sunset sky
walking rain over the Pedernal

Hi all –

As always another interesting week in our little corner of the sky.

First I am pleased to announce that the is now a media partner with the upcoming Commercial UAV Show in Singapore in September and the Age Of Drones Expo in Hamburg in October. Looking forward to broadening our coverage and making new friends.

It is official, President Obama, signed FESSA into law on July 15th meaning that the FAA is in business until 2017. Despite the enormous impact this bill will have on aviation, TSA and drones there has been almost no reaction. Can’t quite figure that out. Am going to try set up some interviews with those who should be in
the know.

Good news for the home team. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) managed to pack in a provision so that NMSU Is Now A FAA UAS Flight Test Center.

Reaction and confusion around Part 107 continue. Today the AMA announced that the FAA had confirmed that as a community-based organization, their members may fly over 400’. You can read about it in Wassup With This Mr. Huerta? AMA Can Fly Over 400 Feet.

A couple of weeks ago, Patrick Egan wrote a brilliant post, We’re Back In Business that inspired me to write Welcome To The 107 Merry Go Round. The common theme being that all that glitters is not gold.

And Dave Vos, who heads up Project Wing for Alphabet did a free-spirited interview A Remarkable Approach: Dave Vos Talks About The FAA And Drones which if nothing else proves that it’s good to be an 800-pound gorilla.

Last week we reported that Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law allowing fire commanders the right to neutralize a drone interfering with firefighting operations. It is causing quite an uproar. The problem of course is that downing an aircraft is in violation of federal law. Mark Del Bianco also points out that using a signal jamming device to down the drone (as opposed to say bullets) is also a violation of the Communications Act of 1934.

Meanwhile the Standard Examiner out of Ogden, UT is up in arms that the same jamming technology could be used to ground drones flown by news gathering organizations, thus imperiling the freedom of the press.

Of course the $64,000 question remains – what jamming technology?

The curious case of young Master Austin Haughwout went to court this week. He being the clever student who built a drone that fired a handgun, then roasted a Thanksgiving turkey with an airborne flamethrower, then posted both videos on YouTube where each caused a minor sensation. Needless to say, the FAA felt obliged to investigate and issued a subpoena.

Haughwout per et fils refused to cooperate, claiming that a UAS is not an aircraft and so the FAA had no jurisdiction. Here is a video interview with defense attorney Mario Cerame making his argument. In a post entitled Flame Throwers and Glocks!, Mark McKinnon from Dentons clarifies the Court’s finding this week that while the defense’s argument was “creative,” for the purposes of the investigation the UAS was an aircraft.

AT&T Sees Drones As An Essential Part Of The New Dial Tone builds on a press release by AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Donovan. Besides being exciting stuff with a solid video, it provides some insight into how an enterprise level company goes about implementing a drone program.

3 Drone Manufacturers Hit The Road takes a look at three very different strategies that Olaeris, CyPhy Works and AgEagle are taking to develop their target
market segments.

Three Eye Candy Tag Award winners this week, all airplanes.

A very sweet moment in Wichita when a WWII B-29 Superfortress named “Doc”, polished to a mirror shine that would make an Airstream blush, roared into the sky after a painstaking 15 year restoration. On the restoration crew was one of the original riveters – only seven of her original 1,000+ rivets had to be replaced. They sure don’t build ‘em like they used to.

Solar Impulse And The IoTSP is the story of the Solar Impulse which is about to complete the first solar powered circumnavigation. She is sitting in Egypt as I write, waiting for favorable conditions for her last leg to Abu Dhabi, where as we sailors say, she will cross her wake. She may be airborne while you’re reading this. Quite a remarkable accomplishment.

Also remarkable is Facebook’s Aquila Takes Flight. Mark Zuckerberg announced the successful first flight yesterday. With an electrical draw equivalent to three blow dryers, the design is intended to hover at 60,000-90,000’ providing Internet service to billions of unconnected people around the world. Must see video.
I “Like”.

Thanks for reading and for sharing.


Christopher Korody

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