Tuesday Views: 19 April 2022

"Connellsville Central Railroad Bridge No. 0.15 over Dunlap Creek Brownsville PA showing Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad No. 86 & Pennsylvania Railroad Maintenance of Way Car No. 191127 1905" by over 26 MILLION views Thanks is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Weather – Lately – Scratch Code – Verticals Community Learning Center – Local live air traffic feed under construction – Sixty Second Rocket Science: Scanned Light – 2024 Eclipse Trip

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The weather sucks this week. I am 23 NM from the closest towered airport. Got skies for days, but the wind and squalls have been a challenge, so I took the flights indoors this week.



  • Retook the rec flyer TRUST test again to prepare for the drone course at Verticals. Enjoyed the new format. Taking other free courses through FAA when able.
  • Tested different apps that use block code to control a Ryze Tello. Settled on DroneBlocks.
  • Registered the two Ryze drones with FAA, all fleet check. All cameras and gear checked for Spring.
  • Filed for a waiver to fly a distance of about a 1/4 mile to film a local bridge. I would use 3 VOs with walkie-talkies in an optimal, one on the far shore, one on the near, and a manager to air gap the pilot from chatter. Easily done with one on the bridge, and one with eyes on next to the pilot. The wharf is highlighted to account for drift due to strong winds. The drone could, if buffeted by strong winds, drift and land at the wharf, Figure 1.
bounding box around Brownsville Bridge

Scratch Code

Scratch is handy. I am working up to ‘swarm’ programming. I have two of these indoor drones. Swarm so hard. I show an example of the third program I ‘wrote’ in Figure 2. Unfortunately, more recent footage is unusable due to the fact that I put my headband camera on inside-out and filmed my hair.

Figure 2; Reminder: Planning all flights in simulation reduces repair costs

Here are some flights. I practice. So far, I am up to 40 flights indoor. The last ten have been automated. Here is flight 27 raw, Figure 3, and Figure 4 with random Star Wars footage making a clip ineligible for monetization. Notice that the landlord refuses to fix windows, broken outlets, holes in cabinetry where appliances were removed, other gems, and prohibits us from painting or patching old plaster walls. Enjoy.

Flight 27

Figure 3: Flight 27
Figure 4: Running the grainy indoor exploratory footage with syrupy ballad, and fanboy Star Wars footage

Verticals Community Learning Center

How It’s Going: Drone Cinematography Sessions Are FULL

The three days I participate as a volunteer instructor are as follows: April 28th, May 5th and May 12th, 2022. Those are Thursdays, all day events. I take a lot of inspiration from the stars above, so let’s get there.

Verticals is a local community development center that gives kids a choice of after-school programs that enrich young lives and provide a sense of pride in community. A link to the group is provided. Some school districts pony up transportation.

I signed on as a drone coach and provided some media resources. I teach students:

  • How to fly recreational drones with basic and advanced maneuvers.
  • How to orient oneself to internal and external factors that allow for safe and reliable air travel.
  • Get the soon-to-be mandatory – and EASILY OBTAINED – TRUST flyer certificate from the FAA, online for free.
  • How to plan, film, edit, and share a video you make with drone footage and free apps.
  • Provide information about industrial drone applications and vocational considerations.

This module was planned to integrate seamlessly within a larger ecosystem of courses in technology applications, physical well-being, and business development. These are hands-on tangible experiences that have lifelong value.

Local Resource in Action

Community groups will have some authority to determine the nature of its flight operations in local airspace come this fall 2022. As long as a responsible pilot is connected to the group, the area can develop flight operations that best suits the needs of the group. A FRIA is basically an area supported by a Part 107 drone pilot or more qualified pilots.

Topics in the Verticals Youth Empowerment program include artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, drones, digital fabrication, coding, media production, design studio, blockchain, and crypto. Courses in the topics are presented alongside fitness and wellness resources. The center director is retired NFL pro-football player William James, who stepped off the gridiron and into a new life arena.

Verticals Youth Empowerment Center is designed to stimulate young minds, give parents an inclusive environment in which to socialize, and to offer youth a sense of pride in themselves and their community. There are other facilities in the works.

Local air traffic livestream under construction

Flight Tracker courtesy of FlightAware.com

Sixty-second rocket science: Scanned Light

2024 eclipse drone session on Lake Erie

Walked away from a 43-foot 1974 houseboat for $2,500. Pretty sure I dodged a bullet. To summarize: something part to arrive something outrageous storage costs something loan something, divorce because houseboat.

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