The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded permission for the first commercial drone over land to BP, of all companies. The oil company’s partner, drone manufacturer AeroVironment, flew its first commercial flight in Alaska on Sunday. And it didn’t just send a dinky quadcopter to do the job either.Read more.
The drone the FAA just approved is mainly used by the military. Image: US NavyThe first government-approved commercial drone flight (over land) took place Sunday. This is a big, huge deal that signifies the dawn of a new era—if you own an international oil conglomerate or otherwise have access to military-grade technology and have an interest in flying it, quite literally, over one of the most remote places on Earth.Otherwise, the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration approved a drone to monitor BP’s pipelines, roads, and drilling equipment, is a blip on the map, something barely worth noting, literally the least the FAA could legally do (as mandated by Congress), and the lowest-risk move it could have possibly made.It’s a step in the right direction, sure, and it’s better than the FAA not approving the drone, but AeroVironment’s oil-monitoring drone is not for you and me, it’s not even for most large businesses, and the permission it got from the FAA really means very, very little
FAA OKs commercial drone flights over land
Associated Press – 10 June 2014 10:08-04:00
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The U.S. government uses them to bomb alleged terrorists in far-away places. Tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook are all toying with the idea of using them, and now they’re a photographer’s secret weapon. Drones are a big part of our lives, whether we see them or not
Image: YouTube screengrabRegardless of the hobby’s legality, flying drones have been a touchy subject with some members of the public—namely, those worried about being filmed or photographed in public. In at least one case, that fear has turned violent: A woman was recently arrested in Connecticut for assaulting a hobby drone pilot.The whole thing, naturally, was captured on tape, which was originally posted by the pilot, Austin Haughwout, but has since been taken down by YouTube. Part of the video has made its way over to LiveLeak, which you can watch here:As you’ll see, the woman, who is identified in arrest reports as Andrea Mears, is shown calling the police—she says that Haughwout is “taking pictures of people on the beach” with a “helicopter plane.” Mears then attacks Haughwout, rips his shirt, and appears to get him in a leg lock