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RC Tour of New York City

RC Tour of New York City

This beautiful video tour of New York is the work of director/producer Nicolas Doldinger. Enjoy this taste of the Big Apple and check out this snippet from Esquire.com‘s interview with Mr. Doldinger (for the entire interview, click here.)

ESQUIRE.COM: Is what you’re doing with the helicopter legal?

NICOLAS DOLDINGER: Basically as long as it’s for personal use and below 400 feet it’s considered legal. And as long as it’s not interfering with pedestrians or traffic.

ESQ: Has anyone ever given you a hard time?

ND: No, at Union Square I would intentionally set up next to the cops, and show them that it’s not going too high, and no one ever had any questions.

ESQ: What’s your take on unmanned aircraft in general?

ND: There’s the privacy issue. What I do is create entertaining videos and work in the entertainment industry, so the privacy issue doesn’t really come into play as much as with journalism or if the government is using it. So in my case it’s just a platform like any other camera platform.

ESQ: But you think there’s room for abuse?

ND: There’s problems if it’s used for journalism or for paparazzi. Who knows what people will use it for? There needs to be some sort of legal framework that doesn’t exist yet, and that they’re working on. There’s a conference coming up in October called the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference, or DARC, hosted by NYU. I’ll be part of a work group that will be in a study with the NYU School of Law talking about exactly that, clearing out the legal grey zone that exists.

Updated: September 19, 2013 — 10:10 AM


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  1. I admire his enthusiasm and dedication. Obviously the guy has talent and know-how. But to me a helicopter is a machine that flies, not a flying machine. A homebuilt even more so. I wouldn’t get any higher than I’d be willing to suddenly drop and land on my tailbone.

  2. Great video of the home made chopper. What’s with the pop-ups!?!?

  3. Well done that man, looks nice and stable, nice high tail rotor to minimise tailrotor induced roll, seems to have good power.

  4. Wow! That’s pretty amazing! Well done, and cool..

  5. what is the liability if the inevitable occurs and you land something like this in traffic and cause a major accident.
    no question of your ability, but others don’t have that as well as your equipment
    hope you are not an AMA member

  6. Well, the film is named First flight of the Phantom, and that is because he flies a DJI Phantom. No tail rotor on those. The film starts by showing what equipment is used.

  7. airframe is obvious…just read the video description…Phantom with Zmuse gimball…nice job ! thanks for reporting & share…

  8. Now this is one of the best videos I’ve seen taken by a drone. No issues with going under bridges, flying near people, etc. Mr. Doldinger did it right!!

  9. Nice to see someone doing it the right way and following the law unlike TBS and their youtube videos that totally go out of the way to flaunt the law and common sense.

    Also nice to see something without the typical toy camera fisheye GoPro effect that for some reason the low info flyers seem to think is so “cool doodz”.

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