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.
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.
Since government regulations prevent us from doing drone journalism in U.S. airspace, we look for opportunities internationally. To date, our favorite spot to fly is Costa Rica, particularly in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Below you’ll see some of our recent work there.
The size of Tucker Prairie has been slightly reduced since the construction of I-70; the area is 145 acres. Photo by Brendan Gibbons/KBIA
Last Tuesday, the Missouri Drone Journalism Program covered a prairie fire at Tucker Prairie near Kingdom City, Mo. to publish their second official piece. The story we produced focuses on just what makes a prairie a prairie, and why the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) uses fire to maintain the land.
The MDC explains how a controlled fire is the best way to rid the prairie of harmful invasive species and restore the prairie back to it’s natural habitat.
Read the full story published by the program’s main partner KBIA as well as Harvest Public Media, and be sure to watch the video below, which includes aerial drone footage of the burn.