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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wow, Beautiful Picture Of Queensboro Bridge, Tram And Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront Sunset Tonight

Nadine Rucker shares this beautiful picture of Roosevelt Island sunset

Image From Nadine Rucker


Did you see it?


romialex said...

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CheshireKitty said...

Wow -
"Watch a Hawk Take Out a Drone Mid-Flight over Cambridge!"

CheshireKitty said...

Can birds be trained to attack drones?

Read here opinions of experts on the subject, in an article that includes a reference to the "Watch a Hawk Take Out a Drone Mid-Flight over Cambridge" viral video.

Those interested in purchasing their own RC (radio controlled) drone, here's a web site with an amazing variety of drones, even running a "Cyber Week" sale for the Holidays.

Richard Rama said...

I still cannot see the regulatory issue come into conclusion. I would like to confirm.

If I am a hobbyist (i.e. not for commercial purposes), I can fly drone only if:
- I fly below 400ft
- UAV is not heavier than 55lbs
- unpopulated area (is Roosevelt Island considered as unpopulated?)
- Outside the 5 mile radius of any Airport/Heliport. If within the 5 mile, we need to inform the tower.

Did I miss anything?

Frank Farance said...

Roosevelt Island is considered a populated area, is within the 5 mile limit of La Guardia tower, and (considering the risk of aircraft collision) is certain to get the FAA and law enforcement after you. Find another place to fly your drone safely.

Jeff Collins said...

Richard, if you're a hobbyist not flying for commercial purposes, under current FAA law and legal interpretation (Raphael Pirker case) there are no laws against flying radio control aircraft (i.e. drones) in New York City, except to say that it's illegal to fly in NYC or NYS parks under local New York laws (both model aircraft and kites are banned under those laws).

There are voluntary guidelines (AC 91-57) saying to fly below 400 feet, at "sufficient distance" from populated areas, and to notify the airport if you are flying within 3 miles (not 5 miles as many believe). However, they are voluntary guidelines, and they are not legally binding. Flying over a populated area, even directly next to an airport, is not currently illegal.

There are currently no laws in the US against flying radio controlled aircraft as a hobbyist even in restricted or controlled airspace. There probably should be, but currently, until the FAA gets its act together, there are none.

A recent case charging a drone operator who supposedly flew near an NYPD chopper over the Hudson with reckless endangerment, was dropped by the DA.

Frank's claim that 14 CFR 93 outlaws flying drones over the Hudson and East Rivers is based on the flawed theory that 14 CFR applies to model aircraft. It doesn't, it applies to full-size aircraft only. If you interpret the laws that apply to full-size aircraft as if they apply to drones, you end up with all kinds of stupid contradictions, like drones have to have seat-belts. That isn't what the FAA intended when the laws were put in place, which clearly separate model aircraft from full-size aircraft, and that interpretation has been supported by courts of law in the recent attempt the FAA made to fine Raphael Pirker for a commercial drone flight a few years ago.

Based on what's been reported in the press, it seems that no action was ever taken against either of the two hobbyists who flew near (or in) Roosevelt Island. That's because: no laws were broken.

Frank is clearly a bit of an annoying busybody who's probably just upset that he recently got kicked out of Roosevelt Island CERT team. He can be safely ignored. He can waste his time trying to make trouble for people if he likes. One would hope he has better things to do - apparently not.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Collins, the courts overturned the ruling and, essentially, the FAA has regulatory authority over drones, which are considered aircraft. Thus, 14 CFR applies.

I believe you have misread the requirements for seatbelts, which apply to airplanes, not aircraft in general. Maybe you have confused aircraft vs. airplanes.

The regulatory information came from the FAA person at the FSDO who confirmed 14 CFR 93 applies.

And it's a safety issue for aircraft flying over the Island.

Not sure where you got your information about CERT, I'm an active member, and PSD and OEM have noted my participation in events and incidents, and I look forward to ongoing work in CERT.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"... the FAA has regulatory authority over drones, which are considered aircraft."

Let's not do this again, Frank. We already proved to you many times over that your interpretation does not hold up.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Collins, your info is wrong, was never suspended from CERT, misunderstanding which the WIRE reported incorrectly and did not contact me for comment (unsurprisingly). Not sure what that event has to do with the safety of drones in the East River corridor.

Please carefully read my comments, never said anyone was doing anything illegal, I said they were doing unsafe things, which I reported to the FAA, and the FAA rep gave their interpretation of their regulation (which I conveyed in my comments). FYI, the 34 Street heliport staff have warned helicopter pilots about drones in the area and the will report it to the FAA. Please be aware the my concern was violation of regulation, not statute (a point you seem to have missed).

The FAA rep referred to Part 93, which involves special flight rules (which cover the East River airspace), but do not address the University of Virgina airspace, so it is unsurprising that Part 93 doesn't apply to the Pirker case.

