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Drone Flown Into Fireworks

Can't wait to see what the FAA says about this one. ( More...

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96flstc 10
Very cool! perfect place for a drone.
donhun1313 10
Calling model aircraft "drones" is like calling every semi-automatic rifle an "assult rifle". All it does is stir the pot and get people all worked up over nothing.
R C 3
It's hardly "nothing" if somebody is killed from a collision with one of these drones - which is very likely to happen sooner or later with the current lack of control.
sparkie624 -1
Nobody got killed by one, and if the Helicopter had, it would have been his own fault... The tapes proved that he was the one who turned towards the quadcopter and not the other way around. Did you listen to the tape... If not, you need to before this kind of comment.
sparkie624 0
You are exactly right on that one...
Bob Parsley 2
Great video!
Thanks for posting!
El Thirtynine 2
I love drones. They are good wingshooting practice.
sparkie624 0
I love them too, but a more accurate term is QUADCOPTER and is defined as: " is a multirotor helicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors. Quadcopters are classified as rotorcraft, as opposed to fixed-wing aircraft, because their lift is generated by a set of revolving narrow-chord airfoils.". You can see more info on it at:
Gene Nowak 4
Notice the boats below. Wonder what would have happened if it was disabled and fell on someone? Is the pilot, fireworks maker or promoter liable? Are drones registered and identifiable to individual owners? Who must now carry the additional liability insurance?
bbabis 13
Dude, you're in a boat below fireworks, flaming stuff is falling from the skies. Don't sweat the drone. Beautiful use for a drone. It should be part of any professional show from now on.
Gene Nowak 1
See comment below.
ace005 1
Probably the pilot/controller if they were flying it illegally.
Gene Nowak 1
There are no regulations I know of yet, so it is??? Then again there is next year when we will have 50 drones trying the same thing and running into each other. More heavy debris from above!
markrosenau 3
Like any radio controlled airplane, you hit someone or something with it, you are liable for any damages. That's true of most _anything_ you do resulting in injury or damage.
It's also why many (used to be 'most') RC pilots join The Academy of Model Aeronautics. As long as you're following the guidelines, you have $2.5M in liability insurance.
There is usually a surface safety zone around and downwind of most displays. I expect it applies equally above as on the surface. If he was inside the safety zone and something happened, he's like to face the same legal issues as if he'd violated the surface safety zone. And so would the boaters!
sparkie624 -1
Do you fly RC... It does not sound like it. Of course if you do damage you have liability insurance... This guy was not in ANY safety zone and he was in total 100 percent legal in what he was doing... It was probably not the brightest thing to do with the QUAD as it could have been damaged by the fireworks, but that is his buck.
R C 2
For an RC operator to claim that an airplane pilot is "at fault" for not seeing an RC is ludicrous.I have flown RC's. And Sport aircraft. And a variety of light airplanes, corporate airplanes, and transport aircraft. The fact is that small objects (and even other aircraft) are not just difficult to see, they are all but impossible to see even at the slower speeds flown by the smaller airplanes. To operate one of these things anywhere near any aircraft without the proper understanding of the risks and proper arrangement to avoid the risks is equivalent to a person standing on an overpass, dropping rocks onto the freeway below and then claiming it's the drivers fault if someone gets hurt. It's worse than irresponsible.
bbabis 1
Gene, you may have something there. This may really catch on and for many other events as well. I see a market for a plug-n-play DCAS system for drones. Hordes of bats make it work. Set a minimum distance from any other object and fly away. It just has to be in an affordable light package.
AWAAlum 2
Gee, does this mean no more Good Year blimps hovering over the Super Bowl?
markrosenau 3
It's like any other model airplane: If its below 400 feet and not in the flight path of an airport, the FAA doesn't generally take jurisdiction. I believe the AMA weight limit is 25 lbs, not 2&1/2 (There are engines that weight more than this).

But as David pointed out, drones" seem to cause people so much anxiety, and the riles are likely to change, resulting in ALL model aircraft will be restricted to approved model aircraft fields.
Chuck Me 3
Yes! Thank you for bringing common sense and actual information to the "drone" discussion.

