October 2, 2013

These Are Not Toys: Quadcopter Crashes on Busy Manhattan Street

dji phantom gopro hero3 aerial rig quadcopter minicopter helicopter mountWe've spoken a lot about Quadcopters and other kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles, but probably not as much as we should on the actual dangers involved in flying them. For those who are licensed and take this sort of thing very seriously, these kinds of stories give filmmakers and other professionals a bad name. It should go without saying that these are very dangerous, especially when you're flying them in ways not suggested by the FAA guidelines. Monday a quadcopter landed mere feet from a man after it crashed a number of times against a building. The police have not done anything as of yet, but the memory card was retrieved, and we have the following video below.

[Update] Apparently there was a longer version of the video, here it is courtesy of ABC Channel 7 in New York:

It looks to be a DJI Phantom being flown (possibly with some sort of video transmission option added), and while it may not be heavy enough to kill someone, that doesn't mean doing what was done in the video is harmless. Guerilla filmmaking is one thing, but it's important to use them safely. Each city or town may have its own regulations on flying them, but the FAA regulations warn against using them above 400 feet and near populated areas. Most of the videos we've shown are flown by professionals with permission or in less populated areas.

The best thing to do is to hire professionals if you really need an aerial shot and you're in a certain area or height which may be questionable. These are much cheaper than renting a helicopter, but the results at times can be just as spectacular.

Or, alternatively, you could just strap your camera to an eagle and get some great shots:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3QrhdfLCO8

Professionals out there, what do you think about the story? What is your game plan about shooting in populated areas?

Links:

[via The Verge]

Your Comment

58 Comments

I was thinking about this the other day. There's licences for everything but I didn't know if this required one.

October 2, 2013 at 10:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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maghoxfr

lol, what a bunch of statist bullshit. You think just because someone ASKS FOR PERMISSION, that they will fly responsibly? Umm, last time I checked you had to ASK FOR PERMISSION and GET A DRIVERS LICENSE to drive, does that mean no one drives like an asshole?

This article sounds like a government advertizement promoting the FAA.

October 2, 2013 at 10:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ZIM

It is, they paid me lots of money I'll never get because of the government shutdown.

Of course it doesn't mean you won't do something stupid, but I'm simply putting out there are ways to limit your liability, especially if you hurt someone. Do you not put sand bags on your light stands? Lock down C-stand arms or put something on the hot points so people don't run into them?

Accidents will happen, but taking precautions for anything related to filmmaking is important.

October 2, 2013 at 10:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

common sense and caring...

October 3, 2013 at 2:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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esteban

Joe, you've been accused here of being paid to promote a whole lot of different products or companies on nofilmschool.... but I gotta say, I never thought I'd hear this accusation. This ranks high on my list of favorite NFS hate comments.

But seriously, thanks for posting this. I know a guy getting into the aerial videography game, and incidents like this are his worst nightmare—between the political stuff in the US surrounding privacy and drones, and the potential of people really causing damage with a Phantom, there's a lot of room for the government to step in, regulate this industry to death, and kill the capabilities of a lot of videographers.

October 3, 2013 at 2:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I totally agree with you, plus even if he was getting money it's worth it aint shittt free y'all aint feeding the man nor putting money in his pocket for his time and everything else he's doing!!

October 4, 2013 at 11:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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WILL

what sort of asinine response is that? Yea okay, people "ask permission" and obtain a drivers license (after appropriate testing) to drive a car - and yes, many people will choose to abuse that and drive irresponsibly - but let's account for a few things before you apply such a "parallel" to flying a device around a populated area.

A) cars are designed with the idea that accidents can happen, and do happen, on a regular basis. They are designed with safety features in mind for both the operator and potential victims to particular extents. It doesn't eliminate damages or injury, but it applies what it can to avoid drastic circumstances. There is also REQUIRED INSURANCE to not only operate the vehicle, but provide support in the event of an accident and injury.

B) cars aren't exactly allowed to drive around on sidewalks or in parks, or bump into buildings casually. They have streets that they generally stay on - a pathway that most people are aware they exist and tend to stay out of. There are boundaries in which a car operates, and this is all pretty heavily accounted for by the commonwealth of society.

C) Not everyone has a general understanding of how to handle a moving object that is working against gravity and wind velocity. You can go up, down, left, right, forward and backwards.. and fucking flip over in a 180-360 degree rotation comfortably in these devices - where as a car is pretty limited to going forward and backwards, with the ability to turn while staying on the ground with the advantage of traction and friction.

