UAS Digest #58

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Congress &
Legislative Action
FAA Action &
Reaction to FAA
Law Enforcement
& Threats
Regulatory Action Person in
Drone Nation
Business, Market Forecast & Investing Privacy, Safety
& Security
Legal Information Education Insurance
Operational Research
& Development
Economic Development News Media Use Racing &
Int’l Development Foreign Regulation Non-FAA Restrictions Innovative Products Events


Agile drone flight through narrow gaps using onbard sensing
Drone races to air on ESPN in November
Facebook plans drone trial broadcasts as soon as 2018
Edible relief drone, carries food and fire supplies
$10k fine for flying drone during Fleet Week



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drone news

→  Drone helps find missing 3-year-old boy – Antigo, WI – Drones are becoming a popular aid in selling homes and fighting fires, but over the weekend, a drone led the way as hundreds of volunteers searched for a missing 3-year-old boy. The child is home safe.

→  The former chief of the U.K.’s air-traffic control is moving to a U.S. drone startup – AirMap’s technology is used in 80 percent of commercial and consumer drones worldwide.

→  Drone races filmed in Hamilton to air on ESPN – Races filmed last month in Hamilton by The Drone Racing League are scheduled to air in November on ESPN and ESPN2.

drone publication



Business, Market Forecast & Investing

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drone publication

→  UAV Drones Market Worth 21.23 Billion USD by 2022 – According to the new market research report “UAV Drones Market by Type (Fixed Wing, VTOL, STUAS, MALE, HALE, UCAS ), Payload (Up to 25 Kg, Up to 150 Kg, Up to 600 Kg, Above 600 Kg), Application (Precision Agriculture, Retail, Media & Entertainment), Component, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2022“, published by MarketsandMarkets, the global UAV drones market size is expected to be USD 21.23 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 19.99% between 2016 and 2022. The major factors driving this market include the increasing demand for drones for commercial applications and rapid technological advancements in drones.

→  Delivery Drone Regulations Unlikely Until 2020 At Earliest – said last year that its delivery drones would be ready to be deployed as soon as federal regulators allow themA report in The Wall Street Journal, however, said that isn’t likely to take place until the next decade. The paper reports that commercial delivery drones will need sophisticated systems that rely on sensors both on the ground and in the air to avoid mid-air collisions. Not only do such systems have yet to be developed, but regulators only recently began discussions of how the delivery drones will be regulated.

→  Textron Inc.: Here’s What Everyone’s Missing About Textron Stock – There’s much more to Textron than meets the eye. Textron makes drones; it’s one of the leaders in adapting military drone technology to civilian uses.

→  US Nuclear Enters Drone Market Through Strategic Alliance – US Nuclear Corp. ( OTCBB : UCLE ) and FlyCAM UAV have signed a strategic alliance and non-compete agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to “form a strategic alliance to promote, build, sell, and service Drones and Airborne Sensor Systems in the USA and around the world.” With several different models already built and available for purchase, US Nuclear Corp. and FlyCAM UAV are poised to capture this emerging market.

→  How Drone Usage is Revolutionizing the Transport Industry – From package delivery to emergency medical needs, drones are changing the world as we know it.

→  Verizon to Start Selling Wireless Data Plans for Drones – Verizon Communications Inc. said Thursday it would begin working with drone makers to connect the flying vehicles to Verizon’s wireless network. Drone data plans will start at $25 a month for 1 gigabyte of data and $80 for 10 gigabytes. The prices roughly align with what consumers pay now for data. Initially, the data plans will allow drones to essentially connect to the internet during flight, and stream videos, pictures or other sensory data back to earth. Verizon says it could be used by companies that inspect oil pipelines, farming yields or wildfires. But the service could eventually evolve into a means of piloting drones remotely.

