Items tagged with FAA

Earlier this week, many details (including images) of DJI's new Mavic Mini drone leaked onto the internet. Today, however, DJI has officially introduced the newest member to its growing family. In most respects, the Mavic Mini is both a shrunken down version of the Mavic Air -- thanks to its folding legs that allow for a more compact shape when transporting -- and a replacement for the aging entry-level Spark. The tiny drone weighs in at a mere 249 grams, which is just 1 gram shy of the FAA-mandated 250-gram limit when registration is required. Giving that Mavic Mini serves as flying photography platform, we should mention that the camera uses a 1/2.3-inch sensor that is capable of... Read more...
Back in early July, we bought you the rather frightening story about someone that had attached a fully functional flamethrower to a DJI drone, turning it into a flying instrument of death. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now once again warning U.S. residents against weaponizing drones, which seems rather obvious when you think about it. The FAA reiterates that it is "illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached." The FAA is well aware of the videos that have been circulating around the internet promoting such dangerous activities and warns against attaching "guns, bombs, fireworks, flamethrowers, and other dangerous items". Besides the fact that such items represent... Read more...
The FAA has a history of banning devices from commercial flights that are covered in a recall that poses a fire risk. A fire in a commercial aircraft flying at altitude is a major hazard, to say the least. In the past, the FAA banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and now the agency has issued a ban that prevents any of the older 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks that are covered in a battery recall from being taken on commercial flights. The FAA issued a statement that noted it is aware of the recalled batteries used in some MacBook Pro laptops and that it has alerted U.S. airlines about the recall. The FAA reminded the airlines to follow safety guidelines for the recalled batteries, which means... Read more...
Given how popular drones are nowadays, it's becoming more common to see them put to use in new and imaginative ways. Unfortunately, folks don't always know where and when it's safe to fly them. In some cases, users might know, but still disregard the rules put in place for safety in the skies, and instead just take their chances anyway. And it just so happens Lady Gaga is a performer known for taking chances...  We learn today that the NFL might betray a no fly order from the FAA (as the organization has put in place in the past) at tonight's Super Bowl Half-Time show, though something tells us they probably have pre-clearance. Regardless, earlier this week, the Federal Aviation... Read more...
The ongoing Galaxy Note 7 saga appears to be finally winding down. In its most recent earnings forecast, Samsung has already recovered financially from the explosive fiasco and is looking ahead to record profits. Likewise, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ending the pre-boarding practice that required airlines to warn customers that Galaxy Note 7 devices are strictly prohibited. So, why the change of heart from the FAA given the obvious safety risks of allowing the smartphones aboard aircraft filled with hundreds of people? The FAA and Samsung cite an incredibly high return rate of 96 percent for phones that were sold to consumers. “Together with our wireless carriers, we have... Read more...
While it's of little consequence to Samsung at this point, Galaxy Note 7 phones will no longer be allowed on airplanes in the United States. The outright ban goes into effect today at noon ET and covers all Galaxy Note 7 handsets, including replacement devices that were originally thought to be immune from overheating and catching fire. It turns out that they weren't. The U.S. Department of Transportation met with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to issue what they're calling an "emergency order." Anyone who owns or possesses a Galaxy Note 7 is not allowed to bring it on a flight going to or coming... Read more...
The sky is most certainly falling over Samsung headquarters in the wake of reports that its hottest new smartphone, the Galaxy Note7, might actually be too hot to handle, literally. Samsung has received at least 92 reports of Note7 batteries overheating in the U.S. alone since its launch, with 26 of those resulting in burns and more than half causing property damage. While officially recalled in the U.S. now, Samsung has been criticized heavily in the media for their alleged slow response and hackneyed initial exchange program. [Image Source: Baidu] Samsung's public relations disaster may actually be the worst in smartphone history. The Galaxy Note7 was released for sale on August 19th. The first... Read more...