D) Inform me as to how you intend to be able to focus on what you're filming, while holding a camera and driving at the same time. I'm sure you're increasing the risk of potential harm, just as someone flying an object is focused on trying to get the camera positioned, rather than paying full attention to what and how they are flying the device.

E) Just because it looks and feels like a toy, and provides you with a means to creative content you feel you have the right to create, doesn't mean it couldn't be damaging to others who aren't looking to take risks just by walking down a sidewalk to get to and from work. You should heed responsibility for it, and just because someone suggests a license to operate one, doesn't mean they're implying that it will rid the world of irresponsible operators. It will, however, push more responsibility on those who do operate them - a responsibility people will take seriously, and learn how to control as it may benefit their creative career and endeavors.

October 3, 2013 at 4:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Aaron

I concur with you 100%.

October 3, 2013 at 6:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Orland

Spoken like a true 19 year old!

October 4, 2013 at 10:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Muh

Joe should get paid and if it's promoting products who cares as long as he gives his real opinion about those products.Do you expect him to do all the work he does on the site and not be able to make a living. Call me a butt kisser if you want but I think Joe does an excellent job on this site and he along with the others who contribute have certainly helped my education in this field. There are no film schools here in my part of Texas So most of what I know comes from the best books by industry professionals I can buy and sites like no film school have helped me better understand the material I am reading. I am now at the point where my equipment and money are the limiting factors and it really pisses me off when some jerk gets on here and talks a bunch of crap to someone like Joe who as far as I can see really cares about doing his best for us. So lay off with the negativity man. No one is perfect and we all have to deal with reality. And Joe is good at keeping it real.

October 7, 2013 at 11:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gary S.

i think you're a tool of the eaglecam-industrial complex.

October 2, 2013 at 11:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sjk

It takes a tool to understand one.

October 3, 2013 at 9:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Buddy

They need to make this shit more reliable.

October 3, 2013 at 12:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

considering it crashed into the side of a building like 3 times and managed to recover all 3 times I think that's pretty effing reliable.

October 3, 2013 at 1:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

More reliable? It took 3 hits on a building wall!!!
That was no reliability problem. It was the pilot's (I don't even know if I can call him a pilot) fault.
Just because you have $500 to spare and played arround with your son's RC toy car doesn't make you able to fly a quadcopter safely.

October 3, 2013 at 7:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Miguel

Just in case you thought that eagle footage should have had a Steve Miller band soundtrack, I've done you all the courtesy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEStaluXJds

October 3, 2013 at 12:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I had one strapped to the back of the chicken and another to an eagle. Then the eagle cameraman ate the chicken cameraman. The whole story was featured on an episode of "Bones".

October 3, 2013 at 3:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

didn't see it crash.

October 3, 2013 at 1:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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VinceGortho

I love the sound it makes. So creepy

October 3, 2013 at 1:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

I shoot aerial with the same helicopter that fell in Manhattan. This past weekend I was asked to shoot images of an event held downtown by the event creator. I had staff block off my take-off and landing area and the same staff made sure that spectators didn't talk to me and distract during the flight. Even still, accidents can happen. I have searched for insurance but after many calls couldn't find anyone willing to write a policy. I figure if it lands on a car I could always simply write a check. If it were to land on a person that'd be different and at that point I'd have to call an attorney and most likely kiss my ass goodbye.

October 3, 2013 at 2:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Sky

I own a couple of the DJI Phantoms as well as a quad I made myself. Flying in a populated area like this should not be attempted unless it's in a very controlled environment... and by "controlled environment" I mean "expensive permits." Even if you are the most skillful pilot in the world, there are many things here that are completely out of your control. Many have experienced interference in populated areas like this around power lines and large buildings, and if that happens you can expect a flyaway, or at best, a slow uncontrolled fall to the ground. Either way it's gonna fall somewhere and in a place like Manhatten there's a decent chance it could hurt someone. I'm not sure what gear this pilot was flying with but the stock DJI radio isn't all that great, and if you fly it out of sight - like, say - around the corner of a building you are taking a big risk of losing communication with your quad, which will also most likely result in trouble. There's a "DJI Phantom Owners" group on facebook and a good chunk of comments/posts on there are about involuntary flyaways. I'm actually really surprised this guy smacked into a building multiple times and the quad stayed in the air. The pilot didn't seem to account for how air moves next to a wall/structure.

