Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the things-that-go-boom dept.

United States 200

kdataman (1687444) writes "There is a breathtaking video on Youtube of someone flying a quadcopter around and through a professional fireworks display. Of course, it was an illegal and dangerous thing to do. It also may inspire someone else to do something even more dangerous. But even so, I have watched it 4 times and get goosebumps every time. An article in Forbes says that unit is a DJI Phantom 2 with a GoPro Hero 3 Silver camera. The fireworks are in West Palm Beach, Florida."

cancel ×

200 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

GoPro (-1, Troll)

issicus (2031176) | about 3 months ago | (#47390341)

I thought GoPros were supposed to be good.

Re:GoPro (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390371)

I see you aren't a camera person. Go read up on dynamic range, ISO (sensitivity), sensor noise, pixel size and the past 25 years of optics and you will see why the GoPro does pretty well for its size and price.

Re:GoPro (1)

pla (258480) | about 3 months ago | (#47390419)

I thought GoPros were supposed to be good.

GoPros really do rock - You just have to turn off the ultra-wide FOV. The originals will go down to 137 degrees, and the GP2s will go down to 90 (basically a normal shot).

That said, it all depends on your intent... While the fisheye distortion seems annoying, how much of this show would the drone have missed with literally half the effective FOV?

Illegal and Dangerous? (4, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47390345)

Why on Earth did TFA call it 'illegal and dangerous'?

It's only dangerous to the drone. There are no humans up there to crash into.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (2)

Twinbee (767046) | about 3 months ago | (#47390395)

Perhaps he meant dangerous if the firework destroys the copter, making it crash and potentially hit someone?

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 3 months ago | (#47390403)

Or worse, if the copter crashes into fireworks on the ground waiting to go off. Kaboom!

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

Thiez (1281866) | about 3 months ago | (#47390489)

If it flies at approximately the same height as where the fireworks explode, how would that happen?

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (2)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47390439)

It was over water, so even if it caught fire, it would just splash.

What with all the other debris? (5, Interesting)

robbak (775424) | about 3 months ago | (#47390871)

The area under a fireworks show already gets peppered with the remains of all the exploded shells. A little added debris from a drone struck by part of the fireworks would make no difference. They always make sure that the fallout zone is in a safe area.

Add to that that the shells are mortar-fired, not rockets, and the risk of this is practically nil. Way less than the risks of just using and handling all that explosive.

Every professional fireworks show - at least, all those that are televised - should include shots from a drone up there amongst it all. The spectacular pictures are well worth the tiny risk.

Re:What with all the other debris? (3, Insightful)

anubi (640541) | about 3 months ago | (#47391017)

I think what he was getting at is a firework intercepting a quadcopter will revector its trajectory.

Someone had already planned every path the fireworks were to take, so the spent shells would not land at the wrong place.

However, having hit a quadcopter, a live firework, its payload yet to be spent, could have its trajectory revectored to a viewing area, with likely tragic consequences.

Someone designed that thing to go off a hundred feet up, not spuzzing around under the seats of the audience because it hit something on the way up.

I am sure the safety of the quadcopter was the least of their worries... it is that deflected live firework that I would be worried about.

Re:What with all the other debris? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 3 months ago | (#47391071)

This. It was stupid.

Re:What with all the other debris? (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47391103)

They are unpowered shells shot from a mortar, not rockets. If they hit the copter (unlikely), they will explode lower than planned, but still well up there and over the water. Considering that the copter was flying around their planned burst altitude anyway, it is likely that only the pilot would notice the collision.

Re:What with all the other debris? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47391329)

Sometimes fireworks go off early. Sometimes they go off in the launcher. Shit happens, which is why professional fireworks shows aren't cheap: they take mishaps into account when planning safety. The mortar shells won't go farther after slamming into an obstruction.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (4, Insightful)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 3 months ago | (#47390429)

Read about the new ridiculous rules [slashdot.org] the FAA imposed about drones.. Then you will understand.
Don't you know we are living in a time when someone does something cool, it is automatically illegal?

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390547)

Read about the new ridiculous rules the FAA imposed about drones...

Until some moron flys one into the path of a commercial airliner, small plane, or helicopter, and people die - than it's "why isn't the FAA doing something about this?"

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (3, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | about 3 months ago | (#47390865)

Read about the new ridiculous rules the FAA imposed about drones...

Until some moron flys one into the path of a commercial airliner, small plane, or helicopter, and people die - than it's "why isn't the FAA doing something about this?"

