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July 25, 2017, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'July 25, 2017, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'

VOL 1, ISSUE 12 July 25, 2017
Top Stories
Quadcopter smashes speed record
Prototypes of this record-setting quadcopter burst into flames at peak acceleration, but the Drone Racing League team got the ship dialed in for a successful Guinness World Record run. The world's fastest quad averaged 163.5 mph in two passes through a 328-foot (100-meter) course, and thus became (by a wide margin) the fastest battery-powered, remote-controlled quadcopter ever flown, according to Guinness. The two-year-old racing league recently landed $20 million in fresh investment from sources including the owner of Formula 1, so this is likely not the last of the fast machines we'll see on the track. (Photo courtesy of Drone Racing League.) Read more and watch the video >
Drone racing finale to air on ESPN
The Drone Racing League 2017 season finale was flown June 13, but the results were under wraps until the final television dates on ESPN: July 25 at 10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time for the last round of playoffs, and July 28 at 9 p.m. for the championship races. Producers have figured out ways to make the small machines show well on television, including liberal use of on-board cameras to give viewers the pilot's perspective on vertical hairpin turns and other hair-raising aeronautical feats. View the race schedule >
Training and Safety
Focusing on drone safety
AOPA and fellow members of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team are focusing on loss of control, injuries, and potential conflicts with manned aircraft. Read more >
Companies pair up to teach mapping
DARTdrones, provider of drone training offered at discounted rates for AOPA members, recently teamed up with DroneDeploy to offer a series of workshops and courses on aerial mapping and surveying. Read more >
USAF develops counter-drone tactics
With terrorists and insurgents turning to drone technology to drop grenades on the battlefield, the U.S. Air Force is flying DJI Phantoms in Afghanistan to develop anti-drone tactics and training. Airmen worked with an expert flown in from the Air Force Research Laboratory to replicate enemy drone tactics and develop effective countermeasures. Read more >
Drone 101 at EAA AirVenture
AOPA Senior Director of UAS Programs Kathleen "Kat" Swain will lead a workshop July 29 at 11 a.m. on the AOPA campus at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The 45-minute presentation is free and covers the basics for those thinking about buying and flying drones.
Drone repair service launched
A Texas company estimates that 30 percent of new drone owners will crash in the first week, and crash damage usually is not covered under warranty. Fortress Solutions has been repairing electronics since 2002 and has launched a drone repair service to compete with local hobby shops and manufacturers for a share of what could be a very lucrative market. Read more >
DJI Spark gets thumbs-up
The latest—and smallest— drone in the DJI lineup, the Spark, has been getting some good press. CNET editors put the Spark through its paces and gave it high marks. Read more >
Drone buyer survey underway
Skylogic Research is offering prizes (including a drone) to entice responses to a 2017 Drone Market Sector Research study. The company hopes to gain deeper insight into who is buying drones, what drones are being used for, and what products and support might find a market. Read more >
Skypixel contest closing
As the Aug. 2 submission deadline for the 2017 Skypixel Video Contest approaches, we checked in with one of the judges, Josh Raab, a multimedia editor at Time who also participated in the 2016 contest panel. One way to get Raab's attention is to go beyond a pretty picture. "What I would like to see is photographers, or in this case videographers, abandon the idea that drones are best used for beauty shots and begin to embrace their ability to tell stories," Raab said. He also noted that the best drone to buy might not be the most expensive drone you can afford. Portability, and serendipity, are not to be underestimated. The best camera, it is often said, is the one you have with you. "I'm not seeing (drones) used on a whim very often," Raab added. Read contest details and submit your video >
Teen finds drones therapeutic
A Florida teen turned to drone flying to help regain dexterity after a motocross crash, and got hooked. Barrett Tate showed off his pilot skills during a drone education event at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo campus in Lakeland, Florida. Read more >
Channeling Orson Welles
AOPA Insurance Services Director of Operations Jim Pinegar believes that as soon as drones can fly beyond the pilot's line of sight, the industry will boom, and eventually take on passengers (if not pilots). Read more >
Regulation and Policy
Canada releases draft regulations
Transport Canada has published draft drone regulations that include an insurance requirement for drones that weigh 250 grams or more—rules that market leader DJI pronounced "overly restrictive." Read more >
British drone pilots face drone registration, test
The British government has announced new drone regulations that will require both registration and testing for anyone flying a drone that weighs more than 250 grams. Read more >
AOPA backs detect-and-avoid standards
AOPA has voiced support for proposed technical standards that would apply to large, unmanned aircraft operating beyond visual line of sight. Read more >
Walmart to test delivery drones in upstate New York
Walmart has rented space at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York, to develop and test drone delivery systems, bringing the retail giant's drone research operation to a facility that hosts FAA and NASA research programs. Read more >
DARPA drones aim for autonomy
Small quadcopters developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently zipped through an obstacle course aiming for speeds up to 45 mph without human guidance or GPS. Read more >
Air Force wants authority to down drones
A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor pilot barely missed a small drone during final approach to landing in early July, and another drone flew over an Air Force flight line. That has prompted the military to seek authority to shoot drones down. Read more >
Eagles destroy drone
Eagles that live in Alaska's Aleutian Islands are not pleased to share the sky with drones, and they are inclined to do something about it. Read more >
Featured Video
Colors of Georgia
A combination of flying and ground-based cameras offers a slice-of-life glimpse of Georgia (the country in the Caucasus region, not the southern U.S. state, as quickly becomes clear). A Boris Pasternak poem is woven into the soundtrack of this tightly edited look at a former Soviet state straddling the crossroads of Europe and Asia. (Image courtesy of via Vimeo.) Watch the video >
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