An AeroVironment Puma AE small unmanned aircraft inspected a dozen miles of power lines in rural Virginia in April to demonstrate flights beyond the operator’s line of sight. The FAA issued a “Drotam” to alert other airspace users, the aircraft carried three different communications links, and the inspections were performed under the watchful eye of a Robinson R44 helicopter. Such is the reality for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations. While the use of small ...


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