125 episodes

Weekly episodes discussing the latest drone news in the United States. Whether you're a hobbyist or a Part 107 Remote Pilot, staying up to date is important, especially in such a fast-changing industry.

Drone News Update Pilot Institute

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

Weekly episodes discussing the latest drone news in the United States. Whether you're a hobbyist or a Part 107 Remote Pilot, staying up to date is important, especially in such a fast-changing industry.

    Drone News: Senate Bill Release, 55 Drones Lost, Freefly Astro Prime, & Watts Innovations Shuts Down

    Drone News: Senate Bill Release, 55 Drones Lost, Freefly Astro Prime, & Watts Innovations Shuts Down

    First up is an update to the Chinese drone ban discussion.
    The Senate version of the 2025 NDAA was released this week, without the Countering CCP Drones Act language in the bill.
    This is a great win, but we can’t let up.
    The NDAA is an act that must pass every year and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said that Congress plans to put together a China-focused bill later this year.
    Please continue to educate and talk to your Senators and Representatives.
    Let them know that this and other legislation that would ban Chinese drones is not okay.
    To see how you can get involved, visit the DAA’s website!

    Next up, a drone show in Washington State lost 55 drones due to a malfunction.
    Starlight Drone Shows was scheduled to perform a drone show over Angle Lake, WA on the 4th of July.
    Despite initial GPS locks, 55 drones out of 200 lost GPS and landed in the lake.
    None of the drones flew away or went into the Geofence, showing that programming worked as expected.
    The remainder of the show was cancelled and 145 other drones were successfully recovered.
    Starlight was in charge of the Sun N Fun show that we attended in April in Lakeland Florida with over 500 drones, which went flawlessly for 2 nights during the show. We’ll keep you updated if we see more about what caused the GPS loss.

    Third up, Freefly has released Astro Prime!
    The new Astro Prime has a 28-minute flight time with a Sony LR1, a new battery system guaranteed to 500 cycles, and a pro controller.
    Payloads include a Sony LR1 as a main camera with additional payloads including Wiris cameras, Sony Alpha 7R-IV, Green Valley Lidar, Sentra Multispectral cameras, Internal labs LiDAR, Hovermap LiDAR, Rock Robotic LiDAR, Micasense multispectral cameras, and more.
    The Astro Prime is also NDAA Compliant and Blue UAS, made in Woodinville, WA.
    Pricing for the Astro Prime is $27,000 for the aircraft only while a kit including batteries, controller, and aircraft is $32,250.
    Pretty cool aircraft from Freefly!

    Last up, Watts's Innovations appears to have shut down and is "Shifting to new horizons".
    It's unclear what the new horizons are, but we wish the folks over at Watt's Innovations the very best!

    Have a great week, and we’ll see you on Monday for the Live!

    https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/press-releases/sasc-completes-markup-of-national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2025
    https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/fy25_ndaa_bill_text.pdf
    https://droneadvocacyalliance.com/
    https://www.flyingmag.com/drones/questions-remain-after-july-fourth-drone-show-falls-apart/
    https://dronexl.co/2024/07/08/freefly-astro-prime-drone/
    https://store.freeflysystems.com/collections/astro
    https://wattsinnovations.com/

    • 4 min
    Drone News: Assaulted Drone Pilot, SkyeBrowse Update, and a PSA on Flying Drones Near Wildfires

    Drone News: Assaulted Drone Pilot, SkyeBrowse Update, and a PSA on Flying Drones Near Wildfires

    Welcome to your weekly UAS news update, we have 3 stories for you this week. An assaulted drone pilot wins in court, SkyeBrowse's latest update, and our yearly PSA about flying drones near wildfires! Let's get to it.

    Welcome to your weekly UAS news update, we have 3 stories for you this week. An assaulted drone pilot wins in court, SkyeBrowse's latest update, and our yearly PSA about flying drones near wildfires! Let's get to it.

    A drone pilot won a court case after being assaulted during a property shoot in Tucson, Arizona. Zach Zywiak, a real estate photographer, was attacked by a neighbor while operating his drone.
    The court ruled in Zywiak's favor, dismissing the neighbor's claims and focusing on the physical assault. The person who attacked him claimed that Zywiak harrassed him first, but the judge had a hard time believing that someone who was hired to film a million dollar listing would go out of their way to assault a neighbor.
    Following the incident, Zywiak said he implemented new safety measures, including wearing a drone operator vest and using a 360-degree camera.

    Next up, SkyeBrowse has announced major upgrades to its 3D modeling platform, significantly enhancing speed and quality. The updates include a 40% boost in loading speeds and improved interior mapping capabilities.
    With SkyeBrowse, you can quickly process complex interior spaces from short videos rather than hundreds of photos. The platform now supports better 8K, 4K, and 2K textures, depending on the subscription tier.
    If you're not familiar, SkyeBrowse is used by multiple verticals, including law enforcement, real estate, and emergency services, by making 3D modeling more efficient and accessible.

    And now it's time for our yearly PSA regarding flying drones near wildfires. The shortest was to say this is: don't be that guy. But more seriously, if you fly your drone near firefighting operations, they will stop their operation, potentially leading to more acres burnt, houses burning down, or even lives lost.

    Illegal drones disrupted firefighting efforts during a brush fire in Del Mar Heights, California on June 25. These operators forced the delay of three water drops, potentially worsening the fire. Authorities identified an individual lawnching drones during the operation, but it is unclear if charges will be filed. The fire burned 23 acres, forced evacuations, and was only 50% contained by the next morning.
    Another similar story was reported out of Oregon at the Upper Applegate Fire in Jackson County 3 days earlier.
    Again. Don't be that guy.

    And yes, I know, DJI released an e-bike. I love mountain biking but this is not something we will cover on this channel...unless it starts flying. What would you like DJI to make next? An air fryer? An electric laundry basket? Perhaps a speed boat? Let us know in the comments.

    And that's it. Hope you had a happy 4th of July, no live on Community today, have a good weekend and we'll see you on Monday for the live!

    • 4 min
    Drone News: Declassification of Drone Security Risks, DJI Air 3S Leaks, & Arrest for Shooting Drone

    Drone News: Declassification of Drone Security Risks, DJI Air 3S Leaks, & Arrest for Shooting Drone

    Welcome to your weekly UAS news update we have 3 stories for you, DJI Air 3S Leaks, Chairs of Homeland Security calls for declassification of national security risks for Chinese drones, and a man arrested for shooting at a drone. 

    First up, DJI Air 3S Leaks!
    More leaked images show the possible Air 3S or Air 4 with the same exact body style as the Air 3.
    The leaked image also appears to retain the dual camera setup and the obstacle avoidance. 
    It’s unclear what upgrades may be added to the new drone, but speculations include a larger sensor size, longer flight time, and potentially more smart features. 
    We’ll have to wait for more leaks or an announcement from DJI!

    https://dronexl.co/2024/06/25/dji-air-3s-leak/

    Next up, the chairs of Homeland Security and Energy and Commerce Committees have called on the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy to declassify security risks posed by Chinese drones. 
    Mark Green and Cathy Rodgers, House Representatives, requested the declassification of security threats found by the government.
    Their letter includes the publication of found issues to law enforcement agencies, the federal government, and the American public for a better understanding of possible security threats found in the drones.
    The two Committee Chairs requested a briefing no later than July 2nd, 2024. 
    We’ll keep you updated as this unfolds. 

    https://homeland.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/2024-06-18-Green-Rodgers-to-CISA-DOE-re-PRC-Made-Drones.pdf

    Finally, a man was arrested this week in New York after shooting down his neighbor’s drone. 
    Joseph Dishaw was arrested for menacing and criminal possession of a weapon after state troopers responded to a report of a drone being shot down. 
    Dishaw allegedly became angry when his neighbor flew his drone over his property and shot down the drone using a shotgun. 
    It’s unclear if there will be any federal charges for shooting at the aircraft.
    We’ll keep you updated if we see more.

    • 3 min
    Drone News: DJI Ban Updates, Drone Stalker Arrested, Drones for Good, & Flite Fest 2024

    Drone News: DJI Ban Updates, Drone Stalker Arrested, Drones for Good, & Flite Fest 2024

    Welcome to your weekly UAS news update we have 5 stories for you, DJI Ban Updates, Drone Stalker Arrested, a drones for good story, Flite Fest and a correction to last week's segment!

    • 6 min
    Drone News: Public Safety Fights Drone Ban, DJI Ends Sync, Mavic 3 Parachute, Remote ID, & DJI Air 4

    Drone News: Public Safety Fights Drone Ban, DJI Ends Sync, Mavic 3 Parachute, Remote ID, & DJI Air 4

    Welcome to your weekly UAS news update, we have 6 stories for you this week: DJI Ends Sync, AVSS Parachute for Mavic 3 Enterprise, GAO report on remote ID, University of Michigan sued for airspace rules, DJI Air 4 Leaks, and Public Safety responds to Stefanik proposed bills.



    First up, let's talk a pretty big story that happened at the end of last week after we published news update: DJI has ended their “Sync Flight Data” function as of this week.
    If you’re unfamiliar with it, this feature allows flight records to be synced to the DJI cloud and imported into other apps such as AirData UAV or Aloft Air Control. 
    AirData and Air Control have posted information on workarounds, with AirData utilizing their app to synch data from the drone, and Aloft allowing for manual uploads of flight logs. 
    This move by DJI is only applicable in the United States and is likely a response to repeated accusation that the data is made available to the Chinese government. With the end of the program, law makers will now need to find new excuses to try to ban DJI.
    For more info, check out the links below.