→  AT&T looks to drones to inspect cell towers, boost coverage – AT&T is one of many companies exploring how drones may change the way they do business. They have tested drones as a way to inspect cell phone towers. And they’re experimenting with how drones could become portable cell phone towers, boosting coverage in crowded places or during disaster response.

→  Sharper Shape, SkySkopes, Xcel Energy explore uses of long drone flights – The Part 107 regulations now allow businesses to apply for waivers to fly drones for unique use cases. For the utility industry, this means that companies can apply for waivers to fly drones for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) inspections. BVLOS flights are able to travel 10-20 miles, compared to roughly 1,500 feet (one-third of a mile) under visual-line-of-sight regulations. In recognition of this milestone, Sharper Shape, the global leader in drone-based asset inspections, was one of the first businesses to submit an application to fly BVLOS drones for electric company line inspections. Coordinated by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and SkySkopes, a drone service provider in North Dakota, this waiver will allow the EEI-Sharper Shape partnership members to demonstrate and develop commercial BVLOS flights for utility asset inspections.

→  Northrop Grumman And Its Future In Drones – Pointing out how drones are the future of the defense industry has become redundant. It’s the only way forward. Right now, it’s only a matter of who maximizes their potential to exploiting this revolution, which, I should point out, has already started. To examine the possible outcomes of such a scenario, I feel like taking a single business unit and trying to understand its prospects and challenges can help us better understand how things might progress in the coming years. Case in point: Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) and its new drone helicopter, the MQ-8C Fire Scout.

drone publication

→  West Bloomfield man opens Excel Drones in Garden City – Fred Kandah has had a fascination with drones for quite some time. Being the owner of a building that is just under 10,000 square feet at 1858 Middlebelt in Garden City, the West Bloomfield native decided to combine his love of drones with his vacant facility and open Excel Drones in July. It is a business that not only sells drones, but educates people on the proper use of them, repairs them, and just for fun, lets people test them and host racing leagues for mini drones in the winter.

→  Ex-UK air traffic boss recruited by Californian drone startup – The man once responsible for the UK’s air traffic has reportedly been recruited by AirMap, a US drone company whose technology is present in an estimated 80 percent of commercial and consumer drones across the world.

→  Here’s What UPS Finds Interesting About Drones – UPS is interested in using drones to deliver goods to locations that are harder to get to, like its Children’s Island delivery test. He cited how UPS and a drone startup, Zipline, are testing the use of drones to deliver blood, vaccines, and other medical supplies to rural areas in Rwanda as an example of the kind of humanitarian drone delivery initiatives UPS is currently researching.

→  Frozen yogurt is delivered by drone – Tuesday, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt made its first frozen yogurt delivery to Hope College in Michigan, possibly the first drone delivery of frozen yogurt in the world.

→  Google Brings Us Burritos by Drone – In a closely guarded experiment involving the future of transportation, Project Wing — a division of X, founded by Google and now a child of Alphabet Inc. — is air-dropping fast-food onto the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

→  The Long and Short of DRONE AVIATION HOLDI (OTCMKTS:DRNE) – DRONE AVIATION HOLDI has been trading strong over its established $3 support levels. The Company affected a 40 for 1 reverse stock split in October of last year to get the price per share to current levels.

→  Industry unveils new unmanned aircraft technology – Known as the Snipe, the system weighs 130 grams, can loiter for 20 minutes and has a range of 1 kilometer. It also comes equipped with an electro-optic and infrared camera, said David Sharpin, vice president of UAS business development at AeroVironment’s unmanned aircraft systems division.

drone publication




Economic Development

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→  The Future Drone-Centric City – In response, the urban environment will need to adapt. Perhaps the scale of urban transformation not be as extreme as it was with cars – after all, drones don’t require large-scale infrastructure such as roads and bridges. But the changes will still be many and far-reaching.

→  South Jersey’s out-of-the-way location fuels drone dreams – So in South Jersey, officials and entrepreneurs are trying to turn the region’s remote, rural character — which always held it back from attracting job-creating industries — into a plus to draw drone companies.