More bad news for Samsung, though not entirely unexpected. Due to concerns over a handful of recent reports of Galaxy Note 7 devices overheating and exploding, the United Stated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement to passengers that "strongly advises" them not to turn on the fire-prone device during flights. The FAA doesn't typically single out manufacturers and specific models when issuing warnings. Doing it now underscores the severity of the situation and the FAA's level of concern, though the agency stopped short of outright banning Galaxy Note 7 devices on flights. Instead, it suggested that passengers don't turn them on, charge them, or even stow Galaxy Note 7 handsets... Read more...
The fallout from the explosive Galaxy Note7 launch continues to rain down on not only Samsung, but its innocent customers as well. For those that have been living under a rock for the past two weeks, Samsung issued a global recall campaign (or as the company puts it, an Exchange Program) to replace Galaxy Note7 smartphones that have a propensity for exploding while charging. Samsung’s unofficial recall could have some more wide-reaching effects for those looking to board airplanes with their Galaxy Note7. According to Gizmodo, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering a ban on the smartphone for obvious reasons — an exploding smartphone aboard a passenger aircraft loaded with potentially... Read more...
There are many reasons to watch the Super Bowl, and that's true of today's Super Bowl 50 in particular—it could be Peyton Manning's last game ever, Cam Newton has a chance to cap off one of the most successful seasons in NFL history, the commercials, and halftime entertainment sponsored by Pepsi, to name some of the highlights. But one thing you won't see are drones. Nobody tunes into the Super Bowl to see drones anyway, but lest anyone in California has any wild ideas of flying unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, the Federal Aviation Administration has declared the airspace within a full 32-mile radius of the stadium a "No Drone Zone." The restriction goes into... Read more...
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally taken upon itself to bring some order to the chaos that has arisen with the popularity of aerial drones. The FAA is mandating that all operators of small drones go through a registration process in order to avoid stiff penalties. Recreational flyers who have taken to the air prior to December 21st, 2015 (the day registration opens) will have until February 19th, 2016 to register. Those who purchase a drone after December 21st, 2015 will have to register before their drone makes its first flight. Operators will be able to register via a streamlined web-based system; and will need to provide identifiable information including name, home address... Read more...
A task force for the Federal Aviation Administration has laid out a proposal that would require owners of unmanned aircraft to register their drones with the government. The registration system is one that's based on the weight of such aircraft and would only exempt ones that weigh less than 250 grams, or just over half a pound. The Task Force crunched a lot of numbers dealing with ground level velocity, drag coefficient, air density at sea level, kinetic energy, and other factors in determining that drones weighing 250 grams or more should be registered. It also took into consideration things like risk levels for commercial air transport in coming up with a mass-based approach to determine registration... Read more...
So, you're worried that your drone might get shot down in mid-air, and would very much like to avoid that. Well, there's some good news: the Federal Aviation Administration has come to the rescue in an almost unlikely way. With its "B4UFLY" app, which is in very limited beta testing, you'll be able to quickly glance at your smartphone and see if you're given a virtual a-OK to fly your drone in the area. That might sound simple, but this app is actually very surprising in what it can do, or will do in the future. For starters, you're able to "plan" a drone flight for a future date, and if it conflicts with any scheduled events in the area that would prevent you from going ahead with it, it will... Read more...
I’m not sure how to react to the rapid ascent of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones.” On the one hand, you have people using drones to film extreme sports, take breathtaking video footage in nature, and even get an overhead view of the construction of Apple’s new spaceship campus. But on the other hand, you have the idiots that were at the controls of not one, but five drones during a recent wildfire in southern California. The rubbernecking drones delayed the response of firefighting by nearly a half hour, when every minute counts in lessoning the spread of a fire. Now we have would could be the most interesting use for a personal drone yet: a flying gun platform. Of course, the U.S.... Read more...
