Patrick Egan's Posts (20)

Sort by

Overview of the 2017 SUSB Expo May 4-6


The Small Business Unmanned Systems Exposition 2017 is one more week out May 4, 5th and 6th and this is your limited opportunity to get an edge on your competition in the volatile sUAS market. 

The upcoming Expo Viewpoint episodes will cover the people and events happening at the sUSB Expo 2017 and why you should drop everything and be there.  With world class speakers and game-changing technical and educational presentations there’s likely no place on earth you can find this value and information all condensed into one event. 

Stay Tuned to and the sUAS News Twitter and FB feed for the upcoming segments.

We will be hosting a "cage free" Demo Day on the 6th at the SF Drone School Research Center on Treasure Island. It is free and open to the public to see SUSB Expo sponsor product demonstrations from Propellor Aero, SF DJI store, Skyyfish and others.

Read more…

Your support is 3689623848?profile=originalneeded!

There is a lot at stake, much is riding on the regulation that is forthcoming. We have limited time left on the clock to shape our economic future and the unmanned technologies operating environment.


We have given the existing advocacy program six years, and unfortunately we have very little to show. That is not to be construed as an opinion, but is an undeniable fact. We need leadership that understands the issues and applications first hand. That leadership needs to come from the people who have run businesses and spent time in the field developing and refining the commercial applications. We need to bring the experience of operating in the NAS to the forefront. Not a subsidized business environment, but a free market model that lives by supply and demand. We have sat on the sidelines for too long watching the rest of the world realize the benefits that these technologies can bring.



Advocacy should mean active support, something in the next couple of quarters, not years. If you concur with that notion, I encourage you to support this grassroots effort to make a fresh start with the new Executive Vice President of the AUVSI. I have ten years of empirical experience to offer in running a business, operating, fielding and advocating the business use of this technology. I’m looking to change the association from within, imagine an association that is more inclusive, results oriented and run like a business.



This is important?


Please email or call the leadership at your earliest convenience and express your desire for a new business-oriented focus and timeline.


Thank you for your support, Patrick Egan



Michael Toscano

President & CEO



John Lademan

Chairman of the Board

Read more…

FAA BVLOS Committee Formed


The FAA has formed a new committee with industry participation for end-users that want to fly Beyond-Visual-line-Of-Sight (BVLOS). RCAPA was included in the list of thirty-one different industry groups to give input to the current FAA UAS ARC about “immediate, near and long-term issues/hurdles are or might be for fielding this technology.”

RCAPA President, Rick Connolly accepted on behalf of the membership.

We designated “Patrick Egan to represent the RCAPA membership due to his experience and passion in the Global Airspace Integration experience including his prior participation on the sUAS ARC. While committee participation is not exactly the seat on the UAS ARC that we have petitioned for, it will allow us some level of participation to voice the concerns of the membership… mainly certification issue. We strive to be a unified voice for the small business UAS industry.”

While we were reminded that this isn’t a seat on the UAS ARC, the board is hopeful that the powers that be are receptive to the notion of common sense regulations prevail and that small business might have some valuable insights to contribute.

RCAPA Board member, Gene Robinson also had comments about the RCAPA’s committee participation.

“…… RCAPA has been contributing to the unmanned aircraft community since 2005 to provide as much-practical experience possible in the decision-making process for flight in the NAS. With the information that is taken from actual field use of UA, we have been able to divine what the best operating practices are, acceptable environments to fly in, and the safest possible combination of aerial tools to use. As the technology rapidly changes, we will tirelessly continue to gather and apply the best hardware and continually redefine concepts that have been proven in the past.”

You can discuss the RCAPA’s inclusion on the BVLOS committee and other timely subjects at the RCAPA Facebook page.

Be sure to join the RCAPA as the numbers help to support the technology and your future


Read more…

California Call To Action


California Tell Your Elected Officials You Support Drones



California bill AB1327 would allow law enforcement and public agencies to use drones. This means technology and service jobs for Californians as well as savings for the taxpayer. Drone end-users can support this bill while still supporting the 4th amendment.


