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Public Safety Drone Training

All Electric X-57 Maxwell Airplane Might be in Your Future

NASA is working on the X-57 all-electric aircraft that might have something to do with your future flight as a UAS pilot. I can envision the Scalable Convergent Electric Propulsion Technology and Operations Research (SCEPTOR) project leading to future public safety drones about half to a quarter to the size of the X-57. These aircraft could be remotely controlled, carry ... Read More »

Beyond Visual Line Of Site (BVLOS): There is More to Know

BVLOS has been touted as the “holy grail” of the UAV / drone industry. Those that possess it feel they are thus a cut above the rest. With over 99% of BVLOS waiver applications rejected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (only 16% of the 11,345 applications reviewed in 2018 had been approved) and as of June 2020, just 56 ... Read More »

Aircraft Accidents for First Responders

The FAA has shared a presentation with me that is very informative for law enforcement and fire department staff. They have given me permission to share it with you. The presentation helps to educate people about a number of issues surrounding aircraft crashes but talks specifically about the number of explosive devices that are now on small aircraft that first ... Read More »

AOPA Webinar: Drone Safety: Real-World Risks, Rewards

I had a great time doing this drone safety webinar with the great people over at AOPA. “Learn how aviation’s systematic, thoughtful approach to safety evolved since the Wright brothers taught flying by mail, and how checklists and risk assessments can be adapted for drone use to reduce risk (and possibly expense) for Part 107 operators and hobbyists alike. AOPA ... Read More »

Why We All Get UAS Night Flight So Unbelievably Wrong

As with most things in my aviation world, what began as pulling at a loose thread has resulted in the unraveling of what most people assume about night flight. I’m working on a giant online class with multiple lectures, so I decided to chase the rabbit hole. If you have not subscribed to my email list yet, you should so ... Read More »

Aviation Investigators Unload on DJI Drones

I’ve been saying for a long time now that the problem with the current crop of drones flying in public safety is that since they have not obtained an Airworthiness Certification, they are not built to any standard greater than a toy. In writing about some recent drone accidents, I came across this statement by the UK Air Accidents Investigation ... Read More »

FAA Guidance on 2021 Preflight Checklist for All UAS Aircraft

The FAA has just released guidance on what an acceptable preflight inspection should consist of. This applies to both Part 107 and COA operations. They indicate that if the manufacturer requires any additional items that those can be added to this list. When the FAA says things like, “pilots may choose to use this checklist” what they are actually transmitting ... Read More »

Our 2021 Wake Forest Fire Department Drone Policy

Accountability Board

My fire department is always willing to share information to help other departments. Here is our latest UAS public Safety Policy that might be helpful as a guide for other departments. 2021 UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (DRONE) STANDARD OPERATING GUIDELINE Wake Forest Fire Department 1. PURPOSE: The purpose of the Wake Forest Fire Department (WFFD) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) policy is ... Read More »

Here is the Scoop on Getting Part 107 Recurrent Online. It’s Complicated.

People have been emailing me and saying they have heard non-manned aircraft pilots need to only take an online test to get recurrent. That is not exactly true. It’s complicated. Here is the scoop, straight from the FAA. The amendment to allow non-Part 61 (manned aircraft) pilots to get recurrent online isn’t effective until March 1st, so a non-61 pilot ... Read More »

Think Autonomous Flight is Not Coming to Drones?


As I wrote in my 2021 drone prediction piece, a greater autonomous flight capability is coming to drones with less need for a skilled stick pusher. This video on the Xwing airplane should persuade you the technology is coming fast for airworthy aircraft. These advanced levels of autonomous flight aren’t new. Testing has been undergoing for years now and some ... Read More »