Drone News: Seattle Drone Laws, Category drones coming soon? Ingenuity hits 30 minutes airborne
We got four topics that were going to talk about the first one is the involves, the dsp, the drone service provider alliance. Theyve been doing some work with the city of seattle, and i want to tell you a little bit more about the process actually were going to bring vigmos on board to talk about it. The next story is kind of a big one. This is from the fa. If youve been following the story about flying over people, the need for having a means of compliance and a category two and a category three drone, while theres been a major update with somebody being approved for a means of compliance. So well talk about what it means and kind of well, the implication for all of us. The next thing were going to talk about. Is the drone thats on mars its actually been on mars for, like eight months now, and its flying and its been flying for a while, so well talk about the details and then lastly, well give you a quick update on pilot institute and trust and a bunch Of other things that weve been doing so merry christmas lets get to it, Music, all right and for this first segment we have a guest, i would say, an esteemed guest. We have vic moss from the drone service provider alliance, its always great, to see vic on the show, because well, hes, full of great information and uh, and today were going to talk about something that happened in seattle.
So vic welcome to the show and tell us a little bit about what happened in seattle this week. Well, thank you greg thanks, always for the invite, its always fun to be on your show, and actually we can thank pilot institute for what happened in seattle. This week, um we had one of your students uh. His name is steve judkins. He posted hes in seattle and he posted that he was out trying to fly in the wharf area, and someone came up to him and talked about hey. You need a permit for this, a permit for that um kind of like usual, where they kind of knew. Half of what they were supposed to be telling whoever was flying um, so we did a little research and found out that theres some very interesting language in the seattle film department. Her saddle film commission excuse me on their website, so um he reached out and then um lee bessing tagged me in the post, which was kind of cool and uh started the ball rolling. This was only three days ago, so its been kind of fun i reached out to the film commission via their website and um taylor. I wont use his full name because i dont have information uh reached back out to me almost right away and, as you know, because youve done the same thing. We do here at dspa when youre dealing with a public entity, whether its a city, council or a commission or state or whatever theyre, not always happy to hear from you, because youre kind of telling them what theyve done wrong um.
And but in this case i forwarded you, the email that taylor was like yeah. We know its not working real well its actually already on my list for next week or next year. But do you have some people we can talk to so that was really kind of cool that um he was able to reach out or reach back. I should say, and just give us a chance: dspa local pilots, local flyers, a chance to really kind of put the word in on the way that the new rules are going to be crafted the way theyre crafted now, and he did say one of the things I said, and i shouldnt have assumed something you know what they say about assuming things is. I said you know this is what happens when you dont work with a pilot or work with a drone operator, and he goes well. We did its like. Oh sorry, so you know were all learning as we go and you know so its not safe to assume things but thats, okay, but apparently whoever they worked with had great had great information uh the pilots they had, but um im guessing im, not gon na use. The word assume im guessing that um. They basically were big production guys because these rules are geared towards big production and are great for big production. I mean theyre spelled out boom, bang, bang, bang, bang! You know you do one! You do two! You do three ud4! So its great its got instructions for this for the location scout its got instructions for the production crew, its really a really well written Music film permit process if youre a production.
What happened, though, is? Is it captured everybody else as well, including hobbyists, so um? They realize that uh it you know the way its written is every time youre if youre, if you lets, say youre shooting real estate. I think the numbers were. You can remind me, 2100 uh remote pilots in king county, which is where seattle is theres. A lot of them, and so every one of those who shoots a construction site, a real estate, anything like that has to fill out a application, a permit process for every single shoot on every single location. So there was this catch all issue and he even said taylor even said you know when people who real estate people reach out to me. They say you know we dont care, we dont need permits from you guys, so they understand the process, but it was really cool that taylor reached out so quickly um and have the ability to go ahead and um get some input from those who really affect, including Including recreational, so he asked us, we put the word out in your group and no actually in your group. It was already the word was already out um yeah in a couple of other groups, and also i was asked to join a northwest drone pilot group, and so i put the word out there as well. I think we have 12 pilots and recreational folks on this email list now and were going to get people like free fly, and things like that that are up there and theyre really going to the film commission for their rewrite is really going to have a good Sense of exactly which aspects of which drone operation which drone vertical this affects so its really kind of cool to see that, and i really want to thank taylor again, i dont have permission to use his full name.
So thank you, taylor at the seattle film commission. For bean gosh being so willing and easy to work with after the first of the year ill go ahead and get this list to them and well get the process started. Thats awesome, and this is exactly you know what we need in the community we need. We need people to well, first off im, going to do my pitch for dspa, because this is uh. This is this is the reason why you guys exist right, youre, a drone service provider alliance. You are helping drone service providers and, in the meantime, also helping recreational pirates by the way you said, hobbyist uh, i know john at the fa is gon na slap. Your fingers for saying kevins gon na come slam it up sorry so and uh, but but thats thats, uh thats, really what you guys do so i know i know. Uh people see you on the show and – and sometimes i know, people may not understand everything that you guys do. But this is, you know behind the scene, you and i i know, talk about once a week on at least one issue going on and we dont always talk about it, but i think this was a great example to bring on the show to talk about this. Now can you talk to to the viewers that are watching and maybe dont understand what a film commission does, because here we have a film commission in in seattle, but there are other ones, especially in california.
