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Comment Re:Tethers don't matter, insurance does! (Score 1) 88

Yes, if you really think about it, we've done quite a bit in our history with objects on strings, and yet a 20' string tied to helium balloons by the dozen doesn't require a pilots permit, and flying a kite doesn't require a license.

You don't have a clue what people are doing with these things, do you? Flying a unmanned aerial vehicle is nothing like tying a helium balloon to a string.

And naturally, the first question born from this insanity is why the hell aren't we forced to buy kite and balloon insurance these days...I'm rather shocked the greedy bastards let that one fly....literally.

You're not required to buy insurance for a lot of things, but you'll be personally liable for all damages without it. In the case of transportation, the risk of damage and injury is so great that the government has opted to mandate all vehicle operators be insured.

Comment Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (Score 1) 268

Also, they are giving their interpretation that anything involving money removes the operator from the "hobby and recreational" exemption that congress granted.

This isn't new and is how it has always been. If 15 years ago you attempted to use your RC for aerial photography, the FAA would consider that a violation. The rest of your examples are also no new.

Comment Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (Score 3, Insightful) 268

The problem the FAA is currently faced with is that hobbyists aren't flying within a field, AMA or otherwise, but rather exceeding 400 ft, flying over populated areas and highways, and flying into controlled airspace. The only new restriction that the FAA is proposing is removing FPV flying from the domain of "model aircraft", which limits the pilots ability to perform these unsafe activities.

Ars Technica just published an article demonstrating the activities that irresponsible people (the author) do with this technology: link

Comment Re:Not surprised, mixed feelings (Score 3, Informative) 268

I doubt it is just "a few idiots". The access to these devices has increased to the point where many people can now gain access to them, particularly those who don't give much thought to their actions. Ars Technica got their hands on a DJI Phantom and IMMEDIATELY flew above 400 ft, over other people's property, over crowded areas, over highways, and in dangerous areas (near power lines, etc): link.

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