Viewing entries tagged
Drone Lighting System

Why I Always Fly with TerraStrider and FireFly!

Why I Always Fly with TerraStrider and FireFly!


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As a relatively new Part 107 certified pilot, one of the most nerve racking parts of the flight is the landing. Is the ground level? Is there anything sticking up that will hit the camera? Where did that rock come from??? The list goes on. And because of where I fly, my options for take off and landing are usually grass, gravel, or mud. Not ideal.

Clearly I work for DroneRafts, the company who makes TerraStrider, but that doesn't mean I don't love the product. Honestly, the original WaterStrider is more than I need. I'm mostly flying in and around corn fields, and water isn't a big obstacle for me. Like Goldilocks, WaterStrider was too big and straight out of the box was too small, but TerraStrider was just right. I'm more confident in my landings which means I'm a more confident pilot and more confident when interacting with customers and potential customers.

Adding the FireFly was an easy decision. Even during daytime it adds a layer of security when flying VLOS. Anytime I work with a spotter they appreciate the ease with which they can track our Phantom because of FireFly. As business expands, I know I will be able to apply for a night flight waiver using FireFly with no trouble.

The TerraStrider really does provide safe and secure landings and the FireFly really is the perfect solution to Part 107 Daytime flight restrictions. The real question is, "Why wouldn't I fly with them?"

DroneRafts Enables Part 107 Night Waivers

DroneRafts Enables Part 107 Night Waivers

One of the regulations in the Part 107 law that governs commercial drone operations is the limitation to flying only during the day; namely Part 107.29 “Daylight Operations”. There is a growing need to support operations that must be conducted at night and so the FAA has a process for approval of night operations through a waiver application. Only about 25% of the 'night waiver' applications submitted are approved by the FAA, often due to a lack of lighting systems that meet the requirements.

“Approximately only 25% of ‘night waivers’ are granted by the FAA…”

Part 107 Waivers by Category - ‘Night Waivers’ dominate *  Courtesy Streamline Designs, LLC

Part 107 Waivers by Category - ‘Night Waivers’ dominate *Courtesy Streamline Designs, LLC

There have been a total of 2,133 Part 107.29 waivers issued out of a total of 2,305 waivers overall as of December 2018. The ‘night waiver’ is the vast majority of the waivers granted by the FAA for Part 107 regulations and this requires special aftermarket lighting systems as none of the drone OEMs currently offer lighting that satisfies the FAA’s requirements.

FireFly lighting system installed on DroneRafts base mount system (TerraStrider or WaterStrider)

FireFly lighting system installed on DroneRafts base mount system (TerraStrider or WaterStrider)

During 2018 DroneRafts developed a lighting system that attaches to its popular all-terrain landing gear systems and meets the FAA’s requirements enabling approval of ‘night waivers’.

This solution brings a unique composite of capabilities to the commercial operator comprising the broadest range of expanded environments supported.

The trademark ‘FireFly’ was unveiled in January 2019 and is available for purchase directly from DroneRafts.com.