New Thermal Capability For Kespry Drones

On July 25th, 2018, Kespry announced a new radiometric thermal capability for their drone-based aerial intelligence platform. This new capability will allow new opportunities for businesses in the commercial property industry to get accurate information when they inspect roofs.

According to Kespry they offer a new solution in thermal data and roof inspections by offering:

  • Radiometric temperature analysis delivering a specific temperature at a specific point on a roof instead of just temperature trends or variations from non-radiometric drone data.
  • The combination of high-resolution visual data with radiometric thermal data to enable inspections to accurately identify the specific point of concern instead of relying on grainy, ill-defined thermal overlays.
  • Roof dimension data to allow inspectors to complete their analysis and reports much faster than waiting for manual measurements or third-party data.

Drones offering thermal data to access risk is not new, but existing technology did not do a good job of locating a thermal anomaly like leaks, pooling of liquid, or site of damage. Kespry’s new software could potentially change how workers in the commercial real estate, insurance, and management industries operate to see if a building structure is in trouble.

According to the website The Drive, “What Kespry has done here, essentially, is charge ahead of even the latest unmanned efforts in the inspection industry, by combining high-resolution fidelity with thermal imaging. It’ is this combination, that the company seems to have pulled out of its sleeve and dropped onto the proverbial table as the game-changer we’ve been anticipating.”

This new software seems to be an improvement for thermal imaging in drones. This has the potential to save workers in the commercial real estate industry and property owners time and money when they assess a building structure.


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FAA: New Drone Flight Restrictions

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that drones will be prohibited from flying over federal prisons and Coast Guard facilities. The FAA flight restrictions will take effect July 7, 2018, at over 19 prisons and 10 Coast Guard facilities. The purpose of the restrictions is to keep drone flights outside of a 400-foot radius of federal facilities. Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges including up to a year in prison.

It is the widespread availability of commercial drones that pose the greatest threat. There are more than one million federally licensed drone operators, and most of them fly by the rules, but not everyone. That being said, law-enforcement and national security officials added “prison breaks” as a potential ill use.

Drone incidents at prisons have been on the rise. In July 2015, a fight broke out at an Ohio prison when a drone dropped tobacco, marijuana, and heroin to an inmate. In July 2017 there was an escape from a South Carolina prison, where an inmate chopped his way through a fence using wire cutters that prison officials suspect were dropped by a drone. The inmate was captured 1,200 miles away in Texas. In September 2017, Arizona prison officials said a drone carrying drugs and cellphones crashed in the prison yard.

Most of the danger from the commercial drone boom here at home has been in the category of nuisance offenses. Under current law, hobbyists and commercial users must keep unmanned aircraft below 400 feet, and avoid flying within five miles of an airport to avoid endangering commercial aircraft. Even small drones can disable a passenger jet by getting sucked into and destroying a jet engine. Still, some recreational drone users ignore the law. In the first nine months of 2017, there were 1,696 drone sightings in illegal airspaces. The FAA expects the problem will get worse as the number of drones is estimated to triple to 3.5 million by 2021.


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Drones Revitalizing Historical Landmarks

The world’s great historical landmarks often need TLC to keep them standing and sharing their beauty and history for generations to come. Restoring these treasures can be a challenge – but drones are helping with this complex work. Advances in drone technology are not only about improving our quality of life today but also providing new ways of preserving our historical landmarks.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are performing complex site assessments and accomplishing conservation tasks that used to be extremely difficult and costly. Utilizing drones to inspect fragile, historic monuments help maintain a site’s integrity, eliminating the need for heavy and damaging scaffolding. Maneuverability and acute vision enable specialists to inspect inaccessible areas and identify vulnerabilities.

Drones gather data that can assist in the next stages of restoration planning. In less than an hour of flight time, drones can capture nearly one thousand detailed images, giving researchers data to produce an intricate, true-to-life 3D model of the structure. For preservationists, drones are revolutionizing the field and energizing a new era of historical preservation with better data, in a fraction of the time. In addition to reducing the time and resources needed for these preservation initiatives, drone deployments result in substantial savings—enabling further conservation efforts and the maintenance of cultural treasures for future generations.


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A REMOTE PILOT IN COMMAND CERTIFICATE?

Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!