Flying between buildings in Manhattan is just asking for trouble, and it's actions like this that will kill our hobby.
I see stuff like this and figure it's only a matter of time before multirotors (DRONES to the public) are illegal. Like it or not, there's nothing but negativity surrounding multirotors. People think that drones that are going to be flying 5 feet from their window with a camera, which is literally confirmed by the above video - so how can we blame them?

tl;dr - DONT DO THIS PLEASE.

October 3, 2013 at 4:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ty

With people shooting stuff like this with drones it's only a mater of time before someone gets seriously injured. It doesn't matter that they are small and somewhat lite, if it fall 300 or 400 feet onto someone its going to cause some major damage.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cXpIcrJRrQA

October 3, 2013 at 5:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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David

even with a seasoned professional manning the controls, these things can be dangerous:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/279439-roman-pirozek-identified-as-man-w...

October 3, 2013 at 6:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Allen

From the full footage (http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=9271413) it´s obvious that this guy (?) doesn´t have the slightest clue how to fly these things or about any consequences of his acts. He can´t even take off the copter, how is he thinking of landing on his cramped little balcony?

October 3, 2013 at 8:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marco

The return to home feature. Duh.

October 3, 2013 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DanH

Couple of things as a Phantom Owner/Pilot:

1. Article implies a Phantom dropping from high altitude won’t kill a person, I disagree. The Phantom is somewhat light, but people are flying these things hundreds, sometimes thousands of feet. And many have gimbals that add about an extra pound.

2. The Phantom/GoPro combo is too cheap and produces too great a result. The world was not ready for it. Humans, when averaged, are beyond stupid. News likes this will continue to pop up until multirotors are finally outlawed. In the past, no laws where necessary because nobody ever cared to fly an RC plane in populated areas. But when you can get gorgeous 1080p aerial video, well that changes everything doesn’t it.

3. Shameless plug of my latest project which I feel is a lot better the irresponsible burning man video that was featured here:
http://youtu.be/UmHZoQZD7Nk

October 3, 2013 at 9:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jorge

How do you embed video here?

October 3, 2013 at 3:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jim

What's most concerning is how bad the footage looks. One day... one day, we will stop using GoPros. The crazy pitch and roll on that chopper isn't helping.

October 3, 2013 at 10:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Josh

The real problem is the more idiots take unnecessary risks and have accidents like this, the more likely the use of these devices WILL become heavily regulated.

Enjoy them while you can, because the bylaws are coming...

October 3, 2013 at 10:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sean

Just so long as reckless midwesterners and texans can keep unnecessarily dangerous Guns, also not toys around.

(You know, rather than help stop the flow of illegal ones from Florida (The guns, I mean)

October 3, 2013 at 11:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anon a moose

As a Texan and a gun owner, I'm not sure how to take that.

October 3, 2013 at 12:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Get a 12-guage and shoot down the runaway Phantom.

October 3, 2013 at 3:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I don't know what to do. I ordered an eagle from B&H but it never arrived. What eagle model do you guys have?

October 3, 2013 at 2:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edgar

Well played, sir. Well played.

October 3, 2013 at 5:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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October 3, 2013 at 3:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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L

Reading all the comments, I am surprised that no one brought up the fact that it is illegal to use RC aircraft for commercial purposes in the US.

October 3, 2013 at 4:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Same here. It's easy to get the idea from the article that there are 'professional multi-rotor operators' or that you can get a license to fly them...in reality, there is not such thing. You might be able to get permits depending on the local rules and whether you're flying over public or private land. But there isn't any licensing process to fly these, and they are illegal to fly commercially.

October 3, 2013 at 5:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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AG

You know, I have heard that, and yet at last NAB, I would say besides 4K cameras/TVs, RC Camera copters were the second most-expanded product offering on the show floor from previous years.

The DJI booth was quite large, and when I asked an employee why they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote a product at NAB that would be illegal for any of us to use commercially, he told me that was 100% not true.

I really don't see how NAB would allow them to show so any products at the convention if broadcasters couldn't use them. SO now I am confused.

October 3, 2013 at 6:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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It is illegal to fly unmanned aircraft (or UAS’s as the FAA designates them) for hire. In other words, you cannot be hired by a third party to shoot video or stills with your camera-equipped R/C aircraft, helicopter or multi-rotor helicopter. See this article for more information: http://photographyforrealestate.net/2012/01/24/warning-faa-says-us-airsp...

