Thursday, November 6, 2014


Part 6:  Why should the hobbyist drone user care about regulations pertaining to “commercial” drone flyers? 

First, who knows when FAA will expand the definition of “commercial use” to include what you are currently doing? 

Second, the drone community is desperately in need of innovation.  We still have drones that don’t fly straight, fly away out of the control of the user, and just last weekend I personally witnessed another drone pilot have his $1,300 drone turn upside down and augur into the ground from 150’ or so feet, destroying the unit.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have, or Google, or Dominos Pizza pumping major money into R&D to give us all better drones?  Is this going to happen with FAA basically prohibiting all commercial use outside of the arctic?  Not in this country.  Where will the large companies that would afford a few million a year for R&D go?  Other countries.  If you were, would you try to develop new drone technology here in the US (where, my guess is that they could not even test their drones under the FAA rules), or in Hong Kong, where drone regulations take up a single page of paper and basically come down to “use common sense”?  The answers to these questions are obvious, and, if this is the future of drones in the US, will put us in a position where we are playing catch-up with foreign countries on technology.

TO DRONE OR NOT TO DRONE - Does Amazon Prime avoid the “commercial” classification?

PART  V - Does Amazon Prime avoid the “commercial” classification and why penalize US farmers?

Example 3:
You can use a drone to move a box from point to point without any kind of compensation, but you cannot use a drone to deliver packages to people for a fee. is obviously the main issue here, as Amazon would like to use drones to deliver packages to people.  Here is a new angle, I’m a member of Amazon Prime, so I get my packages delivered for free.  If Amazon delivers my packages for free, with a drone, is it commercial?  I would argue it is not, as I would not be charged whether it arrives by UPS or drone, and I would much prefer drone as it would get here in 10 minutes rather than 2 days.

Example 4:
You can use a drone to survey a field of crops “grown for personal enjoyment”, but not as part of a commercial farming operation.  This is, in my opinion, ludicrous.  Precision agriculture is extremely important for our country (and those other countries that buy our exported agricultural products).  Why put us at a competitive disadvantage against those countries which regularly use drones to perform these functions?