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4 Drone Shots to Make Your Listing Pop

The use of drones in real estate photography has changed the game when it comes to high-quality video from the air. An experienced UAV pilot may make it look easy, but that comes with a price. You’ll have to find the balance when it comes to cutting into profits to keep up with the competition. One way is to learn how to film your own drone videos.

Here are four video drone shots you can practice so you can film your own listings and have them look just as good as the pro’s.

  1. The Fly-By The fly-by will work in almost every situation and should be used for every listing you film. The best way to film a fly-by is to set your focal point at 200 feet out. Slowly fly by your subject panning left or right. This will add drama to the shot. Fly all the way by the subject and let it leave the frame.

 

  1. The High Pan – I love to use the high pan when filming a large property, especially waterfront. This is a basic shot that shows the expanse and surrounding areas. Fly straight up to between 150 to 250 feet, depending on how far you want to show in the shot. Once you reach your desired height, slowly pan the drone in a complete circle. Do your best to keep the pan as smooth as possible. The slower the pan, the better. You can always speed it up in editing.

  1. The Orbit – The orbit is a more difficult shot, but it will pay off in the end. It involves both lateral flight and a slow pan. To set up this shot, you will want to set a distance from the structure of 25 to 75 feet. Keep this distance throughout the shot, maintaining a clear flight path all the way around the structure. This is where a spotter can really come in handy. Be sure to keep the structure in the center of the frame throughout the shot.

  1. The Reveal – The reveal is a shot that can set your video apart from every other listing on the market. It is best used when you have waterfront property. Start the drone on the opposite side of the structure from the water. Fly 15 feet off the ground and point the camera straight toward the ground. Fly up and over the building as you pan the camera up. The closer you get to the roof of the home or building the better, but keep it safe. You do not want to have to go looking for a ladder to get your drone off the roof. As you fly over the building, the beautiful water will be revealed, adding a dramatic touch to your listing video.

I hope these shots have helped in filming your own real estate listings. Be sure to practice these shots in a wide-open area before attempting them at a listing. The last thing you want to do is fly into a client’s home or commercial property. Keep it safe and have fun flying.

Interested in learning more? Check out real estate specific drone courses at Real Estate Training Institute. We also offer Commercial Drone Pilot Training too!


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A REMOTE PILOT IN COMMAND CERTIFICATE?

Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!

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Breaking Wind: Drones And Turbines

Drone innovation hasn’t stopped yet! A firm called Aerones has created a drone that can de-ice a wind turbine while workers remain safe on the ground. As wind farms continue to gain in popularity, it seems logical that they will need to be de-iced regularly in areas that experience frigid temperatures. This used to mean workers climbing hundreds of feet in the air, but not anymore!

This giant tethered drone has 36 propellers, can lift up to 220 pounds and spray 26 gallons per minute.  This is great news for general maintenance but also helps to increase the turbines power efficiency. Snow and ice buildup on a turbine’s blades slow the rate at which it is able to produce power and can even bring it to a complete halt. The cost is also less than hiring climbers; cleaning by drone costs around $1,000 whereas hiring climbers is $5,000 and up!

This drone opens up the market for other drone uses including help in rescue situations, firefighting, delivery and of course industrial cleaning. The possibilities are endless. Now is a great time to get into the Drone business. Learning to fly commercial drones is just a few keystrokes away at www.certifiedtraininginstitute.com


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A REMOTE PILOT IN COMMAND CERTIFICATE?

Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!

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8 HOT TIPS FOR WINTER DRONE FLIGHTS

Flying your drone in the winter can be a challenging but rewarding experience.  Here are a few tips to keep you flying in the cold and snow.

