Drone Photography - Andrea Watson

Drone Photography


UPDATE (2017-10-31)

It's official!  Andrea is now an FAA Certified Drone Pilot.  Certificate # 4043498.  She took the test Aug. 23, 2017, after studying quite a bit. The test covered lots of topics, including Small Unmanned Systems Regulations, Airspace (very complicated and detailed), Flight Restrictions. Airport Operations, Radio Communications, Aviation Weather, Maintenance and Preflight Procedures, Crew Resource Management and Aeronautical Decision Making, Small USA Loading and Performance, Hazards to Flight, Emergency Procedures, and Aviation Physiology.

She made a decision early-on to reach out to organizations that could help in the process of becoming proficient in all areas of piloting a drone. She turned to one of the major companies, DART DRONES, which proved to be a very wise decision.  The individual care and excellent study materials made the process, while not completely painless, much easier.

What Andrea came away with, after all the studying and taking the difficult 2-hour test, was a respect for the regulations and how much she still needed to learn.  THESE ARE NOT TOYS.  There are safety requirements that must be followed to keep everyone safe.  Not only for the pilot, the drone, but especially for people on the ground.  

More about drones and new regulations, the joy of flying and general progress toward excellence will all be discussed in the new blog (once it gets posted!)

Check this space....  and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

UPDATE (2017-7-16):  

Andrea has completed the In-Person Part 107 Test Preparation and the Phamto & Inspire Flight Training at DartDrones.  She is in the final stages of studying for the very difficult FAA Commercial Drone Pilot Test.  For more information about becoming a FAA Pilot, click HERE. She is also clocking hours on drone training at a local Port Washington Aerodrome.  She has received several requests for drone photography at Long Island Sound regattas.  Stay tuned! Lots more to come!

Andrea Watson became interested in Drone Photography after attending a presentation at the Port Washington Public Library.  Andrea has been involved with the library for over 30 years, first as a Friend of the Library, then as a Board Trustee and presently as the Chair of the Nautical Advisory Council.  So she knew that a presentation on the Drones would be not only informative but fascinating.  And it was both!

It was at this presentation where Andrea met some people for the FAA and from DartDrones. After speaking to them she began to understand the requirements needed to become a certified Commercial Drone Pilot.  BTW, Andrea was the ONLY woman in the audience....so where are you, ladies????

Never one to back away from the challenge, Andrea thought, "this is for me."  She contacted DartDrones and spend a day learning basic information about the Part 107 Drone Pilot Test.  Lots to learn here!

For those who think drones are a fairly new photography method, a little history is in order. 

Aerial photography was first practiced by the French photographer and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as "Nadar", in 1858 over Paris, France. However, the photographs he produced no longer exist and therefore the earliest surviving aerial photograph is titled 'Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.' Taken by James Wallace Black and Samuel Archer King on October 13, 1860, it depicts Boston from a height of 630m.

Kite aerial photography was pioneered by British meteorologist E.D. Archibald in 1882. He used an explosive charge on a timer to take photographs from the air. Frenchman Arthur Batut began using kites for photography in 1888 and wrote a book on his methods in 1890. Samuel Franklin Cody developed his advanced 'Man-lifter War Kite' and succeeded in interesting the British War Office with its capabilities.

The first use of a motion picture camera mounted to a heavier-than-air aircraft took place on April 24, 1909, over Rome in the 3:28 silent film short, Wilbur Wright und seine Flugmaschine.

Fast forward to more recent information:

Advances in radio controlled models have made it possible for model aircraft to conduct low-altitude aerial photography. This had benefited real-estate advertising, where commercial and residential properties are the photographic subject when in 2014 the US Federal Communications Commission, issued an order banning the use of "Drones" in any commercial application related to photographs for use in real estate advertisements.This ban has since been lifted, as the FAA Part 107 regulations for small UAS became effective on August 29, 2016.

Small scale model aircraft offer increased photographic access to these previously restricted areas. Miniature vehicles do not replace full-size aircraft, as full-size aircraft are capable of longer flight times, higher altitudes, and greater equipment payloads. They are, however, useful in any situation in which a full-scale aircraft would be dangerous to operate. Examples would include the inspection of transformers atop power transmission lines and slow, low-level flight over agricultural fields, both of which can be accomplished by a large-scale radio controlled helicopter.

ANOTHER USE:  Nautical Photography.  The DJI Phantom 4 Pro + has the capability to track. Think of the possibilities:  a skipper would like to see how his boat performed on the starting line, around a mark, or checking out sail trim during a race.  That is just for starters - as we travel down this road together, more opportunities will present itself.

2006 FAA regulations grounding all commercial RC model flights have been upgraded to require formal FAA certification before permission is granted to fly at any altitude in the US. June 25, 2014, The FAA, in ruling 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No. FAA–2014–0396] "Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft", banned the commercial use of unmanned aircraft over U.S. airspace. On September 26, 2014, the FAA began granting the right to use drones in aerial filmmaking. Operators are required to be licensed pilots and must keep the drone in view at all times. Drones cannot be used to film in areas where people might be put at risk. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 established, in Section 336, a special rule for model aircraft. In Section 336, Congress confirmed the FAA’s long-standing position that model aircraft are aircraft. Under the terms of the Act, a model aircraft is defined as "an unmanned aircraft" that is " (1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes." Because anything capable of being viewed from a public space is considered outside the realm of privacy in the United States, aerial photography may legally document features and occurrences on private property. The FAA can pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system. Public Law 112–95, section 336(b).

June 21, 2016, the FAA released its summary of small unmanned aircraft rules (Part 107). The rules established guidelines for small UAS operators including operating only during the daytime, a 400 ft. ceiling and pilots must keep the UAS in visual range.

April 7, 2017, the FAA announced special security instructions under 14 CFR § 99.7. Effective April 14, 2017, all UAS flights within 400 feet of the lateral boundaries of U.S. military installations are prohibited unless a special permit is secured from the base and/or the FAA. Source: Wikipedia

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