Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
Should DJI require a license?
1037 17 2017-7-17
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
michaelts
lvl.3
United States
Offline

I would like to re-post here the post from Spark's forum about the guy who was arrested for flying Mavic 86 meters from the landing plane next to the airport Sde Dov in Tel Aviv, Israel. It turned out the guy has owned Mavic for only two months, and already posted video flying right above densily crowded area.



I can only imagine the extent of liability that would immediately fall on DJI if something like this ever would cause a crash. BBC reported that DJI issued a statement: "We stand ready to assist national aviation authorities as they  investigate a recent wave of photos and videos showing clear and  intentional lawbreaking in ways that pose real danger to manned air  traffic." http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40633913 . The article at BBC's web-site also states: "DJI said its drones came equipped with software that should prevent them  flying within five miles (8km) of Sde Dov airport unless the feature  had been disabled."

However, merely to "stand ready" might not be good enough. Obviously disabling the drone through software is super important, but then the question is, of course, how easiy to disable it? Did the guy who shot the video simply disable it? If the 21-year old who owns Mavic for only two months is able to disable it, perhaps DJI should require some kind of license? This is scary stuff!

2017-7-17
Use props
Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

Ultimately DJI was not in control of the flight, the pilot could have used another brand of drone or a home made drone.

Presumably the Mavic was hacked, anyone that hacks a drone or installs hacked firmware has to take responsibility and should expect far more severe punishment when the authorities catch them doing something illegal since flying a drone with hacked firmware indicates deliberate breaking of the rules rather than accidental!
2017-7-17
Use props
Landbo
First Officer
Flight distance : 502792 ft
Denmark
Offline

Looking at DJI's own map of the airport, it will be seen that the NFZ zone they have installed only covers the runway. Therefore, the Mavic mentioned is probably not hacked but the pilot relied on DJI's NFZ system.
Ashampoo_Snap_2017.07.18_00h42m22s_002.jpg

http://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map  Search map for Asia and Israel.

Unfortunately, DJI's NFZ is so full of mistakes that it's a disgrace when I look at the corresponding map of Denmark, where several smaller airports either completely lack or are labeled incorrectly. In addition, some of the military's practice areas are completely forgotten or marked far beyond their reach and cause problems for people who want to fly there and are allowed by the Danish authorities.

In my best opinion, DJI should never have begun and play police, as they prove themselves.

Regards Leif.




2017-7-17
Use props
Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

Landbo Posted at 2017-7-17 15:31
Looking at DJI's own map of the airport, it will be seen that the NFZ zone they have installed only covers the runway. Therefore, the Mavic mentioned is probably not hacked but the pilot relied on DJI's NFZ system.
[view_image]

Maybe it is Israel's fault then for supplying bad information!

The circle appears to exactly touch each end of the runway!  And there is no green area beyond.
2017-7-17
Use props
michaelts
lvl.3
United States
Offline

"Looking at DJI's own map of the airport, it will be seen that the NFZ zone they have installed only covers the runway. Therefore, the Mavic mentioned is probably not hacked but the pilot relied on DJI's NFZ system."

It appears the local NFZ rules prohibit flying within 2 km radius, but DJI programmed a narrower NFZ into the drone. This is too bad. If DJI cannot accurately program the local NFZ rules, one would expect DJI to be conservative, i.e. prohibit flying the drones within broader, not narrower, zones than the official NFZ rules require. DJI voluntarily takes huge liability on itself because the users can "reasonably rely" on what DJI has already checked and even programmed into the drones. This removes the responsibility from the user to check the local NFZ rules at each and every place where he wishes to fly the drone. DJI should either require the user to obtain a license which will require the user to check the local NFZ rules, or make everything possible to correct each and every inaccuracy.
2017-7-17
Use props
Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

michaelts Posted at 2017-7-17 16:08
"Looking at DJI's own map of the airport, it will be seen that the NFZ zone they have installed only covers the runway. Therefore, the Mavic mentioned is probably not hacked but the pilot relied on DJI's NFZ system."

