FAA Vs. Drones

FAA Vs. Drones

How the FAA will regulate the usage of drones and R/C aircraft.
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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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Stop Texting And Start Making Memories With Your Partner

You'll blink and your time together will be over.

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Technology is taking over our lives in this day and age. People use their phones for every aspect of their lives and they rely on them way more than they should. People act as if their phones are their lifelines.

They set reminders, the play games, track their food and exercise. You name it, you can probably use your phone for it. They have absolutely taken over everything so it's no wonder why people can't seem to take time away from them.

I will be the first to admit that I have an addiction to my cell phone. It is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. My boyfriend has an addiction to his as well. It's a problem. In any moment of silence, we check our phones or answer texts.

We get so focused on our phones that we will go hours without speaking to each other or making any noise at all. With the already limited time we have to spend together, we really shouldn't be worried about Facebook videos and Snapchat updates.

I hadn't really noticed it was a problem until my boyfriend pointed out that we go days at a time without having a real conversation. I scrolled through our texts and realized he was right.

We had been missing out on weeks of making memories and planning dates because we were too busy being in a committed relationship with our phones instead of each other.

Relationships are about balance and about making an effort to spend time together and make memories. It is about learning about someone so you can fall for them a million times. You can't make memories like that from behind your phone screen.

What happens when your phone dies and you don't have your phone charger? I'll tell you. You're stuck in awkward silence waiting for your partner to get off of their phone.

Or you sit in silence with your partner not knowing what to say or do because you have been treating your phones like lovers instead of each other. That's just painful.

You can't fall in love with your phone and the way that it has grown and changed over the years. Your phone can't hold you when you are sad. It can't take care of you when you are sick. It can't hold your hand in the car or make you laugh. So why choose it to spend time with over your partner?

Do you really want to look back on your relationship years from now and wonder why you don't have any memories? Or wonder why you can't remember anything you've done together?

No. No one wants that. So turn off your phone, put it on silent, hide it away and spend time making memories with the person you love that will last far beyond your phone battery. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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