drones

A new letter from Amazon to the Federal Aviation Administration indicates the e-commerce giant is getting frustrated with the wait for approval to test package delivery drones.

New data from the FAA shows the frequency of close calls between manned aircraft and small drones is soaring.

Judging from holiday advertising, lots of teenagers and grownups will find a drone under the Christmas tree this year. But the increasing affordability and popularity of remotely piloted airplanes and choppers is leading to conflict in Northwest skies.

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear.

The Washington governor's office unveiled draft rules for government use of drones Monday. It would replace legislation that Democrat Jay Inslee vetoed earlier this year.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Flickr Photo/Heisenberg Media (CC BY-NC-ND)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Thursday women are better off not asking for a raise because they’ll be rewarded in the long term. The U.S. Supreme Court considers when workers are on the clock. Plus, Amazon wants to test drones, a Seattle church protests pot next door and Bill Radke recalls the musical ride of Paul Revere with Knute Berger, Eli Sanders, Joni Balter and Luke Burbank.

Managers at Insitu, a military drone maker headquartered in Bingen, Washington, say they see great potential for civil and commercial uses for their best known aircraft.

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled plans for aerial drone delivery of packages last year, many observers dismissed the concept as science fiction or pie-in-the-sky.

Both Oregon and Washington’s state forestry departments had hoped to try out drones this summer to provide reconnaissance at wildfire scenes. But neither firefighting agency managed to pull it off. Now both plan to try again next year.

A drone test range in northeastern Oregon launched its first flight Tuesday.

Where Can Drones Fly? Legal Limits Are Up In the Air

Aug 10, 2014

It's getting easier for the average civilian to own drones.

The word may bring to mind million-dollar jets that carry bombs, but a drone is any aircraft that doesn't have passengers or a pilot onboard. Some look like sophisticated remote-control helicopters and model airplanes.

They're available online and in stores, some for less than $100. But whether and where owners are allowed to fly those drones falls in a legal gray area.

How Drones Could Make Forest Restoration Easier

Aug 1, 2014

NACHES, Wash. -- Drones could soon be the newest gadgets in forest conservation.

A group of college students in Washington recently built and tested a drone that will survey the health of the forest. The hope is that drones will speed up restoration efforts and save some money.

“You guys ready for the test flight?” asked Ryan Haugo, a forest ecologist with The Nature Conservancy.

“Yeah, I think so,” said Rheno Prajadipta.

Chelan HD Productions/Sy Stepanov

As the Carlton Complex fire roared across central Washington state, Chelan videographer Sy Stepanov tagged along with a friend who owns a real estate firm to assess the damage.

Stepanov brought his drone to record video of the destruction. “When I got there, it was just a no-brainer," he said. "People need to see this.”

[Youtube]

The Federal Aviation Administration ruled this week that Amazon and others cannot use drones to deliver packages — grounding a dream by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to streamline delivery times. The FAA says the commercial use of drones will remain illegal until further notice.

Flickr Photo/Nick Bonzey (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo about the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to allow BP to use drones in Alaska.

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