About Steve Rhode and Public Safety Flight

The Public Safety Flight website is dedicated to news, honest information, tips, and stories about the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), UAVs, aircraft, and drones in the fire service and other public safety niches.

The site was founded by Steve Rhode, an FAA-certificated airplane commercial and instrument certificated pilot and a very experienced Part 107 UAS commercial pilot. In the airplane, his FAA callsign is Fire Demon 1 and Firebird 1 with the drone.

Steve is the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy. He also provides expert advice to drone pilots through Homeland Security Information Network and he is an FAA Safety Team drone expert.

Steve loves to work closely with public safety pilots to answer questions and share information, real-world truth, and drone operation advice. You can contact Steve here, learn more about Steve here, or join his public safety pilot private email list here.

Steve is also a public safety drone writer for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

You can contact Steve using this link



He Can Be Trusted.

“Steve Rhode with Public Safety Flight is a knowledgeable and trusted resource I often turn to for consultation on aviation safety-related procedures, regulatory interpretations, and other matters relating to the operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for Public Safety operations.

Based on his extensive experience, Steve has the background, drive, and interest, to deep dive into the research of technical questions or issues, in the interest of passing his experience and knowledge on to his readers/viewers.

Steve is non-judgmental, can be trusted to maintain confidentiality, but provides the straight truth or hard facts, and can ask the hard questions that can expose holes or deficiencies so that issues or risks can be addressed and mitigated before an accident occurs. This information may not be what you “want” to hear, but what you “need” to hear” to help ensure your operation is safe, operating legally, efficiently, and effectively.”

David Barker
UAS Team Lead; Idaho Falls Police Department
Administrator; Idaho Public Safety UAS Council (IPSUASC)
Regional Director- Idaho; Law Enforcement Drone Association (LEDA)

A Mentor and a Friend

“I met Steve at state-wide networking event put on by North Carolina Department of Transportation, Aviation Division. Steve was instructing an audience from around the southeast. Since then, I’ve taken several classes from him over the last several years. Also, I consider Steve a mentor and friend.”

Wayne Bailey
Blue Ridge Mountain Drones

Steve Will Tell You the Truth

Steve is Our Go-To-Guy for Drone Information

“Steve, I can’t thank you enough for assisting me in reference to sUAS/drone questions. As you know, I’m a CSI Detective for a local Sheriff’s Office here in Eastern North Carolina, and our drone unit is almost 2 years old now.

Our calls for service have greatly increased and having you as my main “Go-To-Guy” I call for real-time knowledge…well…honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without your quick and accurate response.

By you having both manned and unmanned experience is unparalleled, and speaking from the law enforcement/first responder side, we ALWAYS need to be mindful of the laws, along with safety.

Again, I can’t thank you enough, and I hope you don’t mind the last-minute questions I bounce off of you.”

Steve R
CSI Detective

Steve Has Honesty and Integrity

“Steve is one of the best people to get correct information from. I say correct because not only is he a private manned airplane pilot, but also a rescue drone pilot.

Knowing FAA rules inside and out, he is my go-to person for aviation resources. Having flown with Steve to get first-hand experience with aviation airspace, communication, air-to-ground application, and airworthiness awareness, I have a great respect for FAA laws and regulations.

Steve has the honesty and integrity to deliver the best and very direct information (with citing references) available for us to educate ourselves to be better pilots. Thank you, Steve, for all that you do.”

Travis Franklin Chief Pilot, Drone Explorations 360

A Bit More About Steve