→  How Drone Usage is Revolutionizing the Transport Industry – From package delivery to emergency medical needs, drones are changing the world as we know it.

→  Get Ready for the Upcoming Drone Overtake – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are of high interest to tech investors who see huge revenue potential. According to Drone Industry Insights, 2015 was a record year for UAV funding, with 89% of professional investments in the drone market by venture capitalists. UAVs will make a huge impact on the education, emergency, inspection, oil and gas, real estate, and agriculture business sectors.

→  How Drones in the Sky Unlock Secrets of the Sea – Researchers are using aerial technology to track coastal erosion, map coral reefs and even give whales a breathalyzer. drone publication



Regulatory Action

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→   How Not to Think About Drone Policy – Today, The Oklahoman published an editorial that serves as a good example of how not to think about drone policy. According to The Oklahoman editorial board, a proposed drone weaponization ban was a solution in search of a problem, and concerns regarding privacy are based on unjustifiable fears. This attitude ignores the state of drone technology and disregards the fact that drones should prompt us to re-think privacy protections.

→  Aerial photography industry expected to grow despite drone regulations – The study attributes the industry’s growth to technology including drones, 360 cameras and 3D-mapping software. The research group suggests the 12.9-percent anticipated growth is being restricted by government regulations, however. The U.S. recently adapted new commercial drone regulations that require pilots to pass a test before flying, for example, among other limitations.

→  Lack of Drone Regulations Impacting Law Enforcement – “Now it’s what do we do with the private sector,” asked Police Chief Tony Facos.  He says drones are a slippery-slope when it comes to law enforcement.  He says there just aren’t enough rules in place.  (Question)  “If investigation had led to, okay you’re the one flying this drone, you were looking in this window, could you have arrested someone for that or given a ticket?”  (Answer) “Just from the drone aspect, no, and that’s the issue.  But we can is someone using the device to stalk someone?  Then we could look at the laws that are in the books and if they’re using the drone as an implement to commit a crime that already exists, then we could deal with that.”

→  Drone ordinances need to be revisited – With Santa Clarita’s restrictive drone laws, R/C enthusiasts have essentially been kicked out of the public square.


Racing & Competition

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drone racing

→  Start your drones: An inside look at the rise of the Drone Racing League -In the past year, drone racing technology and radio communications system has been tested and improved, with all the parts coming together for the Drone Racing League in early 2016 at the Miami Dolphins’ stadium. It was the league’s first foray into large-scale competitive racing, and it was then that Horbaczewski and his team knew drone racing could be orchestrated at a high level.

→  Oddsmakers Begin Creating Lines For Drone Racing – Drone racing is the newest “sport,” with ESPN betting that the Drone Racing League will be able to attract a massive amount of viewers for live events. While ESPN is betting on the success of the league, individuals outside of the U.S. now have the opportunity to bet on the results of these drone racing matches.

→  Eurosport’s latest TV network looking to pilot drone racing – Eurosport, Discovery Communications Inc’s European sports broadcaster, is in talks with potential partners to broadcast drone racing, making it the latest network looking to experiment with the fledgling sport in which contestants navigate small, remote-controlled aircraft at high speeds through aerial obstacle courses.

→  Drone racing takes off; will fans follow? – (Video) Organizers of new racing leagues for drone enthusiasts hope new formats and technology will attract large audiences for their fledgling sport, and make it profitable, as well. Diane Hodges reports.




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drone publication

drone publication→  Drones unwelcome at airshows, ICAS suggests messaging for 2017 – “Raising awareness is our first step and beginning this initiative now allows our event organizers time to integrate drone safety awareness into their 2017 plans,” Warnock wrote in an email to AOPA. Warnock noted also that FAA drone regulations continue to evolve, and ICAS wants to get the word out before drones become a problem for airshow pilots, spectators, or organizers. “Ultimately, we’d like the over 300 air shows in our network to start their own local campaign, spread the word and raise awareness,” Warnock wrote. “We want people, and especially our members, to know that we’re taking a lead position on this.” ICAS directed members to online resources provided by the FAA including a No Drone Zone digital toolkit and Know Before You Fly.

