Draganfly Now Offering In-Person Flight Reviews for Transport Canada Advanced Operations Drone Pilot Certificate
Blog Post: 05/08/2019



In January 2019, Transport Canada announced new rules and regulations for the operation of drones weighing between 250g and 25kg that would come into effect on June 1st, 2019. The new rules apply to both recreational and commercial use and are split into two categories, based on how you want to operate your drone - Basic Operations and Advanced Operations.

If you want to fly in controlled airspace, fly within 100ft (measured horizontally) of bystanders, or fly over bystanders, you will be performing advanced operations. In order to obtain your Pilot Certificate for Advanced Operations, you must be 16 years of age or older, pass the Small Advanced Exam, and pass an in-person flight review by an authorized flight reviewer.

Every flight reviewer is associated with a self-declared drone flight school and Draganfly Innovations is thrilled to be associated with one of the very best in the business, Harv's Air. We highly recommend taking their RPAS/Drone Ground School for Advanced Operations prior to taking the online exam. After passing the Small Advanced Exam, give us a shout to book your in-person flight review!

For more information on flight reviews, please read the "Flight Review for Advanced Pilot Certificate" section on our Flight Training page.




Understanding the New Transport Canada Drone Rules and Regulations
Blog Post: 01/21/2019



These are our interpretations of the new rules and we do our best to provide accurate information but we always recommend drone pilots refer to Transport Canada’s website to learn about the rules and regulations first-hand. For more information, please visit: https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/flying-drone-safely-legally.html.

On January 9, 2019, Canada’s Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, announced new regulations for the operation of drones that weigh between 250g and 25kg and are operated within the drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight. These new regulations will come into effect on June 1, 2019; the existing rules and regulations continue to have effect until then.

The new regulations affect everyone who flies a drone, whether recreationally or commercially. The new rules introduce two categories of drone operations: basic and advanced. The categories are determined by the airspace you want to fly in and the proximity between bystanders and your drone operations.

Basic Operations:
If you meet all three of the following conditions, you are conducting basic operations.
Advanced Operations:
If you meet any one of the following three conditions, you are conducting advanced operations.
General New Rules for Flying a Drone in Canada:

Additional Rules for Basic Drone Operators:

Additional Rules for Advanced Drone Operators:

Penalties:
You could face serious penalties, including fines and/or jail time, if you break the rules.

Possible Fines:
What about drones that weigh less than 250g or more than 25kg?
Micro drones (under 250 grams) and drones that weigh more than 25 kilograms do not fall into the basic or advanced operations categories.

If you have a micro drone, you must fly it away from aircraft and airports. Never put people, aircraft, or property in danger. Only fly your drone where you can see it and avoid flying in clouds or fog. Always fly responsibly.

If your drone weighs over 25 kilograms or you want to fly outside the rules, you will need to get special permission from Transport Canada before you fly.




Becoming a Compliant Drone Operator
Blog Post: 01/07/2019



Interview with Chris Gorczynski, President of ACCESSiFLY Infrared Thermography & Integrated GIS Inc.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What type of training and experience do you have in the Canadian drone industry?
A: I have a Master’s Degree in Human Development & Applied Psychology, a Master’s Certificate from Berklee College of Music in Digital Audio Production, and a College Diploma in Web Development with Macromedia Cold Fusion. I also have training with GIS, Photogrammetry (Pix4D, Drone2Map), ESRI GIS applications (ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, Cartography, Remote Sensing), and Adobe Creative Cloud. I don’t believe there is such a thing as too much education! I’m an ITC Certified Infrared Thermographer (currently working towards Level 3) and have completed my RPAS Training through AEROBOTIKA Aerial Intelligence. I’ve had some very diverse experiences in the fields of geospatial and aerospace engineering and even worked as an Associate Scientist & Technical Expert with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency as part of a team who deployed an experiment on the STS-107 Columbia. All of these things have led to where I am today. We will soon be celebrating the close of our 4th operational year at ACCESSiFLY, which is a huge achievement that we’ve worked VERY hard on and will continue to do so.

Q: Describe some challenges and success stories from the range of drone operations you have been part of.
A: Challenges? You could say we’ve had a few! We’ve encountered bears armed with a different brand of “trespass order” than I’d recommend challenging with a smile, handshake, or courageous conversation, METAR anomalies not on any report I’ve ever seen (a sudden blast of wind at 13m AGL is always fun), bulk memory card failures, permit misprints, an impromptu motocross race right through the middle of a flight path and “pylon area”, impossible flight windows, the disappearance of every GNSS satellite in the sky from two RTK loggers, and my personal favorite, “Drone Paparazzi”, who, despite every precaution taken, ran right underneath the RPAS with their cellphones to try to take photos!

