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FAA OKs Drone Use for Search and Rescue Effort

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The FAA has issued an emergency Certificate of Authorization (COA) to the National Institute of Standards and Technology of Gaithersburg, Maryland, for the use of a drone to aid in the search for a 23-year-old woman who disappeared recently near Plano, Texas. The request to the FAA came from the Plano Police Department. ( المزيد...

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Jason Edwards 3
I don't know, a low level (sub 500') drone with a High a Definition camera streaming video back in real time with GPS coordinates can't be useful in a search and rescue can it?

Of course being sarcastic here and also a operator of a few drones on the weekends ;)

If I was ever asked to help in a S&R case I wouldn't be waiting on any government agency to give me the Ok.
Makes sense to me.
David Stark 2
Zero Tolerance = Zero Brains
Allan Main 2
Your not serious right. This has to be from the Onion or some other standup comic. Your talking about a styrofoam toy airplane that weights 3 to 5 Lbs at most, can fly for 20 minutes and maybe 30 at best and you need FAA permission to fly it?? Somethings seriously broken in your part of the hood. That thing should have been looking for her ASAP and not waiting for some rubber stamp from Washington. Beyond being able to fathom out the logic going on here.
Paul Thorne 2
Because of some unlicensed idiots operation of a drone in the close proximity of a wildfire in northwestern California recently, the aerial fire suppression attack was suspended until the operator ceased operation. Many homes were threatened by this wildfire.

I am in favor of regulation of drone operation and the operators involved in this incident should be punished just as those who stupidly shine lasers at aircraft cockpits.

Yes, there is a place for UAV applications in todays airspace, but lets be intelligent about it.
lynx318 2
Regulations definitely, but there needs to be a shortcut for official search & rescue for best reaction time.
Brian Acquistapace 1
Scratch that, there needs to be a shortcut so that anybody who is willing to use their head a bit about when, where, and how to use radio controlled aircraft, can use it for just about anything outside of those few unwise scenarios, whether for S&R, or just fun and profit.
Brian Acquistapace 1
Pardon my laymen's opinion but this sounds more like Cal Fire stirring up drama for its own sake to me. Typical aircraft used for aerial firefighting are much larger and fly much higher that typical radio control aircraft are even capable of flying. They probably could have just kept going and ignored it, and hope the operator gets the hint when they start a water drop conspicuously close to this knuckelheads toy. Of course why let good sense get in the way of a great story about the evils of "drones"?
Alan Williams 1
Why did they not just contact Civil Air Patrol. They have air crews and airplanes ready to go at a moment's notice. They are trained for search and rescue.
zennermd 2
I am guessing you did not see the article a few weeks back where crews had been searching for a missing gentlemen for 3 days. Someone brought in a drone and they found him in 90 min. There is a place for drones in search and rescue, just like everything else, it has to be used correctly.
Brian Acquistapace 1
I have a feeling I know why. Because manned aircraft typically fly so much higher that picking out small details like lost hikers is a bit difficult. A drone on the other hand can fly just above treetop level while toting a high-def camera that spots people with ease. Add the greater maneuverability of the much smaller drone, and the ability to use drones in ways that are far too risky for manned aircraft, and I can easily see how this could happen.
zennermd 1
My thought exactly, and since search aircraft cannot fly below 500 feet, there is all that wasted airspace from 0-500, why not put a couple of drones and have everyone work together to increase the odds. Stick an IR camera on their as well, I am guessing they already do.
Mike Winkler 1
I wish a drone would find David Copperfield for me
lynx318 0
24 hours for rubber stamp will be cold comfort to relatives if she died a few hours before said approval, or is this Obama's attempt at natural selection¿

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