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February 6, 2018, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'February 6, 2018, issue of 'AOPA Drone Pilot'

VOL 2, ISSUE 3 February 6, 2018
Top Stories
Flying the high masts
A New Jersey drone pilot and an engineer contracted by the state to inspect highway light towers showed that unmanned aircraft can handle what used to be a traffic-slowing, labor-intensive operation. (Photo courtesy of George Finlay/Principia.) Read more >
Training and Safety
The sky can be more crowded than it seems
There are endless issues to consider when you head out to fly your drone. You need to think about the basics like weather, battery health, and where you are going to fly. And airspace, which can be more challenging than you might think. Read more >
A systematic approach to safety
Airlines and other commercial operators apply a rigorously systematic approach to identifying potential hazards and risks, and safety management systems have grown popular even in smaller-scale aviation. Unmanned aviators can benefit from this approach. Read more >
Hands-on with the new Mavic Air
The new DJI Mavic Air was announced Jan. 23, and We Talk UAV took a closer look in this 18-minute video review. Watch the video >
Parrot Disco reviewed
The new Disco flying wing from Parrot impressed the editors of UAS Weekly. Read more >
Amazon aerial views
A New York Times bureau chief who traveled by boat into the Peruvian Amazon found that drones are very handy for navigation, but Google maps are less so. Read more >
Prospecting with unmanned aircraft
Prospectors in Canada can save weeks of labor with an unmanned aircraft. Read more >
Nebraska professor touts drones for agriculture
A university professor from Nebraska who invented a low-cost, simple tool for safe separation of drones and manned aircraft continues to promote unmanned aviation for farmers. Read more >
Public Safety
Drones support Texas search exercise
Horses, dogs, boats, and unmanned aircraft teams joined firefighters and law enforcement officers in Texas Feb. 3 to hone the skills of the Brazos Valley Search and Rescue organization. A fixed-wing drone spotted the first volunteer "victim" along the shore of Lake Somerville just six minutes into the exercise. Read more >
Little Ripper suffers little mishap
The Little Ripper drone that captured worldwide attention after the recent water rescue of two teenagers in Australia got some less welcome attention following a crash attributed to mechanical failure. Read more >
Embry-Riddle teams with fire chiefs
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the International Association of Fire Chiefs are collaborating to offer drone training and implementation assistance for fire departments. Read more >
Ohio developing law enforcement policy
An advisory panel appointed by the Ohio attorney general has announced recommendations for the use of drones by law enforcement. Read more >
Wisconsin police develop drone program
Police in Madison, Wisconsin, are enthusiastic about unmanned aviation for search-and-rescue and crime-scene mapping. Read more >
Regulation and Policy
Missouri congresswoman concerned about drones
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) writes in an op-ed published by The Hill about her concern over the risks posed by drones, and the need to be proactive. Read more >
Hawaii state agency may have violated drone regs
A state agency in Hawaii is under investigation for a possible violation of federal drone regulations. Read more >
Close call prompts outrage
The pilot of a racing quadcopter who flew very close to an airliner on final approach near Las Vegas posted a video of his illegal effort online, prompting outrage on social media from drone pilots, as well as from airline passengers interviewed by a local television station. The FAA is investigating. Read more and watch the video >
Strava security incident offers lessons for drone operators
A worldwide "heat map" posted by Strava showing the locations of FitBit users, including military personnel deployed in sensitive locations, led to a clampdown on the use of these devices. Joshua Ziering writes for sUAS News about the lessons that commercial drone operators can learn from this. Read more >
Pentagon studies bat drones
Swarms of drones modeled on bats may one day support troops in the field. Read more >
'Teaching' drones to navigate urban landscapes
GPS can be unreliable in cities, where tall buildings block the signals, so Swiss researchers are working to create drones that can learn their urban environment. Read more >
Featured Video
Touring Iceland
Medical student Ali Abdaal brought a quadcopter on vacation to Iceland and vlogged about it. This video shows a pilot with a sense of humor and an eye for scenic beauty. (Image courtesy of Ali Abdaal via YouTube.) Watch the video >
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