A Job Done Better by Drones

Yet another helicopter accident pointing out how some aviation jobs would be better handled using drone technologies. This time, a Bell 206 helicopter lost power and crashed while on a pipeline survey. Nobody was killed, but one of the three on board was seriously injured near Woodsboro, TX, on October 2nd. 20141001.. B206 crash pic, Woodsboro TX

These flights are typically done at low altitudes, and with slower speeds as needed to more closely study potential pipeline issues. At these altitude/speed combinations, an engine failure cannot be recovered into a safe landing. In many cases, the crash initiates a fire, and numerous casualties.

The benefits of doing this work with drones are many, including:

  • fewer lives would be placed at risk
  • far less fuel would be consumed
  • far less noise would be generated

Is it time for FAA to quit impeding the use of drones for applications such as this?