  1. Check your user manual for winter flight guidelines.
    Exceeding the recommended temperature guidelines could put your drone at risk.
  2. Winter-proof the pilot.
    Be sure to dress appropriately for the colder temperatures. Wear warm clothing and be sure to invest in a decent pair of thin touchscreen gloves or a transmitter mitt.
  3. Keep batteries fully charged before each flight.
    Some drone batteries include technology that will automatically discharge battery power after a certain amount of inactivity.
  4. Make sure batteries are kept warm to preserve charge.
    If you’re going to be out in the cold for an extended period, you can keep your batteries warm by wrapping them up in a scarf, or a glove. Some pilots use hand warmers to ensure that they remain warm.
  5. Hover in flight for a minute or so.
    This will allow the battery to warm up prior to a long flight.
  6. Set your drone for the correct exposure and white balance for your snow landscape shots.
    While you have an exposure meter on your camera, you may wish to set your exposure manually. Settings may differ depending on which camera you use. Be sure to read your user manual for the proper settings. If your drone camera allows for manual setting of white balance, set it to 6500K for an average snowy landscape on a sunny day. Turn it up if the snow appears too blue, or down if it appears too amber.
  7. If you’re shooting video, you will want to use Neutral Density (ND) filters.
    Bright winter environments force the fixed aperture cameras (typical on most consumer drones) to set the shutter speed too fast and turn your video into a jittery mess. Adding a Neutral Density filter helps limit the amount of light entering the camera, lets you choose slower shutter speeds, and helps you create smooth looking videos.
  8. Steer clear of precipitation.
    Most drones aren’t waterproof and precipitation of any kind can damage the camera and gimbal, short out a motor, or cause other malfunctions to the drone or controller. If your drone does get caught in the rain or snow, land it as soon as possible. Make sure to dry off the props and body of the drone. In very cold weather, be aware that any moisture in the gimbal pads can freeze, which can impact the quality of your aerial footage.

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What is Controlled Airspace?

Controlled Airspace is a generic term that covers the different classifications of airspace (Class A, B, C, D and E), and defined dimensions within. Air traffic control service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the airspace classification.

Class A Airspace. Class A is generally that airspace from:

  • 18,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) up to and including FL 60,000
  • the airspace overlying the waters within 12 nautical miles of the coast of the 48 contiguous states and Alaska
  • designated international airspace beyond 12 nautical miles of the coast of the 48 contiguous states and Alaska
  • within areas of domestic radio navigational signal or Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar coverage, and within which domestic procedures are applied.  

Unless otherwise authorized, all persons must operate their aircraft under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

Class B Airspace. Generally, Class B is that airspace from:

  • the surface to 10,000 feet MSL surrounding the nation's busiest airports in terms of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations or passenger carrying planes

The configuration of each Class B airspace area is individually tailored and consists of a surface area and two or more layers (some Class B airspace areas resemble upside-down wedding cakes), and is designed to contain all published instrument procedures once an aircraft enters the airspace.

While you may see the term IFR in this course, it’s understood that the majority of sUAS operators will be flying in fair weather within line of sight, therefore IFR wouldn’t apply in this case.

An Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearance is required for all aircraft to operate in Class B Airspace, and all aircraft so cleared receive separation services within the airspace. The cloud clearance requirement for VFR operations is "clear of clouds".

Arriving or transiting aircraft must obtain an ATC clearance prior to entering Class B airspace on the appropriate frequency and relation to geographical fixes shown on local Class B aeronautical charts. Departing aircraft require a clearance to depart Class B airspace and should advise clearance delivery of their intended altitude and route of flight.

Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, aircraft must be equipped with an operable two-way radio capable of communicating with ATC on appropriate frequencies for that Class B airspace. Also unless otherwise authorized by ATC, the aircraft must be equipped with an operable radar beacon transponder with automatic altitude reporting equipment. 

There are a number of airports with Class B airspace where the pilot in command must hold at least a private pilot certificate to take off and land. At other Class B airports a student pilot or recreational pilot who seeks private pilot certification may take off and land if certain requirements are met. The student or recreational pilot must receive ground and flight instruction from an authorized instructor and receive an endorsement from that instructor stating the student or recreational pilot is proficient to conduct solo operations at the specific Class B Airport & Airspace. Remember, to fly within 5 nautical miles (NM) of an airport with a SUAS, you MUST coordinate with ATC, local tower first.

Mode C Veil. A mode C transponder with altitude reporting is required within 30 nautical miles of a Class B airport from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL. An aircraft that was not originally certified with an engine driven electrical system, or has not  been certified subsequently with a system installed, may conduct operations within a Mode C veil provided the aircraft remains outside Class A, B, or C airspace; and below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower.

 

Class C Airspace. Class C Airspace is generally that airspace from the surface to 4,000 feet above the airport elevation (charted in MSL), surrounding those airports that:

  • have an operational control tower
  • are serviced by a radar approach control
  • have a certain number of IFR operations or planes carrying passengers

Although the configuration of each Class C airspace area is individually tailored, the airspace usually consists of a 5 NM radius core surface area that extends from the surface up to 4,000 feet above the airport elevation, and a 10 NM radius shelf area that extends no lower than 1,200 feet up to 4,000 feet above airport elevation.