It appears the local NFZ rules prohibit flying within 2 km radius, but DJI programmed a narrower NFZ into the drone. This is too bad. If DJI cannot accurately program the local NFZ rules, one would expect DJI to be conservative, i.e. prohibit flying the drones within broader, not narrower, zones than the official NFZ rules require. DJI voluntarily takes huge liability on itself because the users can "reasonably rely" on what DJI has already checked and even programmed into the drones. This removes the responsibility from the user to check the local NFZ rules at each and every place where he wishes to fly the drone. DJI should either require the user to obtain a license which will require the user to check the local NFZ rules, or make everything possible to correct each and every inaccuracy.

The pilot is always responsible for the safety and legality of the flight!
2017-7-17
Use props
Landbo
First Officer
Flight distance : 502792 ft
Denmark
Offline

Nigel_ Posted at 2017-7-17 16:01
Maybe it is Israel's fault then for supplying bad information!

The circle appears to exactly touch each end of the runway!  And there is no green area beyond.

Do not know what data has been handed to a Chinese company from Israel. Perhaps it's less than you'll guess?

According to the BBC, DJI has delivered an FW with a flight ban at 8 km/5 miles from the runway which did not seem to be right.

DJI's NFZ program I thought they themselves prove nothing is worth it. Just read here on the forum which problems it presents to customers with problems. And in any case, both you and I are imposed to following our government's constraints and not DJI's !!!

Regards Leif.
2017-7-17
Use props
Geebax
Captain
Australia
Offline

Landbo Posted at 2017-7-17 16:25
Do not know what data has been handed to a Chinese company from Israel. Perhaps it's less than you'll guess?

According to the BBC, DJI has delivered an FW with a flight ban at 8 km/5 miles from the runway which did not seem to be right.

'Do not know what data has been handed to a Chinese company from Israel. Perhaps it's less than you'll guess?'

No-one seems to understand this, DJI do not program the NFZs. It is done by a completely independant company, and as I recall, that company is not even Chinese. I seem to remember they are located in the US. This was all explained when the GEO system was introduced. And yes, they rely on the authorities in each country to supply the data.

One thing however, the GEO system only works on circular zones, so any long thin or rectangluar zones are not shown correctly. This is probably to do with simplifying the amount of data that has to be stored in the aircraft.
2017-7-17
Use props
michaelts
lvl.3
United States
Offline

"And in any case, both you and I are imposed to following our government's constraints and not DJI's !!!"

This is true. But by programming the NFZ constraints into the drone, DJI affirmatively represents to the consumers that the consumers are following the government's constraints when they fly the drone. This makes DJI at least contributory liable for misleading the consumers.

I guess to avoid liability, DJI must issue another DJI Go update where before each flight there is a pop up windows saying: "WARNING: the NFZ restrictions programed in this drone ARE inaccurate. You MUST check and strictly follow the local NFZ rules. Have you checked the local NFZ rules, and do you promise to strictly follow them?" The user must clicks "Yes," otherwise the drone will not take off. Better yet, DJI should program the drone to ask the question in a voice, and allow the drone to take off only if the user says: "I have checked the local no-fly zone rules and promise to strictly follow them."

I know this sounds crazy, but unless DJI requires a license I don't see how else DJI may prepare itself to a product liability lawsuit. Similar warnings are already in many cars, the driver must press a button or two each time he gets into his car, because otherwise he cannot activate GPS navigation.  These warnings are awfully annoying, but they are necessary for the car manufacturer to avoid liability. DJI makes awesome products, but the video shows how little it may take to trigger liability.
2017-7-17
Use props
Landbo
First Officer
Flight distance : 502792 ft
Denmark
Offline

Geebax Posted at 2017-7-17 17:04
'Do not know what data has been handed to a Chinese company from Israel. Perhaps it's less than you'll guess?'

No-one seems to understand this, DJI do not program the NFZs. It is done by a completely independant company, and as I recall, that company is not even Chinese. I seem to remember they are located in the US. This was all explained when the GEO system was introduced. And yes, they rely on the authorities in each country to supply the data.

Who program DJI's GEO/NFZ I do not know, though, I know I need to write to a DJI email address if to do something about the malfunctioning system (flysafe@dji.com).