AB1327 will let State, and local agencies use drones to better manage the public’s resources. Drones will also be used to help save lives and property of all Californians. AB1327 will allow drones to be used in the same manner as manned assets are currently being employed now. Drones are more efficient and cost less to operate than manned aircraft.


Read: AB1327.


The bill has already passed the CA Assembly, so call the following representatives and tell them that you support this technology and industry.


Tell them to vote yes on AB1327. Tell them you support the benefits drones can bring in the California skies.


Loni Hancock, Chair: (916) 651-4009

Joel Anderson, Vice Chair: (916) 651-4036


Also call the members of the public safety committee. Tell them to vote yes on AB1327. Tell them you are for the lawful and positive uses of drones in California skies.



Steve Knight: (916) 651-4021

Kevin de León: (916) 651-4022

Carol Liu: (916) 651-4028

Holly Mitchell: (916) 651-4026

Darrell Steinberg: (916) 651-1529



This is your opportunity to share the good drones can do.

Read more…

Drone TV Network


The sUAS News Group has launched the Drone TV Network in an effort to inform and educate both the unmanned aviation community and the general public about the commercial applications that embrace this transformative technology.

sUAS News has partnered with MahaPix Studio to produce this video series. The husband and wife team of Gus and Maha Calderon produced the documentary “Civilian Drones – Search & Rescue” which can be viewed at

Both Gus and Maha are FAA licensed commercial pilots. Gus owns the small UAS company IsisCopter and was also a collaborator and pilot of Lady Gaga’s “Volantis” project. Maha is a journalist, commercial photographer, and Certified Flight Instructor.

Our primary motivation is to improve the perception of UAS and demonstrate the benefits of unmanned aviation to those outside the community. By interviewing pioneers and innovators in the field of UAS, we hope to show the human side of the industry to develop and foster a broader acceptance of this technology with the general public.

We see the addition of video production to the sUAS News Group website, Podcast series and Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition as one more dimension to round out the news and information we provide to our global audience.

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoy making it.


Read more…

FAA Lets UAS Airworthiness Cat Out of the Bag


The cat may have inadvertently been let out of the satchel about UAS airworthiness and certification on twitter. There are also some indications that the small rule is being redrafted. Again, while these iterations are made the small business guy is sitting on the sideline. I have expressed multiple concerns over the years about any aircraft certification or pilot certification process that was too onerous for small business.  I was assured that the small businessperson would be considered. However, there is concern as the “public” and small business stakeholder has not been part of the process for some time. Years have ticked by, and we have nothing to show for representation.

Occurrences like these of hiding information suggest that there is ample cause for concern and only further undermines the public trust in the UAS rulemaking process.

Lets hope this doesn’t mean that we need to start building Raven type aircraft. A petition is in the works to hopefully  end the DoD vendor controlled, and apparent FAA sanctioned disenfranchisement of the “public” and small business end-user.


Read more…

I Want My Drone TV


sUAS News introduces one more platform to bring the news and current events to the community and public at large. Originally envisioned as a series of 60 second Public Service Announcements (PSA) “This Is My Drone” where civilian end-users would talk about some of the positives unmanned technology is capable of providing. For example, I’m farmer Brown, and I grow the food your family eats, etc. The idea is to try something new and focus less on people that already understand the potential and are proponents, but to get this information out to the wider public audience.

Read more…


While it is no big revelation the FAA’s successive FAA administrators have been fiddling while the UAS/RPAS airspace integration Rome has burnt to the ground, but here we will examine how far ahead the rest of the world is and why?

The graphic aptly illustrates who is leading the way and how the U.S. as a country has fallen by the UA technology wayside to last place. All of this glory was accomplished with the political and bureaucratic prowess of some third world government. With all chagrins aside, it is only getting worse. If you’re not first… well, you get the picture.

