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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

What You Need to Know About Getting Your Handheld Aviation Radio License

Drone pilots should have an aviation handheld radio to communicate with nearby aircraft, transmit blind announcements about operations near an uncontrolled airport, and most importantly, to communicate with helicopters flying above incident scenes. I regularly communicate with news helicopters when they are on the scene to coordinate the airspace and provide an awareness I’m operating below them. You can be ... Read More »

Pilot Incident Reports – It Happens to All of Us

Nobody is perfect. Even very experienced pilots face issues all the time. The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) is a good window into issues that happen. Reporting aviation issues to the ASRS portal is also a good way to reduce liability since voluntary gives you some immunity from prosecution and “although a finding of violation may be made, neither ... Read More »

UAS Traffic Management in Urban Environments Testing

NASA picked the Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence & Innovation and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems to hold demonstrations of the agency’s drone traffic management system. The testing is slated for March and June in Reno, Nev., and July and August in Corpus Christi, Texas. NASA is trying to “help the commercial drone industry understand the challenges posed ... Read More »

Free Webinar – UAS Visual Observer – Train the Trainer

To see all of the upcoming free online classes, click here. This class is designed for individuals that may have to conduct Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Visual Observer (VO) training at their agency and department. It will give you an overview of what will need to be covered in the class you develop and how this can be a simple ... Read More »

DJI Flight Test Results for TB Battery Issues

It is for me to clearly state that my results should not be interpreted as being applicable to all users of DJI TB batteries or users of this version of the software. I can only describe the results I observed for the specific Matrice 210 aircraft we fly. Your judgment and risk assessment should always determine your personal or department ... Read More »

Quick Tip to Improve Night Imaging With DJI Z30 Zoom Camera

The DJI Z30 zoom camera can give you tremendous reach to bring distant objects into view. But in my experience, it has two major issues out of the box. The first is the slow drift the aircraft and camera have when zoomed in. That’s annoying but can be somewhat overcome with a steady finger on the stick to counteract the ... Read More »

DJI Battery Issues Create Extremely Dangerous Flight Experience

I’ve written in the past about the DJI battery issues with their TB55 and TB50 batteries for Inspire 2 and Matrice aircraft. After installing the latest update and flight testing the aircraft, I felt confident the issue was resolved. At the very least, batteries which were previously taken out of service for reflecting a 0 charge, were chargeable again after ... Read More »

DJI Matrice and Inspire 2 Aircraft Locked Until Software Update for Battery Failure Issues is Installed

DJI has issued a press release the press release below concerning the TB50 and TB55 battery issue. What is interesting about it is that it does not seem to address the issues I’ve experienced of batteries showing no charge at all when loaded onto the aircraft even though the charge says they are fully charged. Let’s hope the software fix ... Read More »

FAA in the Weeds on UAS Waiver Approvals But Annual UAS Inspections Coming

Anyone who has applied for a UAS waiver will not be surprised by the findings of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the FAA. According to the internal investigation, the FAA “has disapproved 73 percent of operational waiver requests (e.g., over people and beyond line of sight), and a significant backlog of waiver requests to operate in airspace with ... Read More »