C+S December 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 12 (web)

3. Drones and equipment To launch Moss’s drones into the air, the company needed commercial- grade drones, best-in-class tablets and controllers, extra batteries, es- sential accessories and hard cases for easy storage and transportation. This will be true for most companies and will also allow for both con- sistent training and a thorough overview of the aircraft to be used in the field. Though it varies across providers, some drone management platform developers will provide drone kits to ensure your team is set up with appropriate gear for safe and compliant drone operations. 4. In-person classroom training Nearly 20 Moss employees attended three days of in-person train- ing. Classroom-style instruction allowed for an introduction of the following topics: • Hardware best practices • Standard operating procedures and FAA compliance • Safety culture

the job site, enhancing safety operations and reducing costs, as well as improving accuracy and efficiency. However, before launching the company’s drone program in 2019, Moss’s safety management knew they needed to set standards for safety and compliance. From the start, the team prioritized launching a drone program quickly, safely and in compliance with federal regulations and company policy while seeing meaningful gains in the field. Moss also felt that ad- equately training and equipping teams of employees—many of whom had never touched a drone—without spending months developing standards for training and operations would be key for the company. Next, the company began searching for a partner who could help de- velop their written program, as well as manage the team’s flights. Let’s take a closer look at the five-step process Moss adopted to get Starting with the essentials, Moss first turned to a comprehensive set of expertly validated policies and procedures. This allowed the company’s safety and executive personnel to customize the program to meet their needs, including integrating corporate policies into the general operating manual, setting training standards, and establishing risk mitigation strategies. Following the process, Moss VP of Environmental, Health & Safety Scott Gerard spoke highly of the company’s experience and ability to tailor the program to meet their needs. 2. Certification Next, Moss had to certify the company’s team of drone pilots. This included Part 107 training, given the company’s plans to fly drones commercially in the United States. their drone program off of the ground: 1. Standard Operating Procedures Pilots in-training also received access to Drone Pilot Ground School, which prepared Moss’s pilots for the FAA’s aeronautical knowledge test. Every pilot passed the test and acquired their Remote Pilot Certifi- cates to become licensed drone pilots. In addition to training, it’s important to note that both pilots in-training and newly licensed pilots will appreciate having a responsive and knowledgeable team of drone management platform experts whom they can reach out to as the foundation of their new drone program starts to take form. Using Skyward’s Quick-Start Package, Moss successfully trained and equipped a team of pilots within a matter of weeks.

• Airspace and weather • Emergency preparation • Simulated real-world operations

On the final day, each Moss pilot executed a practice mission of his or her own choosing from the ground up. They established a goal, planned a flight, checked airspace, followed checklists, flew the mission and gathered data—all according to standard operating procedures. Moss pilots also used drones to capture 4K videos of the surrounding area and perform other sample operations like flying over stockpiles to collect data. When implementing a new tool to launch a high-value, low-risk drone operation, it’s also important to understand what flight planning, air- space access and reporting will look like through your drone manage- ment platform. Keep your company’s objectives top of mind as you search for ways to adapt the program to meet your needs, just as Moss was able to do. 5. Hands-on flight training exercises Classroom sessions are great, but field training quickly takes pilots to the next level. For this reason, Moss spent the second and third days of their in-person training in a nearby field getting real fly-time. Moss’s pilots took to the sky and flew sample missions under the supervision of experts, strictly following the company’s standard operating proce- dures and the concepts covered during classroom sessions. This not only provided a safe environment to build drone pilot skills and put operational practices to the test, but also helped pilots get up to speed much faster. Ready for Takeoff Moss began to deploy drones in the field shortly after training was completed. While their drone operations are still in the early stages, the company is quickly building a strong program, seeing results and demonstrating the powerful value UAS can bring to daily operations. Here are just a few of the use cases they are using or developing today: • Photogrammetry – extracting 3D data from 2D images • Leak inspections


december 2020


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