I tried my 2nd Skydio 2 test flight today at a local bike park. It was quite muddy around so when I saw the park police officer there I thought I’d check in with him so make sure I was about to ride trails that were okay to ride. I had already launched my Skydio 2 and it was hovering about 30 feet front-right of me.
The cop was annoyed by the drone and asked me to move down 50 yards to talk. He didn’t realize the drone was tracking me. So after we moved I explained to him I was in control of the drone. That’s when the entertaining, but sad conversation took place.
Me: “I’m controlling that drone.”
Officer: “You can’t fly that thing under 400 feet.”
Me: “No. Drones can’t be flown OVER 400 feet.” (see pic where I’m motioning with my hand, 400 feet)
Officer: “You can’t fly that thing under 400 feet AGL.”
Me: “No. Above 400 feet. This drone won’t even fly above 400 feet. It’s programmed not to.”
Officer: “You can’t fly that thing over people.”
Me: “I’m not flying over people.”
Officer: “You can’t fly that thing over houses.”
Me: (He’s wrong, but I didn’t tell him) “I’m not flying over houses.”
Officer: “Do you have a license for that?”
Officer: “What’s your question?”
Me: “I just want to know what trails are okay to ride here, given the muddy conditions.”
So this officer was damn sure you can’t fly a drone under 400 feet. I didn’t ask him, but how would one launch the drone, since you know, the ground is under 400 feet AGL (above ground level). I suppose one could fly a helicopter up to 400 feet then hand launch it from there. It sounds to me like the officer had one briefing on drones and all he could remember was 400 feet.
1. The “yellow demarcation bar” marking indicates
A yellow demarcation bar is a yellow pavement marking of a single line that indicates a runway having a displaced threshold which is preceded by a blast pad, stopway or taxiway.
Answer B is incorrect because a hold line is a yellow pavement marking from taxiways to runways that consists of two solid bars and two broken bars. Answer C is incorrect because the available landing area of the runway begins after the displaced threshold, not after the demarcation bar.
2. (Refer to Figure 23.) The flag symbols at Statesboro Bulloch County Airport, Claxton-Evans County Airport, and Ridgeland Airport are
3. According to 14 CFR part 107, the responsibility to inspect the small UAS to ensure it is in a safe operating condition rests with the
4. (Refer to Figure 21, area 1.) After receiving authorization from ATC to operate a small UA near Minot International airport (MOT) while the control tower is operational, which radio communication frequency could be used to monitor manned aircraft and ATC communications?
6. You are a remote pilot for a co-op energy service provider. You are to use your UA to inspect power lines in the remote area 15 hours away from your home office. After the drive, fatigue impacts your abilities to complete your assignment on time. Fatigue can be recognized
8. (Refer to Figure 26, area 5.) The airspace overlying and within 5 miles of Barnes County Airport is
10. Safety is an important element for a remote pilot to consider prior to operating an unmanned aircraft system. To prevent the final “link” in the accident chain, a remote pilot must consider which methodology?
13. Which weather conditions should be expected beneath a low-level temperature inversion layer when the relative humidity is high?
14. A pilot experiencing the effects of hyperventilation should be able to restore the proper carbon dioxide level in the body by
16. When operating an unmanned airplane, the remote pilot should consider that the load factor on the wings may be increased any time
17. In accordance with 14 CFR part 107, except when within a 400′ radius of a structure, at what maximum altitude can you operate sUAS?
18. (Refer to Figure 25, area 3.) If Dallas Executive (RDB) Tower is not in operation, which frequency should be used as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) to monitor airport traffic?
19. According to 14 CFR part 48, when must a person register a small UA with the Federal Aviation Administration?
24. (Refer to Figure 23, area 3.) The top of the group obstruction approximately 11 nautical miles from the Savannah VORTAC on the 007° radial is
25. An almond or lens-shaped cloud which appears stationary, but which may contain winds of 50 knots or more, is referred to as
26. Two-way radio communication must be established with the Air Traffic Control facility having jurisdiction over the area prior to entering which class airspace?
29. In which environment is aircraft structural ice most likely to have the highest accumulation rate?
30. Which is true concerning the blue and magenta colors used to depict airports on Sectional Aeronautical Charts?
38. The effective use of all available resources—human, hardware, and information—prior to and during flight to ensure the successful outcome of the operation is called:
40. Under what condition would a small UA not have to be registered before it is operated in the United States?
41. According to 14 CFR part 107, how may a remote pilot operate an unmanned aircraft in class C airspace?
42. To avoid a near midair collision (NMAC) with a manned airplane, you estimate that your small UA climbed to an altitude greater than 6400 feet AGL. To whom must you submit a written report of the deviation?
45. (Refer to Figure 20 area 4.) What hazards to aircraft may exist in restricted areas such as R-5302B?
48. A resource you can use to find out detailed information about the effects of alcohol and legal and illegal drugs is
50. What effect does high density altitude, as compared to low density altitude, have on propeller efficiency and why?
52. (Refer to Figure 22, area 3.) Determine the approximate latitude and longitude of Shoshone County Airport.
53. If a certificated pilot changes permanent mailing address and fails to notify the FAA Airmen Certification Branch of the new address, the pilot is entitled to exercise the privileges of the pilot certificate for a period of only
54. A small UA causes an accident and your crew member loses consciousness. When do you report the accident?
56. (Refer to Figure 26, area 2.) What is the recommended communication procedure when inbound to land at Cooperstown Airport?
58. (Refer to Figure 20, area 5.) How would a remote PIC “CHECK NOTAMS” as noted in the CAUTION box regarding the unmarked balloon?
This project has been a great, but frustrating learning experience. I started off with the hopes of designing and printing my own 3D printed frame for a 5″ FPV quadcopter. I originally designed it to be a 4S setup so I could use the motors I received in my last and final FPVCrate. FPVCrate is a drone part subscription service. First problem, one of the motors turned out to be bad, and I fried two separate 4in1 ESC’s. Talk about mad!
After resolving the motor issue, I ended up switching to 6S power and discarding the 4S motors. I went with some very cheap EMAX motors I found on closeout. Had to wait for the slow boat from China, but the 9 motors eventually arrived. With motors in hand I pulled all the electronics off the 4S and installed the new motors, upgrading to 6S.
The maiden flight was interesting. It flew for about 13 seconds but something wasn’t right. When I picked up the quad the ESC and motors were so hot they were literally melting the 3D printed frame. I eventually concluded that the frame was not stable enough, causing micro-vibrations. Those vibrations caused the flight controller to try to over-compensate and nearly fried the motors.
At that point I figured a 3D printed racing drone frame was not the way to go. So I looked around and found a cheap clone Rooster frame on Amazon for $28. It was very highly rated and for good reason. It is solid.
I had two more hurdles to jump though. During the rooster build process I found that I had one more bad motor and a defective ESC. After replacing both the motor and ESC, the bird finally flew.
I took the quad out to a park and was thrilled to find that it really ripped was very agile. But there was one problem left to solve, no on screen display (OSD). At that point I realized I’d wired the camera directly to the video transmitter.
Oops. So I had to rip the whole thing apart to rewire that part. Another park flight is coming, but now I’m fairly sure the quad is done.