Drones Provide Safety during Ramadan

During Ramadan 2018 (16 May-14 June), security staff at the largest mosque in the world will be using drones to fly high above the throngs of pilgrims to ensure public safety.

Saudi Arabia suffered a major tragedy during Ramadan 2015. During Hajj, two large groups of pilgrims traveling in opposite directions came together at an intersection near the Jamaraat Bridge. There was insufficient space for the people gathering which caused mass panic and a ‘crush’. It was estimated that at least 2200 people from 36 countries were killed. It was the deadliest event at Mecca.

Unfortunately, this was not the only tragedy to strike the holy land. The Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is an enormous complex normally capable of holding 900,000 worshippers. During Hajj (the annual period when many Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca) this capacity leaps to 4 million! On multiple occasions, hundreds or even thousands of people were killed during stampedes.

As a response to criticism of the tragedy, Saudi Arabia seems to be taking safety more seriously. The drones will be controlled by security forces who will be on the lookout for anyone acting suspiciously, as well as helping authorities to monitor the movements of people throughout Mecca. Accompanying the drones will be 25,000 cameras, 2,400 policemen, and 1,300 security patrols.

Drone technology is changing the world of safety. In the next year, almost 2.3 million of the unmanned aircraft will be sold. Right now, is the perfect time to launch your career into the sky, starting with our FAA Remote Pilot in Command Certification Exam Prep!


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!


Drone Use In Aerial Pesticide Application Flies Into Regulatory Hurdles

The use of drones in the agriculture industry for pesticide application has been growing so popular in recent years that it’s time for outdated rules and regulations to catch up with the trend.  Ryan V. Petty wrote in Harvard Journal of Law & Technology that existing laws are hurting farmers and businesses, stating that “current regulations fail to reflect technological advancements in aerial pesticide application, create barriers to entry, and reduce competitiveness.” 

Petty outlined a few regulatory hurdles currently facing drones:

FAA pesticide regulations do not reflect the unique nature of drones.
Drones compared to a traditional helicopter or plane has more benefits such as flying lower, they are smaller, and can hover in place for longer periods of time. They can be effectively be controlled independently, have pre-programmed mapping and GPS.

Inability to waive hazardous material transport restriction further prevents the use of drones in aerial pesticide application.
Drones are forbidden from carrying hazardous materials that include active ingredients in pesticides, these chemicals would be banned from transport unless a time-consuming exemption was granted.

EPA pesticide regulations require modification in light of new drone uses.
Among the requirements of a pesticide label are instructions on how to apply, e.g, by helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, or both. This is to minimize the risk of pesticides drifting to non-target areas and protect neighboring crops and workers. Drones offer the benefit of applying pesticides closer and reducing the concern for drift—as well as substituting hand-application methods.

Currently, there are three FAA exemption and waiver processes that a drone operator would need to navigate through to dispense pesticides, depending on the drone type:

  • Section 333 exemptions (drones over 55 Ibs)
  • Part 107 Waivers for drones (smaller drones)
  • Part 11 exemptions (permit relief from a vast array of FAA regulations)

Petty argues that updates to the FAA and EPA regulations dealing with aerial pesticide application are long overdue, especially in the emergence of drones being a possible safer and cheaper substitute for traditional methods. But until regulations get improved, a combination of section 333 exemptions, part 107 waivers, and section 11 exemptions are a viable and burdensome process.


How Are Drones Being Used for Businesses?

The following is a snippet from our Drones in Construction course.

Drones are being used in a growing number of industries. Here are a few short examples of how you can use drones to enhance your business.

  1. Agriculture: An IR (Infra-Red) camera can sense plant health to determine the onset of a disease that is undetectable to the naked eye. The UAV use could save upwards of $125,000 in pesticide use for a whole field (one application) by containing the disease early on.
  2. Utility: Provide inspection services in the fraction of the time it takes a crew of 2 to do the same work in one 8-hour day. Saving upwards of $1800/day. There would be multiple crews performing inspections where the UAV could do it in one day.
  3. GIS: A survey crew (2@ $180/hour) would take 8 hours ($1440) to set multiple ground control points for an 8-acre parcel that the UAV could map in 1 hour, with greater precision. The larger the location, the higher the cost for a 2-person crew to set GCP. One day of surveying is equal to 1 hour of drone mapping and surveying.
  4. Construction: How long would it take to measure every corner on the outside of a home being built? Every window and door opening, just for starters? You could fly the UAV and map the dwelling in 1 hour to post process in your office later with millimeter accuracy. Have a custom home you're showcasing and want to sell your services better? Use the UAV for cinematic exposure of your work, using still images and video elements. It captures the creative mind of those looking to buy and engages them to reach out to your company which can accelerate sales.
  5. ExcavationHoles dug, dirt moved. How much?  Map the site in less than an hour and determine how many cubic meters were added or removed. Pre-map the site before excavation is ever performed to see where the dirt needs to be moved and placed. Depending on your flight overlap, you could get your measurements down to one inch or less.

