Latest Stories

Public Safety Drone Flight

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »