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Drone News Roundup: Video Features Wakeboarders Pulled by Drone, Drone Captures Giant Telescope Collapse, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
11 December 2020

This week we’re covering a video featuring wakeboarders being pulled by a giant drone, which was made in a collaboration between Redbull and drone company Infineon.

We’re also covering drone footage of the Arecibo telescope collapsing, a new organization formed to represent the needs of drone service providers, the House’s rejection of a Chinese drone ban, and the AMA’s new, free LAANC software.

Now let’s get to the links!

Video Features Huge Drone Pulling Wakeboarders

Drone Wakeskating In Slovenia

The video shown above features wakeboarders being pulled by a giant drone made by Infineon, in an activity the video’s makers have dubbed wakeskating. Want to see other videos of people being pulled by drones while wakeboarding or snowboarding? Check out DroneDJ’s article about this video (linked below), which features a few other choice selections, including Casey Neistat’s Human Flying Drone video from a few years back.

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Arecibo Telescope Collapse Caught on Video by Drone

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u34uwFOCM

Woah! That was our first reaction when we saw this video featuring a mix of drone footage and surveillance camera footage of a massive telescope collapsing in Arecibo, Puerto Rico at the Arecibo Observatory. In the video, you can see a 900-ton platform fall into a 1,000-foot wide dish. The drone footage (which starts at 00:55 in the video) was captured by a drone that was conducting an inspection of the cables that held the platform above the dish—guess that inspection should have been done a little sooner.

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Drone Service Providers Alliance (DSPA)—New Advocacy Group for Drone Services Providers

dspa-roundup

As drone companies move more and more toward automation and AI, it can feel like drone service providers are being left in the dust. Service providers may also feel like they don’t have a seat at the table when it comes to regulatory decisions, because they don’t have big lobbying groups like some stakeholders in the drone industry. A new organization called the Drone Service Providers Alliance (DSPA) seeks to address these needs by representing drone service providers, and giving them support and resources to help their businesses grow.

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House Rejects Proposed Ban on Chinese Drones

house-chinese-drone-ban-roundup
Image source

The U.S. Congress recently rejected a ban on the purchase of Chinese drones or drone components by U.S. federal agencies, or by other agencies using federal funding. The ban had been proposed for inclusion in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate had already removed the ban from its version of the NDAA, and news broke on Monday that the House had also rejected it.

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AMA Launches New, Free LAANC Software in Partnership with UASidekick

LAANC for Recreational Users - UASidekick

Need to get airspace authorization to fly your drone for fun? The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has released an app in partnership with UASidekick that lets recreational drone pilots access LAANC for free. LAANC stands for the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, and it’s the system that allows drone pilots—both hobbyist and commercial–to get instant airspace authorization. If you want to fly in controlled space near an airport, LAANC is the fastest way to get permission (some airports do not yet offer LAANC—see a full list here).

Want to learn more about where you can and can’t fly recreationally? Visit this page on the FAA’s website devoted to hobbyist drone pilots or download the FAA’s B4UFLY app to see all the restrictions that might be in place in the area where you’d like to fly.

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