The FAA regulations (Advisory Circular 91-57) regarding unmanned or model aircraft alluded to in the article are not “warnings,” they are in fact regulations that if broken will result in enforcement action by the FAA. The FAA has absolute jurisdiction over all U.S. airspace. Period. From the ground to the edge of space. That includes your back yard. No state, municipal or local laws can supersede FAA regulations. Here’s a link to the FAA website and the aforementioned regulations regarding operation of UAS. http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.ns...

The FAA also has an FAQ page which answers questions about the regulations concerning the operation of unmanned aircraft or R/C aircraft. http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/uas_faq/

To answer Brian Mills; You can fly your camera-equipped UA for personal use. Just don’t violate anyone’s personal privacy or the regulations of FAA Advisory Circular 91-57.

October 3, 2013 at 8:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ken Wilson

I've seen some pretty careless eagles flying around out there. The safest option would be an emu or an ostrich.

October 3, 2013 at 4:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Last month - RC copter pilot was killed after he cut off part of his head in Huntington Beach Ca. I've flown large and small RC models for 35 yrs. You can't take the "stupid" and "adrenaline junkie" out of people. People just don't use their brains, want to show off...........and then the lawyers come and create restrictions and police the model industry........and apply the "lowest common denominator" rule to everyone. Please don't contribute to the demise of our hobby, sport, and for some, a way to earn a living.

October 3, 2013 at 4:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Umbala Yosef Ungawa

What a dumb ass, he could barely take off, how did he think he could land it! it looks like he lost orientation when he first hit the building, he saw he was close, tried to move it away but rammed straight into it. No clue at all. should have taken it to the park!

October 3, 2013 at 6:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andy

DJI is shipping this nasty little Phantom/GoPro package by the shed load, mostly to the type of anus brain who shot that video. A stupid prick who attempts to learn to fly from a New York appartment.

He got lost and disorientated almost immediately. A stupid, stupid A-hole. And there are thousands of these turds floating round buying the crappy DJI Phantom - just because they can, because it is so ridiculously inexpensive.

The FAA etc should not be wasting their time trying to police the end user. These stupid toys should be strangled at source and simply refused importation.

Anyone who is involved in the professional world of remote aerial photography will already know about the irresponsible attitude of the chinese outfit DJI and their appalling customer care. They are a money-before-anything outfit and need a severe wrist-slapping to encourage a more responsible attitude.

There is a place for remote helicams, they are a fantastic tool - but only in the right hands

https://vimeo.com/69381442

October 4, 2013 at 2:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I own one of these as well (and, ironically was just about to go out and fly it when I paused to read this post). The "pilot" (if you could call him that) of this video, was not only really stupid but really irresponsible. What the hell was he thinking: 1. He couldn't hardly take off from his balcony, how in the world was he going safely land there? 2. Did he even consider what would happen if he lost control of the bird? 3. The copter hit a building like 3-5 times and he STILL didn't think to try to safely land it? Idiot. Yes, these things are dangerous, especially the larger single blade helis (which I refuse to fly now). that's what cut off the CA guy's head and a few months ago killed a baby in Malaysia when one crashed into a crowd. Could you imagine living the rest of your life knowing you killed a baby? It doesn't get worse than that. (let alone how the parents feel). Guys: 1. Don't fly the larger single blade helis, too dangerous. 2. Don't fly over crowds at all, too dangerous. 3. Get really good at this before flying anywhere near people. 4. Yes, inside the US its illegal to fly these professionally (that will probably change soon with permits and law changing). 5. Always consider the ground below you and what would happen if it crashed. Expect crashes. The first day I flew one, a $20,000 heli crashed in front of me (I wasn't the pilot). Even the expensive ones crash. Just be prepared and plan for it to make sure they only thing that gets hurt when it does is the copter and the camera, no people. I would honestly think the pilot of this video should not only be fined but probably arrested.

October 4, 2013 at 2:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Yeah this was a very dumb person flying this. Couldn't hardly take off, these sort of morons are going to make the FAA regulations very strict when they do come out. These cheap copters make it too easy for anyone to do this. You can tell that this idiot was flying for the first or second time.

October 4, 2013 at 8:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ricky

The "operator" in the first video clearly should have learned to fly the 'copter on low ground before trying such a stupid stunt. That's was NYC Central Park is for!

