Summary of new Part 107 sUAS (drone) regulations from the FAA

On August 29, 2016, 14 CFR Part 107 became effective. These long awaited regulations pertain to sUAS (drone) operations in the National Airspace System. The full list of regulations can be found at www.ecfr.gov and searching under Title 14, Part 107.

TechJet, Inc. and our pilots are certificated and operating under the new Part 107 regulations. Company pilot-in-command drone pilots are certificated by the FAA with the newly issued "Remote Pilot" Certificate with "small unmanned aircraft systems" rating.

 

It may be interesting to see what is now allowed under the "positive" regulations of Part 107 versus operating sUAS under the "negative" Section 333 exception process. Also, it may be noteworthy to see what is still required for compliance and what actions are still forbidden. Furthermore, the FAA allows specific regulations under Part 107 to be waived via their online waiver request process.

 

The direct link to the Part 107 regulations is listed here:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=ae5658debfed2c68f221c49c1fd77e0d&mc=true&node=pt14.2.107&rgn=div5

 

A nice checklist-type summary of Part 107 from the FAA can be found here:

http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Part_107_Summary.pdf

 

The link to request a waiver of certain Part 107 regulations is found below:

https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/

A New Member to the Drone Team

TechJet is proud to announce we have added a new member to the Air Systems Division. Connor is now on board to operate drones with us in the field and to further increase our presence on social media. His skills as a camera operator will allow us to meet the ever increasing demand for quality precision commercial drone operations. We can see that this young man has a bright future ahead of him and we are glad to be part of it. 

TechJet Air Systems

TechJet Air Systems

Drone Registration

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.

The maximum civil penalty is a fine up to a maximum of $27,500. Additional criminal penalties could reach $250,000 and possible jail time up to three years.  

It is projected that over one million drones will take to the skies soon. The FAA has only 400,000 registration numbers available for aircraft and drones. This is an obvious problem that could only be resolved with a special drone registration process. The registration will cost $5 however it is free for the first 30 days to encourage registration of UAS. The drone registration process can be accessed online at (www.faa.gov/UAS/registration/). As per the FAA website "Unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds and more (250) grams on takeoff, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft and operated outdoors in the national airspace system" will need to be registered. 

After registering your drone "operators will be required to have your FAA registration certificate in your possession when operating your unmanned aircraft." Both tethered and untethered drones are required to be registered. If you will only be flying your drone indoors it will not need to be registered because the FAA does not regulate indoor flight. A note of caution you may want to consult with your insurance carrier that issues your drone insurance policy. Indoor flights may not be covered without an additional rider. Owners that purchased their drones before December 21, 2015 will have 60 days to register. You must be 13 years of age or older to register a drone. If you sell your drone you are encouraged to remove your registration number and log onto the FAA website and update your registration information. If you have multiple drones the same number can be used for all the drones you operate.

I agree that this is a first step to safe drone operation. The next step the FAA needs to take is to enforce the rules they already have on the books such as no night operations. It seams counter productive to require commercial drone operators to have a 333 certificate but not find operators accountable that do not have a 333 exemption who are conducting commercial operations. 

3DR Robotics Solo Review

With much hype and anticipation of the release of the new 3DR Robtics Solo we decided that TechJet Air Systems would  place an order for the new drone. We were encouraged by a drone that promised to revolutionize the industry with new features and redundancy.  We were just hopeful that the customer service would be better than some of the companies that we had dealt with.

So how did it work out? Where do we start?

We place the order with DSLR Pro's in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida one of the two distributors 3DR was selling through. Then we waited and waited and waited and then after several delays we were informed the Solo was being shipped to us but without the gimbal. Anyone that has flown a multi rotor without a gimbal knows that the footage is useless. We did finally receive the Solo, spare battery and backpack. 

As we worked through the set up we were never able to to fully download and pair the I phone to the Solo. We made a call to customer service and it was several days before someone from 3DR got back with us. The new drone just sat in the box unable to get airborne which added to the frustration. When we finally received a call back from 3DR support the tech had us disassemble the top plate of the drone and check to see if the GPS antenna was connected. We were told they had several Solo's that the antenna was not connected or became disconnected some how. Ours was connected. We then downloaded the software again and were able to get a successful download the second time. We were finally able to get the solo into the air.

