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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Four Realities of Drone Aviation No Pilot Can Afford to Forget

Another Day as a Public Safety Pilot With Unlimited Challenges Yesterday I was flying the airplane as Fire Demon 1. It finally made it out of its required annual inspection by an FAA-certificated mechanic. Being back in the airplane is a beautiful feeling. The joy of watching the ground pass below and seeing the world from a new perspective feeds ... Read More »

New FAA Get Out of Jail Free Portal for UAS Pilots

The FAA has extended the Aviation Safety Reporting Program (ASRP) to UAS operators, including the protections offered through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). NASA’s ASRS has a reporting form tailored to the UAS community. This will ensure that the safety data that is collected will result in actionable information for the entire aviation ... Read More »

Remote Pilot – Small UAS – Airman Certification Standards – April 2021

The FAA has just released the newest UAS testing standards for remote commercial pilots. These standards have not been updated since 2018 and include new information. The complete ACS document can be downloaded here. For information on taking the test in-person or online, click here. Major Enhancements to Version FAA-S-ACS-10B Section Action Description Introduction Updated "Airman Certification Standards Concept" subsection ... Read More »

Updated Drone Training – Available Now!

Part 107 Pilots: The updated remote pilot recurrent online training is available today on the FAA Safety Team website. The training ensures Part 107 remote pilots have the knowledge necessary to operate in accordance with the Operations Over People rule when it becomes effective on April 21, 2021. There are multiple training options, depending on your current status: If you ... Read More »

FAA Wings Program: Becoming a Better Drone Pilot, in Small Bites

The FAA Wings program has been around for a long time, helping aviators to improve their flight skills. The FAA Safety Team (FAAST) also offers free classes that benefit drone operators – an excellent resource for public safety professionals and others to keep learning. There are classes focused specifically on drones – and classes that benefit aviators of all types. ... Read More »

Attorney Jonathan Rupprecht Talks About Drone Aviation Legal Traps – S1E3

Jonathan Rupprecht is a recognized attorney in the drone niche. He has an extensive background in UAS aviation, and his law firm website is a wealth of information for all drone pilots. Jon is a trusted source of information, and he spends a lot of time helping to understand issues that impact us all as public safety pilots. You can listen to ... Read More »

A Lazy Way to Get an Exceptional Drone Preflight Weather Briefing

Sky Clouds

I was just reading through CFR Part 107 for another issue and came across § 107.49 Preflight familiarization, inspection, and actions for aircraft operation. That triggered a memory of a document I had received recently from the FAA. CFR 107.49 describes the items the UAS pilot should review before a flight. It is not an exhaustive list. Part of that ... Read More »

Have the Right Stuff to be a Drone Test Pilot? This is Your Chance.

Drone Test Pilot

I’m currently working on a project to determine the real limits for FAR 107.31 in the real world when it comes to public safety flying. 14 CFR § 107.31 – Visual line of sight aircraft operation. (a) With vision that is unaided by any device other than corrective lenses, the remote pilot in command, the visual observer (if one is ... Read More »