→  Young scientists: Elementary students experiment with drones – “It’s also about truly understanding how technology is in their lives. They all know about them, so the sooner we get them to appreciate how cool technology is the more motivated they are to learn.”

→  Drone, underwater camera capture unique footage of Bowmanville salmon run – Video will be used to raise $25,000 for new fish counter. Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster, who was on hand to watch the drone capture footage this week, says the initiative provides important public education.

→  First responders train to use drones – Parma, Ohio – First responders wmedia ill learn how to use drone technology in an inaugural Drone Academy being held at Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus starting Monday.


Law Enforcement & Threats

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drone law enforcement

→  Poland arrests man for flying UAV over government buildings – A Russian man is reported to have been arrested in Warsaw after flying a drone over a number of government buildings, including the home of Polish Prime Minister.  If found guilty, the operator could face up to five years in prison for contravening Polish aviation regulations.

→  Emergency responders can damage drones without fear of civil liability: new California law – “Wildfires continue to ravage our state and we can’t have drones or anything else getting in the way of the first-class emergency response we get from all of our firefighters and public safety officers,” said state Sen. Ted Gaines, who introduced the bill. “These are life-and-death situations where a single delay can lead to tragedy. Let’s keep drones away to protect people and property.”

→  Lack of Drone Regulations Impacting Law Enforcement – “Now it’s what do we do with the private sector,” asked Police Chief Tony Facos.  He says drones are a slippery-slope when it comes to law enforcement.  He says there just aren’t enough rules in place.  (Question)  “If investigation had led to, okay you’re the one flying this drone, you were looking in this window, could you have arrested someone for that or given a ticket?”  (Answer) “Just from the drone aspect, no, and that’s the issue.  But we can is someone using the device to stalk someone?  Then we could look at the laws that are in the books and if they’re using the drone as an implement to commit a crime that already exists, then we could deal with that.”

→  Drug Bust Made Using Aerial Photos – Over the skies of Delta County a drone camera was being used to help identify the illegal growth of marijuana near the north central area of the County near the Enloe Community. Local law enforcement was able to obtain several images of the illegal plants.

→  Drones being adopted by Tennessee law enforcement agencies – The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has unveiled its new drone system that deputies will use to gather evidence for court cases, detect bombs and find missing persons.

→  Federal offense to fly drone during Fleet Week, penalty is massive fine – Now through Sunday, if you fly a drone in the Bay Area, you could face a very expensive fine if you violate flight restrictions put in place by the feds for the Fleet Week air shows.


FAA Action & Reaction to FAA

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faa action and reaction

→  Droneport Approval Sought From FAA – Jonathan Daniels, CEO and founder of Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Inc., told members of the House Small Business Committee’s investigation, oversight and regulations subpanel at a Sept. 27 hearing that the company is hoping to partner with the FAA to develop a droneport in Boulder City, Nev.

→  FAA to drone owners: Stay away from hurricane relief efforts, playoff games – The Federal Aviation Administration and the Academy of Model Aeronautics have issued a joint statement warning drone operators to not fly in the vicinity of Hurricane Matthew rescue and recovery operations by first responders.

→  Your Right to Fly Drones – “There is a significant ongoing debate about whether the FAA’s ‘rules’ are really ‘rules’ or are in fact more in the nature of ‘guidelines’ pending the final completion and issuance of final drone regulations. Until the FAA finalizes its regulations, there will continue to be great uncertainty in trying to determine whether a particular drone operation is or is not legal. There are no simple answers to any of these questions.”

