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Public Safety Drone Training

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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What Should We Plan for in the Upcoming Drone Budget? – Ask Steve

A reader asked me the following question: Question Steve, Our department is currently in the budget planning phase, and they’ve asked me to put in anything and everything I can think of we might need for our drone program. Currently, our program consists of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, and Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drones. Can you …

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Drone Repair and Parts Alert

This post is a safety alert I issued over here. Recently I’ve been receiving emails from public safety drone pilots with concerns over the quality of drone repairs or manufacturing. While these messages have centered around DJI issues, this is not exclusively a DJI problem and more reports will come in regarding DJI issues since to date they hold a …

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Listen to the Pro UAS Pilots at FDNY When it Comes to Drone Safety

The following guest post was written by FDNY Firefighter and Pilot -John Wakie, John is also the co-founder of Aerosponse, a public safety consulting company that I would highly recommend. You can’t imagine how proud I am to hear him share the foundational lessons all professional UAS pilots need to hear. Fly Safe – Stay Safe I know we have …

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