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a report this week about the implementation of remote ID.
    The GAO found that while RID is now mandatory, the FAA has not spent time educating law enforcement on the technology, with many departments reporting they knew nothing about it.
    The study also looked at law enforcement access to RID and aircraft registration, and the GAO noted that there is not currently an interface allowing law enforcement to access registration information.
    The report also mentions network remote ID technologies as a necessary solution to help law enforcement to "access real-time information needed to track and investigate unauthorized drone activity." . The report also stated that “Stakeholders representing a commercial drone group said that there is a general lack of willingness by industry to develop network-based Remote ID”.

    The GAO issued 3 recommendations to the FAA;
    develop resources to assist state, tribal, and local LE to use remote ID;
    develop a plan and timeline for a remote ID interface;
    identify a path forward for how to provide real-time, networked data about the location and status of drones.
    Note that Network Remote ID is a topic of discussion in the new FAA Reauthorization Act. We’ll keep you updated if we see more.
    Fourth up, we have a lawsuit from the Michigan Coalition of Drone Operators against the University of Michigan.
    The lawsuit claims that the University has rules attempting to govern airspace above the campus and that these rules violate state and federal laws. 
    We’ll have to wait and see how this one plays out but good on the Michigan Coalition for fighting for drone operators and their unencumbered access to the airspace. Hopefully this sends a message to other organizations trying to illegally restrict airspace access, sadly lots of universities are in this bag.
    Air 4 Leaks???

    Lastly, 3 first responders associations have joined hands and published opposition to the DFR Act and the Countering CCP Drones Act.
    Drone Responders, the Law Enforcement Drone Association (LEDA), and the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA) have issued a joint press release in opposition to Representative Stefanik's proposals.

    • 11 min
    Drone News: Senate Drone Ban, Commercial UAV, WingtraCloud, and Two New Pilot Institute Courses!

    Drone News: Senate Drone Ban, Commercial UAV, WingtraCloud, and Two New Pilot Institute Courses!

    Welcome to your weekly UAS news update, we have four stories for you this week: NDAA Markup, Commercial UAV Workshops, WingtraCloud, and two new courses from Pilot Institute!

    Now is the time to make our voices heard in the US Senate.
    The Senate Armed Services Committee is considering its version of the National Defense Authorization Act.
    The House’s NDAA bill includes the Countering CCP Drones Act, which would ban DJI Drones. 
    It’s also important to ensure the Drones for First Responders Act or the Countering CCP Drones Act isn’t included in the bill’s language.
    As a reminder, the Countering CCP Drones Act plans to ban Chinese drones by revoking to preventing new FCC approvals, which would affect EVERYONE, including public safety agencies.
    The DFR Act would ban Chinese drones in 5 years after creating an incremental tariff, which would affect everyone, including public safety agencies that would lose financial aid after 5 years and have to pay for expensive drones without subsidies.
    The Senate will vote on their version of the act next week, between June 11th and June 13th, so the time to act is NOW. 
    Please visit the DAA’s website to contact your senator! 

    https://droneadvocacyalliance.com/

    Next up, Commercial UAV Expo is around the corner!
    I’ll be on a panel with Desiree Ekstein, Jared, Janacek, Vic Moss, Kenji Sugahara, and Amy T Wiegand discussing Regulations and Compliance, BVLOS, Airspace Management, Remote I, Operations Over People and Vehicles, and more. 
    The talk is on Tuesday, September 3rd from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM and I hope to see you there! 

    https://www.expouav.com/session/now-beyond-2024-essentials-for-every-drone-pilot/

    Last up, Wingtra released WingtraCLOUD this week! 
    WingtraCLOUD is a new software solution for flight planning, site-based file organization, 3D Planning, and coordinate systems. 
    The primary goal of the new software is to streamline surveyors' workflows and enable more data capture. 
    It doesn’t look like WingtraCLOUD currently integrates an image processing system but integrations are available according to Wingtra’s website. 
    We’ll keep you updated if we see more! 

    https://wingtra.com/wingtracloud/

    Lastly, two new courses: LiDAR and Search and Rescue.

    Have a great week, and we’ll see you on Monday for the Live!

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Dr John 59 ,

Staying informed

A great resource for staying up to date on changes in the drone world.

Boomer22770 ,

Nice

Perfect podcast for anyone who uses a drone professionally or just interested about what’s going on with drones.

Perfect for 107 Pilots like myself

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