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How is the new generation of drones impacting pilot training?

In one day alone, August 4, 2015, at one airport, New Jersey's Newark, four different commercial airliners on approach for landing reported seeing drones near or in their flight path.

According to the FAA, pilot reports of unmanned aircraft have increased dramatically over the past year, from a total of 238 sightings in all of 2014, to more than 650 by August 9 of this year. 1
Among those dodging hobbyist drones are pilots of commercial airliners, fire fighters and air ambulance pilots. The safety implications of these unmanned drones - being flown by anyone with a few hundred bucks to purchase one -is very concerning for all of those involved in aviation safety. Do we need to include drone evasion in commercial pilot training? Will helicopter flight training have to include drone identification?

For now, the government is focused on trying to control the behavior of drone pilots - albeit unsuccessfully to date. While the FAA guidelines, or rules, for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are clear, they are in fact not a law (the FAA can't make laws).

* A small UAS operator must always see and avoid manned aircraft. If there is a risk of collision, the UAS operator must be the first to maneuver away.
* The operator must discontinue the flight when continuing would pose a hazard to other aircraft, people or property.
* A small UAS operator must assess weather conditions, airspace restrictions and the location of people to lessen risks if he or she loses control of the UAS.
* A small UAS may not fly over people, except those directly involved with the flight.
* Flights should be limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph.
* Operators must stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).

The public is becoming increasingly aware of the implications of these seemingly innocuous encounters - like when western fire fighting aircraft were forced to ground activities this summer over safety concerns of the drones in their space. It appears, lives literally are on the line.

Drones have been spotted at altitudes as high as 10,000 feet and at airports throughout the country , including Newark, JFK, Denver International, Fort Lauderdale, Allegheny County, Dane County, Burbank, Greenville-Spartanburg International and Dallas Love Field to name a few.

Will public pressure - hopefully before a drone-caused air tragedy occurs - lead to more regulation of drone pilots? Or will we force pilot training institutes to start including drone awareness training for their commercial pilots - the ones responsible for the safety of hundreds of air passengers?
At this point, the answers are not clear. And as drones become less expensive and more ubiquitous, this challenge will only increase.

The safety of the passengers must remain the paramount objective of commercial pilots. It appears many drone pilots are not deterred by the guidelines law, so in the name of safety, commercial and private pilot training may be a logical response.


Native American Drone Flutes And Their Beautiful Sound

Native American drone flutes are beautiful. They are constructed of wood and can produce a soothing sound of music. The sound is almost mysterious. They also look great when they are displayed in your home. By adding musical instruments from a variety of sources to your home decor, you will be adding a touch of culture as well.

Before you purchase your first Indian drone flute, you'll need to find an actual Native American source from which to make the purchase. The drone flute can be a beautiful sounding instrument as well as a nice piece of unusual decor. Placing Native American instruments around a music room can be a fun way to create a theme with some interesting musical accents. A bookcase or a display case are great ways to display drone flutes.

You may wish to spend some time learning a little about the history and culture behind these instruments especially if you decide to use drone flutes to be displayed in your home. Understanding where the instruments come from can make them more beautiful and more special to you and your family.

These flutes have been used for hundreds of years in Native American culture. When they are played they make a beautiful and whimsical sound. These flutes were played during special ceremonies and spiritual times over the years. Now the flutes are played in Native American music as well as in modern music applications like in New Age music. They are typically constructed from natural materials like wood and are often painted or accented with beads or leather. Since many different types of wood can be used in the construction of these flutes, each flute will have a beautiful and unique look.

Since Southwest Indian drone flutes are generally pretty small in size, you can easily display one or several of these fun instruments. Make sure that you use caution when displaying them however to ensure that you don't damage the instrument. When collecting instruments such as the drone flute, it may be a good idea to display them in a display case. On the other hand you wouldn't want to drill holes or modify the instrument at all to display them. This could hurt the quality of sound or damage the integrity of the instrument. They are beautiful to look at, but their beauty is magnified by the fact that they can also create beautiful music.

As you look for special accents for your home, keep in mind that art pieces aren't your only option. Musical instruments like Native American drone flutes are lovely and can make a stunning accent.


Drone Technology to Become a Multi-billion-dollar Industry in the United States

Austin, TX, June 09, 2014 - Picture this - unmanned aerial vehicles delivering pizzas to private homes, depositing pharmacy prescriptions and/or transporting books and tapes from a commercial online vendor to any location. People definitely find the convenience concept attractive. As a result, Americans are beginning to see a more positive side of drone technology.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), usually referred to as drones, may become common delivery vehicles in the not-too-distant future. In the competitive space where war is being waged between Amazon, UPS and established retail outlets, speed and efficiency are prevailing and Americans are beginning to find drone technology extremely interesting.

But perhaps the greatest marketplace for drone technology will be in public sector marketplaces. Governmental entities are considering drone technology for public safety, security on university campuses, research capabilities and more.

