Stop The Madness (Or, Gary Loves Hate Mail)

Stop The Madness (Or, Gary Loves Hate Mail)

I have felt a renewed upswing in the optimism of the droners (uncreweders), which means that the carpetbaggers’ et al. are at the ready to fleece the venerable hayseed
(FARM DRONERS) out of what little cash they/them may have on hand. Not the first time we’ve had the old upswing on the Regulatory Wheel Of Suffering.

This piece could just as well be titled stop the sadness depending upon what companies you may have invested in, including your own. Unless, of course, you are shilling industry forecasts and, in that case, can creatively bury just about any failure no matter how big. I said that $82 billion forecast was just a birdcage liner, and we don’t have the forecasted $1 last-mile drone delivery. It is a $20 +/- a pop turd polishing service. Maybe more if your infrastructure outlay is north of a million dollars?

Oh, that Egan guy is a malcontent, and there is just no pleasing him no matter what we do. That isn’t just the FAA talking, but those jadrools over at the AUVSI and AMA too. The professional “advocacy” (LOL) groups are no more than well-paid sideshow carnies that ultimately take their orders from whoever has enough money to buy a booth and or sponsor up a one-on-one meeting with a manager at the FAA. Nothing says inclusivity like paid access to government employees!

That is commonly called ‘thought leader’ level sponsorship. If you have the pockets for it, you could even get yourself billed as “the world’s foremost authority on drone regulation.” The AMA memberships predicament is markedly worse, as the Academy’s “leadership” is making professional salaries off of the evolving injury scale inflicted on your RC freedoms. In 2008/09, the FAA (ATO) said that they would write the rules for the hobby, and the AMA has been cutting deals ever since.

The FAA –

Any time you hear “excellence,” “safety,” “blue ribbon,” “safety culture,” hard work,”
you should immediately assume subterfuge. Those jokers down at the FAA are good
at job security and a unique brand of dysfunction that makes the Post Office look like a well-oiled machine. Maybe the folks at the Post Office don’t get the DC differential?

Some have warmly advised that I be nice to the FAA, ignoring their weaknesses and
failures, and learn to be more complimentary. That, to me, sounds like good advice
for any potential prom date angling for a callback. I am, however, in the news business and cannot concern myself with vanity. I do not revel in this punditry. I am
only fulfilling the promise made to the FAA that I would not be going away and have
spent decades giving a voice to and lamenting the trials and tribulations of the
industry bag holder. The bag holder is not to be confused or misconstrued with the unaffiliated artist previously known as the industry stakeholder or other interested

At the risk of upsetting the commissioners of airspace, I will reiterate my position that the FAA is still not putting forth a good-faith effort as far as the integration of Unmanned Aircraft into the NAS is concerned. My position only gets bolstered with the apparent lack of transparency in crafting rules and policies.

Current issues to add to the inventory of unanswered questions –

  • Does the FAA council understand the definition of the Latin term, Ex Parte?
  • Why does the FAA take several years to answer FOIA requests?
  • Is the sub-committee work of the DAC memorialized?
  • Why was the RID rulemaking done in private and with folks that were peddling solutions?
    If you’re not the type to get hung up on rulemaking transparency, possibly the
    colossal waste of time the standards work represents gets your goat? Sure,
    everyone talks about standards being the fast track to airspace integration. I don’t
    know for sure, but I think it would be fair to say that after 17 years of free IP and
    work without adopting one standard by the FAA raises doubts on the “fast” notion?
    I’m just throwing it out there, and I hope I don’t sound too negative, casting a pall on
    all of the hard work.

Let’s go, Brendan –

Someone took umbrage with my reporting on their purported firing from DJI. Maybe my sources are/were wrong, and he is just following in the footsteps of drone luminaries like Dave Vos leaving Google, Gur Kimchi, Amazon, Jesse Kallman, Airbus, Brian Kzanich, Intel, Michael Chasen, PrecisionHawk, Gretchen West, Hogan Lovells, and Icarus, Crete. Coincidently, DJI’s European policy guy has recently had the same revelations as the luminaries mentioned above and is moving on.

Most of us can only imagine what it is like to one day wake up and be tired of all of the money, notoriety, prestige, glamour (not to mention the private jets and Cristal) that comes with these high profile and high-pressure positions at World famous and well-heeled tech companies.

Whatever the case, I wish them all the best in their new and obscure endeavours.

You can get of all of this goodness over on Twitter @TheDroneDealer

Patrick Egan

Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).