FAA Takes Enforcement Action Against Commercial UAS Operators Without Exemptions

UAS Magazine reports that FAA has taken enforcement action against two companies operating UAS for commercial purposes.  In one case, WCSH6 reported on a photographer that advertised on their website that they offered UAS photography services.  In the other case, Bay News 9 reported on a U-Tube entrepreneur that posted videos taken with their Phantom 2 Vision+.  The website takes money from advertisers. Continue reading

B. Todd Jones Resigns as ATF Director

btoddjonesAfter less than two years at the post, ATF Director B. Todd Jones has resigned, the agency announced on Friday.  Jones was the first ATF Director approved by Congress after a lengthy period from 2006 to 2013 in which a series of nominees failed to meet Congress’ criteria and the agency was rudderless.

So once again, ATF has no permanent leader.  This is not a good situation for the explosives industry.  Initiatives that would be beneficial to industry may now be held up because of uncertainty at the top.

ERM Reaches Agreement with First Pilot to Operate UAS

Explosives Risk Managers LLC (ERM) reached agreement with its first contract pilot today to operate UAS under ERM’s anticipated Section 333 exemption.  ERM is in negotiations with other pilots to provide services in their region.

Please contact ERM if you are interested in piloting for, or using UAS services from ERM.  ERM anticipates having authority from FAA to operate UAS commercially in 2-4 months.

Electrical Continuity Alone Is Not Enough

Blasters check continuity during explosives safety training supported by ERM.

Blasters check for continuity during explosives safety training supported by ERM.

Recently, ERM assisted a client with a safety issue regarding the use of electric detonators.  The client’s safety policy called for ensuring that electric detonator circuits showed “continuity” before attempting to fire the shot.

Although that is a good practice, we advised the client that a better practice would be to require measurement of the circuit resistance and comparison of that number to the expected resistance. Continue reading

The Amazing Capabilities of UAS and Photogrammetry Software

Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and photogrammetry software have matured together at just about the right time.  This makes for possibilities that were unthinkable only a few years ago.

ERM used demo software downloaded from the Internet and images taken by a hobbyist with a Phantom 2 Vision+ UAS to create this photogrammetry video in only a few hours, learning curve included.  Yeah, those are school buses.  Imagine the possibilities.