We’ve seen our fair share but typically don’t run into too many issues with all of the planning and precautions we take before flying a mission. We love chatting with people and we’re completely open and transparent about our operational procedures and safety protocols. We’ve logged 250+ hours of flight time with successful projects and aside from the minor issues above, we haven’t had any safety incidents. We’re very proud of the recent project that Draganfly featured as a Case Study, which was a lesson in perseverance resulting in an extraordinary output!

Q: What type of drones do you fly and why? How important is this decision?
A: This is an easy one. Draganfly. Exclusively and by choice! The folks at Draganfly are simply the best-of-the-best. I tested every aircraft available on the Compliant Drone List, which was important in order to understand whose technology would meet our company’s needs. We decided on the Draganflyer Guardian to grow our fleet quickly with multiple payloads vs. multiple aircraft to open contract diversity. The Guardian’s modular and multiple payload options, quick-change gimbal, and the sheer quality and consistency of the aircraft coupled with what I’d call “race-quad-like-response” sealed the deal for me. Flying manually is so important for pilots, especially new ones.

The Draganfly team treats everyone like family, welcomed us the same way, are nothing short of amazing and insanely supportive, and the technology is out-of-this-world-awesome! We received what still feels like VIP treatment from the team from day one, which is totally unique and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. We can’t thank Draganfly enough and recommend the team to everyone we know. Draganfly is a big part of why we’re here and why we’re as successful as we are.

Q: What made you want to become a compliant drone operator?
A: From an early age, my mom and dad helped instill a high level of respect and caring for other people, as well as an understanding that you should always better yourself. “Compliant” is by definition “safe” and to me that commitment to people, infrastructure, and excellence is representative at the highest and most meritorious of levels through being a Compliant Operator. It means being proud to represent values Transport Canada believes in and stands behind as well. The decision to become a Compliant Operator was an easy one, and it speaks to what I believe ACCESSiFLY truly is.

Q: Tell us more about the process to become a Compliant Operator. I’m sure it wasn’t a straight path from submission to approval.
A: This is not a quick or easy process; I equate it to the “PhD of Unmanned Piloting, Thermal Imaging, and GIS Business Operation”. Our Compliant Operational COM & SOP is 350+ pages and we’re very proud of the work. It took close to 6 months of daily input revising and developing check pilot programs, training, maintenance scheduling, reporting templates, SOPs, you name it! Our checklists are not simply there to meet compliance; they embody the application of safety for everyone, which we view as intrinsic. As the Transport Canada Staff Instruction evolves, so do our protocols; we are very in tune with Unmanned Canada and Transport Canada. It may be the legal slogan in our branding, but I developed it as a representation for, as, and of ourselves, and what I took Compliant Operator to represent: SAFETY, CONSISTENCY, DIVERSITY, MODERNITY, and PILOTING. “Compliant” reflects our company and our staff, and those five attributes symbolize that commitment.

Q: What are some of the benefits realized from becoming a Compliant Operator and how does this translate into value for your customers?
A: It has ALL of the respect and benefits you would hope to see as a business and that’s said with complete honesty as the company president. There’s a difference to our clientele and our potential customers instantly see that. As Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power comes even greater responsibility” and that, in essence, is the Compliant Standing National SFOC for all FIR Airspace in Canada that we carry.

It may be a bit abstract, but those five attributes used in our company slogan have become the practical translation of what we know is reflected in our products and our deliverables. SAFETY is evident throughout our lengthy and well-documented plans, pre-flight surveys, and the on-site practices we co-opt into GIS software and provide from the get-go right through the entire process we have developed. CONSISTENCY is pretty easy to maintain by following your own SOPs that lead to success. DIVERSITY of knowledge involves maintenance of skills, certification, and services offered in the guise of MODERNITY and keeps us ahead and always moving forward, and our clients see that output with our IOT products. There’s a massive difference between the SFOCs and we don’t see it as elitism. Transport Canada maintains the compliancy list so that public operators know the aircraft is safe for commercial operation, which is why we fly compliant and ONLY compliant.