First impressions were mixed. The first thing we noticed it took an extremely long time to get a GPS signal. Since it took so long to get in touch with a 3DR Tech we kept him online while we launched the Solo for the first time. He had us power down the Solo several times before we finally got a signal. Once the signal was acquired we were able to get it into the air. The first flight went well with no problems and things were looking up. We worked through several of the functions and were starting to like what the solo had to offer. We viewed the footage and our concerns about the stabilization were quickly realized. The footage was so unstable it was not usable. At this point we were basically just practicing flying around. This unit is useless without the gimbal. I spoke with DSLR Pro's and they agreed with us and informed us that many of their customers had already returned the Solo for a refund.

We were a little more persistent. We took the Solo and headed to the highest point in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sandia Peak for some high altitude testing.  We got some great shots of the Solo but were in desperate need of the gimbal. So finally at Interdrone we heard the Gimbals had shipped and were on their way from China in the belly of a ship soon to be hanging from our Solo! 

10,500 feet above sea level 200 feet AGL. 

10,500 feet above sea level 200 feet AGL. 

Sandia Peak is beautiful. 

Sandia Peak is beautiful. 

Trying out the cable cam. 

Trying out the cable cam. 

So what happened? The gimbal never came! 

Boxing up the 3DR Solo. It's going back. 

Boxing up the 3DR Solo. It's going back. 

It turned out to be an exercise in shipping.  

It turned out to be an exercise in shipping.  

This is what should have happened. 3DR should have never shipped the Solo without the gimbal. They should have delayed the delivery and developed the product further before cutting it loose to the customer. All of the flaws in the product and customer service were amplified with the rushed delivery. Since its delivery all of the other drone manufacturers have already caught up with the features offered on the Solo which probably explains the early release. Check the blogs online and you will find some very unhappy customers. 3DR may have won the battle but they lost the war this time. Our advice if your looking for a drone at this price point go buy a Phantom 3. They work, and what more can we say?

TechJet Air Systems goes North of The Border

TechJet Air Systems was invited North of the border by fellow drone Operator Tom Comet and his crew from DroneBoy to watch as they filmed Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. We discussed with Tom the lengthy approval process and permits required by the Canadian Government. We were thoroughly impressed with their operation and professionalism. We watched as they deployed the new Inspire X-5 not yet released to the public. Tom explained that DJI sent the new inspire just for the filming of the falls in advance of the public release. The mission was a success and the video of the shoot was simply stunning. We want to thank Tom and his crew for inviting us up to view the shoot of the Niagara Falls and wish continued success for the DroneBoy team.

The ultimate drone selfie! 

The ultimate drone selfie! 

New Inspie X-5

New Inspie X-5

DroneBoy Crew

DroneBoy Crew

DJI S-1000

DJI S-1000

Brian and Tom discussing the flight plan. 

Brian and Tom discussing the flight plan. 

Simply stunning Video of the Canadian Falls shot by DroneBoy. 

Legal, safe, insured commercial drone operations

The nitty-gritty side of commercial drone operations gets into the liability, insurance, legal bounds, and expectations between the government and the industry. It also considers the true aviation aspect of commercial drones. 

True professioanls engage in learning, understanding, and executing this realm of the business, apart from the production and operational side of commercial drone use. 

As we predicted last year, commercial drones will not simply be an augmented photography business (as it has been in the past few years,)  it will instead be a new kind of aviation business. Aviation knowledge is required, despite the resistance to it. 

As our motto says: We're Not Just Drone People, We're Aviation Professionals.  

See our mention of FAA Approval at the link below:

http://www.techjetairsystems.com/about/

Frustrating? To some, yes. Necessary for all? Absolutely!

Frustrating? To some, yes. Necessary for all? Absolutely!

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InterDrone, day 3: Live HD Brodcast

InterDrone 2015 showcased the equipment and examples of HD video broadcast. TechJet Air Systems is currently in the process of bringing this technology on board so that we are geared to go once this service is approved on a mass scale. 

Good Morning America used this technology to stream from an underground cave in Vietnam, and another broadcast was done from a volcano in Iceland. 

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  Live Streaming us in this room!!! 

 Live Streaming us in this room!!!