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Night Operators

Tim Jones

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I am building out a high powered LED lighting set up, And eventually want to use it for light painting video and photos.
That means submitting for night operations.
If you have successfully applied for one, could you share your opinion on why it was successful
if you have applied and it failed what was the reason
 
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Tim Jones

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This was the original video that inspired it. There is just about no way to cover that much area without a drone

 

Fly Gary

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I have a night ops waiver. I had applied once and was rejected, but on the second application got it thought. I did take the Gold Seal nighttime class. It did provide some good information and key words to pepper into the application. the certificate signed by a CFI also helped. I went into detail on the lighting system and included a document provided by the Coast Guard on their visibility tests. Remember the lights aren't for you to see it, but rather for other aircraft to see yours. Finally about 4 pages detailing preflight site inspections, safety briefing, abort procedures and use of visual observers.
 
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Tim Jones

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Outstanding, can you link me to that?
I have no problem paying for a class if it makes me a better operator
 

Dave Pitman

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I have had a daytime waiver rejected twice. I don't have a lot of need to fly at night so far but wanted to get it done. It is fine to fly at night as a hobbyist so that's what I will be doing. It's kind of sad that the FAA doesn't just write the regulation of what they require and you follow it if you want to fly at night. Instead, they are playing a moving shell game that doesn't have any absolute correct answer, purely subjective by the gov't contractor reading the app. I'm sure glad getting night time current as a Part 61 pilot isn't so ridiculous.
 
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Just be weary of the FAA and the whole nighttime waiver application. It can take months, I applied in Oct. for night flight operations in Jan. and still have not heard anything. I had one night waiver denied last year due to lack of information.
In the USA:
Seems silly to me that a recreational pilot can fly all they want at night without any education on subject matter.

Us commercial drone pilots have to jump through hoops and plan 3 months ahead of time just to hopefully get permission...

The FAA is really kind of overstepping on this nighttime stuff... My opinion.
 

Maddog

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I would be interested in knowing what kind of anti-collision lighting people are using for nighttime ops.

I developed a system for the 3DR Solo which meets FAA requirements, and would like to adapt it for use on the Phantom series.

Brite Lite anti-collision lighting

I don't have access to a Phantom or any information on how power can be obtained for external devices. If any Phantom owners would like to help, please PM me so we don't clog up the thread. Thanks!
 
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IrishmanPDX

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It is not a very thought out step by the FAA. However this is a new area for them and it will take time to develop. It does seem contradictory though to offer more freedoms (initially) to people who haven't taken the time to get a part 107 license. I can understand wanting to hold license holder to a higher standard but the benefit of proving you have the knowledge and skill to operate a drone safely should be rewarded, not restricted.
 
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It is not a very thought out step by the FAA. However this is a new area for them and it will take time to develop. It does seem contradictory though to offer more freedoms (initially) to people who haven't taken the time to get a part 107 license. I can understand wanting to hold license holder to a higher standard but the benefit of proving you have the knowledge and skill to operate a drone safely should be rewarded, not restricted.
Well said, I share the exact same feelings!
 

Maddog

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It is not a very thought out step by the FAA. However this is a new area for them and it will take time to develop. It does seem contradictory though to offer more freedoms (initially) to people who haven't taken the time to get a part 107 license. I can understand wanting to hold license holder to a higher standard but the benefit of proving you have the knowledge and skill to operate a drone safely should be rewarded, not restricted.
Amen brother!!
 
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What LED did you use, if you don't mind me asking. I work in TV and use LED's,but the one you are using looked really bright and had a long throw.
 

Maddog

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What LED did you use, if you don't mind me asking. I work in TV and use LED's,but the one you are using looked really bright and had a long throw.
The front red/green nav lights are 3W units I found in the UK. Made there but I can't remember who makes the LED chip.

The rear flashing red and white led's are 5W hi power units out of China. No idea who really makes them.