Now, can you do something about the media calling anything that flies a drone? :)
sparkie624 -4
You are somewhat in correct... The 400' only applies if flying within 3 miles of a controlled airport. Otherwise, they are legal to fly up to 18,000 without contacting ATC. There are proposed regulation to make it 400' everywhere, but that has not passed yet. Personally, I never fly over 400'.
Paula Mullins 4
Sparkie you are WRONG. Read AC 91-57 carefully. When I was in Grade school I was taught what a period meant. AC 91-57 reads " Do not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface.
When flying aircraft within 3 miles of an airport, notify the airport operator,
or when an air traffic facility is located at the airport, notify the control
tower, or flight service station."

Notice that is (2) separate sentences.
sparkie624 1
That is not what it means.. Sorry... I am not going into that any more... I fly RC and I know what it is... NOT LIMITED TO 400' outside of 3 miles...
jetpilot87 2
This can't be entirely correct. You're saying you could sit 4 miles outside Boston Logan and fly your quadchopter as high as you want up to 18000 without contacting ATC? Class B airspace requires a clearance, and C and D require 2 way radio communication prior to entering and within.
sparkie624 0
Yes... You are exactly correct, but actually you cannot go over 17999, because at 18000 is where it goes IFR.
markrosenau 2
According to FAA circular 91-57 (the link above) it is voluntary. But Section 3B doesn't have an "or" in it. Its simply: "Do not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface." (and the 3 mile notification is for "an" airport, towered only determines who you're supposed to notify.)
It's sort of like the AIM.
Its a "recommendation" but if you exceed the 400 feet, you can expect to be on the short end of any resulting legal action.
sparkie624 -6
Again.. out of the text: ". Do not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface. When flying aircraft within 3 miles of an airport" Which is exactly what I said... I had a run in with Allegiant Airlines and a local tower complaining about about RC higher than 400 feet. I presented the FAA Letter and showed them that we were exactly 3.9 mile from the airport. Nothing more was said, and we have not had any problems since... Give a break... I will go to court all day long. It is in black and white, and on the side of the RC flyer.... It is however the responsibility of the RC flyer to maintain distance from air traffic.
Chuck Me 8
Here's the whole section. Chopping it off after "..within 3 miles of an airport" and ignoring the period between sentences paints a different picture than the section in its entirety.

"c. Do not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface. When flying aircraft within 3 miles of an airport, notify the airport operator, or when an air traffic facility is located at the airport, notify the control tower, or flight service station."

Sure seems like stay under 400ft wherever you are. 3 mile is only referencing when you should notify the airport. But it's not a hard and fast rule.

Either way, as markrosenau said - this probably has zero to do with the FAA if it was below 400ft. I assume his post was a response to the "Can't wait to see what the FAA says about this one." comment in the squawk.
8literbeater 3
Haha, yeah I was thinking the same thing. Who needs this silly punctuation stuff?
"Do not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface." That's one sentence. What follows is something else.
markrosenau 1
yup, my point was if the quad was below 400ft and the FAA probably won't have anything to say. Above 400 (no matter what is printed on a box) can (but not necessarily) get a visit from them.

And as any pilot knows "Please call the tower upon landing" leaves a pit in your stomach. Just talk to the 20-30 folks detained by CBP over the last few months: being "right" is no defense when dealing with the government.

