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Public Safety Drone Flight

DJI M300 Firmware Update Helps Safety a Bit

DJI has announced a new firmware update for the M300. One item caught my eye since it can assist pilots with part of their preflight responsibilities as described in Appendix E of AC 107-2A. In particular, is item four that states the pilot must “Verify all the manufacturer-required components that make up the small UAS are present and operating as …

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Parrott Anafi USA Falls Out of Sky Because of Data Error

Parrot Anafi USA Thermal Crash

This recent report submitted to me through ReportDroneAccident.com is alarming because at a glance, the drone appeared to be operating within normal limits and safe to fly. It wasn’t until the pilot’s spidey sense kicked in that he realized something was not right. As he said in his submission “The battery level showed 96% which I thought was odd since …

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This is a Rare And Unique UAS Conundrum With No Good Answer

I recently wrote about the decision to no longer fly the DJI matrice drone. You can read that post here. In public safety UAS flying, we are entering a unique period of a lack of clarity for the first time in the field as drone manufacturers drop development and support for the aircraft we fly. Poll Results Surprised Me A …

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Stop Way Over Paying for Drones Not Proven Safe

None of the drones being sold today have passed any sort of FAA safety test and proven themselves to be safe to fly. They are not even built to approved aeronautical standards. So we do we continue to spend so much money on these drones? What if Your Drone Was Disposible? Instead of spending thousands on drones that are built …

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Our DJI Drone is Officially a Brick. Can’t Giveaway And I Won’t Fly It

Brick Wall

At the fire department, we’ve had safety concerns with the status of our DJI Matrice drone, considering that DJI refused to evaluate the drone and confirm it was in a condition that was safe to fly. You can read the backstory on my personal adventure here. No Good Answer But flash forward to last week when we tried to get …

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Drone and Manned Aircraft Collisions on the Rise

I recently wrote about the police drone collision in Canada where the drone struck a Cessna 172 causing damage to the propeller, engine, and cowling. But that turns out to not be the first or only such occurrence. At the end of 2020, a Cessna 182 Turbo struck a drone at 1,800 feet MSL in the Netherlands that resulted in …

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What the FAA Expects to Maintain a Public Aircraft Drone Operation

A friend at the FAA forwarded me a document that applies to all public safety drone operations that fly under a COA as a public aircraft operation. While the guidance was issued a while ago, it is the guidance specifically related to public aircraft operations and that sucks in drones. Unless someone can find an FAA exemption for Public Aircraft …

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Remote ID Collection is Happening and Automated Enforcement Will Follow

Remote ID for UAS is coming, and I hear that companies are already going to record that data for future use. I’m not sure how they will obtain it from locations across the country with only local transmission. However, it would be easy to collect in more population-dense areas or by using local receivers. This is often how sites like flightaware.com …

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Public Safety Agency COA Crash Shows Why You Can’t Trust UAS Telemetry

Over on ReportDroneAccident.com, I just received a report on a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced crash, and I had a chance to talk to the COA agency point of contact. The accident raises several issues for all pilots to consider to learn from the situation. Background A call came out on a sunny afternoon about people lost on a raft …

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Does Flying by the FAA Rules Even Matter?

I’ve been very frustrated lately by the promotion of non-compliant flights of drones that result in a perceived “success” story. If the FAA wanted to seriously go after pilots engaged in flight outside the regulations, the DJI Rescue Map would be a great place to start. I’m going to use this latest rescue on that map as an example. I …

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