It's so strange to me you do not understand that DJI should not impose on its customers a system that limits them to fly where they must and apparently completely forget and prevent others from flying where it's really dangerous.
The fact is, that where and when I have to fly in my country, is a question between me and my government AND NOT a third/fourth party company !!!

Thank you for having at least discovered human activity here in the world does not consist of round circles.

But ok, we can not all be at the same level of intiligence.   

Regards Leif.


2017-7-17
Use props
AlaskanTides
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1032293 ft
United States
Offline

Geebax Posted at 2017-7-17 17:04
'Do not know what data has been handed to a Chinese company from Israel. Perhaps it's less than you'll guess?'

No-one seems to understand this, DJI do not program the NFZs. It is done by a completely independant company, and as I recall, that company is not even Chinese. I seem to remember they are located in the US. This was all explained when the GEO system was introduced. And yes, they rely on the authorities in each country to supply the data.

With all do respect...(It is those of you who repeat that statement that do not seem to understand)......

Just because DJI hires a contractor to physically program the NFZ data into the craft and/or App, this does not remove the liability of DJI of having it done in the first place.

This is like saying you're not responsible for the color of paint on you're house because you hired a painter to paint it....

When people purchase a DJI product they certainly have a right to find DJI accountable for all mandatory software installed as well as the functionality and accuracy there of.

The same way my home owners association has the right to find me accountable for the color of my house.... they certainly don't care what painter I hired, nor about the Specs of the paint he used.



2017-7-18
Use props
Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

Geebax Posted at 2017-7-17 17:04
...No-one seems to understand this, DJI do not program the NFZs. It is done by a completely independant company, and as I recall, that company is not even Chinese. I seem to remember they are located in the US. This was all explained when the GEO system was introduced. And yes, they rely on the authorities in each country to supply the data.


I think it is DJI that does the programming, however along with other drone companies and by agreement with many countries, they use an international database which is maintained by another company and that company gets it's data from the governments.  It is clear that if governments want to have good data in that database they can do so, the UK data is pretty good and comprehensive, the USA data seems to be excessive with large no-fly zones around anything that is used as a runway more than once a decade, probably some countries haven't supplied any information.  

We are probably stuck with the circles for some time since checking current position against a circle takes a tiny amount of data and processing time compared to more complex shapes and is also much easier to get the database correct.  I think DJI did recently put some more complex shapes in though.

Ultimately DJI can't and should not be deciding on no-fly zones and limits for the entire world, it will always come down to local laws which may vary by the minute, the pilot will always need to check the NOTAMs etc. for the day of the flight to be sure of flying legally, local governments also have a responsibility to ensure that people are sufficiently informed/trained - the UK is already teaching our drone-code in primary schools:


2017-7-18
Use props
Aardvark
Captain
Flight distance : 384432 ft
  • >>>
United Kingdom
Offline

This is not a follow on from above post or posts, but a general comment by me.

The pilot is fully responsible for their actions. They choose where, when, and how to fly their aircraft.

If they choose to break the laws of their countries then that is their own doing, no fault of the air authorities nor DJI for attempting to ensure the safety of manned aircraft.

These close encounters are well enough publicised that most with any interest at all in the hobby are well aware that they should not fly anywhere near aircraft or airports, nor built up areas etc.

I wonder how many accidents have been caused by errors in Sat' Nav' systems in cars. Yet the driver is always held fully accountable for their actions, not the lawmakers or the Sat' Nav' manufacturers.

Whatever our discussions might be it is still another reason for the finger to be pointed at 'irresponsible drone users' by the general public.
2017-7-18
Use props
Kmelx
lvl.2
Flight distance : 211870 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

I think peoples opinions on this depend on their legal jurisdictions and the legal system they have, the Americans seem to think DJI have a degree of liability whereas people in the rest of the world tend to disagree.