And for any one who is curious, I have only been flying RC for 34 years and "1:1 scale" planes for 25...
sparkie624 -3
You may need to recheck your regs.... 400 feet at 3 miles or close to the airport, up to 18,000 feet.... I personally do not fly over 400 feet, but Iam legal to do so if I please... There is regulation that is in the proposal that will limit all RC to 400 feet, but it is not law YET!
R C 2
Do you have a transponder with mode (certified) on your drone? Listen up, a bird weighing only a few ounces can cause major damage to an aircraft. Your drone is an even bigger threat. Keep the damn thing below 400'!
sparkie624 -2
I do not fly within 3 miles of an airport, No I do not have a transponder, but I do have an altimeter... And YES, I do hold the certifications to certify all the equipment. Besides.. I am not flying above 18000 feet... You obviously do not fly full scale or familiar with it.... To fly cross country you do not have to have a transponder, however, to land at many airports you do have to have an encoding transponder... You are pulling crap out of your but now....You have no clue what you are talking about... How many RC planes have killed people this year... So far, there have been 3 government drones to crash and kill people... Geez, they even crashed one in IRAQ... They cannot do any better than that... Get your facts straight before responding, because your last reply is total BS.
sparkie624 -1
FAA Won't say anything on this one.. No laws were broken.
Gee willikers. Y'all sure do like to argue in order to prove who is "right". Thanks for giving me a laugh today.

Life's too short... Just be nice... etc. etc. etc.
R C 3
Legal to fly up to 18,000'? Hardly. Not sure who started this rumor but it's not true. That's one of the biggest problems with drones - they are being operated by people who have no idea of the rules or the dangers they pose to aircraft.
sparkie624 -2
I will have to find the reg, but any VFR Aircraft can fly VFR up to 18,000 without a clearance... Once they enter 18000 they have to go IFR. RC planes can do that, and they have, but usually it is not a hobbyist. The RC Aircraft would have to have Transponder and Minimum IFR equipment to do that... But by what you are saying Government Drones cannot fly over 400 feet... After all that is what you are trying to do here is to group RC into the DRONE category....
Ironic soundtrack... Maybe it's "time to say goodbye" to his drone. cool thought, nonetheless
M.F. LaBoo 1
Awsome vid, and I agree this would be entirely legal if the quad was under 400' (and was within the prescribed radius of operations).

However, those things don't have altimeters and my calibrated hang-gliding eyeballs are telling me some of those higher-angle shots busted the ceiling.
egnilk66 1
What do you mean they don't have altimeters? DJI Quadcopters come with them...

However you are correct in stating that they can bust the ceiling...they can reach altitudes well over 1000 feet, right out of the box.
sparkie624 0
Sorry.. Not by default they do not... DJI is normally not your stand Quad. Also, I just looked at a random DJI for $1299 and it does not have an altimeter. It has GPS that utilized Altitude Hold Feature, but no pitot static altimeter.
sharon bias 1
Love the video. Glad to know it couldn't run into any planes because no pilot would be stupid enough to fly into a fireworks display. A quote from The Hunt for Red October pretty much sums up my feelings: "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."
markrosenau 1
Also most pilots don't fly 500 feet off the ground. (At least not over any person, occupied dwelling or vehicle ;-)

If you've ever seen fireworks from the air (or a surrounding hillside), you'd see low they really are. Some very large 12" shells top out above 1000 feet, but most (6" or less) only reach a few hundred feet.

The wide angle on the camera really messes with distance and perspective.
rmchambers 1
I don't see why the FAA would have any say in it at all, do they control the airspace the fireworks occupy? There usually aren't spectators underneath the exploding fireworks. I thought it was very cool.
Peter Crew 1
Wow,,,,,,really sophisticated drone!
David Stein 1
Paste my Video description in to YouTube search
When I saw the title I thought "why would anyone fly through fireworks? This guy is gonna get into soo much trouble" then I saw the video. So maybe a little dangerous but those are some incredible shots!!!
Paul Nolte 1
clicked on the title expecting a very different outcome. spectacular view!
N5DW 1
Really cool !!!
Can someone identify the song ? and the singer ?
sportfish 2
Andrea Bocelli - Time To Say Goodbye - see:
I wonder if the military has hours of similar footage? Probably better to release those images of explosives going away rather than incoming. They probably don't bother with adding cool music to that footage.
btweston 1
Pretty rad.