I know theyre very active and they have these things. So can you explain kind of what their role is, how they fall into all of this sure, and denver has one here too so um denvers not very friendly to drones, though so were working on that um, the film, if youre, if youre part of a big Production youve got to come in and youve got to pull a permit, because if, if these movie, crews and advertising crews and and independent film crews came in and just started, throwing up stuff willy nilly youre going to have streets blocked youre going to have security issues That kind of stuff, so a film commission is kind of the clearing house for okay, youre, going to be youre going to be on broadway between 12th and 15th, and you need the west sidewalk closed for 20 minutes. Okay, heres the cops heres. What were going to do um and then also, if theres 20, people standing on a corner with a whole bunch of gear youre in the way, so yeah film commissions have a very important job um and we love working with them. When we have to – and i know the production folks um – who probably watch this some of the ones you and i know, uh jointly uh really well, i also usually enjoy working with film commissions, sometimes theyre a little onerous but theyre very necessary, especially in larger cities. Uh like either phoenix or seattle or or denver, or basically the entire state of california yeah.
So what you were proposing is you know this. This role is great for larger film crews that have five or more, and what you were proposing is that you know this applies only to these people and then everybody else is kind of uh bypasses the role. So i think thats a thats a great thing, and i also want to mention that you know for those of you that are trying to advocate in your cities, because there are similar roles, obviously reach out to the drone service provider alliance. But also remember remember that the approach that vic had here, which is, i think, something that we can multiply and duplicate in the entire industry, is, is being friendly and and not being accusatory and basically saying. Hey lets work together on making this work for everyone, and i think that obviously works a lot better than going in there and you know panning your fist on the desk and saying you guys are screw ups and you know so um. Something to remember. I think for everyone in this industry we can all learn from that yeah dspa loves, i mean our kind of philosophy. Thats, not even kind of it is our philosophy of we want to work cooperatively, not combatively, um in any any, whether its a local situation, whether you know kenji and i are working in scott or working with the faa, i mean whatever that i dont use. The word adversarial, whatever the people were working with, because theyre not adversarial um, we want to be hey.
Look you know. We understand that this needs to happen, but this is whats going to happen because of it. So lets work together and find a common uh common cause. Um. You know my im southern. I dont hide that my mom always said. You know you get more flies with honey than vinegar, so i think thats a good way to look at um. I mean you still end up with flies, so i really dont understand. I dont understand that, but um you know its just be nice to people and theyll almost always be nice to you back yep. I agree well vic. Thank you for the insight. Thanks for everything you do and then for those of you that want more information, dspalliance.org is where youll find more information and youll find vic all over forums. Facebook, i dont, think vic sleeps. I think he just goes online and answers people, so i have been up since three oclock this morning because my brain started early, so very understanding wipes. So thank you very much chris for not killing me in my sleep. All right well appreciate it vic and then well see you next time all right. Take it easy fly safe, all right. The second story, this week is kind of a big deal. But before i go into the details, im going to explain a little bit of the process because i think its still pretty foreign for most people when the faa put out new regulation back in january or december of last year.
Almost a year ago, now the they put out new regulation for flying over people and in order to fly over people, you need to have a drone that is categorized either as category one two three or four now category one doesnt really need much of anything. It needs to be under 250 grams; it needs to have prop guards around it and, yes, those prop guards need to be calculated in the weight and then youre pretty much good to go flying over people as long as you dont do sustained flight over large areas. A large concentration of people, but anyway the bottom line, is to fly under category 2 or category three. You need to have a certain approved drone that is categorized as category two in category three and in order to do this, the manufacturers of aircraft have to go through a certain type of testing and that testing has to be approved by the fa. So theres two different documents, theres whats, called an moc means of compliance document and then theres also a declaration of compliance. The first step is means of compliance. Means of compliance. Is this document that tells the faa hey? This is how were going to test. This is the testing method that were going to be using in order to make sure that this drone meets the requirement of the regulation in the regulation. The faa says you need to have a certain kinetic energy maximum for that aircraft.
