“Drones” from another perspectiveSubmitted by cobaltz on Sat, 03/16/2013 - 13:40
I am not a professional writer so please forgive any grammatical errors. This short article is my poor attempt at providing an additional perspective on a technology that we hear nothing but bad things about on the media. I look forward to any responses. So here it goes:
Almost every day we are hammered with multiple articles about the horrible “drones” lurking all over the world. The comments section is filled with people threatening to shoot them down, etc. As a person who enjoys the art, science, and hobby of FPV (first person view) flying, I guess I am one of the menacing evil doers everyone is talking about.
I build and fly multi-rotor aircraft purely for my amusement. I do it because I have a knack for technical things and enjoy figuring out these kinds of puzzles. Also because it is very challenging, and just plain fun. From a builder/flyer perspective, things are pretty straight forward. I tinker with my technology, then I go out to quiet places and fly it for relaxation and enjoyment.
As my own platforms become faster and more powerful, I have added a heavy dose of safety into my routine. Common sense must prevail. Never fly these things over crowds of people, neighborhoods, roads, etc. Wrecks are going to happen no matter how fine tuned you get your equipment. From what I have seen, most FPV’ers are extremely safety conscious. Of course, there are always a few idiots that ruin things for everyone, and it’s the idiots that get all the coverage.
Air safety is another big aspect. I can fully appreciate the hazards of things like this in manned airspace. While these things have the ability to go thousands of feet in the air, I personally do most of my flight below 200 ft and never go above 400 ft.
I am a person who values liberty, I always try to ensure that people around me are ok with what I am doing. The way things are going though, it seems possible that this hobby will be outlawed for all but the government in the future.
Below are a couple of my favorite Open Pilot FPV videos. You can find a bunch more on YouTube and Vimeo. Bump the resolution up and make it big screen. What you see is the same view as the FPV pilot. The guys flying these have at least a couple of years technical knowledge and practice under their belts. These videos are not sped up and represent significant technical achievement and flight skills.