Sailing Press is proud to announce a new service for children and drones.  Small groups of elementary school children will join Andrea for a series of workshops that introduces droning and coding.  If interested, please contact Andrea HERE


Goldman Sachs estimates that the global drone industry will reach $100B by 2020, according to one of their research reports titled ‘Drones Reporting For Work.’ By far the largest part of the drone market will consist of military use of the unmanned aircraft. Outside of the military, the consumer drone market was the first market to take off. This market is expected to reach $17B in 2020. The investment bank also notes that there is plenty of room to grow for the consumer drone market. Goldman also points out that the benefits that drones offer, will only materialize if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will create the legal framework in which the unmanned aircraft can operate. Remote identification, BVLOS (beyond-visual-line-of-sight), flights over people and at night all play a crucial role here as most of our readers will know. The FAA realizes this as well and says that it is moving as fast as it can to accommodate the fast-growing drone industry. (see FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 below). Source: DroneDJ (  

Technology is rapidly changing, and that includes aviation and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Will our school children be ready? It is essential that educators prepare our young people for future careers.

So how do we prepare our children for the complex life and work environments that don’t exist yet?

School systems – both elementary and high school - have STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Specialty camps and after-school programs across the nations are popping up that includes and actually highlights drones. Some teach students how to fly a drone and the safety requirements that regulate drones. Others go further and offer STEM or a variation of it to teach students to code in a fun and educational way.

Enter the DJI TELLO EDU, a brilliant little drone that can be programmed using Droneblocks, Scratch, and Python programming language. This amazing drone teaches students to code in a fun and interactive way. Say, for example, the kid just flew the drone in a square and then he develops code to do the very same thing. So now the drone will fly in a square following the coding program. It’s magic!

Coding provides a vehicle for students to create content, not just consume it. According to Steve Jobs, “everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer – because it teaches you how to think.”

The Case for Teaching Coding to K- 5th Grade:

1. Makes their thinking visible

2. Sustains creativity (be creative without being wrong – the program doesn’t work then analyze) 3. Encourages computational thinking – (think about a student who is great in math but not so much into reading) Coding is just solving word problems

4. Foster future-ready skills

5. Empowering Student to Take Action (coding is about applying skills and creativity to problems)

If readers have an interest or quesions, please don't hesitate to contact me.  See the link above.


Never mind the partial shut down of the U.S. Government, The Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said that the U.S. Department of Transportation would for the first time allow routine flights over people and flights at night without waivers as long as the drone operators take the appropriate safety precautions. This is a groundbreaking announcement that opens up the possibility of deliveries by drone and a range of other commercial drone applications.

The big hurdle to overcome before commercial drone applications will be allowed on a large scale is remote drone identification. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now launched a test program to speed up the drone identification rules. Up to eight test programs are to be paid for by drone industry parties.  Click HERE to go to the original

In another post to the Internet, Drone DJ continued:

With a 93-6 vote, the Senate passed the H.R. 302, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 today. After six extensions that kept the FAA’s funding at a level first set in 2012, it now has funding in place for the next five years. After the Senate vote, the Act moves on to the White House for President Trump to sign it into law. It brings many changes to the general aviation industry as well as to the drone industry specifically. We have included a summary of the changes in this post.

The act not only provides funding for the Federal Aviation Administration for the next five year but it also brings major changes to the aviation industry as a whole and to the drone industry specifically.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 repeals Section 336, under which currently all hobbyist drone operators fly. Going forward all drone pilots will be required to register their aircraft and take an aeronautical knowledge test. The act also includes new provisions for tracking and ID, privacy reporting, and enforcement. Also included is the “Preventing Emerging Threats Act”, as well as Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) and drone integration into the National Airspace System (NAS)

The Act has seen as many supporters as it has seen critics. Earlier some major brands and manufacturers that joined forces in the Commercial Drone Alliance had expressed their support for the repeal of section 336. On the other hand, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) criticized the Act and urged its members to contact their congressional representatives to vote against it. Regardless of your point of view, the Act provides a way forward for the drone industry as a whole and it brings the FAA as an organization in a more stable environment.

2018-8-10-15 -  PASSED THE FAA PART 107 TEST!

It's official!  Andrea is now an FAA Certified Drone Pilot.  Certificate # 4043498.  She took the test Aug. 23, 2017, after studying quite a bit. The test covered lots of topics, including Small Unmanned Systems Regulations, Airspace (very complicated and detailed), Flight Restrictions. Airport Operations, Radio Communications, Aviation Weather, Maintenance and Preflight Procedures, Crew Resource Management and Aeronautical Decision Making, Small USA Loading and Performance, Hazards to Flight, Emergency Procedures, and Aviation Physiology.

She made a decision early-on to reach out to organizations that could help in the process of becoming proficient in all areas of piloting a drone. She turned to one of the major companies, DART DRONES, which proved to be a very wise decision.  The individual care and excellent study materials made the process, while not completely painless, much easier.

What Andrea came away with, after all the studying and taking the difficult 2-hour test, was a respect for the regulations and how much she still needed to learn.  THESE ARE NOT TOYS.  There are safety requirements that must be followed to keep everyone safe.  Not only for the pilot, the drone, but especially for people on the ground.  


Andrea spent two grueling hours at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, Long Island, NY.  All my materials were checked into a secure place and I was escorted to a small room with only a computer and keyboard. There was one window that the monitor frequently checked.  The monitors at Republic Airport provided me with a pen, scratch paper, and calculator, but I brought my own calculator and magnifying glass to read the small print in the Sectional Charts.  To say the environment was a bit intimidating would be an understatement.