Like any thing that can impose danger to others, responsible people will take responsibility, while irresponsible people won't. I think most people are responsible, but there's always a few who create the need for regulations that limit everyone else.

October 4, 2013 at 10:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dave

So what is our game plan being professionals shooting in populated areas and what do we think about the story?

Other than in the US we are allowed to fly these drones for commercial work here in germany. In germany you need to be licensed to do commercial work with any kind of rc model helicopter. So you get the license. In some areas you need to show the administration that you actually can fly the Quadro or rc helicopter. We own the Phantom and we also own a couple of quadros, Hexas and Octos. We mostly use them for TV and Movieproductions, carrying varying cams from GoPro to Black Magic Cinema camera but here is the thing:

We are all experienced pilots with at least 5 years of experience flying all kinds of RC model helicopters. We also take the planning stage very serious.

First thing is to get lots of experience flying the helis in all kinds of conditions. Obviously you don´t try to get that experience from a balcony in Manhattan.

Next thing is you know your flying machine in and out. The Phantom looks like it is a simple machine but it does have a sophisticated flight control system on board which can be partly controlled by the pilot. In the video above the copter was lost because the pilot got disoriented flying the machine not knowing any longer what was front, left, right or back. And that happened very early on in the video, after a couple of turns. He could have switched to GPS Mode, at least the copter would have stopped flying around.

And the next thing is the planning stage. Flying in populated areas means you need to plan that flight accordingly. In our case it means a lot.

1. We discuss the flightpath with the diretor/DOP and we discuss the emotional feeling that aerial shot should have in the picture later on.

2. We come up with our own gameplan on how to achieve the above.

3. We get all licenses for that area if our general license doesn´t cover it all.

4. We check the wx.

5. We check our machines again and again to make sure everything is running up to specs and we can conduct the flight in a safe manner.

6. We check the surroundings. In the middle of Manhattan there is probably lots of WLAN´s and our machines are controlled by the same frequency (i.e. 2.4 Ghz), as well as the Phantom, so we might change that to a different frequency or use a diversity system.

7. Then comes the walk. This is probably the most important point, at least for us. We try to walk along the line of the desired flightpath to find obstacles and see what is the flight like. We also use this walk to refine our shotangle and to get the altitude right.

8. Next we brief everybody on set, especially bystanders who happen to know nothing about aerial camera work.

9. Then we brief ourselves and plan every step. We use our own communication between the cam operator and the pilot. We had to learn how to talk to each other in a way that makes steering the copter very precise. this is not easy and takes a lot of training because most of the time the camera operator is steering the air cam but he is not flying the copter. In order to get his picture right he needs to talk the pilot through the flight. And the pilot needs to trust the camera operator and his own ability to fly the copter.

10. Then we clear the area and wait for the director´s sign.

11. Then and only then we takeoff and get the job done. From that point on the pilot is responsible for the safety of everybody involved, he doesn´t care any longer about the picture if he sees a problem for the safety of anybody in the vicinity or he has an emergency with the vehicle. If everything is normal, he will do his best to follow the cam operator lead.

12. Our flight will end when the copter has landed and the engines are stopped not when the shot has been nailed but the copter is still in the air.

If everything is done right this can be the result (Sorry, german comments):

https://vimeo.com/73101557

And what do we think about this story? Well a lot of mistakes have been made and everybody was lucky that nothing has happened. Unfortunately this kind of flying is what makes it difficult for us professionals. When the FAA finally clears the way in 2015 to use aerial systems commercially in the US it can be very strict based on videos like the one we just saw.
It also makes people mad who do not operate these machines and who don´t know anything about them.
This could leave the whole business in a bad light even though professionals take it seriously and do everything they can to maintain the highest level of safety throughout their work.

But there is one more point. Sites like NoFilmSchool and others routinely report the bad storys but there is not much going on helping people understand better how dangerous these copters are and how to operate them correctly. We tried to reach out beyond the usual insider forum to help other professionals (the ones not flying these machines like directors, DOP´s, cameraman, etc.) better understand how they can use those systems in their daily work but there was not much interest at various sites. Looks like the whole thing still is too new to everybody.

Detlef

October 4, 2013 at 11:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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You are spot-on Detlef. We follow the same procedures and put safety first. Great comments, and insight, especially in relation to the regulations in Germany. It sounds like they are ahead of the game, rather than behind it like my country's FAA.

