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Public Safety Drone Training

A Lazy Way to Get an Exceptional Drone Preflight Weather Briefing

Sky Clouds

I was just reading through CFR Part 107 for another issue and came across § 107.49 Preflight familiarization, inspection, and actions for aircraft operation. That triggered a memory of a document I had received recently from the FAA. CFR 107.49 describes the items the UAS pilot should review before a flight. It is not an exhaustive list. Part of that …

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Have the Right Stuff to be a Drone Test Pilot? This is Your Chance.

Drone Test Pilot

I’m currently working on a project to determine the real limits for FAR 107.31 in the real world when it comes to public safety flying. 14 CFR § 107.31 – Visual line of sight aircraft operation. (a) With vision that is unaided by any device other than corrective lenses, the remote pilot in command, the visual observer (if one is …

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That’s Not a Drone. That’s a Drone. Hello Elvis.

Erickson and helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky are working on putting together a drone solution. In reading about it, I was reminded of that line from that movie Crocodile Dundee. The Sikorsky S-64 Air Crane has been around a long time and can do some pretty incredible heavy lifting. From helo logging to firefighting to lifting large machinery to hard-to-reach places, the …

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FAA Updates Unmanned Aircraft General Info and Example Test Questions

The FAA has released information on the UAS testing procedure. The current Airman Certification Standards (ACS) are currently being revised, including FAA-S-ACS-10A, Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems ACS. A revision of FAA-H-8083-24, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operating Handbook is in the works as well. There is no release date yet for either material. However, the FAA has released …

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A Perfect Environment for a Public Safety Drone – Beach!

I’ve gone on and on about how difficult it can be to fly a drone in a dense environment or anywhere there are trees. But I heard from my friends at Oak Island Water Rescue in Oak Island, NC and they are getting the maximum benefit out of their drones because they have wide-open sky. The Chief of Oak Island, …

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Pilot Accidents Happen to the Best of Us

In September 2017 a Duke Life Flight helicopter crashed and the final report is out. It is a good example of why we can never take flight for granted. This pilot was professional, experienced, and made one critical mistake in the heat of the moment that caused everyone to die. Let’s see what we can learn from this incident. As …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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