Found them on eBay and finally settled on them after about a year of searching & testing.

All of them are easily seen during daylight which is why I designed the system to begin with. At night, they are visable beyond 3 miles.
 

Tim Jones

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the new board I am putting in the DIY has 12 volts on each arm for navigation lights
guess it is time for me to pony up and buy some.
What are you guys using?
 

Maddog

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the new board I am putting in the DIY has 12 volts on each arm for navigation lights
guess it is time for me to pony up and buy some.
What are you guys using?
I experimented with some of the stuff from Flytron while developing my system for Solo, but most of it used 1W led's which aren't very visable during daylight. The 10W led's get too hot to use continuously, but they can be flashed.
You might find something here of interest:LED Light Systems - Flytron
 

skyeboysteve

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Who knows exactly why I was approved, but I went into detail about each provision that was listed regarding a waiver--like having a VO and PIC trained in night operations, see and avoid procedures (I actually made the point that at night this was easier than during daylight; and that sound also usually carries further at night [typically]). I also provided a URL to some Lume Cubes I had bought, which I had tested myself, and pointed that out in the application that I was able to see the lume cubes flashing 5 miles away--in excess of the 3 miles requirement. I think they mostly likely to see that you've put some thought and "work" into writing up an essay as though you're pleading for your life, and convey an attitude that you're asking a huge favor, and understand just what great responsibility you accept for having this additional privilege.

BTW, those Lume cubes are bright. I noticed that street signs would glow very bright each time the lights flashed, while recording video 200 feet AGL.

I don't use them anymore though; as they tend to overheat in 15 minutes, and shut themselves off... plus they're heavy and reduce flight time by a few minutes on a P3P. I now use 4 Flytron Strobon Cree's on a P4P which are brighter than the first generation Strobon's which I also have--but only use when riding my bike at night. I haven't tested the Crees, but they claim 3 mile visibility at night.
 

Tennessee Drone Services

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I use these: STROBON Cree® Standalone - Flytron both red and white and have found them very useful for night flying.

When I applied for my night waiver, it took less than 60 days to get a response back. In preparation for it, I watched some youtube videos and read up on what could go wrong with night flights. I gave two main examples of how my company would benefit from night flights and then listed out the equipment I would use when I do it, how I would instruct (and log that instruction) of my active visual observer, and detailed how I would have a plan for all the things that could go wrong while flying at night based on a visit to the flight area during daylight hours.

It took me about 3 hours of prep and writing before hitting that submit button. I originally talked to a FAA lawyer about it and he wanted to charge a thousand bucks to procure me a night waiver.

Oh, also, hold on to (make a copy of) what you submit, because that is what they will hold you to and refer to if you are granted the waiver.
 
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Tim Jones

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Who knows exactly why I was approved, but I went into detail about each provision that was listed regarding a waiver--like having a VO and PIC trained in night operations, see and avoid procedures (I actually made the point that at night this was easier than during daylight; and that sound also usually carries further at night [typically]). I also provided a URL to some Lume Cubes I had bought, which I had tested myself, and pointed that out in the application that I was able to see the lume cubes flashing 5 miles away--in excess of the 3 miles requirement. I think they mostly likely to see that you've put some thought and "work" into writing up an essay as though you're pleading for your life, and convey an attitude that you're asking a huge favor, and understand just what great responsibility you accept for having this additional privilege.

BTW, those Lume cubes are bright. I noticed that street signs would glow very bright each time the lights flashed, while recording video 200 feet AGL.

I don't use them anymore though; as they tend to overheat in 15 minutes, and shut themselves off... plus they're heavy and reduce flight time by a few minutes on a P3P. I now use 4 Flytron Strobon Cree's on a P4P which are brighter than the first generation Strobon's which I also have--but only use when riding my bike at night. I haven't tested the Crees, but they claim 3 mile visibility at night.
great information
put the Lumes in prop wash for cooling?

I need to see if there are specific classes on night flying
 

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