of the property, it was recently sold and instead of demolishing the home, they decided it would be easier and more cost effective to burn it down.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FAA Drone Registration, 2015

So after I spend the time and money going through the entire aircraft registration process for my DJI Phantom 3 Pro, the FAA announces a web based registration program that will be out in the next week or two.

The process that I’ve proactively taken included filling out carbon copy forms provided to me by the FAA, getting those notarized, paying a $5 fee, and handling it the same way a Cessna gets its tail numbers. After all of that, here’s what the FAA has planned :

According to the FAA website:

“If you own a drone, you must register it with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry. A federal law effective December 21, 2015 requires unmanned aircraft registration, and you are subject to civil and criminal penalties if you do not register.”

Whether you fly for fun or commercially, you need to register your uAS. Unfortunately, the only benefit to registering is so the FAA can hold you accountable if you do something wrong, or crash somewhere that you shouldn’t have been flying. Registering your aircraft guarantees that you can be fined or imprisoned, and that’s the only benefit to you. Do you think the bad guys are going to register?

If you plan on flying commercially with your uAS, flying for money that is, you better have a 333 exemption. Fortunately, there are a lot of templates out there, for the folks that have their approvals complete. You can download their requests and approvals and use that as your template for your 333 request. Hopefully, the FAA will have a streamlined process coming out for the commercial use of uAS flying platforms. The 333 really isn’t the right fit in my opinion, as you are requesting exemptions from airworthiness certificates, the amount of fuel normally needed onboard, and many other topics that typically pertain to fixed wing aircraft. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months.


Waukee Back Country

Here’s a video I shot today of the back creeks and water tower by our home. I’ve been wanting to shoot this tower for quite some time, and the winds were calm enough today to attempt it. Someday, my goal is to take these clips and make a nice trailer of our area in central Iowa.

Blade 350 QX Gimbal, GB200

I bought the Blade gimbal for my 350 QX Quad. I have the first version of this quad and recently upgraded the firmware to v2 before purchasing the gimbal off ebay. The gimbal makes a huge difference and was worth the money, but I find the DJI Phantom Vision to be a better product, though quite expensive. By the time I’m done with all of the mods to the 350 to get it as close to the the Phantom, I would hit the price point anyway. The 350 is more of an RC enthusiast, hackable job; where the DJI Phantom Vision comes down to dropping $1400 bucks, plug and play and go… I might end up scrapping all of it for a Phantom eventually anyway, we’ll see…