Rules won't stop someone from doing that because it's obviously intended to try to hurt someone. I say try because in a battle between a jet engine with the power to push 400 tons of steel into the sky VS a drone I'm going to put my money on the jet engine lasting long enough for them to turn around and land again. Anything with more planning than that is an attack.

Most of the people who have been here for a while know how to do these things but choose not to because they don't want to fuck it up for people who want to do something cool. Assholes do these things because they don't have enough imagination to do something cool.

In reality this is the argument, the cool people who want to do something cool with technology VS the assholes who want to do something assholic with technology and fucking things up for the cool people. They're the people that do something assholic and force authorities to kneejerk into making anti asshole regulations, which also prevents people from doing something cool.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 3 months ago | (#47391043)

Read about the new ridiculous rules the FAA imposed about drones...

Until some moron flys one into the path of a commercial airliner, small plane, or helicopter, and people die - than it's "why isn't the FAA doing something about this?"

Rules won't stop someone from doing that because it's obviously intended to try to hurt someone. I say try because in a battle between a jet engine with the power to push 400 tons of steel into the sky VS a drone I'm going to put my money on the jet engine lasting long enough for them to turn around and land again.

Wait; there were jet aircraft flying through the fireworks display's volume? How did the drone miss getting a picture of that? That'd have been really fun to watch, especially when the fireworks started hitting the airplane.

(Given that there was a fireworks display going on in that airspace at the time, I'm kinda doubtful that there were any pilots in the area who weren't well aware of them. And I also sorta doubt that there were any children running around under the fireworks. That's usually strongly discouraged at fireworks displays, and this one was over water. ;-)

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (3, Informative)

mbeckman (645148) | about 3 months ago | (#47391345)

I say try because in a battle between a jet engine with the power to push 400 tons of steel into the sky VS a drone I'm going to put my money on the jet engine lasting long enough for them to turn around and land again.

You would lose that bet. Turbine aircraft can be disabled by stray metal bits as small as a single bolt. An entire drone, with many metal components, would undoubtedly render a turbine engine inoperable. For this reason, airport operators routinely inspect and pick up all debris on runways and taxiways. It's called FOD (foreign object damage), and is an ever-present risk to aircraft.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390887)

How would any kind of FAA rules deter such a moron? There are already laws against that.

When you're talking about adding to the body of administrative and regulatory law, you _should_ be talking about tackling a pre-existing, persistent problem which the existing laws have proven an inadequate deterrence. In fact, when we're talking about laws any sort this should be the context, but especially in administrative law.

When you're crafting regulations based on fear, hypotheticals, and collective imagination... there's a phrase for that, "security theater".

Anyhow, disrupting an airliner with a drone... are you kidding me? There's not a court in this country that wouldn't throw somebody in prison for that, even if there was no such thing as the FAA.

Same thing with the laser pointers issue. Pointing a laser pointer is assault & battery. Assaulting a pilot while he's flying a plane with 300 passengers... that's easily a one-way ticket to the jailhouse, presuming the judge wasn't too lenient. (And he could choose to be lenient even if there were ridiculously specific laws addressing laser pointers and pilots, as at the Federal level and in most states judges aren't bound by mandatory sentencing, as it's generally understood to be a violation of due process because it's the judge's job to determine degree of culpability based on the defendant's state of mind and the circumstances, not some suit in Washington with zero context.)

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#47390643)

Read about the new ridiculous rules [slashdot.org] the FAA imposed about drones.. Then you will understand. Don't you know we are living in a time when someone does something cool, it is automatically illegal?

What rules? I see nothing in the Code of Federal Regulations or US Code covering these matters. A Federal Court has already ruled that all these FAA press releases have no binding power over anybody, dismissing the only case the FAA has brought which has gone to judgement so far.

Federal agencies can't just issue press releases and demand that people follow them. The US is a nation governed by laws, which means the government needs a law or regulation to cite when taking action against somebody.

I don't deny that the FAA has the legal authority to create regulations governing UAVs. They just haven't done it yet.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

augahyde (1016980) | about 3 months ago | (#47390899)

Actually, they have. It falls under other rules for model aircraft. FAA limits model aircraft to a height of 500 feet and, if within 5 miles of an airport, the airport must be notified. Many commercial fireworks go as high as a 1000 feet. My guess is that the copter flew to at least 1100 feet for some of the shots.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (4, Informative)

dougmc (70836) | about 3 months ago | (#47390931)

FAA limits model aircraft to a height of 500 feet

No it doesn't.

