Understanding The Airport Traffic Pattern

Understanding an airport's traffic pattern is fundamental to aircraft pilots and remote pilots (drone operators) alike. As more and more authorizations for drones to operate near airports are issued, remote pilots are encouraged to monitor the radio traffic with a...

Return To Home: An Unmanned Emergency

An alarm was blaring.  It was loud and unfamiliar.  My drone was well out over the lake, a couple hundred feet high.  I was standing on the shore, trying to make an immediate assessment of what was going on.  I'm used to hearing a low battery warning.  I have the...

A Peek Into The Future Of Aviation

Sometimes, movies that depict the future end up getting it right.  Of course, the only way to know for sure is to wait and see.  In the movie Back To The Future, the famous DeLorean blasts into the future and lands on October 21, 2015. For a 1985 movie, that's 30...

How To Become A Part 107 Commercial Drone Pilot

"You need to have a license to fly that drone?" If I had a nickel for every time I was asked that - well, let's not be dramatic, I could buy a Coke or something. When I have my drone out at various gigs, kids come up and talk to me about the drone they have at home....

Airspace 101

It's easy to look up to the sky and see a bunch of nothing. I'm always in wonder when there are lots of unusual clouds because it gives great dimension to an otherwise endless blue void. On the ground, we draw imaginary lines all over the land, making states,...

The No Go Decision

I packed up the drone and headed up to the mountains of North Carolina for a friend's wedding. Looking forward to a great weekend of festivities, I was also dreaming of the awesome shots I'd be able to take from the air - I've been wanting to get my Phantom 4 into the...

The Drone Checklist

A little notification popped up on my screen - "weak transmission signal." My drone wasn't that far away from me and was in perfect line of sight. The live feed from the camera flickered a bit as I recorded a video. I had just taken off and gained a little altitude...

What Pilots Need To Know About Drones

The FAA estimates 7 million drones to be buzzing around in the airspace system by 2020.   As a pilot, there are understandable concerns about what it means to have so many people sharing the same airspace.  Having functioned as both an airplane pilot and a drone...

5 Drone Maneuvers To Improve Your Flying

I'm always amazed when I look at how far video games have come. I remember looking at the controller for the original Nintendo when it was new out of the box. "Wow - look at all those buttons," I gawked. In retrospect, that controller had nothing to it - a control pad...

Introducing The DJI Phantom 4 Drone

It is the dawn of the drone.  In August of 2016, the FAA released the first ever rules on commercial drone use. First ever because the technology has only recently gotten to the point that the rules were needed.  There is now a clear cut path for people to use a drone...

7 Innovative Drone Uses PLUS The New Rules Explained

What's With All These Drones? You've probably seen and heard a lot about drones lately. That kid down your street has one. That wedding you went to was filming video with a drone.  The airports seem concerned about them flying into airplanes and I think there was a...