You need to prove that there is no safety deficiencies with the aircraft, blah blah blah theres a whole bunch of things, but before you can do that before the manufacturers can do all that testing. They need to show the faa their means of compliance. Whatever way. Theyre going to use to comply with the regulation well, up until now, there wasnt any means of compliance accepted up until this week. It was actually accepted back in october, but it didnt make it until this week into the actual regulation. It needs to be published in the federal register. So if you dont know what you do and you cant sleep at night read the federal register, its a perfect place to do that, but in the federal register this week we have a virginia tech created and was approved for a means of compliance. It means that they came up with an actual list of details of how theyre going to be testing aircraft to make sure they meet the requirement of the regulation and make sure they can get stamped with this category. Two or category three approval, and and this is a big deal as you can expect, because well, this was kind of the first step that everybody was waiting on and um and and well its been going on for a while. Now now the regulation for flying over people is in effect, which means that once a manufacturer contacts virginia tech. Now this is the next step a manufacturer says now i have a lets say dji.
I have a mavic 2. I have a mavic air 2s or mavic 3, and i want to get that in compliance, then theyre going to send that drone and theyre going to work with virginia tech to get that drone tested. Vt is going to do all the testing theyre going to provide the data to the manufacturer dji in this case or hotel or whoever you want, and then that data is going to be submitted to the faa. The fa is going to review it and then theyre going to give the final product, which is the doc the declaration of compliance. So to keep this simple to keep this simple theres two different pieces of paperwork, moc means of compliance. We just got one of these approved it doesnt matter to you, because you can do anything with it. The manufacturers are going to do use that means of compliance to get their drone approved under a declaration of compliance. That declaration of compliance is going to look like its going to be making model specific. So its going to say the mavic 3 has been approved for flying over whatever or the hotel evo 2 has been approved as a category 2 as a category 3 and thats going to show up on the fa website. So the bottom line is this is good news, because now we have a step. We have a method to make this happen, and hopefully soon we will see drones that are compliant and can fly over people because theyre category two or category three.
That was just a very long story to say all that so lets move on to the next story. All right. The next story this week is uh. This is cool. This is a follow up to something. Weve talked about several times in the past, and this is the drone ingenuity thats on mars right now, its been on mars for quite a while, actually its been on mars for eight months, and nobody ever expected that this thing was going to last this long. They were actually planning to do five flights. They werent even sure that were going to be able to do one flight, and now we are at 17 flights, theyve done over 30 minutes of flight time. This is 30 minutes and 48 seconds, and, and this thing is still flying strong, which is absolutely amazing, so theyve been able to collect a ton of data and uh and its its funny. The uh, the the program, uh team, lead, said a few few thought that we would make it to flight one fewer still to five, and no one thought that we would make it this far. So its pretty cool, i think its pretty exciting that they finally burn through one mavic battery or one mini two battery, but no, i think this is really exciting. Uh theyre getting a lot of data. If you remember the design of this drone is, is really cool. Its two different propellers flying uh in in different uh speed, a different rotation and theyre able to collect a ton of data flying up there.
So this, i think, will bring a lot of good information back down to earth for us to help create vehicles that are going to be flying on mars in the future. All right and the last update this week is trust. We actually are the number one trust provider in the country. We got an email from the faa this week, weve provided 41 000 trust certificates, since we began doing this in, i think the end of june of this year so number one trust provider. Thank you guys. This is all because of you. We also just reached 35 000 remote pilot certificate, train on our website and also 125 000 students. So these numbers are not nothing. These are all because of you guys. So we appreciate your support. I know a lot of you are sharing in forums to use our trust websites, and then we appreciate that we spend a lot of time trying to make it very user friendly and uh and and its showing apparently. So thanks for your support and uh this, is it really all i have this week? I wanted to add one more thing, because this is the this is the holidays right and uh, and people are going to be getting drones under the christmas tree and im going to ask you to do something if youre watching this youre, probably fairly well educated. Now about drones – or you might be brand new as well, but be a mentor, be a mentor to someone who got a drone show people what they need to do.
Trust is the perfect example. Right trust is easy, its free its very quick to do, but its going to give you an idea of the information that you need or the rules that you need to follow to be safe. Flying your drone im going to put a link down here which is uh to our free course. Its called recreational flying made easy its kind of like a trust version, but on steroids we have videos that are easy to follow. Trust is great, but its also a lot of text, and so this course gives you all the information you need not only to get the information from trust, but also to get more information such as. How do you submit a lens request? How do you verify that you are flying in the right spot or that you can or cant fly in that area? So if you know anyone just give them a link, this is a free course. This is something that we do for the community also make sure that people are registering their drones again, its five dollars: okay, five dollars, thats it and its done on the faa drone zone website. If you dont see a gov at the end youre in the wrong place, there are people out there trying to steal your money and uh and pretending to be the fa. So dont fall for that and when youre done, we have free stickers that you can get from us as well.
So if you get a new drone for christmas, go to pythoninstitute.com, free and youll be able to get all of your stickers for your drones for free. Well, send them over and youll have that under the christmas tree or uh right as you take the christmas tree down all right thats. All i have for you this week. Uh next week is the last show of the year. So well do actually a quick recap of everything. Weve talked about and the cool stories that we covered for those 52 or 51 episodes this year so be safe.