The first comprehensive guidelines for the use of unmanned aircraft was passed by the Policy Committee of the University of Missouri School of Journalism on December 14, 2016.
The action sets “safe, legal and responsible” protocol for students, faculty and staff who wish to fly drones for stories with affiliated School of Journalism news organizations or for classes. The procedures are intended to ensure that the Missouri School of Journalism takes full advantage of the new regulations enacted by the Federal Aviation Administration in June 2016.
The core standards exceeds FAA rules by requiring practical flight experience, as well as an understanding of the concepts under Title 14 CFR, Part 107.
• Direct supervision by a pilot holding an FAA Remote Pilot Airman license.
• Completion of an approved study guide for the FAA Part 107 Knowledge Test.
• A minimum of six hour of hands-on flight training, through an intermediate skill level.
“The goal is to promote a culture of constructive attitude and pattern of behavior that demonstrates a commitment to safety,” said Richard Shaw of the Missouri Drone Journalism program.
The Missouri Drone Journalism program is an interdisciplinary partnership at the University of Missouri dedicated to helping students understand and use small, unmanned aircraft systems in service to society.
The Missouri Drone Journalism program offers a drone workshop on Saturday, Oct. 8 that provides the latest issues, regulations and trends on the use of unmanned aircraft for journalists. The one-day seminar includes presentations on videography techniques and the steps to earn the Remote Pilot License to legally fly for journalistic purposes, plus an afternoon of hands-on flight.
It serves as a reminder of the importance to educate all UA operators on the safety procedures, legal guidelines, flight maneuvers and professional responsibility associated with these new aircraft.
This applies to domestic as well as international operations.
The goal of the Missouri Drone Journalism program is to encourage safe and responsible flight, and avoid something like this ever happening to a journalist or any professional in another discipline.
Our Missouri Drone Journalism program received promotional support from DJI. The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute recently purchased the DJI Inspire 1 for the Missouri Drone Journalism Program at the Missouri School of Journalism. We created a custom tiger-stripe “skin” wrap for the Inspire as branding for a project in Zambia, Africa. We also fly Phantom quadcopters in our class “Civilian Drone Issues, Applications and Flight.”
Rick Shaw attended an intensive symposium workshop on drone flight safety at the Unmanned Safety Institute in Orlando, Florida in June 2015. Read his reflections on the importance of drone safety training. The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute sponsored his tuition for the specialized training that earned him UAS Safety Certification and UAS Instructor Certification for small unmanned aircraft from the Unmanned Safety Institute, which is affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
After a short hiatus in which we concentrated on indoor teaching and international field reporting with drones, we are pleased to resume our posts on this website.
We will start with stories about our activities and courses over the past two-plus years since the Federal Aviation Administration instructed us to stop flying anywhere in U.S. airspace. We’ll also have news and information on developments in our program, which has recently expanded to include more partners.
Students fly a Phantom drone through a training obstacle course for their final flight lab for the semester on Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1, 2015 at the University of Missouri indoor Trowbridge Arena. The class titled Civilian Drone Issues, Applications & Flight included lecture classroom sessions, plus a hands-on lab component for students to learn aerial maneuvers. This final flight lab challenged the students to navigate a series of slalom-style poles and touch-and-go landing tables, and then shoot a video selfie with a GoPro. We nicknamed the final flights as the Drone-lympics.
Our focus will remain what it always has been:
On exploring new approaches to information-gathering and storytelling that this rapidly evolving technology promises.
On preparing students to be leaders in pursuit of innovative, engaging, ethical and responsible public-service journalism anywhere in the world–using drones as on of their many tools.