An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) related business in Southern Arizona received a Federal Aviation Administration exemption to fly drones. FPV Catalog, an online source for multirotors and winged aircraft parts and accessories, is one of the first retail sites in Arizona to be granted authorization from the FAA to fly its UAVs for commercial and educational purposes.
After submitting an application in January 2015, FPV Catalog and its founder, Bruce Pogosaew, received the FAA’s approval on April 17.
“As a new business, we were expecting to wait several months or longer to hear from the FAA,” said Mr. Pogosaew. “To be granted an exemption and receive a response within 90 days is remarkable.”
FPV (First Person View) Catalog materialized in 2014 after its owners, Bruce and Michelle Pogosaew, recognized the need for UAV enthusiasts to have one source where they can purchase compatible parts and accessories. Having over 18 years of experience in Information Technology and a passion for unmanned aerial vehicles, Mr. Pogosaew immediately realized how their business would benefit from receiving an FAA approval, as well as the technological boost it would provide for the local community. Michelle Pogosaew, a University of Pittsburgh graduate, holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and is a beginner FPV enthusiast. While her husband has been a lifelong Remote Control enthusiast and DIY hobbyist –he tears apart and rebuilds aircraft models regularly- business development is her area of expertise and she is thrilled to be part of a rapidly expanding industry. “I’ve always loved to fly, but little did I know the skills I developed in a university science lab-examining frogs and insects- would help me to dissect Quadcoptors and UAVs as part of my career later in life.”
The authorization creates a wide range of possibilities for FPV Catalog’s husband and wife team. The most significant enabling them to test products and post instructional videos on FPV Catalog’s website as a way to strengthen quality control. The idea being that they can test the durability and flight capabilities of UAV and FPV products not only for customer review, but for new suppliers and entrepreneurs wanting a place to launch their inventions.
“Quality is important to our business and having the capability to review and film products commercially under the 333 Exemption allows us to create these videos without being fined,” said Mr. Pogosaew. “And because the FAA was still fine tuning the exemption details for commercial use of drones, FPV Catalog requested an exemption for only two types of models: a Fixed Wing and a Multirotor-with the thought that the 333 Exemption will act as an umbrella and cover other models down the road.”
Additionally the FAA certification allows Mr. Pogosaew to produce educational and promotional videos for the agricultural and construction industries, real estate agencies, schools, universities and government agencies. He is listed in the National SARS (Search and Rescue) database and is available to help support search and rescue missions.
On a broader scale, and more importantly to the owners of FPV Catalog, receiving an exemption within a short period of time symbolizes the Federal Aviation Administration is loosening their reins. They believe the FAA is acknowledging the importance of the UAS industry and the role it will have in stimulating the US economy. America needs small businesses with innovative and creative people at the helm who are willing to compete locally and globally.
“We don’t know what the future holds, but we are proud to be part of it now with the FAA’s approval.”