These are just a few examples of how a UAV could benefit a business or industry. There’s only one limitation, and that's your creativity to engage this technology in your business application.

Sometimes training exclusively on a system isn’t possible and once a UAV mishap happens, costs go up by replacing technology and expected savings on the anticipated use of technology goes down. Planning becomes harder with unknowns. This is why hiring a UAV company can save time, money and provide the expected outcome more quickly.



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.

Step 1: Pay the $5 fee and register your aircraft
Step 2: Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
Step 3: Pass a TSA background check
Step 4: File FAA Form 8710-13

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


4 Ways to Use (& Potentially Use) Drones for Construction

The following is a snippet from our Drones in Construction course. This course is approved for continuing education in multiple states.
Follow the link and choose your state to get started.



Monitor job site progress. Drones can be used to remotely monitor job site progress to make sure things are on track and to create immediate, real-time changes or adjustments as needed. The footage can be sent in real time to clients, investors and lead persons on the job. Architects and engineers can gain immediate access to the job site on screen, rather than having to make the trip out.

Measure stockpiles/excavations. Catch major and minor deviations. Computer technology can compare what's on the plans to what's happening in real life. Images from the drones can be fed through specific software to compare it with the plans. This type of surveillance can show you if walls are misaligned or if a window is missing or installed in the wrong place, for example.


Increasing job site safety. Your drone surveillance can show you whether or not your workers are using best practices - regardless of whether management or an OSHA safety inspector is on site. You can correct these behaviors immediately and workers will be more apt to use best practices when they know they are being watched. The drones can also access dangerous or hard-to-reach areas, such as an unfinished roof, allowing inspectors or specialists to assess a particular challenge or issue, and make recommendations for changes, or improvements without putting themselves at risk.

Reduce the amount of high-risk work performed by humans. Currently, only smaller hobby-type crafts - mostly good for video and photo only - are allowed to be used in any type of construction site monitoring capacity. However, as legislation
continues to address the needs and wants of the public, larger drones - even with permits - will become the norm. These drones will have nanobot technology, allowing high-risk work to be done by the drone, rather than humans, further enhancing job site safety conditions.

A recent article in Construction Executive states, "drones show potential to aid job site safety and efficiency." And, a similar article on siemens.com is titled, "Need Construction Site Surveillance? Hire a drone." We can see it now, once the legalities have been worked out, construction sites will have large signs saying, "Warning: This job site is monitored by drones with cameras.” In most cases, construction companies contract out for drone work, however, they can certainly become an in-house operation as well with the right training and resources.


Reduce construction theft. We half-joked that construction sites may soon post signage announcing they are surveilled by drones. However, this type of surveillance could drastically reduce construction theft. In addition to preventing in-house theft, occasional fly-bys of vacant sites can deter vandalism, theft or loiterers from placing your job site on their rotation.


This may be a stretch, but someday drones could be used to transport materials. If drones could transport materials from one side of the job site to the other, there will be less manual labor needed from the workers. This would be especially helpful in the hard to reach areas, where workers might have trouble moving materials with ease. The weight of the objects being transported would be an issue, though, depending on the size and power of the drone being used. Another issue would be how they would pick up the materials- manually attached by a human or mechanically with a claw or net.


Lockheed Martin Destroys Drones with Lasers in Weapons Demo

Lockheed Martin recently released a video of its latest laser weapons test. The laser was fired from the 30-kilowatt class ATHENA, a prototype powered by a Rolls-Royce turbogenerator.

Tests were conducted on five Outlaw drones by Lockheed and the US Army's Space and Missile Defense Command. Outlaws are commonly used for target practice and training in the United States military. The laser destroys the drones by hitting their fuel source and causing an explosion on board.

Lasers are especially useful for military as they are able to cause confusion and chaos without giving away their position. While this technology may seem new, the U.S. military shot down a drone with a laser back in 1973.


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.

Drone Logo

Why Use Drones in Solar and Wind Plants

Imagine rappelling down the side of a 250 to 400 foot-tall wind turbine for inspections. Next, you must inspect each 150-foot long blade. Better hope it's not windy. Drones are being used as a safer, faster alternative to human inspection at wind farms worldwide. A drone pilot, on the ground, can inspect windmills with as much, if not more, accuracy than a human swaying from a rope 400 feet in the air. As a bonus, drone inspections provide recorded footage of the structures for comparison in years to come.