The 400 (not 500) foot figure comes from FAA advisory circular 91-57 [faa.gov] made back in 1981, and the key thing about this is that it's *advisory*, not mandatory.

The AMA safety code [modelaircraft.org] says "Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator." -- but those are just safety rules for AMA members (and a good idea for everybody) -- but they do not have the force of law behind them.

Now, the FAA may change the laws in the future, but so far ... this 400 foot ceiling people talk about does not exist. (Some places have restricted airspace ... that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about this blanket 400 foot height limit people keep bringing up that doesn't exist.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

jshackney (99735) | about 3 months ago | (#47391009)

State Codes may limit/restrict use of kites/drones/models/rockets/etc. (Michigan comes to mind), but you are correct, the FAA has published no limitations on such devices. Yet.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

linearz69 (3473163) | about 3 months ago | (#47390943)

What rules? I see nothing in the Code of Federal Regulations or US Code covering these matters. A Federal Court has already ruled that all these FAA press releases have no binding power over anybody, dismissing the only case the FAA has brought which has gone to judgement so far.

Apples and oranges.

That court ruling is in regard to the process of issuing fines for the use of a UAV for commercial purposes. Most articles I've read about this ruling have take an academic legal argument being made to avoid paying a fine, and have extrapolated it into some huge governmental over reach. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Congress has given the FAA this power to regulate (set rules, levy fine) anything that flies for commercial purpose. This power seems rather clear cut and the court agrees. The court's only issue is that the FAA was ambiguous in defining a UAV for the purpose of issuing fines - that the FAA rules could essentially fine a commercial operator for a paper airplane, which even the FAA agrees would be ridiculous.

The FAA is appealing and they may very well win this as they seem to be working within the laws as written. If this upsets you, blame your congress person, not the FAA. But you probably won't get far unless you have the resources to change public opinion - most people feel the FAA does a good job here. The general thinking is that aerial anarchy is a bad thing.

The "ridiculous rules" linked above completely different here. Those rule may be a case of the FAA exceeding its power - congress specified nothing about regulating the user interface to model airplanes. Those rules are bogus.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

dukeblue219 (212029) | about 3 months ago | (#47391005)

Ridiculous? As a pilot I don't want people's toys flying around in my airspace. Hit a plane and there's a real chance you'll kill someone.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

jc42 (318812) | about 3 months ago | (#47391053)

Ridiculous? As a pilot I don't want people's toys flying around in my airspace. Hit a plane and there's a real chance you'll kill someone.

If you're a pilot who's "airspace" includes a volume in which a fireworks display is scheduled, please informs us of that fact, because I don't think I'd ever want to be a passenger in a plane controlled by a pilot like you. The possibility that your plane might hit a drone would be the least of my worries. ;-)

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390471)

Because the CONservatives that now run this site are risk adverse like the rest of their kind. They don't want any change or progress so anything new to them is dangerous.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390655)

I can't believe how dense you fucking people are. If one of those shells were deflected off course by smacking the drone, you could end up with a very dangerous situation. Watch a few videos of what happens when one of those shells goes off at ground level! An 8" shell is loaded with several pounds of black powder. A good thwack against that drone could scrub off enough of it's upward momentum resulting in a very close to the ground detonation. If it detonated low over the barge it could cause a chain reaction. If it were deflected towards people or buildings, it could cause serious injury and death.

The man needs to end up behind bars and never allowed to fly anything, not even a kite, not even a flag ever again.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47390733)

Even granting the unlikely event of a collision, The shell weighs more than the copter, it isn't going to stop dead and it's not going to go near people. This is especially true since you might have noticed that the higher flying shells were bursting at the copter's height.

Since you believe the people not worried by this are fucking, I guess that means you're not fucking? Perhaps that's why you're so uptight? :-)

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (4, Insightful)

robbak (775424) | about 3 months ago | (#47390927)

Professional fireworks are mortar-fired shells, not rockets that can go off-course if nudged. So if a shell hit the drone on the way up, it would smash straight through it and keep on going. There is not enough mass in a drone, and a drone is not solid enough, to deflect the solid mass of a firework shell travelling at speed. It might not quite reach the same height by a few meters, or might end up a couple of feet off target, but neither of these things would matter.

And if the drone is up at altitude where the shells explode, then there is even less speed involved. The shell has reached it's height - so what if it taps a drone before detonating.

There is also whole lot of sky, and both shells and drones are small. The chance of the two coming together is practically nil.

