Sussex Police admit drones over Gatwick Airport may have been the police department’s own drones

Some of the sightings of drones which kept Gatwick Airport on shutdown may have involved the police’s own craft, a senior officer has admitted.

Source: Some Gatwick drones ‘may have been police devices’

The police chief insists that in spite of this, he’s still certain that there was an illegal drone flight because … well, he has no reasons other than he believes. Ok, fair enough, many of us believe he is an idiot, therefore, this must be true.

The broken drone they found in a field (at unknown location and unknown distance from the airport) – and a second one too – are acknowledged as having no involvement with Gatwick Airport.

The story of the bicyclist seen packing up two drones several miles from the airport? That story has vanished.

The innocent couple they arrested because they lived less than 3 miles from the airport and once flew model aircraft? Oh sorry, they are totally innocent – our bad, oopsie.

140,000+ people at Gatwick on the first day, 21,000 staff, plus police, military and media stakeouts all looking for drones – and not one photo or video clip.

67 or 93 people reported seeing drones? Where are the interviews of these people by the media? Mysteriously, there are none.

During this mass hysteria, some in the media and politics demanded more regulations, and some demanded a ban on all model aircraft – based on hysteria induced paranoia. Will any of the media retract their previous speculation – de facto fake news – reports? Doubtful. And they are shocked when people call them fake news.

How many people have died due to aircraft bird strikes?

There were 14,400 aircraft collisions with birds at just 700 of the 15,000 airports in the U.S. in 2017. 285 people have died since 1988 due to bird strikes. 0 people died due to drones.

Source: https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/wildlife/faq/

Adds perspective to the hysterical mania created by “journalists” regarding the public use of model aircraft and their alleged danger to aircraft.

BBC Interviews Brian May about his 3D Stereoscopy interests

Brian is a big fan of 3D:

Not content with touring the world as a member of Queen, Brian May has also been busy bringing back Victorian 3D for a generation raised on digital technology.

Source: Rock legend uncovers Victorian 3D – BBC Reel

Brian May is well known as guitarist for Queen, and after Queen, completed a PhD in astrophysics. His 3D business is online at London Stereoscopic Company.

Proposed UK law to require drones to be trackable, possibly required to file flight plans before flight

Told ‘ya:

The planned legislation would aim to introduce the mandatory use of an app – most drones are flown through a smartphone or device – which all fliers would have to download.

This would mean they would have to register and provide information which would make them more easily traceable, in a situation where a pilot was committing an offence.

The app could also allow a means of real time two-way communication between the user, other users around them, and relevant government authorities.

Users could even be pushed to pre-file notification of their flight before using a drone at certain heights.

There may be a push for consumer-level drones to have a short battery life of say less than 10 minutes. This would reduce the distance over which a consumer drone could be used for malicious purposes.

Source: Are drone laws going to change after the Gatwick incident? | The Independent

You knew this was coming: “Drone users should be regulated and registered in the same way as firearms certificates.”

This is in the U.K.:

“A drone in the wrong hands could be just as lethal as a gun.

“They are unregulated and can easily be bought by anyone online for under £30. Even the cheapest has a range of 150 metres and can fly for half an hour.

“Drone users should be regulated and registered in the same way as firearms certificates.”

Source: Motorist says he saw Gatwick drone pilot frantically packing up two craft before racing off on a bike amid airport shutdown

Note – there’s a lot of oddities in this story and some things – like 30 pound quadcopters flying for half an hour – that are not true.

The logic is kind of weird. In the U.S., firearms killed over 30,000 people in 2017 alone. Model aircraft? To the best of our knowledge, no one in the nearly century has been killed by model aircraft.

New drone regulations take effect in Canada in 2019

Transport Canada is advising a minimum age of operation of 16 in those zones, and would-be pilots would also have to pass a written test, register their devices and affix government-issued registration marks to the aircraft.

….

Diana Cooper, senior vice-president of policy & strategy at PrecisionHawk, a commercial drone and data company, said the U.S. is currently moving forward with rules for remote identification of drones.”(It) is similar to a license plate for cars, it allows law enforcement to remotely identify information about a drone such as the name and the location of the operator,” she said.

Source: Canada to impose stricter rules for drone operation next year | CTV News

Looks like my predictions about future regulations are spot on.

Good thing that eco-warriors and terrorists will put their government issued registration number and remote identification system on all their own model aircraft!

A lot of “FUD” will be used to justify regulatory burdens on everyone, yet such regulations will not not solve any of the original problems.

The goal is not to actually solve problems – the goal is to make model aircraft flying de facto so expensive and cumbersome that few will participate. The FAA already did this to the ultralight aircraft industry and they will do it to the consumer drone industry too.

YouTube TV app degrades 1080/60p videos to 720/60p for older TVs-and what to do about it

I recently uploaded a 4K/60p 3D video to Youtube. Unfortunately, when I played it on my TV using the Youtube app on the Roku box, it displays as 1280×720/60p. Why did Youtube degrade to 720p? We answer that question below.