In the UK it would still come down to the person flying the drone DJI could get away with liability if they had a reasonable disclaimer in the terms of use for the drone about making reasonable endeavours to ensure the NFZ was accurate, you couldn't get away with flying the drone in restricted airspace, and saying well the drone company shouldn't have let me do it. Just like you couldn't argue that the car manufacturer has shared liability for fines or other sanctions for speeding because they shouldn't have produced a car that allows you to exceed the speed limits. You would still be the person responsible for acting illegally.

And no I do not agree with a drone licensing system, and I wouldn't comply with one if it was introduced.
2017-7-18
Use props
dancopter
First Officer
Flight distance : 17901030 ft
  • >>>
United Arab Emirates
Offline

So General Motors should be responsible for speeding Camaro's.
2017-7-18
Use props
embayweather
Captain
Flight distance : 556667 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

I support the idea that it is the pilot's responsibility from the moment he/she decides that a flight is to take place. To check not just NOTAMs but also aviation charts, weather etc. A long list of items that must be checked before the battery even goes in. It should come as no suprise to anyone that there are certain areas that you should not fly, regardless of what DJI's software tells you. Part of the flight planning should make sure that you check those areas for yourself. Even if you do not have a system of checklists and the like before take off, would you as a citizen want to be in an aircraft with a drone that close to you. Most folk would not and thus you would think I will not fly here.
I suspect for flights like this that have happened and been reported, that the EU at least is revising its rules considerably, to make flying harder for those that wish to behave like this. As I have said before, it would be foolish to believe that other countries will not be following suit with similar swinging controls to prevent, what is almost becoming inevitable, a death from a drone incident. I also suspect that part and parcel of these changes is that the CAA has changed the reporting level of bird strikes to have them included in reports along with all other aircraft contacts, perhaps to make it less of an excuse for pilots to say it was not their drone but a bird that hit the aircraft.
Regardless of corporate responsibility, which will probably be decided in the courts, the piot who has the controller is the one who is first in the firing line, and also the easiest to prosecute as I would guess the vast majority of us do not have the deep pockets of DJI so we can hire expensive laqyers to fight our case.
2017-7-18
Use props
AlaskanTides
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1032293 ft
United States
Offline

embayweather Posted at 2017-7-18 04:02
I support the idea that it is the pilot's responsibility from the moment he/she decides that a flight is to take place. To check not just NOTAMs but also aviation charts, weather etc. A long list of items that must be checked before the battery even goes in. It should come as no suprise to anyone that there are certain areas that you should not fly, regardless of what DJI's software tells you. Part of the flight planning should make sure that you check those areas for yourself. Even if you do not have a system of checklists and the like before take off, would you as a citizen want to be in an aircraft with a drone that close to you. Most folk would not and thus you would think I will not fly here.
I suspect for flights like this that have happened and been reported, that the EU at least is revising its rules considerably, to make flying harder for those that wish to behave like this. As I have said before, it would be foolish to believe that other countries will not be following suit with similar swinging controls to prevent, what is almost becoming inevitable, a death from a drone incident. I also suspect that part and parcel of these changes is that the CAA has changed the reporting level of bird strikes to have them included in reports along with all other aircraft contacts, perhaps to make it less of an excuse for pilots to say it was not their drone but a bird that hit the aircraft.
Regardless of corporate responsibility, which will probably be decided in the courts, the piot who has the controller is the one who is first in the firing line, and also the easiest to prosecute as I would guess the vast majority of us do not have the deep pockets of DJI so we can hire expensive laqyers to fight our case.

I agree with everything you just said..... The flight is most certainly the responsibility of the pilot.

However the mandatory  geofence software does confuse matters, not only does it lure uneducated users into a false sense of security but it also takes away the ability of the pilot to be in full control of the drone at all times.

Bottom line is ....l if the software is there, then ametures will rely on it solely, the same way they do with obstacle avoidance.

My opinion has all ways been that geofence was an intrusion into my flying experience. All users should be educated about the rules and held liable to their choice of breaking them...

Same idea as firearm training.
2017-7-19
Use props
michaelts
lvl.3
United States
Offline

"All users should be educated about the rules and held liable to their choice of breaking them... Same idea as firearm training."

So do you support the view that DJI should require a license?
2017-7-19
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules