Drone drops from Sky and FAA Drone operating rules

In a recent internet post we noticed a drone was conducting an inspection of a tall building’s window.   Apparently this inspection was in a big city amidst high rise buildings with high pedestrian street traffic. (This operation over a populated  area was already an  FAA violation which specifically states:   “You currently cannot fly a small UAS over anyone not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle” .

Also this flight was being conducted between tall buildings.  DJI Drones have satellite GPS guidance and loss of signal from obstructions is common.  But a total loss of signal is not.  Needless to say one should keep the  GPS signal strong enough to avoid this from happening.   It also appears this operator did not have his drone set on GPS Auto P Mode but rather may have had it on a Manual  setting which explains why the drone drifted and crashed into the side of the building.  Gusts of strong wind currents are common between tall city buildings and can easily push around a small drone under windy gusty conditions.  Rarely are there zero wind conditions amonst downtown buildings.    FAA also recommends drones not fly in winds greater than 10 mph.  A wind gust can easily reach 28 mph suddenly and is  enough to slam it into a building if its not on Auto GPS mode.

Here are the FAA Operating Rules for Drones:

  • When you are manipulating the controls of a drone, always avoid manned aircraft.  Nowadays, DJI has firmware that won’t even allow you to start the drone in a vacinity of an airport.
  • Never operate in a careless or reckless manner.
  • You must keep your drone within sight.  Alternatively, if you use First Person View( an smart phone or tablet to view what the drone sees, you must have a visual observer always keep your aircraft within unaided sight (for example, no binoculars).
  • Neither you nor a visual observer can be responsible for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at a time.
  • You can fly during daylight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) or in twilight with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Minimum weather visibility is three miles from your control station.
  • The maximum allowable altitude is 400 feet above the ground, higher if your drone remains within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Maximum speed is 100 mph (87 knots).
  • You currently cannot fly a small UAS over anyone not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • No operations from a moving vehicle are allowed unless you are flying over a sparsely populated area.
  • You can carry an external load if it is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controlability of the aircraft.
  • You also may transport property for compensation or hire within state boundaries provided the drone, including its attached systems, payload and cargo, weighs less than 55 pounds total and you obey the other flight rules. (Some exceptions apply to Hawaii and the District of Columbia.)
  • You can request a waiver of most restrictions if you can show your operation will provide a level of safety at least equivalent to the restriction from which you want the waiver.

See the drone drop from sky.  Click here.

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