Draganfly Innovations, as a Compliant Manufacturer, holds itself to a standard earned with the same pride and commitment to technology, innovation, and safety we rely on here daily. The public is becoming more aware and is starting to appreciate the universality of truth of “compliancy” as we see it – if it’s not on the list, it’s not safe for commercial operation. And we see compliancy of operations in the same context.

Q: When I tell people I work in the Drone Industry, most of them immediately think that all I do is fly drones all day, when in reality it is much different. Please describe some of your workflows, field operations, and what you REALLY spend the majority of your time doing as a commercial drone operator.
A: That’s the number one misperception in this industry! We receive at least half a dozen CVs a week from people who think they’ll just be “flying drones for a job”. ACCESSiFLY is a GIS and Infrared Imaging Services company and we probably only spend 5-10% of our time piloting drones. Half of our clients do not require drone flights and we do not see any future for the standalone “Drone Service Provider”. You cannot simply go out, fly a site, and hand a client a deliverable containing a Pix4D or Drone2Map throughput and say “here you go”.

Q: What is your favourite thing to do when not flying drones?
A: Hugging my awesome wife Kat, my two basset hounds Lester and Ginger, and most definitely, playing guitar. Face-melting guitar shred is my thing and I spent 20 years learning to play extremely technical music that nobody but me loves to listen to. In-ear monitors are everyone’s friend at my house; but it helps me unwind and makes me smile. My wife is also a professional musician and we met at Berklee so we work together and still love to create music when we both have time. When I need calm, I tie my own flies and sneak off for some fishing on a small trout creek that I don’t need any GIS skills to locate near our cottage – but I’m a barbless hook and catch-and-release guy. I don’t like hurting anything or anyone.

Q: What advice would you provide to someone thinking about getting into drones for commercial applications?
A: Follow your heart but have a goal. Focus on an area of application for the use of RPAS you find intriguing and less travelled and target that but think ahead. This is a business and without a unique business plan, you’ll only be as unique as the idea that someone has already burned up, burned on, invested and reinvested in, and you won’t see any ROI. It doesn’t mean don’t do it, just try to do it differently and stay informed and educated at the highest level of mastery you can. We have a saying here as well, “those who say it cannot be done should not stand in the path or get in the way of those doing it” – but be nice as well. That may sound very elementary, especially coming from a former public school principal like me but business doesn’t have to be just business. You can never have too many friends and you shall attract whatever you project, so be nice and stay positive!

Transport Canada is committed to keeping us all flying safely but don’t be afraid to ask them for help; they’re amazing people.

The internet is a big place and “to imitate is to create” but to “defame and take isn’t legal” so be careful and work with a lawyer to help set up your business properly and ethically.

I also want to impart that everyone should volunteer their time to help others with this technology and work towards being a public ambassador for it. We do volunteer SAR and I’m in the process of some formal certification for SAR myself to help refine my practices. ACCESSiFLY maintains a 24/7 hotline (289-277-0210) for our Public Agencies on a 100% pro bono basis and anyone who needs help can always call and count on us. I’d encourage people to work hard to help the public understand that as pilots, we share the airspace with respect and admiration of ALL other pilots, which, in effect, makes us an airline, and operating the Draganflyer Guardian aircraft metaphorically comes with Uncle Ben’s “even greater responsibility” (safety) and we take it very seriously. Most importantly, I’d say love what you do (like we do), and you will never truly work a day in your life.

Thanks a million for this interview opportunity; it’s our honour to be part of the Draganfly family!




Conservation Crime Scene Modeling
Press Release: 09/25/2018



At Draganfly, we understand the need to see before you buy in order to enhance your workflows so we're excited to offer a free, interactive mapping tutorial where you can view the video tutorial and work with the corresponding data set yourself from a real-world mapped crime scene of an illegal poaching incident. You will also receive a free 15-day trial of Pix4Dmapper (free trial only available to first-time users).

Watch and learn how Leila Benmerrouche with Saskatchewan Polytechnic steps you through using Pix4D to increase the level of detail for important features within a scene. Leila does this using an efficient Pix4D workflow to accurately merge aerial UAV imagery with terrestrial imagery taken with any camera (even your smartphone!) at ground level. High quality data, where it matters most.

This tutorial will enhance the workflow for professionals in any industry using Pix4D, including:

- Collision Reconstruction

- Crime Scene Forensics

- Environmental Investigations

- Construction Project Management

- Inspections

- Surveying & Mapping

- Mining

- And Much More!

You will discover more about the proven workflow for crime scene processing that contributed to one of the first-ever North American based UAV-assisted convictions of a wildlife poaching incident.

