FAA

Will I be able to bring my laptop to Europe?

Microsoft Excel on iOS

Episode 1395

Sara from Studio City, CA

Sara is a painter and is traveling to Florence, Italy to showcase some of her art. She's worried she may not be able to bring her laptop back when she returns, though. Leo says that policy hasn't been decided yet on airlines from Europe. But it could, and if so, she'll have to check her laptop in her bag. Or she could ship it back. She will be able to return with it, just not in the main cabin.

Leo says if she has a tablet or iPhone, she could use that instead, and Excel runs quite well on iOS.

FAA Requires Drone Registration Starting This Week

Episode 1247

Starting Monday, anyone who operates a drone from 0.5-55 pounds will be required to register that drone with the FAA. Leo says that the problem is that everyone's personal information will be publicly available, which is not a good thing. And the Academy of Model Aeronautics is encouraging drone operators not to register until the privacy issues are addressed. That kind of civil disobedience will get attention, but the fines of up to $25,000 and 3 years in jail for failing to do so is a steep one.

How can we make drone operators fly responsibly?

Drone

Episode 1203

Louis from Hollywood, CA

Louis says that drones delayed firefighting helicopters from getting to a brush fire, causing dozes of cars to be burned on a freeway in Southern California. Leo says that's not only terrible, but likely illegal. The FAA has been trying to work out rules to prevent these things.

Leo says that firmware updates to prevent flying in restricted airspace (an electronic leash) can only do so much. The chatroom says that there should be mandatory transponders on drones to be able to identify those who fly in restricted airspace. That could go a long way to solving the issue.

Boeing's New 787 Airline Requires a Reboot Every 248 Days

Episode 1183

Discovering a flaw in the computerized electrical system, Boeing has announced that their new 787 Dreamliner must be rebooted every 248 days or face a catastrophic failure that could cause the plane to crash. The flaw is wrapped around it's 32 bit operating system that can reset it's values to zero after a set time, causing the electrical system to simply shut off, which could cause the plane to fall from the sky. So until they can write a software patch to repair it, Boeing is just telling airlines to reboot their planes every 248 days.

Pilots Pushing For New FAA Drone Policies

Aerial Drone

Episode 1153

Airplane pilots are pushing for new rules from the FAA to protect them from unmanned aerial drones, and according to GigaOm the pressure from aviation groups has been part of the reason why the FAA hasn't adopted formal commercial drone rules. Leo says that the other part of the problem is that the FAA, while having the authority to put forth said rules, has no way to enforce them.

Are there private airspace rules governing drone use?

DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter for GoPro

Episode 1100

Ellis from Marina Del Rey, CA

Ellis wants to know if there are air rights established over buildings and residencies? Leo says that only if he is using drones for commercial purposes. He can only use it for private and personal use. Air rights? That's a lawyer question. Air rights do extend up, but the FAA regulates it. So the FAA is probably the best place to ask. The FAA is being very hard against commercial use of drones because of the explosion of drone usage.

FAA Allows Use of Tablets and Smartphones From Gate to Gate

Episode 1028

The FAA has made a rule change that will enable users of smart devices like eBook readers, tablets and smartphones, as long as they're put into airplane mode below 10,000 feet. Users can still use the in-flight Wi-Fi (at a cost, of course), but they will not be able to make cell phone calls or use cellular data. Watching movies, reading e-books, and playing games are all fair game.

FAA Poised to Reverse Policy on Portable Electronics on Flights

Episode 990

The Federal Aviation Administration may be about to reverse rules that prohibit the usage of mobile devices during takeoff and landing. Leo says that with pilots using iPads while they're flying, there's really no need to prevent passengers from using their devices as well. Cell service will still be restricted and Leo says the reason for that is so that airlines could sell more expensive cellular service on airplanes.