Still, in some quarters, drones are feared. The negative vibes are coming from people who think of drones that hover and collect information or data as being harbingers of "Big Brother." They fear an infringement of the privacy rights of Americans.

But, when the negative perception of drones is overcome, as most believe it will be, drone technology will likely become a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States rather quickly. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to date has issued fewer than 400 permits for drones, but that number is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years.

Here's a strong indication of acceptance Â- numerous states are currently considering drone legislation. They simply are not waiting for the federal government to move.

Texas is in the forefront of the trend toward commercialization of drone technology. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was selected by the FAA to be one of the sites in only six states chosen for testing of drones. A&M-Corpus Christi has been involved in drone research for a couple of years at its Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center.

According to the Association of Unmanned Vehicles International, once American airspace is opened to the use of UAVs, the economic impact statewide is expected to be huge. Consider that in Texas there could be an $8 billion impact, including a $260 million impact in South Texas over the next decade. More than 1,200 new jobs would also be created.

Not all UAVs being used by the federal government carry weapons or belong to the military. Many drones are used for public safety or to manage a crisis situation. Some have been used for disaster surveillance and disaster relief.

America has more than 60 drone sites. And, counted in that number are half a dozen in Texas. The city of Arlington uses unmanned aircraft, or drones, for police operations. The Arlington Police Department's drone is a battery-powered, remote-controlled helicopter less than 50 feet long and it is "armed" with cameras.

In Oklahoma City, fire officials are studying the use of drones to battle wild fires, providing real-time video of the fire area and changing wind directions. That information can help firefighters survey an area, collect data and know that they will not be trapped by a changing wind pattern. Drones have been instrumental in saving lives of firefighters.

Researchers in Michigan are testing drone technology for mapping roads, identifying potholes and studying traffic patterns. A project of a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation called Unpaved Roads is working to help states monitor unpaved roads and predict when critical repairs are needed.

Aviation technology students at Purdue University are being taught how to operate and fly drones indoors. Purdue officials believe that training individuals is a huge marketplace of the future. The FAA plans to issue guidelines for drone operation for commercial purposes in 2015.

Off the Washington coast, environmental researchers are using drones to monitor marine wildlife. The uses of drone technology are extremely diverse.

Forest Service officials have used drones to spot fires and battle wildfires. Parks service employees can also use drones to find lost hikers. Public officials as well as environmentalists see drones as a vehicle that allows them to survey areas after natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes.

With adequate, but not suppressive regulation, the use of drones by the government sector will be successful. The trick will be to balance the technology with privacy issues. This can definitely be done as drone technology is too large an economic driver to be stifled by misinformation and unwarranted fear. Companies in the drone technology space must consider working side by side with the public sector to ensure that education and success stories reach citizens to remove fear and promote public support.

Technology and infrastructure leaders in this emerging new drone market interested in reaching American officials and obtaining additional examples of current projects can find more information at http://bit.ly/1kZa3fy

About the Company
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) is a full-service government affairs and procurement consulting firm. SPI teams work with clients to identify upcoming opportunities and capture new business. SPI is recognized as a pioneer in the business of partnering public and private entities for commercial purposes. For more information contact Anna Scott, Corporate/External Relations, at 512-531-3919 and/or visit http://bit.ly/1kZa3fy


Build your own quadcopter to get started with your rc hobby

The first essential component is a transmitter. This is a radio control that helps you to communicate with your unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). There are several types of transmitters available based on the brand, number of channels and frequency. One needs to get a transmitter with a minimum for four channels to build a quadcopter. But buying one with six channels is a better option.

The second essential component necessary is a flight control board. This is the brain of the quadcopter. It controls the working of the motor. Flight control boards are of various types and not all of them have same features. Some flight boards are very sophisticated and can take care of several functions such as loiter mode, GPS mission planning, return to home etc. So look at various flight control boards and choose one based on your needs. As you're just getting started, one with basic features would work well.

Then you need to get the electronic speed controllers (ESC) and the motors. The speed controllers interface with the flight control board and receive commands sent by the receiver. With the help of flight control boards one can determine what kind of motor is required by the quadcopter to perform the actions that the user wants. Then electronic speed controllers determine how the motors should spin. For adjusting the angles, the tower pro servos can be used.

To power all the components, you would need a battery. The most popular batteries for RC hobbies are the Lithium polymer hobbies. There are various types of LiPo batteries based on the capacity (mAh) and the voltage i.e. number of cells. The higher the capacity of the battery, the longer will it be able to power the quadcopter. Each cell is made of 3.7 volts, so based on the number of volts would be the power of the battery.
And finally you need to fix all the components into a frame. Various types of Multirotor Frames are available in the market. The frames come in various configurations. Some common types are + configuration where one arm goes forward, in x configuration forward is between the two arms, in H configuration it is on the flat side etc. The frames can be customized. Some people prefer to build their own frames and give a personal touch to their quadcopters.

