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The Role of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the Fire Service and EMS and What it Takes to be a Good Pilot

The age of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones as some people call them, is upon us. While both Amazon and Google have announced plans to use these unmanned vehicles for commercial delivery services, there some dramatic and incredibly beneficial uses of these unmanned aircraft in public safety fields outside of law enforcement. I happen to ... Read More »

UAS Structure Fire Flight Debrief

WFFD Firebird 1 Flight Debrief Flight Time: 1 hour Mission Goals: Assist command and firefighters in any way possible with actionable information. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: Although the incident location was off limits by the time I arrived due to the water supply was running down the road, a safe landing zone (LZ) was ... Read More »

NASA Flies Large Unmanned Aircraft in Public Airspace Without Chase Plane for First Time

NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. This historic flight moves the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the airspace used by commercial and private pilots. Flying these large remotely-piloted ... Read More »

FAA to Allow Flight Over People and Beyond Line of Sight in 2020 or 2021

The Government Accounting Office has released a report on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems that contains some interesting information about approval for UAS flight over people and beyond line of sight. The report says the, “FAA is developing standards designed to routinely and safely allow small UAS operations over people who are not directly involved in the operation of the aircraft ... Read More »

Why You Should Always Be Ready to Say No to Flying Your Public Safety Drone

New public safety drone pilots face a severe problem in their early flight years. They lack the experience and confidence to say “no” to flying. As a UAS pilot, we can never forget FAR 91.3 that says “The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.” ... Read More »

Should a Part 107 Pilot Fly Over a Small Airport?

Like everything else in out flying world, nothing is ever clearcut. Yesterday I was at an operation that was a public demonstration that was located up against a small airport (43). But could Part 107 UAS pilots fly over the airport? I made the call they could not for the following reasons but I welcome your feedback and discussion if ... Read More »

Mudslide Flight Debrief – Broad River Fire & Rescue

From Wayne Bailey & Brent Hayner at Broad River Fire & Rescue. Flight Debrief – Failures and Lessons learned from Mudslide flight incident on May 19, 2018 Sharing lessons learned from flights are meant to help others learn from our mistakes and victories. Date: May 19, 2018 NFIRS Incident: 2018065 Location: Tryon, North Carolina Total Flight Time 4 minutes for ... Read More »

Why Flying a UAS Under a COA as Public Aircraft Operations May Be the Wrong Choice for Most Agencies and Pilots

This is a tough article for me to write because I know off the bat many people are going to discount what I’m about to share. It’s not because it is wrong but because it flies in the face of assumptions and changing beliefs is difficult. Plus talking at length about UAS, COA, and public aircraft operations may make your ... Read More »

Outside Fire Calling in the Foam – Flight Debrief

Wake Forest Fire Department UAS Flight Debrief Flight Time: 20 Minutes Mission Goals: Provide information to assist firefighting operations. What Went Well: The following items were conducted without incident: A safe landing zone (LZ) was established in front of the location on the quiet street. Thermal information was obtained and given to BC on request. The thermal camera identified primary ... Read More »