The Saga Continues: DJI Pushes Mandatory Update Preventing Phantoms From Flying Over Washington DC

Jan 29, 2015

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer based in Hawi, Hawaii. You can follow her Twitter here and her personal life here.

The Saga Continues: DJI Pushes Mandatory Update Preventing Phantoms From Flying Over Washington DC

Jan 29, 2015

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer based in Hawi, Hawaii. You can follow her Twitter here and her personal life here.

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white-houseA couple days ago we reported on a DJI Phantom being crashed into the lawn of the White House. News later surfaced that the unidentified man responsible for crashing the drone (who, I kid you not, works for the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency ) was intoxicated at the time of the flight. The New York Times reported the man claimed the drone belonged to a friend who was letting him borrow it. He was attempting to fly the drone from the window of his apartment, which is located near the White House. When the drone failed to come home, the man texted his friend noting he was afraid it may have crashed onto White House property. He then decided to just go to bed.

The next day, the man turned himself in. He was questioned by authorities before being released without being charged with a crime.

Obama responded by recognizing there are a lot of good uses for UAVs, but efforts needed to be taken to ensure they are not dangerous or invading people’s privacy. He also noted the necessity to establish a “framework that ensures we get the good and minimize the bad.”

Like many UAV advocates, DJI Phantom has had enough of all the bad press UAVs have been getting largley in thanks to individuals such as the government employee responsible for the White House crash. In a report issued just hours ago in, DJI announced it would be issuing a mandatory update which would prevent it’s devices from flying anywhere within a 15.5 mile radius of the White House.

The press release issued this morning read, in part:

“DJI will release a mandatory firmware update for the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ to help users comply with the FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 0/8326, which restricts unmanned flight around the Washington, DC metropolitan area…The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in coming days and adds a No-Fly Zone centered on downtown Washington, DC and extends for a 25 kilometer (15.5 mile) radius in all directions. Phantom pilots in this area will not be able to take off from or fly into this airspace…the restriction is part of a planned extension of DJI’s No Fly Zone system that prohibits flight near airports and other locations where flight is restricted by local authorities. These extended no fly zones will include over 10,000 airports registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and will expand no fly zones to ensure they cover the runways at major international airports.”

Hopefully, the support of the President for establishing new regulations will encourage the FAA to stop dragging their feet and begin making progess on the matter.

[ via Endgadget | New York Times | The Verge | Lead Image By Diego Cambiaso ]

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Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer based in Hawi, Hawaii. You can follow her Twitter here and her personal life here.

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7 responses to “The Saga Continues: DJI Pushes Mandatory Update Preventing Phantoms From Flying Over Washington DC”

  1. Sir Peter of Kent Avatar
    Sir Peter of Kent

    Good idea, well done @DJIGlobal. But 15 miles is quite an exclusion zone!

  2. Russ Avatar
    Russ

    What if Pressie wnats to use one?

    1. Liron Samuels Avatar
      Liron Samuels

      He’s got the real deal. And he probably wouldn’t want to fly those near the White House…

  3. Ibonibo Avatar
    Ibonibo

    “Madatory”? How? Does a DJI employee come at my home checking I update? I haven’t updated my Phantom since purchase. The firmware I have works, others might not (flyaways,…)

    All quadcopters (remember, we don’t like the name Drones, because it isn’t) operators need common sense. Sadly it has become so rare, it’s a super power now. ;)

    I would never fly near an airport, secret service buldings, or over people.

    I guess with all the drones out there in hands of unresponible people it is just a matter of time before someone gets injured or worse, killed, by a falling drone. Then we will get restrictions,….

    A few killing a leisure of a lot of people

  4. joe_average Avatar
    joe_average

    bravo dji. I really hope the industry can see what’s coming (government over-regulation) and self-regulate before its to late. we all have some growing pains ahead for fun and safe flying!

  5. Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    I reckon that he lost his opportunity to fly drones over Iraq, Yemen, and the like.

  6. Critic Avatar
    Critic

    I guess we would need the same for airplanes (9/11 comes to my mind…). And for cars. Better not allow them to leave paved roads. Yeah. But, same as with all other overregulation BS: Soon somebody will come up with a hacked firmware w/o any “no fly zones”. Seen that with DVD(CSS), the MS X-Box, Jailbreak, rooting your mobile, HDCP, DVB chipset pairing, etc.