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Tue, Jul 03, 2012

Google Gets Around Pesky FAA Regs For Glass Demo

Airship Not Supposed To Open Doors In Flight

Sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission, but that's not usually the case with the FAA. So, for its pretty awesome skydiving demonstration of Google Glass at the I/O Conference in San Francisco last week, Google convinced the FAA to ... bend ... its rules governing some airship operations in the Class B airspace over the city.

If you didn't see the demo, a group of skydivers exited an airship over the city wearing the Google Glass devices. The result was a pretty spectacular view of the city transmitted live from the skydivers in the air to the conference-goers in the convention center.

It was reportedly fairly easy to get a waiver to operate the airship in the "Class B" airspace which encompasses just about all of the city. But the FAA does not allow the airships to open their doors during flight. Obviously, the doors needed to be opened for the jumpers to exit the aircraft.

The online site Tecca reports that Google went to the FAA's San Jose branch office, and convinced them to waiver the rules for the demo, allowing the doors of the airship to be opened so that the skydivers could do what they do.

We suppose that being one of the world's largest companies didn't hurt. But airship pilots ... don't try this at home, without the express written consent of the FAA.



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