Extreme weather, air traffic congestion, equipment maintenance issues, late arrival of connecting flights...and now iPad software glitch can be added to the list of flight delay causes. On Tuesday evening dozens of American Airlines flights were temporarily grounded due to problems caused by an issue with the software in iPads used in cockpit by AA pilots. The problem apparently struck randomly across the airline's fleet, affecting an app that serves as a navigational aid. In a statement, American Airlines said, "Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads. In some cases, the flight has had to return to the gate to access a Wifi connection to fix the issue."... Read more...
Considering all of the talk and worry in the air these days on the subject of drones it seems all but impossible that nearly 16 months have passed since Jeff Bezos first revealed Amazon's plan to deploy such devices in the service of delivering our books, tech hardware, etc., in the can-see-it-from-here future.  In the days immediately following Bezos's reveal on "60 Minutes" in December 2013, the Amazon drone service — Prime Air — became for a short time one of the most shared stories (and videos) across the social media sphere. Then as fast as the topic rose into the collective connected consciousness it faded from thought. That is, until yesterday,... Read more...
With all the talk about security and encryption on devices that are personal to us like smartphones and tablets, we’d like to think that computer systems that help to control and monitor key U.S. infrastructure and transportation systems would employ rigorous security measures to safeguard against cyberattacks. This is even more important when it comes to the daunting task of air traffic control where interruptions to service and computer downtime could cripple air travel across the country and put passenger (and flight crew) lives at risk. With so much at stake, it’s quite disappointing to hear the results of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that is highly critical of the Federal... Read more...
When Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveiled Amazon Prime Air in late 2013 via 60 Minutes, a lot of people took it as a joke -- an easy way for Amazon to hog the limelight for a little bit. It took only a few months more to realize that the company was very serious about the venture, and while it might still seem a little bit outlandish to use drones to deliver packages, it can and has been done. Of course, deploying drones for commercial use is easier said than done. The amount of regulatory work that needs to be done is massive, and we're still not at the point where we're much closer, something proven with new draft rules that the FAA released over the weekend. While it doesn't seem like a problem in... Read more...
In response to the growing popularity of drones, the Federal Aviation Authority has started to modify its rules and regulations to include remote controlled aircraft. However, Amazon, which plans to use drones to deliver packages, warned the FAA that it needs to be more lenient with its regulation on the use of drones outdoors; otherwise the retailer will move its research teams out of the country.Amazon has been planning to test drones for its Prime Air program and, back in July, approached the FAA for permission to test drones outdoors near Seattle where one of the company’s R&D labs is working on the tech. However, the FAA has been taking its time in giving its approval for the tests."Without... Read more...
On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration released an updated notice criminalizing the operation of drones or model plans over large sports stadiums and auto racetracks. According to the notice, operators who violate certain conditions can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year. The updated notice states that aircraft, which now includes unmanned and remote controlled planes, are not allowed to fly within three miles, or below 3,000 feet of any stadium that can seat 30,000 or more people during the regular or post season of Major League Baseball, National Football League, and NCAA Division 1 college football games an hour prior and after an event for security reasons. The FAA notice went... Read more...
Maybe your kids or grandchildren will inherit a world where delivery drones are the norm, but for now, the Federal Aviation Administration is keeping a close and cautious eye on these unmanned aircraft. Current restrictions are so tight that the University of Michigan had to cancel plans to have a drone deliver the game ball before kickoff on Saturday as the Wolverines prepared to take on the University of Utah at its Ann Arbor stadium. "The FAA promotes voluntary compliance by educating UAS operators about how they can operate safely under current regulations and laws," the agency told Bloomberg in an email. After the FAA explained the rules to the University, school officials made the decision... Read more...
Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet just received FAA Authorization to be included in flight bags used by pilots in commercial aviation. In recent months, the airline industry has actually embraced newer technologies in a big way, paving the way for handheld use during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Plus, Apple's iPad has found a home in select flight bags as well, cutting out weight and modernizing the pilot playbook. Microsoft's no stranger to the airline world, as it recently partnered with Delta in order to install Windows Phone devices on Delta flights to handle food purchases and the like. This week, Microsoft is expanding that reach yet again with FAA approval to stick the Surface into Electronic... Read more...
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