→  New FAA Drone Regulations to Spur Coverage Demand – Within the new FAA regulatory paradigm, insurance underwriters must become knowledgeable about emergent unmanned vehicle exposures, as opposed to historical known manned aircraft risk. UAS safety is the prevailing concern driving prudent risk management attention for commercial operations. Risk scenarios identified as potentially resulting in significant loss, in as of yet untested commercial insurance territory, are mid-air collision incidents and loss of control by the licensed drone pilot.

→  FAA Sued Over Federal Drone Registry – In his Petitioner’s Brief, John Taylor maintains that “(f)or the first century of American aviation and beyond, the federal government made no attempt whatsoever to regulate recreational model aircraft”, and that “(t)he FAA seeks to revise history (PDF) when it argues its failure to register model aircraft, or otherwise treat them in any manner as ‘aircraft,’ in the past was the exercise of an ‘enforcement discretion.'”

→  FAA’s new rule allows somewhat larger degree of commercial drone use – One impact of the new small UAS rules issued by the FAA is that commercial drone operationscan take place without obtaining a special exemption from the federal regulatory agency. Previously, UAV operators who were looking to use drones for purposes beyond hobby or recreational activities had to obtain a Section 333 exemption from the FAA to do so. As of August 26th, the FAA had granted 5,552 Section 333 exemptions for commercial UAS operators.



Congress & Legislative Action

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faa reauthorization

→  Oklahoma drone legislation should be approached with caution – James Grimsley, vice president of the Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma, noted there is little need for state lawmakers to advance safety regulations because that issue has already been covered through Federal Aviation Administration rules. Yet privacy concerns, not safety, are often the driving force behind legislative proposals regarding drone use in Oklahoma. That was highlighted again last week by Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.

→  CA Gov. Jerry Brown Lets Emergency Responders Take Out Drones – Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that will allow the state’s emergency responders to take out civilian drones without fear of civil liability for the damage that results.

→  Rep. Rick Larsen meets with drone coalition – Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee on Aviation, met this week with the Small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) Coalition and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) to discuss opportunities and challenges in the drone industry.

Foreign Regulatory Actions

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→  City of Winnipeg eyes drone regulations – Winnipeg is exploring whether it can play a role in regulating drones. Currently, Transport Canada oversees the unmanned devices. The city is set to speak with federal regulators and report back in 120 days. The air industry has growing concerns about drones interfering with planes and helicopters as more people continue to use them. They said a lack of education and enforcement have caused problems. Councillor Scott Gillingham wants more education and awareness for drone users, and is hoping the city will bring forward rules to complement national standards.

→  Pilots, air traffic controllers raise concerns over new drone regulations – Australia – Pilots and air traffic controller groups have called for new Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations on the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to be thrown out due to safety concerns.

→  European aviation groups call for improved UAV safety – A group of European aviation bodies has called for a number of “urgent measures” to be taken in order to guarantee the safety of manned aviation as unmanned air vehicles are increasingly introduced into national airspace.

→  UAE GCAA Issues New Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft Systems – On 29 September, the GCAA issued the new Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) Part IV – “Unmanned Aircraft System” (CAR UAS). CAR UAS entered into force and became applicable from 1 October 2016.



International Developments

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→  Drones hailed as major resource in emergency situations – West Cork Civil Defence Officer Niall Twomey explained that, while it wasn’t “a magic solution” to every emergency, a drone can be an invaluable support to agencies such as an Garda Síochána or the Irish Coastguard in the search for a missing person as well as other emergency services.

→  In the race for drone delivery, the U.K. is way ahead of the U.S. – But it’s the British regulators who have been more responsive and are more likely to tackle immediate issues for the budding industry, such as allowing drones to fly out of an operator’s sight line, which is currently still illegal without a waiver, as well as figuring out how to manage multiple drones in flight the same way air traffic controllers manage airplanes.

→  Drones could cost businesses millions – QBE, Australia’s largest aviation insurer, has warned that the implementation of new drone regulations, which took effect last week, could cost Australian businesses millions of dollars for property damage and injury.

