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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

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 »

Manned Aircraft Drone Database Lists Nearly 3,000 Drone Incidents

The Aviation Safety Network gathers data on complaints or reports by manned aircraft regarding sightings or misses between UAS and manned airplanes. Since the database has been recorded there have been 2,750 reports filed. This is not a comprehensive listing and does not contain many reports from the FAA after 2017. Some of them are like the examples below. The ... Read More »

NASA Flies Large Unmanned Aircraft in Public Airspace Without Chase Plane for First Time

NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. This historic flight moves the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the airspace used by commercial and private pilots. Flying these large remotely-piloted ... Read More »

FAA to Allow Flight Over People and Beyond Line of Sight in 2020 or 2021

The Government Accounting Office has released a report on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems that contains some interesting information about approval for UAS flight over people and beyond line of sight. The report says the, “FAA is developing standards designed to routinely and safely allow small UAS operations over people who are not directly involved in the operation of the aircraft ... Read More »

Every Pilot Makes Mistakes

Here is my latest effort for AOPA, the best aviation association out there. I would love to tell you that as an aviation writer, public safety remote pilot, and longtime airplane pilot I’ve always made the best decisions when it comes to flying. The reality is, I have not. But this is also reality: Every pilot makes mistakes. “The FAA ... Read More »

This Weeks Look at a FAR – 91.13

I wanted to start a new feature of taking a look at those rules we often forget about that regulate our UAS flying. The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). FAR 91.13 Careless or reckless operation. (a)Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life ... Read More »

More Places Off Limits for Drones by FAA

The FAA has just announced new guidance on flight over United States Penitentiary facilities and United States Coast Guard installations. The notice says, “At the request of federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)§ 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address ... Read More »

Why You Should Always Be Ready to Say No to Flying Your Public Safety Drone

New public safety drone pilots face a severe problem in their early flight years. They lack the experience and confidence to say “no” to flying. As a UAS pilot, we can never forget FAR 91.3 that says “The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.” ... Read More »

Should a Part 107 Pilot Fly Over a Small Airport?

Like everything else in out flying world, nothing is ever clearcut. Yesterday I was at an operation that was a public demonstration that was located up against a small airport (43). But could Part 107 UAS pilots fly over the airport? I made the call they could not for the following reasons but I welcome your feedback and discussion if ... Read More »

Mudslide Flight Debrief – Broad River Fire & Rescue

From Wayne Bailey & Brent Hayner at Broad River Fire & Rescue. Flight Debrief – Failures and Lessons learned from Mudslide flight incident on May 19, 2018 Sharing lessons learned from flights are meant to help others learn from our mistakes and victories. Date: May 19, 2018 NFIRS Incident: 2018065 Location: Tryon, North Carolina Total Flight Time 4 minutes for ... Read More »