Latest Stories

Public Safety Drone Training

You Just Missed a Great Class on Multiagency Flight

I just finished conducting a free two-day class on multiagency flight training. Students came from different public safety agencies and everyone was into learning and very dedicated to learning. This was a classroom and hands-on flying class. We had some special guests which helped to relate some personal experiences regarding their own hurdles they’ve faced when dealing with multiple public ... Read More »

DJI TB55 Batteries Suddenly Failing

This is more of just an observation but after a year of use, I’ve had three of eight DJI TB55 batteries fail. They have all failed in the last month. Two of them failed on the same day. Here is what I’m seeing in trying to troubleshoot the batteries. According to DJI, the warranty on these batteries is 6 months ... Read More »

Heat Target Mystery Solved

Last night I was flying at a Hazmat scene when we discovered what looked like the heat signature of a person wandering into the scene. Two of them in fact. What made the situation difficult was I was unable to fly further forward to get a closer look and the general scene was too dark to see clearly with the ... Read More »

Hey UAS Public Safety Pilots – Time to Get Recurrent

The FAA has sent out this notice to UAS Part 107 pilots. Important information for COA pilots is below the Part 107 update. The first Remote Pilot certificates were issued in August 2016 and are nearing the end of their 24 calendar month currency. Remote drone pilots must complete a recurrent training course or pass a recurrent knowledge test within ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »