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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

DJI Battery Failure Update Now Expanded to M200 Series and Inspire Aircraft + Crash Pics

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has just released a new update on DJI TB50 and TB55 battery failures which lead to the damage of aircraft. They have expanded their warning to Matrice Series and Inspire 2 aircraft. This is a follow-up post to this and this. But First a Crash Debrief One of our awesome readers has sent in a ... Read More »

You Just Missed a Great Class on Multiagency Flight

I just finished conducting a free two-day class on multiagency flight training. Students came from different public safety agencies and everyone was into learning and very dedicated to learning. This was a classroom and hands-on flying class. We had some special guests which helped to relate some personal experiences regarding their own hurdles they’ve faced when dealing with multiple public ... Read More »

DJI TB55 Batteries Suddenly Failing

This is more of just an observation but after a year of use, I’ve had three of eight DJI TB55 batteries fail. They have all failed in the last month. Two of them failed on the same day. Here is what I’m seeing in trying to troubleshoot the batteries. According to DJI, the warranty on these batteries is 6 months ... Read More »

HAZMAT Flight | Flight Debrief and Lessons Learned

Here is another flight debrief from a flight of mine to help share observations and lessons learned. Flight Time: 15 minutes Mission Goals: Provide a visual overview of the scene and determine what the FLIR camera could visualize. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: It was a safe flight operation within normal limits. The FLIR footage ... Read More »

Missing Person – Suicide | Flight Debrief and Lessons Learned

Another in my publication of my flight debriefs to help share lessons learned. Flight Time: 60 minutes Mission Goals: To assist Wake Sheriff’s Office with the location of a missing 16-year-old female. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: It was a safe flight operation within normal limits. Teamwork between the pilot and Chief Barrett was excellent ... Read More »

Heat Target Mystery Solved

Last night I was flying at a Hazmat scene when we discovered what looked like the heat signature of a person wandering into the scene. Two of them in fact. What made the situation difficult was I was unable to fly further forward to get a closer look and the general scene was too dark to see clearly with the ... Read More »

A Tested Easy Way to Get LAANC Approval

The FAAs Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) software solution have rolled out and I’ve finally had a chance to test it with several different providers. LAANC allows UAS pilots to get automated approvals to fly in the previously off-limits airspace. LAANC requests are checked against airspace data in the FAA UAS Data Exchange such as temporary flight restrictions, ... Read More »

Future Public Safety Tech Coming Fast. Role of Pilot Will Change.

The smartypants at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been doing some very cool things with automated UAS flight, without a pilot or GPS signal. https://youtu.be/vDYy3L9nvLk While their work focuses on solutions for the military, clearly their work filters out into consumer consumption as well. DARPA was the leading developer of things like the internet, GPS, speech translation, ... Read More »

Hey UAS Public Safety Pilots – Time to Get Recurrent

The FAA has sent out this notice to UAS Part 107 pilots. Important information for COA pilots is below the Part 107 update. The first Remote Pilot certificates were issued in August 2016 and are nearing the end of their 24 calendar month currency. Remote drone pilots must complete a recurrent training course or pass a recurrent knowledge test within ... Read More »