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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Will it Soon Become Illegal to Fly Below 200′

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is working on proposals for new guidance for states to develop laws from. Generally, the ULC does very good work to help states consider new rules, regulations, and laws they may want to work towards getting into statutory law. https://youtu.be/HJdyz-LS52M According to The Drive, “The ULC’s primary example regarding the insufficient legal preparedness revolves around ... Read More »

How Many Questions Will be On the Part 107 Recurrent Test?

The FAA has released information on the recurrent test Part 107 pilots will have to take. I was just asked if there will be 40 or 60 questions on the test. Interestingly the FAA does not say. What we do know is the allotted time for the recurrent test is 1.5 hours instead of the two hours for the initial ... Read More »

Night Flying Training Tip – View Limiting Device

I recently started using instrument flying training glasses as a tool to help teach night flying to students. The FAA describes the device as a view-limiting device. In the airplane cockpit, during instrument flight training we always called them horrible names. I always dreaded them as a student. You will typically hear pilots call them foggles. Here is an example ... Read More »

Drones Getting Closer to Being Shot Out of the Air

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) introduced a bill (H.R. 6401 (115)) that would give the departments of Justice and Homeland Security new counterdrone authorities. It’s similar to a Senate committee-approved and White House-endorsed measure ( S. 2836 (115) ) that also would grant the departments relief from the Title 18 law forbidding the destruction of aircraft and allow ... Read More »

Think About Doing a Control Tower Tour to Open Your Eyes

Yesterday I brought along five students for a VIP private tour of the Air Traffic Control center and tower at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. It is extremely helpful for those drone pilots who have not had any or much exposure to the airspace issues faced by controllers, to do a tour like this. We started in the dark radar room and ... Read More »

Pilot Encounters Drone Where It Should Not Be

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System just shared this disturbing drone story. A private pilot sighted what was thought to be a large bird in controlled airspace. The pilot’s confusion changed to surprise when the species was identified. The pilot reported, “I departed Grand Prairie Municipal Airport at 2,500 feet with a southerly heading until I was clear of Cedar ... Read More »

Colorado Public Safety Unmanned Aircraft Systems Association Starts

A new group has started in Colorado. The Colorado Public Safety Unmanned Aircraft Systems Association can be found online at www.cpsuas.org. Founder David Spraggs said, “Over the last 18-months I’ve spoken to so many agencies from Colorado and around the Country. I really saw a need for a new professional organization to bring together Colorado public safety agencies – whether ... Read More »

Fireworks Flight Debrief

WFFD Firebird 1 Flight Debrief Date: 7-3-2018 Flight Time: 1 hour Mission Goals: Assist fire command and law enforcement in any way possible with actionable information during large public Town event. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: An excellent landing zone was identified, secured, and used for the event. Video footage was obtained for use by ... Read More »

Getting Drones Into Beyond Visual Line of Sight Flight Status Has Major Issues

Here is an interesting issue that will slow the use of UAS Traffic Management (UTM) to allow us to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Politico says, “About 90 percent of registered drones are for recreational purposes, putting them outside the reach of FAA rules, so any remote identification rule the agency passed would be next to worthless under ... Read More »

UAS Structure Fire Flight Debrief

WFFD Firebird 1 Flight Debrief Flight Time: 1 hour Mission Goals: Assist command and firefighters in any way possible with actionable information. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: Although the incident location was off limits by the time I arrived due to the water supply was running down the road, a safe landing zone (LZ) was ... Read More »