Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

December 26, 2017, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'December 26, 2017, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'

VOL 1, ISSUE 23 December 26, 2017
Top Stories
An eventful year for drones
If it seems like drones are just about everywhere these days, there's something to that. As another record year for drone sales—and a year that saw several significant developments in technology and regulation—drew to a close, a newly published Pew Research Center study found Americans are more accepting of unmanned aircraft than some might suppose, although skepticism persisted. Read more >
Training and Safety
'Loose, juice, and roost'
Preflight checklists are essential to safe flying, and this one is about as simple—and memorable—as it gets. Kittyhawk Chief Pilot Joshua Ziering posted this gem on the website of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team in October, and it stands out as one of the best drone-flying tips of 2017. Read more >
Kansas college offers drone degree
Butler Community College in Kansas will offer an associate's degree in unmanned aircraft, with many of the classes taught by Kansas State University faculty thanks to a new partnership. Read more >
Getting the perfect water shot
Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington offer some useful tips for bringing out the beauty of aquatic scenes. Read more >
Autonomous drone made for the farm
American Robotics of Boston designed the Scout quadcopter to keep an eye on the farm, all by itself. The company reports deployment "in a range of agricultural locations." Part 107 requires a remote pilot to be in control and to keep the drone in sight. FAA waivers are being granted, however, as sUAS News reported Dec. 19. Read more >
Traveling with a drone in your luggage
Before packing your bags for commercial air travel, consider whether your drone or spare batteries will comply with regulations and airline policies, writes Jared Allen, AOPA Legal Services Plan senior staff attorney. Read more >
Last chance for SkyPixel entries
The submission deadline for the 2017 SkyPixel Photo Contest is Dec. 29 at 1:59 p.m. Central Standard Time, with several goodies, including drones, offered as prizes. Winners will be announced Jan. 31, 2018. Read more >
Two photographers earn drone, mentor
Entries in a drone photo contest earned Markel Redondo and Tom Hegen new drones, cash, and a day of mentorship and tutelage by Guardian newspaper photographer and drone pilot Graeme Robertson. Read more >
Regulation and Policy
Drone identification and tracking report released
The FAA on Dec. 19 published a much-anticipated report from the aviation rulemaking committee formed to recommend a systematic approach to identifying drones in flight, enabling law enforcement, air traffic control, and security authorities to instantly identify the drone's owner. Read more >
FAA expands drone restrictions over federal facilities
The FAA is expanding the list of sensitive government facilities where unmanned aircraft operations are prohibited: Seven U.S. Department of Energy facilities will be no-drone zones effective Dec. 29. Read more >
Registration requirement returns
Drones weighing at least 0.55 pounds (250 grams) must once again be registered with the FAA if they are flown for noncommercial purposes under Part 101, the FAA Special Rule for Model Aircraft. Read more >
Attorney picks apart sighting reports
Jonathan Rupprecht, a pilot and attorney who practices drone law, has a few bones to pick with those reports of drone sightings that the FAA has been collecting and disseminating. Read more >
Firms collaborate for lifesaving drone delivery
In the not-too-distant future, heart attack victims in Nevada may receive lifesaving assistance from bystanders thanks to a new kind of medical service being developed by drone delivery pioneer Flirtey and regional air and ground ambulance provider REMSA. Their plan is to deliver defibrillators. Read more >
Drone pilot faulted in Black Hawk collision
The owner of the DJI Phantom 4 that collided Sept. 21 with a U.S. Army UH–60M Black Hawk helicopter that was on a security patrol over New York Harbor intentionally lost sight of his quadcopter minutes before the collision. Read more >
LAFD deploys drones in wildfire fight
Los Angeles firefighters logged their first real-world response with drones while battling one of the many fires that have devastated Southern California. Read more >
Researchers test mind control for drones
Researchers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are thinking hard about controlling drones with nothing but brainwaves. Read more >
Pipistrel turned to drone
A growing number of aircraft familiar to general aviation pilots are being rigged for remote control. Add Pipistrel's Sinus motorglider to the list. Read more >
Featured Video
'Donny the Drone'
Mackenzie Sheppard directed this science fiction story about a drone with a mind of its own. The title character is voiced by Emmy-winning actor Guy Pearce in this 10-minute tale that includes a twist or two, and collected nearly 25,000 views within three days after DUST posted the film on YouTube. (Image from the short film Donny the Drone by Mackenzie Sheppard via YouTube.) Watch the video >
© 2017 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
421 Aviation Way Frederick, MD 21701
301/695-2375 Fax
Facebook Twitter Instagram Google+
Drone Pilot Editor:
Jim Moore

Production Team:
Elizabeth Linares
Melissa Whitehouse
Alyssa J. Cobb
Dan Namowitz
David Tulis
Advertise in Drone Pilot:
Gary Brennan, 301/695-2052

Eastern and Central United States and International:
Jeff Rockwood, 301/695-2089

Western United States:
Tom Linton, 301/695-2055

AOPA Advertising website