Drone News: DJI responds to new security report. Drone Sighting Data. Integrated Drone Parachute.

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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.

Misleading Data
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.


What do you think?

Written by Pilot Institute


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  1. Since he mentioned DJI & Geo Fencing
    I live next to a military training air base which DJI geo fenced. Fare enough. But the airport has a part-time tower that is closed on the weekends and after 4pm on Fridays and Mondays. According to FAA documentation, when the tower is closed, the area reverts to Class G airspace. When flying my original Mavic Pro, I have to ask to turn off the geo fence every time I fly, not just one time. Even worse, half the time it doesn’t work and DJI will not allow me to fly in Class G airspace. I am assuming the software is buggy? My iPhone is always connected to the internet. Very frustrating.

    Also, as a 107 certified pilot, I cannot accept a job in the area only to turn to my client after I arrive and say, “I’m sorry, DJI won’t let me fly my drone today, you are out of luck” I have sent countless messages and emails to DJI and I have only received one form letter that didn’t really address the problem.

    I know DJI no longer makes the original Mavic Pro, but this is frustrating.

  2. During your first part of your video, you say that you are trying to give us both sides of the story but during the video, you mention that the report has several inconsistencies. You seem to accept DJI's claims without considering that they are perhaps being less than truthful. Many Chinese companies, Huawei not the least, have lied about spy software and technology built into the equipment. Don't forget that any Chinese company or even a foreign company that operates in China must have a communist party representative on the board. Thank you for addressing an important issue and presenting both sides, but your personal comments appeared to be a bit biased.

  3. From my Facebook post to a MA2 group to combat misinformation:
    To be clear DJI will NOT be banned outright in the US. I read an article with the headline "U.S. nears law banning Chinese-made drones including DJI". Now at first read you would say, "What, no more chinese made drones for US citizens?". Well, that's not what is really happening. As you read down there's this –

    "AIN Online, whose mission is ‘to provide timely, accurate and balanced aviation and aerospace news, analysis and data around the world,’ just reported that an amendment to ban U.S. government use of Chinese drones appears almost certain to become law within weeks.

    The amendment is contained within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and prohibits the purchase of commercial drones made by a ‘covered foreign entity’ including China, *by any U.S. government agency.*" (I bolded the specific audience this proposed law is targeted at)."

    So at this point if you should hear/read about someone saying the US government is banning DJI sales to US citizens (I have and that is why I'm posting this), well you can say this is not the case and that only US governmental agencies are affected by this proposed law.


  4. Hi Greg. My wife works in the Space Industry and knows the Administrator of the FAA fairly well. Within his own organization, he is considered poorly experienced and not qualified. Industry folks I have spoken to are not surprised that the good folks in the trenches for both the FAA and the DOT believe that these were appointments determined by politics and not skill. Hopefully, things will be better in the future for all of us who are impacted by these appointments. Thanks for the weekly updates and thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts without bias. Great job as always.

  5. hola realmente buen video me gustaria que prosigan haciendo material de calidad… Voy a continuar mirando sus creaciones. Les mando un saludo nos vemos luego ☝️??

  6. Thanks for the info man. Funny MN has one of the least sightings. Although, drones are not very popular here, yet. But, I wanted to mention, about a week or two ago during a MN Twins baseball game, they had a drone fly into the stadium and had to delay the game and wait for it to leave. Im sure its on youtube somewhere.

  7. Personally I don't think it really matters who funded the report because DJI themselves acknowledged that they had these "vulnerabilities" in the DJ Go4 App. (And yes I know in this video you were speaking about the Pilot App). What I would like to know is why DJI had these seemingly "sketchy" things in the DJI Go4 app (e.g., circumventing the GooglePlay store app and using Waebo SDK). Evidently neither of these things were necessary for the proper behavior of the DJI Go 4 App given that they have since been removed. So that begs the question: Why were they there in the first place? Did DJI ever provide a detailed explanation as to why these vulnerabilities were in their app?

    Clearly Synactiv did not have DJI's authorization to do this study and so that means that they didn't have DJI's source code to conduct a proper audit so their ability to do an audit of the code was not possible…and yet even with that Synactiv was able to find these vulnerabilities in the app. Hmmm…it makes me wonder what else is lurking in DJI's apps. I wish DJI would just come clean and have an independent 3rd party do a FULL audit of their code. I'm jussayin…

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