Amazing pictures captured with zero risk. Images from a drone up there amongst it all should be a permanent feature of firework presentations.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47391361)

More than that: fireworks go off early sometimes. I've seen them go off in the launcher, and go off at low elevation above the launcher. It's not a safety risk at all: it's planned for. (Also, these mortal shells aren't all that accurate to begin with, so hitting a drone on the way is probably noise in the safety margins anyhow.)

Very cool video. I actually saw a fireworks display once from the height at which the shells were bursting - coolest thing I've ever seen. Glad more people can see this!

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

roger10-4 (3654435) | about 3 months ago | (#47390665)

It's dangerous because the copter could have collided with the firework before it reached proper altitude. Subsequently, this could have altered it's trajectory such that it went somewhere it shouldn't (such as the spectators) or detonated at a lower altitude than it should. Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but you don't add uncontrolled elements to a dangerous environment that is supposed to be highly controlled for public safety.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (2)

Nkwe (604125) | about 3 months ago | (#47390719)

Maybe and maybe not. There is always the chance that the firework could malfunction on it's own. Possible malfunction is one of they many reasons that in professional shows, no one gets to sit under where the fireworks are intended to go or anywhere a wind shift or malfunction may take them. I suppose if a drone collided with a mortar very close to the ground as the mortar was being launched it might alter the trajectory, but at the altitude from where the pictures were being taken, the firework has gone where it is going to go.

Acknowledged that in some smaller shows you used to be able to sit right under the fireworks and having the smoldering hunks of cardboard rain down on you. This was kind of cool, but in my experience, hasn't been an option for a long time.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390769)

Please re-read my last sentence.

Yes, this copter was flying high. Would take a split second for it to dive down. Or be trivial for anybody else to purposefully fly a drone at 50 feet above the ground... in the dark right up to the launch site.

If you're at all uncomfortable with any old yahoo coming along and doing that, you agree with it being "dangerous"

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390885)

Yes, this copter was flying high. Would take a split second for it to dive down. Or be trivial for anybody else to purposefully fly a drone at 50 feet above the ground... in the dark right up to the launch site.

Split second? No. Falling from a height of 500 feet would take approximately 5.5 seconds, discounting air resistance. There is no way this drone could drop that far "in a split second."

If they were "right up to the launch site", there would be too many lift charges going off and too much smoke for them to see where the craft was, so that's not possible either. Even IF one of the shells were to hit the copter, they weigh MUCH MORE than this thing does, so physics dictates their path would barely be affected at all. They would likely go right through the copter, deviate by a couple of degrees, and the pieces of the copter would splash into the water.

If you're at all uncomfortable with any old yahoo coming along and doing that, you agree with it being "dangerous"

I'm sorry, "dangerous" != "something that makes me uncomfortable." Let me guess, you think guns are dangerous because they look scary to you, right?

Grow a pair, you fucking pussy.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47391213)

So because a deranged person might conceivably drive a car through a playground, nobody should drive because it's dangerous?

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390687)

Why is it dangerous? Oh, I don't know... maybe because of SCIENCE? PHYSICS? Fucking GRAVITY?

A shell hits the copter and disables it. As it falls, another shell hits it early on in its trajectory and gets bounced into the crowd.

Wow, took me 3 whole seconds to figure that out.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 months ago | (#47390847)

The crowd shouldn't be that close to the fireworks in the first place. They have to assume that shells will do that anyway say due to a mortar tipping over.

Heavy solid shell, light fragile drone. (3, Insightful)

robbak (775424) | about 3 months ago | (#47390935)

The shell smashes the drone into tiny bits of confetti, and continues on it's merry way. Or, more likely the shell snaps off a rotor arm without noticing.

They will not bounce off each other like billiard balls. That's what happens when you have a collision between equal mass objects in which kinetic energy is conserved. This would be a collision between different mass objects where energy is lost to work - destroying the drone. The one with the most momentum wins.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390709)

Another stupid fuck with a camera. Did you ask the fireworks operator for permission dumbfuck? Yeah, I thought not. But it's okay because you were getting such great footage right? Time to hand out some nice big fines to these tools.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390721)

What if the copter is flying lower, and a shell deflects off it significantly before its explosion stage?

Imagine if that happened in Boston, where they launch the things off a barge in the middle of the (fairly narrow) Charles River that's lined on both sides with both spectators and buildings. You can see that it doesn't take much of an effect on the trajectory of the shell before things start getting scary.

