fbpx

Public Safety Drone Training

New Drone Education Column for All Pilots Takes Flight

On October 20th I started a new series on Drone Life to help all drone pilots become wiser pilots with every flight. As a public safety manned and unmanned pilot, I’ve been a part of many challenging flights. Every flight is a learning experience, and I’ve learned so much the hard way.  In the earliest days of UAS flying, the …

Read More »

Could You Spot the Drone? Come Fly Along.

This recent training flight of mine gives you a good perspective of how difficult it would be for an airplane or a helicopter to spot a drone if a collision was likely. The video also demonstrates good crew coordination and communications. This is what is needed between an RPIC and a VO, for example. There is so much going on …

Read More »

FCC Commissioner Goes Full QAnon on DJI

A recent FCC press release is one of the most bizarre I’ve seen from a public official when it comes to drones. According to Federal Commission Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr, your DJI drone is collecting your heart rate and sending it back to China. “DJI drones and the surveillance technology on board these systems are collecting vast amounts of sensitive …

Read More »

This is What Exceptional Aviation Communication Sounds Like

There was a recent aircraft accident in Houston. The recording of the radio communications between the three helicopters and tower is a great example of the value of the type of radio communications and coordination that should occur between drone pilots and aircraft above incident scenes. In my experience dealing with new helicopters, they are very professional and will relocate …

Read More »

Straight Talk: I Don’t Understand the NIST Course Excitement

In the public safety drone space, I’ve watched people get excited about or host a drone performance test based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and I think that is misplaced energy. NIST and others promote the course, leading to a testing threshold that can lead to some competency awards. NIST and others say that drone pilot …

Read More »

Confusion and Bad Assumptions Prevail With VLOS

VLOS, how to lose your mind, reputation, license, and quad all simultaneously. VLOS has been a controversial, complex, and confusing FAA mandate from its inception. Steve, a close friend, asked me if I would be interested in determining the actual limits of VLOS; I curiously accepted. Over five days in varying weather conditions, daytime, civil twilight, and night we flew …

Read More »

Recharging Drone Batteries Burns Fire Department to the Ground

Fire truck destroyed by drone battery fire.

Over the years, I’ve written about the safety concerns surrounding the batteries we use for drones in public safety. A department shared their story and experience with me that should open your eyes if you continue to downplay the giant risks of charging your drone batteries. To show you I’m telling you the truth that you should be concerned about …

Read More »

Here is What the FAA is Saying Behind the Curtain

Since I’m part of the FAA Drone Pro team I thought it would be a good idea to show you the slides that team members see. This is a little behind curtain stuff. I’m sure I’ll have to ask for forgiveness for sharing but I want you to hear it straight from the FAA and not filtered through some drone …

Read More »

Drone Corps – I Don’t Get It

If you are between the ages of 17 and 24, the U.S. Department of Labor plans to launch a program to teach you how to fly drones through a company Spirit Technologies under the name Drone Corps. In fact, the goal is to get 80,000 new drone pilots online with the promise of paying between $15 to $32 per hour …

Read More »

Drone Versus Airplane in Search: Flight Debrief and Thoughts

I recently flew a missing Alzheimer’s patient search in FIRE DEMON 1 in an area that created interesting challenges in both the airplane and for drones on the ground. You know I’m a big proponent of drones in public safety, but in this situation, I found myself asking Command to bring all the drones, if any, to the ground as …

Read More »