October 4, 2013 at 4:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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LW

As someone who flies multi-rotor copters professionally for Film/TV/Commercials I personally can not wait until the FAA licenses us and cracks down on the irresponsible a-holes who are ruining our reputation. I have no interest in spying on people, or hurting them with falling debris, and the people who are willing to do so deserve to be punished. This is not much different than the idiot in Virginia who rented a copter to two guys who did not know how to fly it, much less assemble it. The result was a crash into a crowd of people. There has been a long-standing agreement between the FAA and the RC Aerial Hobby groups out there that certain rules must be followed, but all these guys buying these cheap quads don't bother to learn them. Good grief, take your copter to a big park when it is not busy, learn how to fly at low altitude, and stay away from people! We invested into a copter with tons of safety features, and spend a lot of money to insure it and our company, but I still refuse to fly anywhere that it could fall on unsuspecting people. Also, I can tell you from experience that you can never tell how bad radio interference is until you get in the air, and if you are not ready for it you are gonna be in trouble. Flying in a place like Manhattan is a HUGE danger due to radio interference and requires the highest level of caution. This is no joke, the public is starting to look at these copters as dangerous to safety and privacy, and there needs to be a way to separate the professionals from the irresponsible ones.

October 4, 2013 at 4:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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LW

Commercial use of aerial rc flying toys is against regulations. There is a case in VA right now over the exchange of money for aerial filming so all the big shot camera folks admitting commercial jobs should be a bit more cautious. No shortage of rock throwers in a big glass house here and unless it is private property and waivers are signed by those you fly over your breaking the laws of the US.

October 6, 2013 at 6:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Hoverbot

The police didn't even know what to do about the situation. That's how infrequent this happens. They aren't looking for the suspect, the NYPD have bigger fish to fry. But all it take is for one intentional incident for someone to use a quadcopter to hurt another person and you'll get a country wide ban on these quadcopters. And it's not funny either.

October 10, 2013 at 1:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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And I'm pretty sure that's not a GoPro on that eagle...

October 10, 2013 at 1:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I know I'm slightly high, but why does this guy pilot the copter even worst than my english?

The footage seems like some drunken russian coming back home after the office christmas party.

October 14, 2013 at 10:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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AlejandroDelRey

There are tons of websites out there that promote these quadcopters, and go into great detail on building them from scratch. Yet there are almost nil that actually explain how to fly one. What's up with that? The end result is the above video. I guarantee that was probably one of the first flights by that fellow. I could practically feel his panic on the other end of his controller as he struggled trying to figure how to bring his expensive quadcopter back to him.

The following is intended to help fill in the missing critical piece of information for these new flyers. It’s one of the first, and is intended for beginners to intermediate quadcopter flyers. Inexpensive ready-to-fly quadcopters are only used in the example flying tutorials (no heavy build it yourself equipment here). For those considering this hobby, I highly recommend that you start slow, and learn to fly as your first objective. After that, then consider purchasing expensive equipment as shown in the above video. You'll be less likely to lose it and endanger spectators

quadcopter101.blogspot.com

October 26, 2013 at 10:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe

I'd also be cautious of lumping "professionals" with "safety"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocqB6_y71xE

April 20, 2014 at 7:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe

I find this horrific. I have never seen the full version, and hit after hit, was this person thinking it would shatter glass thats reinforced with this quadcopter? I know he has been arrested since, but my comment is simple, I think this was more about the idiot who didnt know what he was doing, I hope there was no malace intended. What is scary is that in an area like this you have cross winds from the buildings, a narrow space (shown at the start) to land. And too many people below who can be injured. Your also close to an airport. This is beyond stupid. DJI have made it so idiots can fly or not as this case has proven.

May 21, 2014 at 8:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jon R

Agree. Quadcopters are not toys and it must be piloted by a person who knows what they are doing.

June 20, 2014 at 7:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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This idiot didnt know how to operate the quadcopter :-(

July 5, 2014 at 3:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Laurel

The video cut out just before the crash? I know exactly the feeling of horror when a quadcopter crashes, luckily I was flying mine in a park when it crashed (two propellors came loose during flight) here's a video I uploaded of the crash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-v0qylrd_g
(you can see a woman walking a dog towards me moments before the crash, it landed about 5 metres away from her, luckily I didn't ruin my life with a lawsuit that day!)

September 17, 2014 at 5:51AM

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Dirk Nienaber
Filmmaker
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