Friday, July 31, 2015

Related imageWatch your head! Amazon drones have been cleared to fly! The FAA approved testing for Prime Air deliveries. Yup the Federal Aviation Administration approved Amazon Logistics Inc. to fly drones experimentally last March and now more of them are in the skies. The approval allowed the company to conduct research, development and crew training for deliveries called Amazon Prime Air. With great permission like that, Amazon could one day put all the other delivery companies out of business. The approval allows the company to fly remote-controlled aircraft lower than 400 feet during daylight hours and the pilot must have a pilot’s certificate. So all those years you told your kids to put their remote controlled toys down and do something constructive just made you dead wrong.  The kids could have had a pilot’s license   by now.

Related imageOther restrictions include keeping the aircraft within view of its pilot or partner called a “visual observer” and   flying at least 500 feet away from people not associated with the experiments. While Amazon is the highest profile company to get FAA approval to fly drones commercially, the agency granted 48 petitions through for purposes such as movie-making, smokestack inspections and aerial photography. But hundreds of pending more applications are wanting the same favors Amazon got. If you don’t like the idea you can blame it on Congress who in 2012 ordered the FAA to integrate drones into the skies with passenger planes by September 2015. Well, her we are and the skies are a mess with now drones being sucked into jet engines along with birds. Then there are the laser pointers being pointed in the cockpits just to make the landing of a plane more interesting for the pilots. Those guys need combat pay to land a plane at any airport during peace time.

The approval was granted under an airworthiness certificate that requires Amazon to report monthly to the FAA. The reports must include the number of flights, a pilot’s duty time per flight, any malfunctions, deviation and instructions from air-traffic controllers and unintended loss of links between the aircraft and remote pilot. Why can’t we vote on these decisions? Now our local air space is polluted. Shouldn’t these drones be taxed for at least some money our government is always crying that they don’t have enough of? And give those jerky Air Traffic Controllers a raise in salary now that they have to worry about these mechanical pests flying into things too.

It is nice that the FAA released a long-awaited proposal for rules governing remote controlled aircraft weighing up to 55 pounds. Ouch that is like a child being propelled in the air and hitting you in the head! There better be a pilot to be required foe that size drone. I could care less if more requirement could hinder deliveries envisioned along automatic flying directions. Keep track of those things! Now Amazon sounds like a Domino’s Pizza Commercial. According to the company’s associate general counsel, Stephanie Burns, Amazon’s Prime Air, the new delivery system expects to get they will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small aerial vehicles that the company is still very passionate about. Engineering   companies are still working on perfecting the next great drone. Look OUT! 

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