faa

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the FAA is proposing rules that would limit drone flying to daylight hours, within eyesight, below an altitude of 400 feet and flown only by certified pilots. There will be questions as to whether these measures are too draconian, but I do think some kind of regulation is required.

My friend recently purchased a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus and invited me to its virgin flight outside. Apparently, he tried to get the drone flying in his room, and after the blades sliced into his bed post and then crashed a couple feet from his 2 year old he decided it was probably safer to do it outside. Probably.

Outside, he got it up a few feet…and then proceeded to crash it immediately into a pillar. So far, every flight had ended in a crash. He invited me to give it a try. Foolishly, I grabbed the controls.

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Since forever, smartphones and tablets were banned from flights despite a total lack of evidence they posed any danger. The US and UK came to their senses recently and lifted that restriction, while the rest of the world is still stuck with flight attendants badgering passengers to put their electronics away.

Everyone has a story. I remember one stewardess — really, a bully — stand and watch me not just put the phone on airplane mode, but actually power it off. I tried explaining how there was no evidence using electronics (especially while on airplane mode) was bad. I don’t remember what she said back exactly, but I do remember the spit flying everywhere and high decibel levels.

All the while, my buddy next to me was giggling under his breath while his Kindle stayed open. The flight attendant hadn’t realized that e-ink display was also an electronics device as she went nuts over my iPad.

With the rule change in place, I wonder if that stewardess ever thought back to our pleasant exchange.

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