Drones – Lessons Learned

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The battery firmware issue currently affecting TB50 and TB55 batteries used in DJI’s Matrice 200 Series and Inspire 2 models have highlighted a few key issues that need to be considered.

While the issue appears to be a firmware issue, the root cause most likely lies in the incorrect management of the drones and drone fleets. Many operators have not encountered issues on these craft, meaning it is not simply a software issue. A widespread software issue would impact far more operators of these craft than the “handful” that has been reported. Drones left on shelves and not actively maintained, are always going to encounter some sort of issue.

Nowhere is this more important than in those of first responders and rapid deployment units.

The very simple concept that drones need to be managed is now more evident than ever. It was never the case that drones could be left on a shelf and grabbed when needed and be expected to perform as designed. The reality is that if you adopt this approach, then you can expect failures and incidents. There are many components that need to be managed and verified prior to any drone flight.

Training is key, whether it is mandatory or not in your jurisdiction. Knowing how, when and what to look at, is something that needs to be taught.

Drones for many organisations are still a very new concept. Unless organisations properly resource teams or individuals who use drones within the organisations, issues will occur. Many organisations will train up staff and give them the responsibility without understanding what this really entails. Not only are they responsible for the regulatory compliance, but also the maintenance and management of the drone fleet. This could be one drone or a hundred. More often than not, this role is not their primary role in the organisation, meaning they have a day job to do first.

Employers need to understand the responsibility that this role requires. Many decision-makers just see it as adding a tool to the arsenal, and in many ways that is true, but these tools need attention to operate as designed. 

If you use drones within your organisation and need more help understanding the correct use of drones, call us today and we will be happy to help.

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