Aerial Views of the Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field
Let me begin by saying that I am a FAA-licensed (part 107), UAS (drone) operator. I follow the rules and regulations precisely, as this ever-growing industry has become my specialty and part of my livelihood. I also want to say to the aspiring pilots looking to fly around U.S. National Historic Landmarks, stadiums, and sensitive areas, BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE RULES!
As the drone industry continues to evolve into so many different avenues, teamwork among the players in the game (drone pilots, the FAA, and the public), becomes more essential. I was recently deployed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to film 3D aerial scans of Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. This particular project required the the FAA, and the security of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Philadelphia Phillies (Major League Baseball), to work together for this drone survey operation to be a success.
First, I needed to acquire an FAA authorization to operate the UAS (drone) in this area due to proximity to Philadelphia International airport. Without the authorization, the DJI Inspire 2 drone that we employ for aerial survey, would not take off. The authorization was requested roughly (2) weeks prior to operation along with requests to the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies security for permission to operate over their grounds. Due to the unpredictability of the weather, it is always best to request a window of time, a few days, to schedule these types of operations. Rain and clouds are the enemy of the expensive equipment and overall quality of the finished product. Blue skies in an aerial photo always look better than cloudy.
With a couple of days to spare, I was able to get the final approval (thanks FAA!). and we
were set to have Philadelphia added to this round of nationwide locations that we were to film aerial 3D scans and drone videos. It was a good thing we checked too, because there is an unmarked heliport in the parking lot near the Philadelphia Eagles stadium.
Upon our scheduled arrival time, we contacted security and entered in the FAA's authorization codes to unlock the DJI Inspire 2's controller for flight. The process takes only a minute (*PRO TIP* make sure you have wi-fi connection to unlock the controller or be sure to unlock it before arriving on site!), to enter and get everything unlocked. With the FAA's geofencing unlocked, the onus for safety is now solely on the pilot for both the helicopters and large planes in the area.
(think you'd rather have an experienced and trained pilot in this circumstance?!?!)
We stayed in touch with the security team and were sure to remain in our flight path close to the stadium. The whole mission took about 30 minutes for the drone to capture everything it needed to bring back to the lab.
Another aerial flight above an NFL stadium down...
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I have been operating a drone professionally for over 8 years around Buffalo, NY and across the USA. I've filmed some AMAZING locations and done some pretty interesting jobs with my drone from Netflix, CBS, to the NFL, I've been fortunate to work with some of broadcast media's best!