This copter is flying high. Only a couple of hundred feet before things get scary. In my vernacular, I call that "dangerous"

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47391229)

What happens if the drone is actually a nuclear aircraft carrier re-fitted with anti-gravity propulsion reverse engineered from the Roswell crash?

We can what if all day, but it doesn't amount to anything because that's not what was done.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 months ago | (#47390763)

Sensationalism sells.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390891)

Actually, he's volating the existing (and still relevant until November) rules regarding remote controlled model aircraft (RCMA). He is clearly above 400 feet in altitude and if he is flying by first person view and not line of sight that is also illegal. I am all for flying RCMA like the one he used. They are NOT drones! I wish people would stop calling them that, including the FAA! We've been flying aricraft like them for years in fields and even in set races at abondoned air strips since the 1970s for crying out loud; with cameras aboard since the 1980s! What's the deal now? The military buys large autonomous aerial vehicles (have you seen a real Predator drone? BIG!) to do surveillance and operations and all of a sudden everyone with a RC helicopter is operating a drone? Shenanigans!

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390905)

Actually, he's volating the existing (and still relevant until November) rules regarding remote controlled model aircraft (RCMA). He is clearly above 400 feet in altitude and if he is flying by first person view and not line of sight that is also illegal. I am all for flying RCMA like the one he used. They are NOT drones! I wish people would stop calling them that, including the FAA! We've been flying aricraft like them for years in fields and even in set races at abondoned air strips since the 1970s for crying out loud; with cameras aboard since the 1980s! What's the deal now? The military buys large autonomous aerial vehicles (have you seen a real Predator drone? BIG!) to do surveillance and operations and all of a sudden everyone with a RC helicopter is operating a drone? Shenanigans!

Forgot to caveat, if this was done in the U.S. YMMV by country. :)

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 months ago | (#47391049)

Because it left the ground, these days anything operated outside of the military that is off the ground is bad... or so it seems.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

mbeckman (645148) | about 3 months ago | (#47391299)

Techyimmigrant: It's unsafe because the drone operator could lose control due to fireworks damage, resulting in high-speed powered flight into the crowd. Small model rotorcraft have maimed and killed people, usually gruesomely. Also, it's illegal to fly a drone above 400', and outside the direct sight of the operator. This drone violated both of those restrictions.

As a helicopter pilot, I dread drones. I've seen them numerous times near events that I am legally and safely filming, and even around airports. Unless we get drone idiots to stop doing stupid, dangerous stunts like this, we will soon have a tragedy taking many lives.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

romons (2767081) | about 3 months ago | (#47391335)

Why on Earth did TFA call it 'illegal and dangerous'?

It's only dangerous to the drone. There are no humans up there to crash into.

He could be hit by a firework, causing the firework to go off course. Not likely, but you never know.

Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47391491)

Illegal, because to film this, he probably flew above the 500 foot RC ceiling, as well as flying at night in a cloud of firework smoke makes following the "maintain visual contact with the aircraft" rule virtually impossible. Dangerous, because if the craft where to be hit, and not entirely disabled, it could easily veer into a vector that took it well out of pilot control, and end up crashing into the general public at large, all of which makes the FAA pretty unhappy.

kind of like a small town fireworks show? (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47390357)

one time i was in Augusta, Ga for 4th of July and the river fest and saw the show. you could stand almost under the explosions. not like NYC where you are like 2 miles from the show

same with Shea Stadium, the old Citi Field. you could get closer to the show than watching the official Macy's fireworks

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390459)

In my hometown, you sat so close that embers from the fireworks were pelting your cars as you watched.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (3, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47390567)

I don't get why American fireworks displays are so small. I'd love to see this copter fly through fireworks in Reykjavík on New Years Eve. The Macy's 4th of july fireworks display in New York shoots off about 10 tons of fireworks. Iceland (most of the population being in Reykjavík and its adjacent municipalities, about 250k people) shoots off about 600 tons of fireworks on New Years, the weight of about 5 adult blue whales. The whole city looks like this [google.is] for literally about an hour. It's not organized, it's just everyone shooting off an average of about 9 kilograms / 20 pounds per family - some more, some less. You see fireworks like the stuff that copter flew through in little towns of 1-2 thousand people. Even if you only count organized displays, it just seems to be so disproportionately little in the US. Pretty much every festival that does fireworks here shoots off several tons. Or otherwise just burns pretty much everything [google.is] that's not nailed down [google.is] . Or as more often is the case, both at the same time.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (1)

ramorim (1257654) | about 3 months ago | (#47390609)

Fireworks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is really cool too.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (1)

stephenmac7 (2700151) | about 3 months ago | (#47390641)

It's helpful when your "progressive" government doesn't regulate the industry to the point where it's $20 for a pop-it [wikipedia.org] .