A little back story…
Saskatchewan Polytechnic partnered with Draganfly Innovations Inc. in the spring of 2017 and together they applied for and received an Engage Grant through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The team pursued research using a UAV to get a 3D snapshot of a conservation crime scene. Using UAVs and automated data collection, researchers and law enforcement are able to recreate and essentially preserve crime scenes so they can be measured and observed without disturbing the area.

"Partnering with Draganfly Innovations Inc. has enabled us the opportunity to complete projects that may forever alter the manner in which crime scenes are processed" – David Halstead, MSc, Senior Researcher, NRT Programs, Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Follow this URL for access to the mapping tutorial video and data set.

View the letter of recommendation written by David Halstead of Saskatchewan Polytech (PDF)




Draganfly and Dejero Partner
Press Release: 07/10/2018



Waterloo, Ontario, July 10, 2018 – Dejero, an innovator in cloud-managed solutions that provide video transport and Internet connectivity while mobile or in remote locations, has formed a technology partnership with Canadian-based sUAS (small Unmanned Aircraft System) industry experts, Draganfly Innovations Inc. The collaboration sees Draganfly's Commander UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) quadcopter bundled together with the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter—providing real-time video transport from the air. In addition, the companies' combined expert knowledge will bring new and innovative solutions and services to Dejero's broadcast customers and Draganfly's customers across the many industry verticals they serve.

This powerful collaboration enables broadcasters to integrate live video captured with UAVs into their newsgathering, sports and event coverage, and video production for television and online audiences. It will also facilitate Dejero in reaching new industries and applications, providing real-time on-board video transport over IP to the military, public safety, and government sectors that Draganfly has traditionally operated in.

The Draganflyer Commander UAV is a remotely operated, unmanned, miniature helicopter designed to carry wireless camera systems. The professional quality, powerful, easy to fly aerial platform is specifically designed for high endurance applications such as public safety, search and rescue, agriculture, mapping, aerial photography, and more. Dejero's highly versatile EnGo mobile transmitter will be instrumental in reliably providing high-quality live video from Draganfly's Commander, which will in turn allow Draganfly to elevate its offering.

"Historically, UAV use in broadcast has been challenging, in particular when it comes to providing high-quality video with low latency and with the reliability needed for live broadcasts," explains Kevin Fernandes, VP of Sales at Dejero. "Through our collaboration with Draganfly, we can provide an effective solution for broadcast and media organizations, as well as other industries requiring the reliability and picture quality that customers require."

"We are thrilled to be adding broadcast-quality live video feeds to our Commander vehicle," said Draganfly President, Zenon Dragan. "The timing couldn't be better as we've recently expanded into contract engineering and custom product development. Our partnership with Dejero will greatly support this."

Well-versed in the design of sophisticated multi-rotor aircraft, ground-based robots, and fixed wing aircraft, Draganfly also provides custom payloads, ground-up software design, electronics, UAV program development, and flight training.

"Our companies have a wonderful synergy being at the forefront of innovation in our specific industries. Bringing our technology and expertise together will ensure that our solutions develop faster and go further to serve our customers," concluded Fernandes.

About Dejero Driven by its vision of reliable connectivity anywhere, Dejero blends multiple Internet connections to deliver fast and dependable connectivity required for cloud computing, online collaboration, and the secure exchange of video and data. With its global partners, Dejero supplies the equipment, software, connectivity services, cloud services, and support to provide the uptime and bandwidth critical to the success of today's organizations. Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Dejero is trusted for broadcast-quality video transport and high-bandwidth Internet connectivity around the world. For more information, visit www.dejero.com.

About Draganfly Draganfly Innovations creates quality, cutting-edge unmanned vehicle systems and software that revolutionize the way people do business. Recognized as being at the forefront of technology for two decades, Draganfly is an award-winning, industry-leading manufacturer, contract engineering, and product development company within the commercial UAV space, serving the public safety, agriculture, industrial inspections, and mapping and surveying markets. Draganfly is a company driven by passion, ingenuity, and the need to provide efficient solutions and first-class services to its customers around the world with the goal of saving time, money, and lives. For more information, visit www.draganfly.com.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Dejero Contact:
Melanie Landry
Tel: +1 519 772 4824, x1414
Email: [email protected]

Draganfly Contact:
Paul Sun, CFO
Tel: +1 416 569 5070
Email: [email protected]




Sask PolyTech and Draganfly
Press Release: 04/13/2018



In April of 2017, Saskatchewan Polytechnic partnered with Draganfly Innovations Inc. and received an Engage Grant through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to pursue research using UAVs to get a 3D snapshot of a conservation crime scene.

