FAA Vs. Drones

FAA Vs. Drones

How the FAA will regulate the usage of drones and R/C aircraft.

With recent changes in laws, such as the FDA’s calorie count requirement and the state of Texas requiring that every computer technician hold a “private investigator’s license” (criminal justice degree/3 year apprenticeship required), it is no surprise that American citizens are worried that their government may be regulating too much. Such concerns rise to the surface again now that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require registration of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). While it is definitely reasonable to question laws and regulations concerning free speech, information/media censorship and many others such as the examples above, however when it comes to the usage of remote control airplanes, quadcopter (“Drones”) and other unmanned aircraft systems, the FAA does have a serious point.

Last year in California during the middle of the infamous fire season, several private quadcopters were flying within the zone of a massive wildfire spread over Interstate 15. During this wildfire, 20 vehicles were scorched and aerial firefighting operations (one of the main methods to contain wildfires) were halted for around twenty minutes due potential dangers that could have arisen from the UAS in the area. These quadcopters could have easily entered the engines of fire department airplanes or interfered with helicopter rotors further dangering the lives of airborne firefighters as well as ground crew. A representative of the U.S. Forest Service, John Miller, stated that three of the five UAS left the scene, however two pursued the lead plane with goals of recording the action. The FAA later said that they were notified of drones operating in the area.

There was a legislation introduced in California which, if passed, would increase fines and potential criminal punishment for operators that choose to interfere with fire operations in the future. Another legislation would allow for the fire department as well as local law enforcement to take down UAS out of the sky. There is currently a wide range of methods being developed to take down quadcopters and other unmanned aircraft systems. Conventional methods such as anti-UAS systems that launch nets into the air, radio jammers to bring disable quadcopters and the usage of law enforcement UAS to hunt and bring down private UAS. Unconventional methods include the training of falcons and eagles to hunt drones in their territory. All of these methods have been proven successful by different entities and organizations.

While bringing down UAS may not be an issue, Identifying the operator’s behind them can be. This is where the FAA steps in with the FAA Small Unmanned Aircraft Registry. The program will begin on December 21, 2016 and will require owners of UAS to provide a name, address, and email address. Upon registration, the owner/operator will be presented with a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership as well as a unique identification number which must be marked visibly on the body of the UAS similar to your car’s license plate. The FAA will require all UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and under 55 pounds (including onboard cameras and other payloads) to be registered. This does not only apply to quadcopters but extends to model aircraft and remote control airplanes as well.

Under this registry the FAA believes that they will be able to monitor and prevent scenarios similar to the California wildfire incident, educate the public on unmanned aircraft safety, and increase the safety of the skies for everyday citizens.

Cover Image Credit: Hayley Helms

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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6 Things You Relate To, Like Clockwork, When You Own An Apple Watch

If you have an Apple Watch, you can relate to all of these.


Having a mini phone on your wrists come with some little quirks and here's a few you can relate to if you own an apple watch.

Your wrist is vibrating — when your watch is not even on.

I can always get this "feeling" that my wrist is vibrating, but when I glance down my watch is not even on. I always have this feeling for a few hours after I take my watch off, but it eventually goes away.

Your watch tells you to stand up, when you're already standing up.

I remember going to a concert and standing in the pit, my Apple Watch told me repeatedly to stand up, but I was already doing so. Apple does not like us being lazy and they let us know that after sitting down for at least 30 minutes.

You can find the cutest watch bands.

I always find so many cute watch bands from cheetah print to Lilly Pulitzer. The different colors and styles are endless and whenever you see one, you buy it of course.

Don't think you're gonna talk to your watch to send a text.

Every time I try to speak into my Apple Watch to send a text, it never works. I've actually just given up on that feature and have become a pro at scribbling letters onto the tiny screen. Quick Texts have also become my best friend, even though the responses are short.

Breathe, breathe, breathe... Your watch always wants you to breathe!

My Apple Watch goes off about 10 times a day telling me to breathe. I'm glad Apple is concerned with my breathing patterns because I did not know they were an issue until I owned an Apple Watch.

Your Siri goes off with every bend of your wrists.

Bending my wrists just the slightest makes my Siri go off. She'll start listening to everything I have to say and I don't realize I made her go off until she starts talking.

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