Person in Drone Nation

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drone publication

Victoria Wassmer

FAA Acting Deputy Administrator & Chief NextGen Officer
Designated Federal Official of the Drone Advisory Committee

Victoria Wassmer is the FAA’s Acting Deputy Administrator. She is responsible for helping to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the world’s largest and most complex aerospace system. As Chief NextGen Officer, she is also leading the FAA’s transformation and modernization of the nation’s air traffic control system from a radar-based system with radio communication to a satellite-based system that leverages new technologies to shorten routes, reduce fuel consumption and traffic delays, increase capacity, and improve safety.

Drone Advisory Committee

  • September 21 – RTCA Drone Advisory Committee Convenes in Washington, DC
    • Facilitated by RTCA President, Margaret Jenny, and RTCA VP, Al Secen, the group reviewed the results of a pre-meeting survey and were able to reach consensus on the top priorities for the group, answering the questions, “What do I need to do to fly a drone in the airspace?”, and “What are the most pressing privacy concerns and what are the respective roles, responsibilities and authorities of local, state and federal entities in resolving those issues?” The Committee agreed that the remaining list of issues will go to a soon-to-be-formed DAC SubCommittee to prioritize.
  • Summary of inaugural meetings will be posted on the DAC webpage.

Areas of Expertise

  • Shared Services Leadership
  • Efficiency Expert & Process Improvement Advocate
  • Performance Budgeting & Financial Management
  • Strategic Planning & Performance Management
  • Policy Analysis & Regulatory Review


  • Harvard University Kennedy School of Government – Master of Public Policy, Business & Government
  • Bryn Mawr College – AB, Political Science/Economics

Honors & Awards

  • Competitively selected candidate in Federal Aviation Administration’s Senior Leadership Development Program – Fall 2007.
  • Recipient of 2007 & 2008 Office of Budget Special Achievement awards.
  • Recipient of 2001 OMB Achievement Award, and 1999, 1998 and 1997 Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs/OMB awards.
  • Awarded 1994 Harvard Institute of International Development travel grant.

Work Experience

  • Acting Deputy Administrator & Chief Next Gen Officer – FAA
  • Assistant Administrator, Office of Finance & Management – FAA
  • Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Department of Administration & Finance – Millennium Challenge Corporation


  • Deputy Director of Budget – FAA
  • Manager, Performance & Cost Analysis Division, Office of Budget – FAA
  • Policy Analyst/Program Examiner – Office of Management and Budget

Innovative Products

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→  Industry unveils new unmanned aircraft technology – Known as the Snipe, the system weighs 130 grams, can loiter for 20 minutes and has a range of 1 kilometer. It also comes equipped with an electro-optic and infrared camera, said David Sharpin, vice president of UAS business development at AeroVironment’s unmanned aircraft systems division.

drone publication

→  DJI’s Goggles put you in the cockpit of a drone – No, this isn’t another VR headset. These are video goggles from DJI. Why would you want a headset from DJI? Because it connects wirelessly to the company’s new foldable Mavic Pro drone, giving you a live, bird’s eye view from the camera (in 1080p no less).

drone publication

→  Drone Aviation Granted U.S. Patent for Electric Tethered Aerial Platform and System Technology for Drones – Drone Aviation Holding Corp. (OTCQX: DRNE) (“Drone Aviation” or the “Company”), a manufacturer of tethered drones and lighter-than-air aerostats, today announced that it has been awarded a patent (US Patent 9,446,858) by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its Electric Tethered Aerial Platform (ETAP) technologies as currently utilized in its WATT and BOLT tethered drone products.

→  DroneSimPro – $29.99 – Dronethusiast’s #1 choice for training – A Drone Flight Simulator is a great choice when you’re considering investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a new UAV quadcopter. Multirotor drones can be very expensive and it’s smart to get some practice using a much less expensive method, a UAV simulator, before unpacking your new drone.

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