No matter what materials you choose to build your quadcopter, you need to find a way to fix all of them together. Various glues are available. One can choose the glue based on the materials they are using to build their rc hobby craft.

The craze for rc hobbies is increasing each day. One can either build their on rc hobby crafts or buy readymade rc hobby gadgets based on their choice such as rc planes, rc boats, rc cars etc.


Everyone Should Have an RC Helicopter

Many children and adults love to play with a remote control helicopter. The RC helicopter has been a favorite hobby of thousands of people for many years. Anyone who is interested in the art of flight should own a few of these planes of their own. Caring for a helicopter is the best way to preserve it and prevent you from having to continuously replace them. Following a few simple steps to care for your RC helicopter will save you quit a bit of time and money.

When you select your aircraft for purchase, take into consideration the style and kind of performance you are anticipating on using the helicopter for. Get one that meets all of your standards. Some models cost more than others, especially the ones that are able to go longer distances away from the controller and have special enhancements such as doors that open.
Always keep a pair of fresh top quality batteries on hand for the remote control. Replace the batteries as needed and never store them inside of the controller. Keep the RC helicopter in a safe place where it won't fall and be damaged or fall prey to children who are not old enough to handle it properly. Take extra care of the propellers, if they are damaged in any kind of way, you will need to replace them or the helicopter.

Another way to care for your RC helicopter is to learn to handle it properly. Learning how to operate your remote control helicopter will keep it from becoming damaged. Avoid flying the aircraft into any objects. Before you go off and invest in an expensive helicopter, start off with a cheaper one. That way if you have any accidents with it is not costing you a fortune to replace it.

There are so many different remote control helicopters available that it can make it hard to choose which plane you want to purchase. If you are like many hobbyists, you will begin to collect and own several different varieties. There are many clubs and social groups for you to join to take your love of this hobby to the next level. You can learn how to do modifications, racing, tricks and meet people who have an appreciation for helicopters. Being a part of a community of people who have a similar interest is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a remote control helicopter enthusiast.


Electric RC Helicopters: Be Safe While Having Fun!

Electronic RC helicopters are known to provide more bang for the buck when it comes to the sheer thrill and exhilaration of flying a radio controlled aircraft. Coming in a close second in terms of appeal, the burgeoning popularity of RC helicopters can be seen among enthusiasts of all ages. However, the rotating aerofoil of these choppers make them difficult to control, so it is imperative to pay due attention to safety when enjoying these aircrafts.

Why do you need safety measures when flying a hobby aircraft?

Although electric RC helicopters are easier to control than their gas powered counterparts; they can inflict serious injury if not handled carefully. Hobby grade helis are famed for their high rotor speeds and the spinning blades can cause grave physical harm if you are careless with it. Even the tiny, plastic toy models can leave you bruised if the spinning blades scrape the skin.

Being Safe with RC Helicopters

Take an experienced pilot along: If you are new to flying RC helicopters, it is advisable to take a seasoned pilot along who can take over the controls from you in case of trouble.

Don't fly in crowded areas: Flying in close vicinity of other aircrafts, children, people or pets is a strict "no-no". These factors can easily mar your concentration and lead to a fatal crash.
A preflight check is a must: Well, those professional pilots put the big birds like the 737 and the 747 through a pre-flight check, so why not do the same with RC helicopters? A pre-flight check will help you to ensure that all the nuts and bolts are tightly screwed on and the various components are held together tightly. This greatly alleviates the risk of a blade or another part flying off and causing injury.

Maintain safe distance: Regardless of the fuel type used in your RC heli, it is vital to keep a safe distance of at least 10 to 15 feet between yourself and the aircraft. The rotor blades typically spin at speeds in excess of 250 miles an hour and given the carbon fiber used in their construction, they can not only cause grievous harm but also a fatality.

Ensure a clear flight path: Make sure that your flight path is clear of obstacles such as tress, power lines etc. Also, ensure that you do not fly the aircraft towards yourself or even at head height.

Do not fly when its gusting: It will not only take more effort to maintain control of the Electric RC helicopter when its gusting but also there is a very real risk of the aircraft getting too close to your body.

Do not fly non-electric helis indoors: The fumes emitted by gas powered and nitro RC helicopters are toxic and may cause health concerns, so do not use them indoors

Try stunts on a simulator first: If you are keen on aerobatic maneuvers, it would be best to try them on a simulator. This will help you to hold on to your new toy.

Always be safe with your electric RC helicopters: Ensure that the battery is disconnected before trying to adjust any component on the chopper. It is particularly important to not adjust the radio when the chopper is powered as there is a strong likelihood of reversing the throttle accidentally.

With most new age Electric RC helicopters, it is possible to program fail-safe settings into the receiver; this is highly recommended. Also, remember that RC helicopters are designed to be flown in wide open spaces; trying to maneuver them in a closed area can be extremely dangerous. So, have fun but be safe with these common sense tips!


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