Most folks don’t realize that this is the case as most reports paint a rosy picture of progress through 60_1130_Rose_610x343diligence and hard work. Two limited type certificates hardly justifies all the public jubilation or even meritorious mention beyond a glaring watermark of a grossly ineffective agency. Smart guys are even getting bamboozled. Amazon’s Bezos will be delivering DVD’s packages by drone in 4 years. To be honest, he is a smart guy with the publicity stunt. Bezos has probably already made more money with drones than most other folks will dream of in a lifetime. All without having to deal with the FAA.

We’ve heard the same tired excuses over the last 10 years about manpower and budgets and why the FAA just can’t seem to move anything forward. “We need data” is definitely plausible, but has outlived its shelf life as there is tons of data folks have wanted to share. The unsophisticated ruse in the estimation of the rest of the world community has only produced absolute bewilderment. They’ve been asking for and denying data for that same 10 years all the while sanctimoniously crowing about leading the way. Worse, is the world’s largest advocacy group carrying the water espousing the same obtuse mantra. Credibility and public confidence in that baloney are lower than a proverbial snake’s belly and shame just doesn’t compute in proximity to the Beltway. The whole area could be recognized and designated a UNESCO world heritage scruple free zone. No new tale to tell here.

Silver lining alert…

It’s not all doom and gloom as the FAA has been effective at one thing, silencing critics (except one) by offering either special dispensation or fear of retribution. The old carrot and stick routine. They don’t even have to show the stick just allude to the carrot. Anytime there is carrot talk you can bet the rest of the community is getting the stick and usually the dirty end at that.

I had heard reports that in public FAA folks were saying they’re watching who’s doing what and will remember them when the regulations come out. Boy howdy, is that the textbook definition of representative government or what? Man alive it just makes me well up with inspiration and pride. Do you reckon the FAA’s current administration was cagey enough to hatch this plan in house? Nope, this one is straight out of the accomplish nothing and retire to the private sector playbook. For those outside of the U.S., it is all the rage right down to the city council level. Representative government has devolved into a state sanctioned stand and deliver rebrand with supposed customer service where they pick your pockets with a smile. The teleprompter matched with the right canned goods makes for a potent tool.

Look at the budgets and manpower afforded the FAA by Congress. Nearly a billion dollars requested for NextGen in the $18.5 billion FSY 2014 budget, but no money for test sites or UAS NAS integration. Whoops must have slipped past someone’s watchful eye. Or, maybe their was/is no watchful eye watching managing the UAS integration project?? How many more billions of dollars will it take Mr. Huerta? Maybe if the staff traveled less, worked more, and had real oversight we’d of had or gotten some real progress? It’s all speculation as the sUAS News is still waiting on the UAPO/UASIO budgets and SOPs that were FOIA requested many months ago. Too busy planning the next working vacation in Europe or South America I suppose to get through the everyday paperwork.

On another side note…

Lets look at the rendering used in the DOT Budget Highlights PDF

Examine the rendering (in proximity to the Small Unmanned Systems Business Expo venue) looks very much like it was taken from a low altitude aerial photo. Possibly even shot from a drone. I can’t think of any tall enough buildings in that area where you get that shot.

Now, if we compare it to the budget (both manpower and money) at say the CAA U.K at 130,000,000 + pounds. They had a handful of people who certainly don’t have the budget to go on junkets all over the world. Sure, the air traffic isn’t the same scale either is the area and population, yet they were able to accomplish several stunning firsts in the vicinity of the 3rd busiest airport on the planet.

Disenfranchisement came early…

We, the small business stakeholder group, have been repeatedly and systematically disenfranchised from the public rulemaking process. Actually the process is designed and set up to disenfranchise people without lobbyists and or monetary means to stay in the public rule making process. For insurance, you install people that know as little as possible about the subject matter and drag it out for 5 to 10 years with no tangible results. Folks start falling by the wayside as they lose everything they have invested. Oh, and heaven forbid you bring it up… you should be happy to take your lumps or enjoy the fruits of the orchestrated debacle and suffer in silence.

