Sunset - Arroyo Hondo NM_DSF9024-2Hi all –

Plenty to chew on this week, starting with the alleged drone strike on a British Airways Airbus 320 landing at Heathrow. I find it curious that no one would confirm that it was a drone strike. The maintenance crew found no damage and sent the plane on its way.

The Senate decided to quit while they were ahead 95-3, and sent the FAA Reauthorization bill back to the House. Also worthy of note is the pushback from the OMB (Office of Management and Budget,) basically taking the Senate to task and seemingly siding with the House’s more hands-off approach.

In Florida, Michael Huerta made a very good speech at the FAA UAS symposium, evoking JFK and the moon shot. His speech, Prepared for Delivery, openly recognizes the changes that have occurred over the past 12-18 months and invites collaboration. Bravo.

NASA has announced that they are going to be conducting a UTM Build 1 test on April 19th. (The software will be developed over a series of four builds, each adding functionality so this is a test of the first build.) The test will involve 24 UAVs launching on the same day, from the six FAA test sites, under a single unified control system. Good luck guys!

Here’s a really interesting take on why ESPN is adding drone racing to it’s line up. It turns out that it will be made to stream, not to broadcast, never mind prime time. The hope is they can regain some of those cable cutting Millennial eyeballs. ESPN is partnering with the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA). I am not sure how this group aced out the Drone Racing League, but if you know, I would love to hear the story. Honestly I don’t have a clue why the FAA will let them get away with this since FPV is not line of sight.

Lots of drone conferences going on. To start with you can read my impressions of the Drone Dealer Expo where I moderated a panel last week. Then read the write-up on drones at NAB. There were a bunch of interesting panels which reflect the experience gained in the past year.

If you are hungry for tech, start with the announcement of the pingRX, a miniature ADS-B receiver that even a half pounder can lift. DJI is promising an update to take advantage of Facebook Live. Called DJI Go, the mobile app will make it possible to stream real time footage from a drone to a Facebook feed. And a Royal Navy UAV, assembled from just four 3D printed parts has completed initial flight tests on patrol in the Antarctic. HB2U your Majesty.

AUVSI released their analysis of 333 exemptions. What caught my eye is that more than 90% of all 333’s went to companies with under $1M in annual revenue. Great that these folks had the conviction to pay an attorney to see them through the process.

Finally hats off to the editorial team at Waypoint, the senseFly blog, for this terrific celebration of Earth Day featuring seven case studies from around the world.

Please stop by and poke around on the site. There are now over 400 articles, each categorized and tagged. Each post has my commentary to put it in perspective.

Please help me build Dronin’ On. We are working very hard to be the must read blog in the industry. Towards that end, I would like to thank Jason Christenson and the Gowdy Brothers who introduced us to the entire mailing list of their newsletter Morning Drone this week. Thank you Jason, and a warm welcome to all of
your readers.

If you’re happy with this newsletter, please share it with everyone you think might be interested in this amazing industry. If you have an idea about what would make it better, please drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you.


Christopher Korody
Founder and principal


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