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DJI on NBC News - 5-mile No Fly Zone???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SilentAV8R, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. SilentAV8R

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    Just watched a segment about "drones" on NBC Nightly News (Saturday). They focused on DJI and went to their factory in China. While speaking to their "Product Manager" the guy said they are putting software on to make their drones safer. One important "feature" is it bans flying in the DC No Fly zone AND it will not allow flying within 5 miles of ANY airport!! WTF?!?!

    That will shut down a lot of the sky here in the US. I think their current flight limits work fine, they just need to apply them to more airports. But a 5-mile dead zone around ALL airports goes to far. I recorded the segment and watched it several times, he clearly says "no flying within 5 miles of any airport."
     
  2. Narrator

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    OMG! At the moment it's 3nm here, but 5nm would make it ridiculous.

    I went for my Controller's Certificate a couple of weeks back (and passed) and was asked by the tester, "Where does the 3nm limit start?" I said that, after reading here, it was from the centre of the airport. Bzzzzt Wrong! It's from the end of any runway. I guess that makes sense, considering the length of some runways. Perhaps the only way DJI can program this is by using the airport centre and adding a bit to account for runway lengths?
     
  3. Happyflyer

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    If that includes any airport in the USA DJI has a lot of work ahead. There are more airports around this country than you can imagine. That would tick me off because it would kill at least 9 of out 10 places I have flown. Including my favorite, at the beach.
     
  4. PhantomPhreak

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    This will probably go the same route as general aviation has. They will take a chunk of airspace one piece at a time. In the end we will be able to fly in the desert, if its not a state or national park and designated RC parks.
     
  5. Narrator

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    AFAIK, it's only airports with controlled airspace. Here in Melbourne, we have many airports within 50nm of Tullamarine, the main International Airport, but only Tulla has the programmed exclusion zone. People in our NW suburbs with a Phantom would be pretty pissed. :p
     
  6. SteveMann

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    According to the AOPA, that would be 19,750 locations. I don't think there's enough memory in the Phantom for all of them.
     
  7. mendezl

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    Looks like no more software updtes for me right now. Turning off wifi next time I connect to phantom software for calibration etc. Software thats on it right now works fine.
     
  8. SilentAV8R

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  9. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    DJI pounced on the White House story. They must have hired a marketing/PR firm.

    No matter what, the Naza simply cannot store every podunk airport. AFAIK, the addition of DC is the only change. And they haven't even announced it for the Inspire yet.
     
  10. Narrator

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    Hey, we're not in the old days of limited tiny sim cards. All they need to do is store the coordinates and class. That's way less than 0.1kb. So 20,000 airports would be less than 2mb of data. Even 100,000 airports would only be 10mb of data.
     
  11. p fandango

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    i've just been & had a look at the DJI no-fly zone map, & they've added aload of cat B airports. They have started the zone from the centre of the airport, so doesn't even cover the whole runway on some of them

    http://www.dji.com/fly-safe/category-mc
     
  12. Nidge

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    I do, to some extent, appreciate the reasons behind DJI's no-fly-zones but the actual application of these restrictions has been totally mismanaged. Currently, as I understand it, the flight controllers on the Vision and Vision Plus have been embedded with data that progressively restricts the flying altitude the closer you get to 1.5 mile of the centre of one of these zones. This means that if I owned a Phantom Vision (plus) or Inspire, and had the common sense of a yoghurt, I'd still be able to fly over the far end of the runway at my local airport as it extends out of the 1.5 mile exclusion zone.

    I actually fly a Hexacopter that I have fitted the Datalink to. As of April 2014 subsequent releases of the Datalink iOS and PC App/software has prevented waypoint operation of the Datalink Groundstation anywhere within a five mile radius of any civilian airport. Reading the OP account of the news article it sounds as though DJI intend to apply the same draconian measures to the Phantom and Inspire Range.

    Interestingly DJI implemented similar restrictions to the A2 flight controller but due to protests from the users had to back peddle and instead have made the restrictions optional chosen by the user. It's unfortunate that those of us, meaning the vast majority who can differentiate common sense from dumb *** stupidity, can fly safely without these restrictions but DJI have been forced to aim these restrictions at those whose IQ is a stepladder away from double figures.

    Regards

    Nidge
     
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  13. Happyflyer

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    You have a good point. For the "older" computer people here, just think of the difference in storage of a 16 Gb micro card and a 3-1/2" floppy. Or even a 5-1/4" floppy. I go back to when I had to store on cassette tape.
     
  14. J.James

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    and none of these restrictions will matter or do any thing to stop a drone thats in a fly away if it dont have gps.

    If they really wanted to work hard on some thing that would make the phantoms safer they would do some thing to make sure they could not have so many fly always and they would also do away with any of the so called smart battey's functions being. they are dangerous and can make a phantom crash. and the very reason why no sort of so called smart battery is ever suppose to be used in any kind of flying machine or any thing else were if there is a problem that it can cause the thing to shut down or miss behave.
     
  15. Happyflyer

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    We need some smart company to make a dumb battery that is only smart enough to make the quad "think" is has a real DJI battery. Then every time the quad "brain" asks the battery "Is everything OK? Or should I crash?" The dumb smart battery would tell quad that every thing is good to go..... ;)
     
  16. jahjahwarrior

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    In the us, that is currently the law. I agree it goes too far, but it's not that DJI made it too far, but congress.

    I work hard to stay out of those zones and I agree, it is a pain, but it's not DJI fault. Write to your senator and congressman.
     
  17. SilentAV8R

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    This is incorrect. The only "law" in the US is Section 336 of P.L. 112-95 that states that one requirement for model aircraft is to "NOTIFY" airports/ATC when operating within 5 miles of that airport. There is no prohibition against flying within 5 miles of an airport.

    Section 336 states:

    (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport
    operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the
    airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent
    location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating
    procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic
    facility is located at the airport)).
     
  18. SilentAV8R

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    They still show only 3 airports in the LA area: LAX, Ontario and John Wayne. THis leave 13 other airports with towers, inclduing the Class C (FAA airspace) airport at Burbank and the very busy airports at Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Torrance, Long Beach, and several others off their list.
     
  19. Happyflyer

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    ....And the closest one to me on DJI's map is 100 miles away. I think I will be safe.....
     
  20. SilentAV8R

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    Part of my point is that you cannot rely on the DJI map/Database to know when/if you are near an airport. Of the 14 towere controlled airports in the LA area, DJI only lists 3. That's a pretty big hole in their database.