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DJI to limit flights over DC and US Boarders

Discussion in 'News' started by Tahoe Ed, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Tahoe Ed

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    Please note the following that appeared in the WSJ this morning:

    DJI Announces New Safe Flight Features Limiting Flight in DC Metropolitan Area
    - Restrictions are in accordance with FAA guidelines
    - Additional limits will prohibit flight across borders
    Hong Kong, (28 January 2015) – DJI will release a mandatory firmware update for the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ to help users comply with the FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 0/8326, which restricts unmanned flight around the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
    The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in coming days and adds a No-Fly Zone centered on downtown Washington, DC and extends for a 25 kilometer (15.5 mile) radius in all directions. Phantom pilots in this area will not be able to take off from or fly into this airspace.
    The restriction is part of a planned extension of DJI’s No Fly Zone system that prohibits flight near airports and other locations where flight is restricted by local authorities. These extended no fly zones will include over 10,000 airports registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and will expand no fly zones to ensure they cover the runways at major international airports.
    DJI is also continuing to update its no fly zone list in compliance with local regulations to include additional sensitive locations and to prevent flight across national borders.
    These new safety features will be released across DJI’s flying platforms in the near future.
    “With the unmanned aerial systems community growing on a daily basis, we feel it is important to provide pilots additional tools to help them fly safely and responsibly,” said Michael Perry, DJI’s company spokesperson. “We will continue cooperating with regulators and lawmakers to ensure the skies stay safe and open for innovation.”

    Here is the link to the full story: http://www.wsj.com/articles/drone-m...ts-after-white-house-crash-1422451954?tesla=y

    DJI is being proactive in this matter.
     
  2. Pull_Up

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    No choice given the recent bad press over DJI products attempting to smuggle drugs and crash the White House (literally). If they are extending the database to cover all restricted and prohibited airspace then there's not really any complaints to be had - if it's the law in your jurisdiction then you should be sticking to it. I hope they don't just bang down big wide circles, though, as it might catch a lot of people who want to fly perfectly legally and responsibly outside an actual restricted or controller area, but because the DJI system can only do a circle it could be a bit of a blunt instrument and go far beyond the actual boundaries. Let's hope not.

    It will also be interesting to see how they make it a mandatory update - I'm not sure there's scope to deactivate a P2 that doesn't get plugged in to the Assistant again, but I guess for the Vision and the Vision+ they could make it so that the app checks to see if the aircraft is running latest firmware and if not it won't let it fly?
     
  3. Andrey320

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    Wow! That was quick!
     
  4. syotr

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    Flight limiting feature would not have helped in the recent case at the Whitehouse. It was a Phantom 1 or FC40 which do not have limits.
     
  5. SilentAV8R

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    A good move on their part. Now the only issue will be that most people will simply ignore this and not load the software. THey also need to have this in all new aircraft and make it impossible to go backwards and load older software.

    DJI needs to go through their database as well and make it consistent. Around the LA area they only have 3 airports (LAX - Class B, Ontario - Class C, and John Wayne - Class C).

    They do not have:

    Burbank - Class C
    Torrance, El Monte, Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Whiteman, Los Alamitos, Long Beach, Chino, or Riverside. Those are all tower controlled Class D airports.

    Hopefully the new software addresses this shortcoming.

    I also feel very strongly that DJI needs to take additional steps to make altering the antennas more difficult. It is illegal in the US (and probably other countries) to alter the antennas on a Part 15 certified device. Yet it is commonplace here to do it. The sole reason for this is to allow the user to fly higher and farther away, and well beyond even the most eagle-eyed definition of line of sight. DJI should also make the software such that is has absolute altitude and lateral flight limits.

    The user base has demonstrated endlessly that they could not care less about laws, or even common sense operations (yes, I know there are many responsible owners out there. But that is immaterial, look what one jerk in DC can do).

    Finally, we need as a community to stop telling people how "kewl" their illegal modifications and how amazing their dangerous flying is (high altitude, long distance, over people, buildings, etc.).
     
  6. kitari

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    Still no restrictions for my little FC40, maybe if I keep holding off on updates, I'll be able to resell it on the black market for a hundred million billion dollars! ;)
     
  7. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Agreed. It needs to be cleaned up.
     
