Augmented Reality: A benefit or a burden for drone operators?

The next time you are out flying, ask yourself: what am I looking at? According to a study by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, there’s a pretty good chance that it isn’t your drone—but augmented reality has the potential to help you do a better job of focusing on your aircraft, which is really important, as this excerpt from Part 107 shows: 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 used), and the person manipulating the flight control of the small unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft throughout the entire flight in order to: 1. Know the unmanned aircraft’s location 2. Determine …

The Art of a Drone Selfie

Generally speaking, I always thought of selfies as being harmless fun. However, the idea of people becoming obsessed with the manufacturing of their own self-portraits came across as somewhat narcissistic. Because of that I always steered away from taking pictures of myself, and never in a million years would I have imagined writing a feature on taking selfies—yet alone this one. So if you’re wondering what inspired this article, it emerged from a moment I flicked through a web link featuring some of the world’s most powerful drone pictures. There were a couple of images exhibited there that lured me into exploring this avenue. A common theme among these images was that they were not just top-down aerial pictures taken with a drone; they managed …

My Blue Valentine: A cold day and a hard choice

Pilot Report As a pilot, the most important decision you will ever make is whether or not to go flying in the first place. When you commit a machine to the air, the only absolute guarantee you have is that it will return to the ground, and where, when, and how are variables that you may or may not get the opportunity to influence. It’s like the old aviation adage, “Takeoffs are optional. Landings are mandatory.” In February, on the day after Valentine’s Day, I had occasion to reflect on that aphorism as I stood in the rain, deciding whether or not to complete a mission I had accepted from one of my longest-standing clients, the Human Access Project (HAP) of Portland, Oregon. A …

Eyes Over the World: Aerial photo secrets from around the globe

Editor’s Note: Getting an aerial perspective on your subject is terrific, but it doesn’t guarantee that the resulting photograph will be interesting or engaging. Drone photographer Dirk Dallas knows what it takes to capture an image that stops viewers in their tracks, and his new coffee-table compilation of drone photos, “Eyes Over the World,” is full of these breathtaking bird’s-eye views. We asked Dirk to share some highlights from the new book and give us some insight into the secrets he and the other featured photographers used to create their art. Arid Clara Cao, Mar del Plata, Argentina Sometimes we aren’t able to travel to some epic location to fly and shoot with our drone. This is why we should all be inspired by …

Best Drones Under $100

Best Drones Under $100 Making the best choice of gadgets at a minimal cost is the desire of every consumer. In this post, we will highlight the best drones that are under $100. Depending on your little budget, you will acquire the best flying machines. But if you have limited resources, we’ve selected the fastest, long-lasting, smartest, and most stylish UAVs below the $100 benchmark.  Blade Nano QX: With a market price of around $89, this is one of the best flying machines under the $100 mark. It may not perform like the Phantom 4, but it outshines its own price. As its name implies, the Nano QX is quite small. Business Insider describes it as being small enough to fit into a palm; the minuscule nature …

Rules & Regulations: A history of drone laws in the United States

Editor’s Note: In May 2020, the American Bar Association held its 34th Land Use Institute—an annual forum aimed at educating attorneys, planners, and government officials about recent developments in the law regarding zoning, permitting, property development, conservation, and environmental protection. With the increasing use of drones to address many of these questions, as well as several well-publicized conflicts between local jurisdictions, property owners and drone pilots, Martindale-Hubbell preeminent-rated attorney Wendie Kellington of the Kellington Law Group, P.C. and pioneering drone expert Patrick Sherman of the Roswell Flight Test Crew prepared the following briefing for the conference. The Insitu ScanEagle has seen extensive deployment by the United States armed forces and those of allied countries. However, it was also the first uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) …

Ready, Set, Launch! 30 pro tips to incorporate drones into your business

Gaining buy-in from your executive team is an essential first step that can make or break any company’s drone program. While a boots on the ground professional or a business manager is interested in new use cases, increased efficiency, hiring pilots, and processing data, your executives may not care about any of those things until you can prove the drones won’t increase your company’s liability. Your compliance and legal teams may be most concerned about ensuring that your flight crews will never violate airspace regulations, damage infrastructure, or infringe on privacy. As a customer success manager at Skyward, I have helped many businesses reinforce best practices for drone adoption and management, and I share some of my best tips for success in this article. At any …