The group spent Thursday night examining the data they’d gathered and preparing to fly again Friday. Facing heavy winds, Hendrix’s group was limited to using a AscTec Falcon, a drone with eight ropellers. Had the storms struck a couple weeks ago, Hendrix’s group likely wouldn’t have been able to assist.

But last Thursday the FAA loosened the rules for its drone test sites, giving blanket approval for the test sites to fly drones at or below 200 feet. Hendrix said he’d previously have to wait up to 60 days to receive FAA approval to fly a mission. He could ask for emergency approval, but even that would take three or four days.

This was some quick thinking by the Lone Star UAS team who really walk the SAR talk. Interesting story and imagery too.


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