No specific pilot certification is required to operate in Class C airspace. A two-way radio, and unless otherwise authorized by ATC, an operable radar beacon transponder with automatic altitude reporting equipment is required unless operating an sUAS.

If workload or traffic conditions prevent immediate provision of Class C services, the controller will inform the pilot to remain outside the Class C airspace until conditions permit the services to be provided. It is important to understand that if the controller responds to the initial radio call without using the aircraft call, radio communications have not been established and the pilot may not enter the Class C airspace.

Class D Airspace. Class D airspace is generally that airspace from the surface to 2,500 above the airport elevation (charted in MSL) surrounding those airports that have an operational control tower. The configuration of each Class D airspace area is individually tailored and when instrument procedures are published, the airspace will normally be designated to contain the procedures.

If the controller responds to a radio call with, "aircraft call sign, standby," radio communications have been established and the pilot can enter the Class D airspace. If workload or traffic conditions prevent immediate entry into Class D airspace, the controller will inform the pilot to remain outside the Class D airspace until conditions permit entry.

Class E Airspace. Generally, if the airspace is not Class A, B, C, or D, and is controlled airspace, it is Class E airspace. There are no specific pilot certification or equipment requirements to operate in Class E airspace. This is the airspace which most SUAS/SUASs operate in even though they don’t take off and land at an airport.

For pilots who take off and land at an airport, Special VFR operations are permitted, but clearance must be obtained from the controlling facility. Class E airspace is depicted in blue or magenta on sectional charts and white on low altitude en route charts.


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This blog is a direct excerpt from our online FAA Remote Pilot in Command Program.

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What is Causing Your Drone to Stall?

Quadcopter Stalls. The streamline colors in the picture above indicate airspeed. When you have clean air entering the rotors, you have nothing that will oppose the flight of the UAS....it's just straight line wind. As air enters through the props, air is pushed through and down, causing rotor turbulence. Clean air is the air coming in, it hits the rotors, twists, and turns, and becomes dirty (also called rotor wash.) Flying a drone in the dirty air reduces lift and can lead to stalls. Stalling occurs when the air that passes through the rotors is disrupted. This is usually caused by hovering and descending rapidly into rotor wash. The copter will ‘dance’ on it’s (Z) axis as it slowly falls into its own wake. In-place flight increases stall risks. Move the air frame out of the rotor wash to reduce the likelihood of a stall. Wake turbulence is one of the main reasons a quadcopter will crash!

Fixed Wing Stalls. This will occur when critical angle of attack is exceeded. Can occur at any airspeed in any flight altitude.

How to recognize a stall:

• Low speed, high angle of attack
• Ineffective controls due to low airflow
• Buffeting caused by separated flow from wing

How to recover from a stall:

• Decrease angle of attack - increases airspeed and flow over the wings
• Smoothly apply power - minimizes altitude loss and increases airspeed
• Adjust power a required – maintain coordinated flight


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This blog is a direct excerpt from our online FAA Remote Pilot in Command Program.

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Drone Strikes Passenger Plane Over Canada

A Skyjet charter plane was struck by a drone as it approached Jene Lesage International Airport in Quebec City. The plane was carrying two crew members and six passengers at the time. Luckily for everyone involved, the plane was struck in the wing and not badly damaged.

As drone usage continues to increase worldwide, encounters between drones and planes have increased. However, this incident is the first confirmed collision.

It is illegal to fly recreational drones within 3.5 miles of airports or more than 300 feet high in Canada. Individuals who do not follow these regulations may face a fine of $20,000 U.S.D. and a prison sentence. 

The drone that struck the passenger plane last Thursday was within the 3.5-mile restriction but was flying 1,500 feet high. Had the drone struck a window or damaged the engine the results would have been catastrophic.


ARE YOU USING A DRONE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

All commercial drone pilots must possess a Remote Pilot in Command Certificate which can be obtained by passing the FAA Remote Pilot in Command Exam.

  1. Pay the $5 fee and register any aircraft that weighs more than 0.55lbs.
  2. Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
  3. Pass a TSA background check
  4. File FAA Form 8710-13

Check out our Complete Guide to Commercial Drone Use for more information.


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