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (1)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47390649)

What's the actual price there?

I think a lot of people spend so much here because the profits go to the rescue services. Also, I guess since we have no military we've got to blow something up ;)

Two boxes for a dollar. $3 / shell. Half price by (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#47390801)

The poppers which aren't regulated as regular firework, go for about 50 cents to $1 per box. I don't recall how many are in a box, maybe 25.

The better consumer fireworks are 2" shells and sell for about $18 for a box of six. 500 gram cakes are about $60. These are all Texas prices, near the import port at Houston. Hazmat shipping to other parts of the country may increase retail prices elsewhere.

Enthusiasts who spend $300 or more can pay 60% less by joining a group to buy at wholesale prices.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47390659)

Whoops, included the wrong link for the "The whole city looks like this" part - it was supposed to be this link [google.is] . The first one is a link to just a small festival display.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390939)

stangely enough all three of your links just lead me to the same page of images including the three nordic death tenors and a guy with budding hair antlers.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390685)

I'm sure it will just get replaced with a safer HTML5 version someday.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390729)

about 600 tons of fireworks on New Years, the weight of about 5 adult blue whales

Thanks for a new unit of measurement: adult blue whales of fireworks. Comparing fireworks to adult blue whales really helps make your number something I can relate to in my everyday life.

Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 3 months ago | (#47390837)

The main reason why many governments have regulations for how much fireworks you can fire off in one night is that fireworks produce toxic smoke. Reykjavik is a relatively small city situated in what I believe is a windy area far away from any other major urban centers, so I would think that the potential for humans to be exposed being exposed to smoke from fireworks is unusually low there.

Or perhaps the city just wants to live up to its name...

Redonkulous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390359)

So with all this asinine hyperbole this is either an advert or the ramblings of somebody that needs to go outside a bit more.

inb4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390363)

Man crushed by drone which caught fire from a fireworks display.

this is why we can't have nice things... (1, Funny)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 3 months ago | (#47390379)

drone gets hit/diverts fireworks into crowd/drone goes offline/hits car (or close to) nearby highway....hilarity ensues.

Re:this is why we can't have nice things... (5, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47390411)

If you look closer, the fireworks and the drone are over water. So much more likely, drone struck by fireworks makes a splash, fish startled.

Re: this is why we can't have nice things... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390447)

Don't let PETA find out.

Cool video (2)

richy freeway (623503) | about 3 months ago | (#47390393)

Crappy camera work but I enjoyed it anyway. Surprised I haven't seen someone do it before (I realise someone may have).

The question remains though, when did this place become digg?

Re:Cool video (3, Informative)

Huntr (951770) | about 3 months ago | (#47390455)

"The question remains though, when did this place become digg?"

Right around Dec '04.

Re:Cool video (2)

dougmc (70836) | about 3 months ago | (#47390937)

Crappy camera work? I take it you'd do better?

It's not like it's an easy place to put an expensive camera into. Anything bigger than a small R/C plane and they'd have stopped the fireworks entirely -- and personally, I'm sort of surprised that they didn't when they saw this craft up there. The odds of having the craft hit by a shell and crashing into the water were significant as well.

And it's quite dark, so we're stuck with high iso mode.

Personally, I thought it was quite excellent for what it was.

Idiotic (0)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#47390427)

Cool? Maybe. Idiotic? Definately. It's stupid things like this that ruin it for responsible hobbyists. I have friend who is a fire works pro and the stuff they do to make it safe is endangered by such irresponsible actions. Now get of my lawn.

Re:Idiotic (4, Insightful)

Dins (2538550) | about 3 months ago | (#47390581)

How is this idiotic? Unless you're talking about the potential idiocy of wasting all that money on a drone and a Gopro camera potentially blown up by fireworks. This was filmed over water. Nobody was in danger except the drone owner's bank account. (And maybe the one in a million chance of the drone falling on the odd boater...)

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390715)

It is idiotic because the filmer probably did not get permission to do what he did from the city, the fireworks performance company, DHS, FAA, etc. So by doing what he did without permission, he's basically pointed out a security oversight of every one of the parties who can now point this film as justification to restrict others from getting permission to do it.