A 1280 x 720 3D stream becomes two 640×720 clips – one for the left eye and one for the right eye which looks fuzzy. At 1920 x 1080, a 3D side by side format video retains 960 x 1080 for each eye, which is much greater resolution.

Bottom line3D videos should primarily be uploaded as 30p videos, even if originally shot in 60p if they are intended for viewing on Youtube television apps.

What happened?

My TV, like most vintage TVs that support 3D, does not support 60 frames per second except in 720p mode.

In fact, all 60p videos on Youtube are downgraded to 720p when playing on the Roku Youtube app.

The same video, when uploaded at 30p displays correctly as 1920×1080/30p and is not downgraded.

What this means

If you are a weirdo like me and shooting 3D video, do not upload any 3D video in 60p because it will be downgraded by TV-based viewing apps not to 1080/30p but to 720/60p. This is because TV’s that support 3D are, almost exclusively, from the 3D hey day era of about 2011 to 2013, after which manufacturers began to discontinue their 3D TVs. TVs of that age only supported 30p and did not support 60.

Youtube had a choice to degrade the video from 60p to 30p, or to retain 60 frames per second – they chose the later and degraded the resolution to 1280 x 720/60p, unfortunately.

If you intend for your 3D video to be viewed on 3D TVs, you will want to upload videos as 30p, even if you originally shot them in a 60p format.

Videos uploaded in 60p will play correctly TVs that support 60p and on most 3D computer monitors. If your target is a 3D TV, you will want to upload only a 30p version. But if your target is 3D computer monitors, you can upload 60p clips.


Gatwick Airport closed by rogue drone flights

Flights in and out of London’s second-busiest airport were halted after drones were spotted flying illegally nearby in what was described as an act meant to intentionally disrupt travel.

Source: Gatwick Airport Closed After Drone Flights That Officials Call ‘Deliberate’ – The New York Times

The British government described the overflights as deliberate and being conducted by “industrial” drones, not hobbyist quadcopters.

Update: latest development is that two unnamed people have been detained and the police have suggested “eco-warriors” were behind shutting down the airport, as part of opposition to airport expansion plans.

 

She said the amount of time the drone had been above the airport supported the idea that it was being flown there deliberately. “This very much points to this being planned and not just some rogue hobbyist,” she said.

The weather at the time was windy and rainy. Small consumer quadcopters are not usually water proof and can have difficulty in winds over 10 mph. (Similar to most consumer cameras, they will likely fail due to water ingress.) Further, consumer quadcopters generally have a useful battery life in the 10 to 20 minute range.

Yesterday a Guardian journalists said on Twitter. “Considering the public safety danger of drones, why should any be permitted to have one for any use other than business?”

(Change the word “drones” to “cars” or “trucks” or “knives” and see if you can see a problem with that line of thinking.)

Separately, much of the public is now saying things like this comment appearing in the NY Times:

Some Members of Parliament are calling for strict new regulations on the use of model aircraft.

The PR damage is immense and likely insurmountable. From social media comments, people are calling for the ban of all model aircraft. Yet this operation over Gatwick was already in violation of current law.

A ban will not happen but expect governments to enact a strict (and potentially expensive) regulatory environment that will create so many hurdles to flight as to be a de facto ban on many recreational operations. As I have written previously, expect the following:

  • Model aircraft will be permitted to fly at certified model airfields, possibly license free – and possibly restricted to age 16 or older.
  • Home built model aircraft will be required to be “certified” after an inspection similar to how home built aircraft are certified by a volunteer designee of an organization and will be required to meet specific design criteria.
  • Flight conducted outside of certified model airfields will require the operator to be licensed. Here in the U.S. this will require either the Part 107 Remote Pilot’s license or an as-yet-to-be developed Remote Recreational Pilot’s license, including passage of an exam and Department of Homeland Security background check.
  • A fee will be charged for the operator license and the background check.
  • Flights conducted outside model airfields will require each device to have an on board radio transponder or other mechanism for tracking and remote identification.
  • A fee will be charged for air traffic control services. This fee, combined with the background check cost, may be so high that it de facto bans most people from flying model aircraft at other than model airfields. It is possible that flights in Class G airspace will remain exempt from the air traffic service fee; however, transponders will likely still be required.
  • All commercially built model aircraft weighing more than 8 ounces (250 grams) will be required to have on board GPS and geofencing built in to prohibit flight within some number of miles of airports. But note there need to be ways to override this – for example, drones are used to conduct power line and roof inspections and these will, from time to time, need to be done, with permission, within the radius of airports. Of course, it may be that only “large” and expensive drones will allow override capability, thereby priced out of access by regular consumers. Additionally, there will be commercially operated package delivery drones within these areas.
  • Retailers of commercially-built drones will be required to log drone sales with the government, including the identification of the buyer.
  • All commercially built drones, and possibly certified home builts, may require control links that can be overridden by police or other government authorities to remotely take control of an errant flight. This would likely render existing control transmitters obsolete and require their replacement at great cost.
  • Police will routinely stop and ask drone pilots to see their license and aircraft certification paper work, and will log their contact with you in their criminal database.