  8. Judderman

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    These restrictions are good if you're a hobbyist, but if you use your phantom commercially, (legally of course, with CAA approval in the UK) you actually do not want such restrictions. The man giving our BNUC-S course in England told us that those restrictions that DJI put on the phantom aren't good - they remove choice.

    It is not unreasonable to assume you at some point might have a job in such restricted airspace - permissions *can* be acquired - of course this is not much use if your craft has been 'nerfed'.

    Anyway, I know the vast majority of phantom users are just hobbyists and aren't using them for, as they say, 'valuable consideration', so I understand those steps they've taken.
     
  9. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    +1 - This article seems to be geared toward the U.S. Wondering if they will add restrictions in other parts of the world. There are countries(like Canada, here) where with proper certification, you can fly in restricted areas. There was a recent shoot done at our Trudeau airport(Montreal) for example with TC certification and proper precautions.

    Also is this just for phantoms? Or for all their products?
     
  10. Morgon

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    Too late. 15.5 miles/25 km is already ridiculously big in the context of DC. In that picture, the District of Columbia is within that faint diamond you see that extends from the 'Silver Spring' label, down to the Potomac River (the parts west of the river is the state of Virginia, everything else is Maryland).

    I understand DJI is just covering its ***, but this is a dangerous precedent.
     
  11. sdtrojan

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    My question is why we aren't seeing more drones crashed at the Playboy mansion? Come on guys! Priority check?
     
  12. SilentAV8R

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    So you think DJI should not do anything to stop, or at least make it more difficult, to illegally alter their equipment?
     
  13. Pull_Up

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    But that's the size of the prohibited area dictated by the FAA. DJI are only putting in their software the zone specified in the NOTAM. Rather then a dangerous precedent perhaps it will make more people aware of their local airspace and their responsibilities. As long as DJI sticks to the exact shape and size of any other prohibited or restricted areas anywhere in the world then there really can't be any argument against it, other than by those who have specific permission to operate in them - and I guess they may be about to go out and buy a lot of non-DJI gear..
     
  14. kitari

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    People are more careful when flying around the playboy mansion, that's footage nobody wants to lose! ;)
     
  15. SilentAV8R

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    I will not be at all surprised to see the FAA require that all multicopters like a DJI to be equipped with software limits on lateral distance, altitude, and airspace restrictions. The sad fact is that we as a community have failed miserably at self policing and in fact have gone the other direction all too often and praise those who are operating unsafely.
     
  16. Deathcode

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    So, the people that lives in those areas are basically in a no fly zone area and they can't fly their drones, not even in their back yard for testing...
    How about manual mode? in manual mode you're not using the GPS to fly... will the GPS still be operational and ground the bird?
    Also, why is the limitation put in the device and not the burden in the pilot?
    Every car in the US can go way faster than the fastest speed limit (80/85mph) in the US... they don't limit the device, the responsibility is in the driver, ok ok, I know that the "driver" in the case of drones, doesn't hold a "driver's license" so I get it in that aspect, but regulation should put the burden on the pilot in the future.
     
  17. terrylowe

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    I worry MUCH more about people who fly this quad as a toy. They don't read the manual. They don't know how the quad works or its limitations. They figure out how to turn it on and go flying around. People who modify their drones are generally pretty savvy about their quad. They know their limits and know what they should not attempt to do. To them a large part of the hobby IS modifications. They WANT their modifications to work and are probably safer fliers for that. Also, remember that DJI implemented some modifications such as shielding the GPS in later models.

    So I don't see modifying the quad as a detriment to the hobby at all. I'm with my boy Dirkclod on this one.
     
  18. fastsmiles

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    I do not like the enforced no fly zones placed by DJI, but since we as a community have not been able to police our own pilots then I cannot argue against it. Indeed it may prevent further restrictive laws and built in restrictions by preventing future embarrassing idiot events like the White House incident.
     
  19. darkoth23

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    Well that action does not solve much. It's still possible to fly without GPS in those areas.
     
  20. SilentAV8R

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    They can make the connectors less easily changed for one thing. It is sad they have do to anything beyond what Part 15.203 requires, but since it is apparent that so many people feel it is fine to ignore the FCC (and soon the FAA) it seems like it is on the manufacturer to make it harder to change things.

    It is too bad that there are so many folks with this great piece of equipment who have the attitude of "screw you, I'll do what I want to do." It is this attitude that is going to make enjoying this hobby much more difficult in the future.