FAA’s B4UFLY app update for drones brings much-needed changes from Kittyhawk

FAA’s B4UFLY app update for drones brings much-needed changes from Kittyhawk

There’s an all-new B4UFLY app update, and it’s a good one. The Federal Aviation Administration’s B4UFLY app, a free mobile app iOS and Android intended to help drone operators check the status of airspace prior to drone flights, got an update this week. B4UFLY is a free app that intended to “help drone operators operate compliantly with FAA rules and regulations.” And while the app has widely used (more than 700,000 people have used it since its launch in 2016), it also received heavy criticism for being glitchy, confusing and cumbersome to use. At one point, it had an average rating of just 1.5/5 on the iTunes app store (it has since improved to the 4-star range), and an even more abysmal rating of 1.5/5 out of 1,107 reviews on the Android App store on Google Play. It was perhaps those low reviews that prompted the FAA to put out a call for private companies to help them fix their app. In February, San Francisco-based, drone software startup Kittyhawk announced it would lead development in an exclusive public-private partnership of the next iteration of the drone app. The new home screen on the FAA’s B4UFly app, which is powered by Kittyhawk. Kitthyhawk’s new, redesigned version of the app shows drone operators what airspace restrictions are in effect at any location in the United States, in real-time. (Often airspace that is typically okay to fly in can quickly change due to something like a weather emergency or a major event, such

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Women Who Drone, Drone Deploy to host joint summer event in San Francisco

Many of you Drone Girl readers are based in San Francisco (me too!), so here’s an event right in your backyard. Women Who Drone, an online and in-person drone community, and drone software company DroneDeploy are teaming up to host a networking and educational evening event. The event is less than a week away, on Tuesday, August 6 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. It will be held at DroneDeploy’s offices at 1045 Bryant Street, in San Francisco. Early bird tickets for the event (which includes snacks and drinks) start at $8, before prices rise to $10. DroneDeploy CEO Mike Winn will share the company’s latest findings around new trends, good data practices, and impart their wisdom from first-hand experiences in drones and mapping. Then, there will be a drone film screening, drone test flying, and a raffle for a drone lesson. Here’s the evening’s complete itinerary: 7:00 – 7:30pm: Networking (snacks and drinks provided) 7:30 – 8:00pm: WWD presentation 8:00 – 8:15pm: WWD Ambassadors screenings 8:15 – 8:30pm: Guest Speaker 8:30 – 8:45pm: Q+A 8:45 – 9:30pm: Raffle + Networking The event is part of a broader series of bi-monthly meetups held around the world, put on by Women Who Drone. Each event includes a different technical talk or panel, meetups with local Women Who Drone Ambassadors, and time for networking with other attendees. You can grab tickets here. The post Women Who Drone, Drone Deploy to host joint summer event in San Francisco appeared first on The Drone Girl.

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I have a drone, now what? 7 things to do after getting a drone

I have a drone, now what? 7 things to do after getting a drone

You just bought a drone, or maybe you even made it yourself. So what do you do with it? You could just fly it around, or you could do even more — in fact, you can even make money off of it! Here are 7 next steps to consider now that you have a drone: One of the SkyPixel contest winners Get your Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA so you can start earning money: In order to fly drones commercially, you’ll have to pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aeronautical Exam (commonly referred to as the Part 107 test). The Part 107 test, which is a set of 60 multiple choice questions with a single correct response for each one, and can be taken at one of the 696 testing centers in the United States. Upon passing, you’ll be a certified FAA pilot! I recommend studying through an online course such as Drone Pilot Ground School or Drone Launch Academy. Enter a drone video or photo festival: There are tons of drone photo and video festivals out there, and many will pay you money (or at least award you with free swag, including drones) for your art. There are tons of photo contests out there to choose from, including the New York City Drone Film Festival, SkyPixel (which is an aerial art community connected to DJI) or the AirVuz drone video awards, among many others. Try drone racing: Drone racing can be a fun way to meet other drone fanatics, and it

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How to fly your drone near airports (legally)

How to fly your drone near airports (legally)

You may have heard that you can’t fly drones near airports. That’s not entirely true. You can’t fly drones near airports without permission. The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to get that permission, whether you’re a commercial drone pilot, or a recreational hobbyist (meaning you fly drones for fun, not for pay). Here’s how: The system for recreational and commercial drone pilots to get permission to fly in controlled airspace, such as near airports, is called LAANC (it stands for Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability). To get LAANC permission, you can use any one of a number of third-party, FAA-approved UAS Service Suppliers, to request authorization to fly in that controlled airspace. As of July 2019 (when the FAA made the instant approval process publicly available to recreational pilots), there were 14 FAA-approved LAANC service suppliers (though only six of the 14 are available to the public, meaning the other ones serve private clients or their own employees). Those service suppliers include private companies such as Kittyhawk, Altitude Angel, AirMap, Skyward, Airbus, Unifly, DJI and Project Wing (the drone arm of the company formerly known as Google). Most authorization is granted almost instantly (especially if you’re flying below 400 feet and in controlled airspace around airports). More complicated flights, such as those more than 400 feet, or in more complex airspaces, can submit a “further coordination request,” which can be applied for up to 90 days in advance of a flight. However, that’s only available to Part

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The biggest problem with trying to fly drones in Iceland

The biggest problem with trying to fly drones in Iceland

Trying to fly a drone in Iceland? If you’re operating in the winter, good luck with the wind. Wind speeds (particularly in the wintertime) in Iceland typically reach 30-40 mph, but it’s not unusual for them to get much higher than that. A storm in Reykjavik in December 2015 saw wind gusts reaching 162.4 miles per hour. And that’s certainly not an environment for drones to be flying in. For comparison, the DJI Mavic Air is built to have a maximum wind speed resistance of 18 – 23 mph. Even a heavier-duty drone, like the DJI Inspire 2, is only built to withstand wind speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland And that’s exactly why you won’t see Iceland’s most popular drone delivery company, Flytrex, operating during winter. “The wind gusts in Iceland in the winter are horrible,” said Yariv Bash, CEO of Flytrex. “It’s dangerous even for people being outside, so certainly not a drone. Flytrex, an Israel-based startup that deliveries food via drone to various points around the city of Reykjavik, only operates in the summer. Drones have been wildly popular in Iceland, as travelers try to capture the unique landscapes from an aerial view. A quick glimpse at drone video social network AirVuz makes it pretty clear how the country’s fascinating landscapes have enchanted drone pilots. But if your travel plans involve a trip to Iceland in the winter, be aware that you might not be able to fly your drone

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