As cited elsewhere on this page, even if you look at the 1981 regulations and assume he was a hobbyist, the drone operator didn't comply with the Advisory Circular.

And we're arguing about a safety issue, which the corporations that fly in and our of the heliport and seaplane base are very very interested in addressing. Don't believe me? Call the heliport and ask their opinion of flying drones on Roosevelt Island at 400 feet.

According to the FAA and the 34 Street heliport, the City's Economic Development Corporation is in the loop on this issue because the last thing the City needs is a helicopter going down in a densely populated area because someone's drone crashed into it. There are very strong economic forces that are interested in safety here.

The silliness of this argument is that you (and YetAnotherRIer) are blinded by looking to nitpick and hoping find some rhetorical error in my comments (which, it seems, you believe would invalidate all that I say - not!), when you miss the big issue of public safety.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"... when you miss the big issue of public safety."

Flying model aircraft is not a matter of public safety. Flying it recklessly, yes, but in general there is nothing wrong with it.

Islanderx2 said...

Frank you have stated the facts and made the point of public safety. YARIer just doesn't seem to get it, yet he'll be the first to get a lawyer when one of these "models" falls out of the sky and strikes him. When used in a appropriate setting, model aircraft can be a fun endeavor, but not over a populated area.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"... yet he'll be the first to get a lawyer when one of these "models" falls out of the sky and strikes him..."

You know absolutely nothing about me. You can't be more wrong.

Jeff Collins said...

For what it's worth, I found an excellent summary of the current legal situation around drones:

Your argument on safety ignores one very important point. Helicopters are loud and easy to spot from a distance, and drones can easily maneuver to avoid them. From Roosevelt Island, you can actually hear helicopters taking off from the heliport at 34th st, which is over 2 miles away. If a chopper came anywhere near this hobbyist's drone, he could just descend or move out of the way. Given that, and how small and light these things are these days, I think the helicopter pilots should be a lot more worried about BIRDS and OTHER HELICOPTERS. There have been several helicopter-helicopter crashes over the last decade in the NYC area alone, and many people have died. There have been zero helicopter-drone crashes (globally). Let's get our priorities straight Mr Farance.

And good luck with that "never said anyone was doing anything illegal" statement when you end up in court.

CheshireKitty said...

The FAA has finally OK'd Amazon plans for drone delivery of packages - obviously thereby OK's the use of drones in populated areas. I welcome this development - which will also cut the cost of Amazon delivery down to $1! Yay!

Frank Farance said...

CK, you've misread FAA's exemption: requires Class G airspace (not NYC metro area), does not allow in populated areas (500-foot clearance for people, structures, etc.), requires visual line of sight, and so on. Had you read your own link, you would have seen that. So the kind of delivery permitted by these kinds of restrictions might be from a truck parked on the highway then delivering a small package to a farm house.

Your statement is wrong: "obviously thereby OK's the use of drones in populated areas".

CheshireKitty said...

I'm sure Amazon will figure out a way to get around that. If we can have automated cars - we can certainly have automated drone delivery of packages. I'm surprised you aren't more enthusiastic about drone technology yourself, as a robot maven - sales of drones are booming worldwide given their versatility and usefulness in so many areas of life, such as fire detection over vast areas of Asia and Latin America. If cars are allowed on streets - and unfortunately we know that cars even with humans driving them aren't 100% safe in that they do occasionally collide with each other or with pedestrians/cyclists, I don't see why drones can't be allowed to deliver packages in populated areas.

Frank Farance said...

That kind of flying idea is 60 years old: thinking that flying and driving aren't too different, but from a man-machine interface and the way they interact with their environment, they are very different: flying requires substantially different and more difficult skills . A good number of pilots were lost in the 50s and 60s because of that kind of thinking (and piloting). Thus, the licensing requirements became stronger over the decades and for good reason. For modern pilots, 10% of training is learning the physical skill (stick and rudder, etc.), 30% of training is on regulations, and 60% of training is contingencies (engine failure, emergency landing, etc.).

Automated cars for highway driving (typically a 1.5 dimensional problem) is very different that automated flying in a 3 dimensional space with lots of obstacles nearby: with maximum speeds of 87 knots, that's about 3 seconds before colliding with an object. And to avoid an object, that requires knowing where the other objects are. For airlines, collision avoidance systems operate when another plane is 40-50 seconds away, and start directing the pilot when the intruder is 20-30 seconds away. That's the best technology we have now, and it requires many things to make it work -- all of which are expensive, and are not on drones.

So I am unenthused about having drones flying in populated areas until safety issues are addressed.

CheshireKitty said...

Well, this is certainly good news:
Drone Home Videos No Longer Provoke FAA Wrath!

CheshireKitty said...

"It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s the First Commercial Drone Delivery!"