FAA: it shows they have no control over usage of drones

DHS: the video shows a drone can go any where, and they can't prevent it

fireworks performance company: they can't claim copyright on derivative works of their performance

city: the video didn't say where so there was no promotion of the city (or something like that)

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390757)

"..It is idiotic because the filmer probably did not get permission to do what he did..."

Er - reality check. You can't say it IS idiotic because something PROBABLY wasn't done. The most you can say is that it MIGHT HAVE BEEN idiotic (but you don't know).

However, it's people like you, who jump to conclusions about danger without thinking, who are busy ruining the world for the rest of us...

Re:Idiotic (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 3 months ago | (#47391101)

Nobody was in danger except the drone owner's bank account

Spoken like someone who has never actually built and or operated one.

More likely than a direct hit on the drone by a shell (likely to make the drone drop straight out of the sky, probably in multiple pieces) is the prospect of some debris getting into one or more of the brushless motors. This could cause the motor to overheat, or cause the ESC talking to it to get things wrong. The flight controller can get confused by this, and you could end up with a high battery drain, and the machine doing a nice tilt to one side, with the remaining props spinning way up to try to maintain lift ... presto. From a few hundred feet, the drone could go into a high speed dive at an angle that could very quickly close the distance between the fireworks range (over the water) and the people on the ground. How'd you like 1500g of high-speed hardware coming at your head at, say, 35mph, in the dark, complete with high-speed spinning carbon fiber knives and a flammable LiPo battery onboard.

Beyond all of that, this is about public perception. The complete tool who did this is practically begging to have members of the public pile onto the FAA's existing effort to, in practice, shut down this entire hobby and almost every attempt to put these tools to work in research and business. Gee, thanks.

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47391331)

1500g of high-speed hardware coming at your head at, say, 35mph, in the dark, complete with high-speed spinning carbon fiber knives and a flammable LiPo battery onboard

That sounds awesome! Now we just need to mount sharks on! With frickin' lasers, man.

Re:Idiotic (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 3 months ago | (#47391473)

Beyond all of that, this is about public perception. The complete tool who did this is practically begging to have members of the public pile onto the FAA's existing effort to, in practice, shut down this entire hobby and almost every attempt to put these tools to work in research and business. Gee, thanks.

More likely, members of the public will watch the video and think it's great and isn't it great that someone is able to do that. Relax.

Re:Idiotic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390633)

Cry me a fucking river you pansy-assed whiner. The world used to be a cool place, when people had the balls to try new things. Now it's just a bunch of pussy-whipped statists who reach for the most outrageous possible outcome as a reason to ban every reason for living.

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390759)

Preventing an explosive shell from being redirected into a crowd isn't "banning every reason for living", toilet. I know that my military background makes me much less risk-averse than you, but part of doing adventurous shit means keeping safe. There's nothing manly about unnecessary injury, except in a pansy fantasy superhero world where everybody magically gets up, brushes off their fairy dust and skips away into the Teletubby sunset. Ask mom to increase your allowance so Ayn Rand will let you get on your knees and lick her pussy, freshman. Really stick your tongue in there and tell us all what it tastes like.

Re:Idiotic (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 months ago | (#47390743)

Not really. I've been on a commercial crew, and this has effectively zero impact on the safety of the show. The only danger would be the kind discussed by lawyers and insurance companies, neither of which would impact the actual firing safety of a show like this. It was shot over water, and even if this was knocked out of commission and landed on a barge, the weight would be insufficient to damage or misalign any but the smallest (3" or 4" mortar - and those are racked for stability.

Breathtaking. (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 3 months ago | (#47390431)

In twenty-four hours this will go from "illegal" to "high demand professional camera service" for promotions, events, etc.

already illegal for that. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 3 months ago | (#47391013)

In twenty-four hours this will go from "illegal" to "high demand professional camera service" for promotions, events, etc.

Sorry, that's already illegal (according to the FAA).

Just a few weeks ago the FAA issued an interpretation of existing rules that declared illegal any commercial use of video from a drone.

Zzzzzzz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390433)

Submitter needs more going on in his life, or a bigger imagination, if fireworks up close give him goose bumps.

Re:Zzzzzzz (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390527)

Oh, yes, god forbid someone should enjoy something without your blessing, Your Majesty.

Absolutely Awesome (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47390525)

I don't understand the negative comments here. This is using technology to get a viewpoint of something in a way that a few years previously would have been impossible. Love it.

