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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Commercial Structure Fire Thermal | Flight Debrief and Lessons Learned

Wake Forest Fire Department Firebird 1 Flight Debrief Incident: Commercial Structure Fire Location: Chili’s Flight Time: 60 minutes Mission Goals: To assist with commercial structure fire by checking the roof of the building to determine any thermal activity as the result of the fire. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: It was a safe flight operation ... Read More »

Retention Pond Wall Damage Assessment | Flight Debrief and Lessons Learned

Flight Time: 30 minutes Mission Goals: To assist in determining the location and extent of the root cause of the water overflowing the retention wall of Marshall Pond on Forestville Rd. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: It was a safe flight operation within normal limits. A solution was discovered that would lead to the ability ... Read More »

Can Public Safety UAS Pilots be Held Personally Liable? More Than We May Know. Part 2

During Part 1, I briefly covered the Causby case to help set the stage for situations we drone pilots may confront. Here are two more to consider. The first is Boggs versus Merideth, United States District Court Western District of Kentucky at Louisville, Civil Action N. 3:16-CV-00006-TBR (W.D. Ky. Mar. 21, 2017) Don’t miss future posts in this series. Be ... Read More »

AOPA Talks About Chula Vista Police BVLOS and Lack of Matrice Safety Information

This article on the AOPA website is an excellent summary of the issues facing primarily DJI pilots. But the peripheral issues apply to all UAS pilots. More information is supplied in the piece regarding two topics I’ve written about before. The most recent was the caution message out from the UK Civil Aviation Authority on Matrice 210s falling out of ... Read More »

Hotspot Testing and What You Should Do to Make Your Video Upload Speeds Fly

This article is the result of my frustration trying to get good upload speeds for video from the UAS to transmit back to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Command Post (CP). I talked about dealing with video transmission in my article for AOPA. Let me say I am not a radio frequency engineer, although a great Ph.D. brainiac, Mike ... Read More »

Matrice 210s Falling Out of Sky Warns UK Aviation Authority

The UK Civil Aviation Authority, think FAA, just sent out a warning regarding the Matrice 210 falling out of the sky. In the U.S. we don’t have any similar mandatory reporting requirement so there is no way to know if others have been experiencing similar issues here. But in the much smaller UK there are concerns. The CAA says, “The ... Read More »

Much Easier Night Flight Approvals Coming Sooner Than You Think

I’ve been working on my next webinar on night flight and in doing my research there is good news on the horizon when it comes to getting approval to fly at night. In the not too distant future, all Part 107 pilots may be eligible for night flight. But both COA and Part 107 pilots will require additional training to ... Read More »

Slow the Bus Down When it Comes to BVLOS Public Safety Flight

There have been recent marketing efforts and press releases from vendors praising the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight operations that will allow public safety pilots to fly further. Before anyone gets excited about purchasing such technology, I invite you to ask more questions and get more facts. At present such highly regulated flight may be available under a ... Read More »

Expanded UAS Oversight for 2019-2020

For about a year now I’ve been talking about additional UAS oversight from the FAA. A recent document most would never see talks specifically about how a special focus on some oversight activities. Here are the highlights. “The analysis indicates UAS do pose potential risks to air transport due to UAS sightings in communities bordering airport approach and departure paths. ... Read More »

North Carolina SHP Crash Reconstruction & Drones: The Gateway Drug

By Brian Leventhal NCSHP If you were a child of the ’80s and grew up during the “War on Drugs” era of Nancy Reagan “Just say no” slogans and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) programs spreading through schools in the U.S., then you’re no stranger to what a gateway drug is. In case you aren’t familiar with the definition of ... Read More »