Drones have proven themselves to be a valuable tool for home inspectors. They provide a safe and effective method to gather high-definition imagery of roofs and other areas where damage can occur. Beyond visual imaging, thermal technology can also be utilized to identify water damage, faulty electrical components, and insulation degradation.

This two-day intensive Workshop teaches students how to safely and effectively maneuver their aircraft in order to gather and analyze the data necessary for a successful inspection. The workshop included the following topics:  aerial roof inspection techniques, capturing quality images, managing drone emergencies, pre-flight planning, on-site assessment, crew coordination, roof inspection mapping, and modeling, and an intro into thermal imaging.  

2017-7-17  COMPLETED 2-DAY DARTDRONES In-Person Part 107 Test Prep 

Andrea has completed the In-Person Part 107 Test Preparation and the Phamtom & Inspire Flight Training at DartDrones.  She is in the final stages of studying for the very difficult FAA Commercial Drone Pilot Test.  For more information about becoming an FAA Pilot, click HERE. She is also clocking hours on drone training at a local Port Washington Aerodrome.  She has received several requests for drone photography at Long Island Sound regattas.  Stay tuned! Lots more to come!


Andrea finally received approval from the Town of North Hempstead to fly my drone at the Hempstead Harbor Aero Modelers Society, Inc., an AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) charter club.   This is an aerodrome on the east side of Port Washington, overseen by the Town of North Hempstead.  The problem with my appication is that I fly a drone, not a bi-plance and the drone has a camera.  The Town refused to approve my application due to citizen and privacy concerns. After applying in Nov 2016, the Town accepted that my drone was not a threat. I was delighted.


Andrea Watson became interested in Drone Photography after attending a presentation at the Port Washington Public Library.  Andrea has been involved with the library for over 30 years, first as a Friend of the Library, then as a Board Trustee and presently as the Chair of the Nautical Advisory Council.  So she knew that a presentation on the Drones would be not only informative but fascinating.  And it was both!

It was at this presentation where Andrea met some people for the FAA and from DartDrones. After speaking to them she began to understand the requirements needed to become a certified Commercial Drone Pilot.  BTW, Andrea was the ONLY woman in the where are you, ladies????

Never one to back away from the challenge, Andrea thought, "this is for me."  She contacted DartDrones and spend a day learning basic information about the Part 107 Drone Pilot Test.  Lots to learn here!

For those who think drones are a fairly new photography method, a little history is in order. 

Aerial photography was first practiced by the French photographer and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as "Nadar", in 1858 over Paris, France. However, the photographs he produced no longer exist and therefore the earliest surviving aerial photograph is titled 'Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.' Taken by James Wallace Black and Samuel Archer King on October 13, 1860, it depicts Boston from a height of 630m.

Kite aerial photography was pioneered by British meteorologist E.D. Archibald in 1882. He used an explosive charge on a timer to take photographs from the air. Frenchman Arthur Batut began using kites for photography in 1888 and wrote a book on his methods in 1890. Samuel Franklin Cody developed his advanced 'Man-lifter War Kite' and succeeded in interesting the British War Office with its capabilities.

The first use of a motion picture camera mounted to a heavier-than-air aircraft took place on April 24, 1909, over Rome in the 3:28 silent film short, Wilbur Wright und seine Flugmaschine.

Fast forward to more recent information:

Advances in radio controlled models have made it possible for model aircraft to conduct low-altitude aerial photography. This had benefited real-estate advertising, where commercial and residential properties are the photographic subject when in 2014 the US Federal Communications Commission, issued an order banning the use of "Drones" in any commercial application related to photographs for use in real estate advertisements. This ban has since been lifted, as the FAA Part 107 regulations for small UAS became effective on August 29, 2016.

Small scale model aircraft offer increased photographic access to these previously restricted areas. Miniature vehicles do not replace full-size aircraft, as full-size aircraft are capable of longer flight times, higher altitudes, and greater equipment payloads. They are, however, useful in any situation in which a full-scale aircraft would be dangerous to operate. Examples would include the inspection of transformers atop power transmission lines and slow, low-level flight over agricultural fields, both of which can be accomplished by a large-scale radio controlled helicopter.

ANOTHER USE:  Nautical Photography.  The DJI Phantom 4 Pro + has the capability to track. Think of the possibilities:  a skipper would like to see how his boat performed on the starting line, around a mark, or checking out sail trim during a race.  That is just for starters - as we travel down this road together, more opportunities will present itself.

2006 FAA regulations grounding all commercial RC model flights have been upgraded to require formal FAA certification before permission is granted to fly at any altitude in the US. June 25, 2014, The FAA, in ruling 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No. FAA–2014–0396] "Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft", banned the commercial use of unmanned aircraft over U.S. airspace. On September 26, 2014, the FAA began granting the right to use drones in aerial filmmaking. Operators are required to be licensed pilots and must keep the drone in view at all times. Drones cannot be used to film in areas where people might be put at risk. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 established, in Section 336, a special rule for model aircraft. In Section 336, Congress confirmed the FAA’s long-standing position that model aircraft are aircraft. Under the terms of the Act, a model aircraft is defined as "an unmanned aircraft" that is " (1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes." Because anything capable of being viewed from a public space is considered outside the realm of privacy in the United States, aerial photography may legally document features and occurrences on private property. The FAA can pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system. Public Law 112–95, section 336(b).

June 21, 2016, the FAA released its summary of small unmanned aircraft rules (Part 107). The rules established guidelines for small UAS operators including operating only during the daytime, a 400 ft. ceiling and pilots must keep the UAS in visual range.

April 7, 2017, the FAA announced special security instructions under 14 CFR § 99.7. Effective April 14, 2017, all UAS flights within 400 feet of the lateral boundaries of U.S. military installations are prohibited unless a special permit is secured from the base and/or the FAA. Source: Wikipedia

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