Re:Absolutely Awesome (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 months ago | (#47390979)

Yes, the shut-in is high in this story. Epic, mega, fabulous. Everyone else can stick their mountain dew/Dworkin monologues up their arses and die.

If a thing is dangerous with drones... (1)

Rix (54095) | about 3 months ago | (#47390529)

It's that thing that is dangerous, not the drones. Drones are never going to get any more expensive than they are now. They're only going to get cheaper, more disposable, and harder to trace back to their pilot.

People are going to do whatever they please with them. If some other activity isn't compatible, then it's that activity we'll have to restrict.

Re:If a thing is dangerous with drones... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 months ago | (#47390619)

People are going to do whatever they please with them. If some other activity isn't compatible, then it's that activity we'll have to restrict.

Great, you want every asshole with an RC drone to have unlimited freedom to burden/violate others.

What he wants versus what is the reality. (1)

robbak (775424) | about 3 months ago | (#47390957)

The drone genie is out of the bottle. This is the world we not live in - where the possibility of a cheap RC craft being in a particular airspace has to be taken into account.

Re:What he wants versus what is the reality. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47391203)

Lasers are 'out of the bottle' too. What 'cool' things do you suggest I do with my 35 milliwatt laster? No, I'm not really interested in doing it, whatever stupid notion you have of adventure.

Definitely Dangerous (2)

roger10-4 (3654435) | about 3 months ago | (#47390611)

While it was cool, I can see how this could be considered dangerous. I don't know much about fireworks, but I can imagine that a collision between a UAV and the firework itself could potentially alter the trajectory of the firework leading it to go somewhere it shouldn't. You get enough senseless idiots flying these things around pyrotechnics, something bad will eventually happen.

Re:Definitely Dangerous (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#47390673)

I'd say there is a far greater risk of the firework itself having a failure that sends it somewhere unintended, though even that wasn't much of a risk here.

This is a fireworks display over water. The firework round has a certain total amount of energy available to it determined by the amount of propellant inside. The launchers were probably located far enough from crowds that even under the most unfavorable conditions a round could not have hit anybody - that is if the firework were directly aimed at the crowd. A shot deflecting off a UAV will not travel farther than that - just physics.

Maybe if they're launching shells right over a crowd a deflection would cause a problem, but so would a short round.

I can see how you could think it dangerous. (1)

robbak (775424) | about 3 months ago | (#47390971)

But I can also apply physics and see how the danger is very small.

The biggest point is that the sky is big and both the shells and the drone are small. The chance of the two coming into contact is negligible. The risk of anything bad happening if that happens is also very small - the only thing I can see happening is if a rotor happens to cut the shell's fuse. The shell is too heavy for a fragile drone to have much effect on it.

Re:I can see how you could think it dangerous. (1)

roger10-4 (3654435) | about 3 months ago | (#47391189)

The other comments pointing out that the shells are launched from a minimum safe distance to prevent the shells from making it into a populated area are good points - and I agree with those (except perhaps the operators themselves) . However, applying statistics is a little off the mark I think. The alignment of a few unlikely events is usually what causes unexpected accidents.

Pilots View in WWII over Germany (3, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 3 months ago | (#47390625)

Though not as colorful, you can now imagine what it was like for a pilot and copilot doing raids in WWII. Scaaaary!

"goosebumps every time" (1)

KrazyDave (2559307) | about 3 months ago | (#47390777)

Stupid fairie.

Illegal and dangerous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47391051)

Guessing the drone operator is a pothead -- it takes a certain level of irresponsibility, greed, and stupidity that are only found amongst marijuana users and gun nuts to do something like that.

But hey, anything for a buzz, at any cost. That's the pothead mantra.

Video is fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47391157)

The images are far too stable to be taken from a drone flying through explosions. The shells for fireworks are several times the size of the mortars used by the military.

There is no camera shake and views from the drone upside down, which should have happened for a a small copter flying amongst these explosions.

Re:Video is fake (2)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 3 months ago | (#47391511)

There is a nice video out there of a quadcopter that loses control and flips. But because it uses a stabilized camera mount the picture is still perfectly oriented with the horizon all the way to the ground, while the quadcopter is all over the place. That you don't understand something doesn't make it a fake. No reason to even get into the silliness of assuming that there is some massive shock wave that would have flipped the copter over.

Awesome, but annoying (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 3 months ago | (#47391315)

The Fisheye distortion is insanely annoying. If you are going to use fisheye lens, don't pan the camera like crazy. Who the hell does several 360s in a row with a fisheye? Insanely annoying distortion ...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?