Drone News this week: DJI responds to yet another security report, this time targeting their DJI Pilot app. An interesting article that covers drone sighting data and why it contradicts what the FAA and the Media are reporting. And lastly, an integrated parachute for Israeli Company Percepto.
00:39 : DJI Responds to new Security Report
05:25 : Drone Sighting Data
13:30 : Integrated Drone Parachute
DJI Responds to new Security Report
2 weeks ago, I talked about a report by French company Synacktiv that analyzed flaws in the DJI Go app.
They came back with an analysis of the DJI Pilot App and DJI has responded.
Synacktiv claims the DJI Pilot app uses the Weibo SDK. DJI claims it’s not in the app, like it is in DJI Go 4.
Synacktiv claims the DJI Pilot app bypasses the Google Playstore for updates. DJI claims it does not, unless the user lives where Google Playstore is not available.
DJI Pilot has a “Local Data Mode” available, which allows the user to shut down connections to the internet. Think about it as Airplane mode. Synacktiv claims that you need to connect to the internet in order to get access to unlock certificates required by DJI’s geofencing. DJI explains that Synacktiv does not understand geofencing. – agencies can get a one time approval to unlock their drones forever for an entire region. It requires a one-time internet connection. – Government Edition drones DO NOT have geofencing.
DJI mentions that they updated the DJI Go 4 app to remove the Weibo SDK and to have all updates go through Google Play store.
A non-hyped look at Drone Sighting Data
Jonathan Rupprecht from Rupprecht Law compiled information about drone sighting data.
A drone sighting is… when someone sees a drone and reports it!
The reported drone sightings over time are NOT growing. They’re decreasing.
The FAA has inaccurately reported on the drone sightings data and this is proven by their own data they released(more on that later).
There are more drone sightings reported in populated areas than unpopulated areas.
There are more drone sightings reported in warmer months than colder months.
States with larger populations have more reported drone sightings.
There are more medium or large animal impacts with manned aircraft than mere reported drone sightings.
Good questions raised
How can you differentiate between a drone sighting for a legal vs illegal flight?
How can you prevent false claims from people who would benefit from more drone sightings?
How many of the sightings pose a safety risk?
According to an analysis of the FAA’s data from the AMA, they found that about 3% of the sightings involved near mid-air collisions.
He also goes over the misrepresenting of the data by the FAA administrator, the inaccurate report by the News Media.
USA today report the numbers quadrupled when they went from 238 to 650 (aka 650 drones were seen in the entire United States).
In 2019, there was a 6.76% DECREASE
California, Florida, NY report the most sightings.
Connecticut, Minnesota, Alabama report the least.
Drone Sightings vs Animal Impacts
Each month there are more large/medium sized animal impacts than drone sightings.
This doesn’t mean drones are not a risk.
Integrated Drone Parachute
Israeli company Percepto announced that Florida Power & Light (FPL) will gain BVLOS approval by using the company’s Sparrow drone.
The autonomous drone is equipped with an integrated parachute.
It also meets the FAA standards.