It didn't take long to put the project to the test. Working closely with conservation officers, Sask Polytech researchers David Halstead and Leila Benmerrouche, and Draganfly sales lead Andrew Carson were happy to put their applied research project to use in a real-world setting when they assisted with a wildlife investigation where a cow and calf moose were shot illegally near Alvena, Saskatchewan. "Conservation and environmental protection officers work in wide open spaces, where evidence of movements and actions of perpetrators such as wildlife poachers must be interpreted in complex terrain, unlimited by walls, streets or buildings." – David Halstead, Sask Polytech Senior Researcher & Project Manager

This was one of the first instances in Canada where a UAV has been used in the successful prosecution of a conservation related crime. The ability to tie the case together visually through the use of UAV technology was very beneficial in solidifying evidence and gave a visual story to what happened to the cow moose and calf. "Our systems provide ease of use and automated data collection, allowing law enforcement officers to easily collect information and recreate those scenes, essentially preserving their crime scene so it can be measured and observed." – Andrew Carson, Draganfly Sales Lead

Link to Sask Polytech's Press Release

Open PDF Version of Sask Polytech's Press Release

Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic




Draganfly Announces New Products
Press Release: 06/09/2017



The Draganfly Tango2 long-endurance fixed-wing aircraft, the DraganScout morphing ground-based robot, and the Draganfly Universal Control System (UCS) announced at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 are Draganfly Innovations Inc.'s newest and most advanced products to date.

SASKATOON, SK & VENICE, CALIFORNIA – MAY 9th, 2017 – Commercial UAV specialists, Draganfly Innovations Inc.- today announced the development of the new additions to their product line. Like Draganfly's existing offerings, these new products are purpose built to save time and money for operators while improving the quality of mission critical data used within the many industries the company serves.

The new handheld Universal Control System (UCS) enables the user to operate the Tango2 fixed-wing, the DraganScout ground-based robot, or any of the Draganflyer multi-rotor platforms, including the Draganflyer Commander quadcopter.

The Tango2 increases commercial use cases by offering long duration flight times and the innovative design allows for lower airspeeds, which translates to lower altitudes and higher resolution. This high endurance, multi-battery small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) is capable of carrying a wide array of payloads and is ideal for tactical operations, search and rescue, agriculture, industrial inspection, surveying and mapping, and aerial 3D modeling.

The DraganScout is a unique ground-based robot capable of morphing into different configurations to traverse a wide range of obstacles, including climbing stairs, to perform mission critical jobs. Draganfly's patented folding wheel design makes this one of the most versatile robots on the market, allowing it to quickly move into position and then transforms the wheel shape to climb stairs or stand vertically. The DraganScout is ideal for public safety use, including bomb detection and tactical situations, as well as a variety of industrial inspections.

Universal Control System (UCS)
- Adaptive software suite controls multiple vehicle types (multi-rotor, fixed-wing, ground robot)

- Draganfly-developed mission planning software and mapping system with sophisticated data logging

- Secure digital video down-link and recording

- The UCS is integrated with aerial acquisition and 3D Pix4D mapping software

- Ergonomically designed and balanced to accept multiple style tablets, including the Panasonic Toughpad™

- For the first time, Draganfly will offer white label and OEM opportunities on this new universal control system

Tango2 Fixed-Wing
- The aircraft flies 2 to 3 hours with standard battery packs, 4 to 6 hours with additional batteries, and 14+ hours with solar panel add-ons, and supports a wide range of payloads to deliver exceptional performance

- The aircraft uses Draganfly's intelligent power management system to not only prolong flight time but to increase the level of operational safety

- The high-performance tandem-wing configuration enables the Tango2 to fly at slower speeds than other fixed-wing aircraft, which supports greater image resolution and precision.

- The autopilot system features automated take-off, flight plan execution, and landing with refined fail-safe features Launched by catapult, the plane's high-lift wing design provides both a steep takeoff and steep landing profile, allowing for operations to be performed in areas with short runways and small clearings

- The modular payload bay supports multi-axis stabilized data acquisition options such as high-res EO color, thermal, multi-spectral, LiDAR, hyperspectral, and other customized sensors

- Digital video down-link range of 5km

DraganScout Ground-Based Robot

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