Drone SOP

Drone SOP- Black tip shark footage

  1. With an associate, go to location for aerial footage. Arrive on site sometime between dawn break and noon, and give yourself ample time for setup and takedown.
  2. Prior to flying inspect area, and notify anyone on the beach within your takeoff area that you will be flying a drone out over the ocean.
  3. Identify who will be the Pilot in command(PIC) and who will be the Visual observer (VO). Pilot in command will inspect drone pre flight, while visual observer will record date, time, location, wind speed, GPS coordinates, site name, and wind direction. Do not proceed if wind speed is too great that it affects controllability of the sUAS.
  4. For preflight inspection, PIC will look for: noticeable damage to the gimbal, chips in rotors, smudges on side sensors, and any other damages. Any damage repairs done on site must be recorded, and if damage cannot be repaired before flight, then terminate flight.
  5. Take off from the beach with camera facing forward (out to sea). Wait until fully in the air to readjust camera orientation, and avoid taking any footage of people.
  6. Adjust camera so that shutter is 1250, ISO is 100, and aperture set at 2.8. Adjust aperture depending on light availability.
  7. Launch drone vertically and proceed from shoreline. Head to where waves begin breaking and scan area for shark aggregations. VO should maintain sight of the drone at all times and notify the POC if the drone looks unstable or is too close to any obstacles.
  8. Once sharks are located descend so that the sharks are in focus. Hover the drone in this location. Look for a reference point (such as a rock on the bottom) as to be sure that the drone is not moving while observing the sharks.
  9. Using the drone recording software, record the sharks swimming through the area you are zoomed in on for 3-5 minutes or until sharks have completely left your hover station. Stop recording at this point and proceed to find another aggregation. You may also follow a shark to its next location, but be sure to frame the shot so that the shark moves across your screen each time you record. Also be sure to keep the drone stationary for each recording session.
  10. Upon completing filming, return drone safely to shore, and clean up area of use. Land drone with camera orientation facing out to sea. If relaunching be sure to follow previous procedures for proper takeoff and data collection.
  11. Record visibility and interesting footage in the data log.

Data log- File for each site. If more then one flight for site please label each time in and out with corresponding flight name.

Time in:
Time out:
Wind speed:
Wind direction:
GPS Location:
Max flight height:
Max flight distance:
Max Flight speed:
# of Sharks seen:

* Be sure to check with local FAA charts and NOTAMs before flying. It is critical that flying in any airspace besides class G you gain authorization from local Air Traffic control. Download the B4UFly app for your phone and check site prior to flight to see what authorization you need. Be sure to look at Temporary Flight Restrictions via NOTAM before flight, as Flight within these areas during the times listed are strictly prohibited. DO NOT FLY DURING A TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTION. These Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) are available online via the faa website.