With regard to the drone, I'm sure the FAA would say something similar to what it would say about the exploding projectiles through which it is flying.
sparkie624 -1
No regs were broken, and no one got hurt... He was within all legal rights and it was probably setup with the promoter of the even and the fire works people... Nothing will be said.
I have no idea about the legalities of RC flying or "Drone" if you will. My only experience with a RC fixed wing was to spend 3 months assembling one from scratch only to have an "instructor" drill a hole in the ground with it on it's maiden flight. I do know however that the video I just saw was awesome. It was certainly shot from a perspective I've never seen before and I will save it to show others. Thanks to whoever shot it.
egnilk66 1
Hmm...guess I'm wrong that they ship with altimeters, but they can be affixed with them.
sparkie624 1
Mine has one, they are easy to install.. Further more, they have GPS in most of them and that will give it an Altitude Hold Function as well as Return To Home.
joecoastie 1
What I think is remarkable is the operator is flying it at night. It's difficult enough flying an RC aircraft in the daylight when you can see it.
sparkie624 4
He was using GPS and Stabilization modes. He was also probably fly FPV (First Person View) meaning he was wearing goggles and had a 2nd person not in FPV spotting for him. Once he was finished, he could also select return to home and he has to do nothing else except turn it off... That is the way mine is setup and it works great... Not nearly as it may appear.
DavidBernard 1
Flack was a little heavy that night ...
Mike Kardash 1
Absolutely awesome - and the music is perfect!
benin 1
I'm still confused as to whether this is a Drone or a RC Aircraft. The differences are very vague. I feel like most people immediately assume that a quad/octo-copter is a drone, and anything else non military is rc. What needs to happen is, the definition of a RC and a drone needs to be clarified, so your local retired hobbyist with his over sized RC J-3 Cub replica isn't suddenly the center of the Media's attention because his "drone" is flying near people and spying on them; Then the FAA and other govt. agencies are involved.
sparkie624 2
It was an RC Quadcopter... Flown by an amateur. it a\was a DJI Phantom 2 ( and filming it with a GoPro Hero 3 silver ( Clearly amateur Remote control all easily accessible. These quads are harder to fly that most may think... It does take a level of skill and training.
markrosenau 1
The dictionary definition of "drone" is "a remote-controlled pilotless aircraft or missile." (or "a male bee" or "a low humming sound" but I'm guessing we are not talking about those :-)
By this definition all Radio Controlled aircraft are "drones."
Most people think of a drone as semi- or completely autonomous.
And while there are projects out there that would fit that description, it was clear from the video this was radio controlled.
donhun1313 2
drone [drohn]
1. the male of the honeybee and other bees, sting-less and making no honey. See illus. under bee.
2.a. an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight: the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.
2.b.(loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely: a radio-controlled drone.
3. a person who lives on the labor of others; parasitic loafer.
4. a drudge.

2b came into being because reporters love inflammatory headlines and started calling all unmanned aerial vehicles drones. Look in an older print dictionary and you will not see 2b only 2a.

They picked up the nickname of drones in the military because piloting the first ones was no fun (a drudge) and the engines seldom change pitch and tend to drone (verb) on.
sparkie624 0
You are exactly correct... 2b does fit, but very loosely..
David Stein 0
Great work showing the many great benign uses of a remote controlled aircraft such as the Multirotor helicopter used to capture this video.
The FAA in the Unites States of America, wants to remove the ability of the average citizen to be able to do this if they wish..
Please take a two Minutes of your time to view video in the link below. Today its model Aircraft what's next? Let me emphasize Its a model aircraft. with a weight of 2.5 LBS.
Thank for reading.. Please click or copy paste the link below.
RFTC: FAA Seeks to Ban FPV Flying and Limit Model Aviation
If you have an extra 5 MIN watch this one too.
Although Filming Fireworks is fun and beautiful art,
this Link below shows how a remote control aircraft can
be used to help find a lost child as an example.
No one is selling anything here!!! except the usefulness of radio controlled aircraft in emergency situations.
Click the link below please.
RFTC: FPV Drone Participates in Hasty River Search Training Exercise with Fire Department
R C 1
This was the result of a birdstrike. The bird was probably around 3 lbs.
sparkie624 0
WOW, Very nice.. thanks for sharing and very timely as well...


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