None of this will stop a terrorist or anyone else inclined to cause mayhem. It will, however, dramatically reduce the number of recreational quadcopters in flight.

Separately, a week earlier a collapsed nose cone on an Aeromexico plane that landed at Tijuana Airport was blamed by the media as caused by a collision with a drone. The media made up that conclusion – no one involved in the investigation has made that claim. This web page has photos of about 30 collapsed nose cones, many of which look identical – but which did not involve a drone. From expert commentary on that page, there are numerous causes of collapsed nose cones including bird strikes (often leaving no blood or feathers behind), weather phenomena including hail, rain and wind, and structural failures of the non-metallic nose cone.

The public’s limited understanding of aviation causes them to jump to conclusions based on what they think they know – to them, everything looks like a quadcopter because they are unaware of other options. (In propaganda theory this is known as “What You See Is All There Is”.) As one airline pilot said in a newspaper comments section, it is amusing to see how many non-experts had become experts on social media. (For the record, while I am not an active pilot now, I do have a pilot’s license and have been around aviation since age 20. I have 5 quadcopters and 2 fixed wing model aircraft, belong to the EAA, AMA and my local flying club.)

Today’s 80+ year old model aircraft hobby, with a spectacular safety record is threatened to be regulated out of existence – depending on how nutty the politicians and regulators choose to act.

In September, Mexico issued rules banning operation of drones by non-Mexicans, nationwide #drones #quadcopters #UAS

Para poder operar un dron sin que te ganes una multa debes cubrir ciertos requisitos. Te decimos cuáles son.

Source: ¿Cómo se tramita la licencia para volar un dron?

Anyone flying a drone over 25 kg mass must meet the requirements for a remote pilot’s license (see below) which birth certificate or document identifying you as a Mexican national, passage of necessary examinations, “proof of pscyhophysical aptitude”.

To operate a small drone (less than 25 kg) you do not need a license but you must register your drone and you must be a Mexican national.

This prohibits the operation of drones in Mexico by all foreign visitors.

Google Translation

The rules to operate drones will come into effect in December of this year, and if you do not comply with them, you can become a creditor, so we give you the steps to follow to fly it under the law.

According to the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, this is what you must do to fly an Aircraft Piloted at Distance (RPAS, for its acronym in English) or a drone in Mexico :

The drones are classified according to their size in RPAS micro (2.00 kg or less), small RPAS (from 2.001 kg to 25 kg) and large RPAS (25 kilograms or more).

To obtain the pilot license of the large RPAS:

1.- Written request.

2.-Be at least 18 years old.

3. Birth certificate or document that accredits you as a Mexican.

4.-Formats registration card that you of the Civil Aeronautics.

5.- Proof of payment of fees for training permit, exam application and issuance of license.

6.-Document proving having submitted and approved the practical and theoretical examinations established by the aeronautical authority.

7.- Certificate issued by an instruction center recognized by the aeronautical authority.

8.- Proof of psychophysical aptitude in force 90 days from the date of issue, issued by the General Directorate of Transport Protection and Preventive Medicine.

9.- The license has a validity of three years from its issuance and may be canceled by the aeronautical authority for irresponsible operation, use for criminal purposes and at the request of the interested party.

To operate a micro and small RAPS does not require a license but you must register it :

The registration is free and you can do it online, you will receive the document in 10 business days.

1.-First you have to register it before Civil Aeronautics before operating it. In order to register you must have Mexican nationality, be of legal age (otherwise the parent or guardian can do it) and fill out a form.

2.- Once the form is completed, you must send it clarifying one of these two options: for Registration of RPAS commercialized in Mexico or Regsitros of RPAS by owners as the case may be.

3.- If you are a natural person you have to prove your personality by attaching a digitized copy of your INE or any official identification.

4.- If you are a moral person you have to prove your personality by attaching a digitalized copy of the constitutive act (legal registration of the creation of the company) and the power of attorney of the legal representative.

5.- Take into account that you must have at hand: digitalized copy of the documentation that proves the ownership or possession of your RPAS (supported formats .pdf, .docx, .jpg or .png)

6.- Send an email to the address rpas@sct.gob.mx requesting registration for a RPAS, attaching the completed form to Exel, along with a printed version signed by you, manually adding your RFC with homoclave; also the digitized copies of the documentation that proves the ownership or possession of your RPAS.

7.- Finally, wait for your record sheet or the considerations to cover to obtain the same in the electronic address that you gave.

The regulation regulating the operation of drones in Mexico, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), will come into effect in December 2018 and the fine for flying drones without a license could cost up to 403 thousand pesos. It is still a project and is subject to 60 business days for consultation.

This regulation is addressed to any individual or entity that owns or owns a RPAS.

Only State RPAS that carry out military, police, border and maritime patrols are exempt . These conform to other regulations.