Drones are even more useful at solar farms because the naked eye cannot detect damage to solar panels. Instead, 20% of each plant is scanned with an infrared camera every year. Clearly, a 20% scan only gives solar farms an idea of how their panels are holding up. Drones can be used to scan an entire solar farm several times each year for the same or less cost and time than a handheld thermal camera.


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.

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

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



Drones Give Hospice Patients One Last Look

A Cleveland hospice center has started working with Tom Davis, the owner of Aerial Anthropology to provide patients with a final trip. Aerial Anthropology will send a drone to the location of the patient's choice and relay a real-time view. One man decided to use the drone to fly over his former neighborhood, job site and church. Another woman decided to get a final view of the lake her family had been visiting for generations.

The idea came to Tom when the daughter of a friend became so sick she was not able to leave the house. Davis planned to use the drone to take the child on a tour of her favorite places but luckily she recovered before the flight.  Tom decided his idea would be more beneficial for individuals who will not recover, giving them a temporary reprise from their confinement.  The program has been a huge success in Cleveland. Before the program began patients often asked hospice workers to drive them by landmarks that hold importance and sentimental value.

Tom Davis hopes to expand the program nationwide.



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.

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

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





Flying Drones, Out of Sight

Much to the dismay of many drone pilots, current laws require them to keep their drones within their line of sight. A team of researchers are currently working to change that.

The proposed plan would create a network of receivers that would establish a wide-area network, connecting devices that are far apart.  This network would be able to track drone activity at lower altitudes. The main reason for this change is to allow for quicker and safer cleanup after disasters, aid in search and rescue missions, and mapping for better data on droughts.

The first network will be in North Dakota with an end goal of expanding across the United States.  This change will have far reaching effects for many commercial drone businesses, especially the drone delivery business.

Eventually the drone network will allow recreational users to fly their drones farther as well.  As drone users gain the ability to fly their drones farther and with less impediment it is likely that the FAA begins enforcing stricter guidelines for drone pilots. Be prepared by passing the FAA Remote pilot in Command Certification exam.

For more information about drone testing, exam prep, and education visit our website, call 1-800-727-7104 or email info@traininginstitutesedu.com.


New Ultra-Industrial Drone Announced

Drones are increasingly being used in commercial markets.  DJI recently released their most industrial model, meant for use on search and rescue missions, bridge inspections, cell tower inspections, and everything else. The new model has an upward facing camera specifically for bridge inspections and a front-facing camera which streams to the pilot constantly.  The new model, M200, also has an ADS-B receiver that alerts the pilot when other aircrafts come into range so the pilot can take evasive measures.

The M200 is set to start shipping in the second quarter of this year but no price has been released yet.  As drones continue to gain popularity in commercial markets it will be ever more important for businesses to stay on top of the required testing and education necessary to use them effectively.

For more information about drone testing, exam prep, and education visit our website, call 1-800-727-7104 or email info@traininginstitutesedu.com.


UAS Sighting Reports

An associate of mine recently sent me a list of UAS sightings by manned aircraft and it astounded me. As a licensed private pilot and commercial drone operator I have an understanding of the negative consequences associated with reckless drone flight.

I remember my one “close call” while flying a Cessna 172 Skyhawk G1000. I was on my second solo cross country flight. I was on short final for an uncontrolled airport in Northern Michigan. This was the first airport that I would be doing a touch and go on before heading out on the second leg of my flight. It was a clear day and I had a 3-knot headwind. It was a perfect day for flying. I was about 300ft AGL when a bird struck the windshield of the aircraft. As a very green pilot this shook me up a bit. It was just a little blackbird and did not damage the Cessna whatsoever but it did cause me to lose my concentration. Being the overly cautious person that I am I immediately increased throttle and announced to airport traffic that I would be going around.

This experience taught me a lot and after reading these reports made me think. What if that blackbird was a UAS? What would have been the consequences? If the drone hit the prop most likely it would have been shredded and thrown plastic shrapnel back at the windshield of the little Cessna. If it missed the prop and hit the windshield it would have probably cracked if not broken the windshield. If the drone was big enough it could even damage the aircraft and having a green pilot behind the yoke it could be disastrous.

I want to urge everyone who picks up a controller to a UAS; take the time to research the rules and regulations. Use the tools the FAA gives you to learn what you can and can’t do with your new drone. Educate yourself and think of the drone as a dangerous piece of equipment that can cause serious damage. If used recklessly it can injure or kill.

Good luck and keep on flying.

If you are interested in becoming a commercial drone pilot please visit our website, call 800-727-7104 or email info@traininginstitutesedu.com