The handwriting was on the wall over at RTCA. Things looked so bad after 7 years of reshuffled meetings with nothing to show that they had to scrap the whole 203 committee and start over. We are assured the 228 will get the support it needs to make progress. (I think the old script from 2005 was pulled out of the birdcage and trotted out as fresh ink.) But we have enough funding and manpower for this? Do we have a representative from the FAA that knows UAS from a can of Shinola. Or, do we have another new government person that will take 2 or 3 years to come up to speed? It could very well all be for naught. That effort may already be DOA as the scuttlebutt says the FAA isn’t going to support a public algorithm for ADS-B. Basically, that relegates ADS-B to a safety accessory. The Sky-king flight plan survives past 2020. Makes you wonder if that is at the behest of the AOPA. You need to get the “Administrator on the phone after hours” kind of clout. Yes, friends, they have that kind of pull.

He/she will have to take 6 months just to learn some of the acronyms. Then the vendors will all have to train them on the product lines that way when the integration hair shirt asks if they ever flown a UAS they can gleefully parrot… Wasp, Raven, Puma and sometimes ScanEagle. The later cost about $40,000 a head and isn’t as freely dispensed with as the interoffice musical chairs make a bad investment.

I can imagine that there is many an enterprising entrepreneur putting the business plan together. In the expenses column; training everyone in the UASIO, traveling to and fro D.C., following the staff around on the international junket circuit for the next 5 to 10 years. Then there are the dues and subscriptions to various associations, lobbyists, campaign contributions and all of the other trappings of the good old boy network. COA’s to fly out of public airports for commercial purposes don’t grow on trees Laddy. Actually, any and all special dispensation to play in this arena is going to cost you plenty of money. You start doing the math, and you realize real quick that your capital one card better come with an earmark-sized credit limit.

I knew it was all a sham prior to Margret Jenny (another beltway insider and company woman) who did not mention UAS when testifying to Congress about NextGen and what would be making the biggest impact on the NAS in the near future.

The only folks who still think the skies are opening up for UAS in September of 2015 are the mayor of Toronto and maybe Lindsay Lohan. However, post rehab I’m sure the doubts are starting to surface.

After 7 long years, ASTM is publishing documents. We’re fast tracking now as the canned goods have to be out and vetted for the DoD guys to fleece the municipalities out of money they could never hope to have. These same companies call me and ask what are big markets and where/how to invest to hit the jackpot. On the front side, they can’t be seen as associated with me as it would raise the ire of the FAA. No one who’s spent millions of dollars working the system wants to fall into disfavor with the Lords and Ladies of the FAA court.

The new square game includes hedging your bets by working all sides of the triangle…

You’ll hear how the DoD guys are working selflessly to get you into the NAS. I say hogwash and folks buying that malarkey are so deluded or ill informed that they could be beyond the righting of an intervention or re-education. Most reading this tome would most likely chuckle and say, “ I know, who’d buy that hogwash at this point?” Well, you’d be surprised how many people are betting the farm.

This graphic illustrates the money influence dynamic..


And it goes like this…

“I spoke with so and so over at the FAA, or someone at ATSM (they usually can’t remember whom they spoke with or his name) and he/they said in a year or so… we’ll be flying.” After laying out the end game, I get the old “you’re painting a dark picture response and that sounds like a lot of work.” On many occasions, I get off the phone and wonder how does a guy get a job with no experience in the field?

And Congress isn’t much help…

One of the newer go forward plans is to spend $10,000 on a lobbyist that knows nothing about the industry or what it needs. It’ll get the word out that we’re here, and things should work themselves out. Yeah, and then I ask if they read the BBC story about the Predator King, Big Buck’s “Buck” McKeon.

Now it is estimated that Buck has been on the receiving end of close to $850,000 in campaign contributions from the Drone industry. Now before you go breaking out the checkbook, realize that all they’ve been able to accomplish is for the public entities (the same group that can currently get COAs now) will get to go first. Gee willlikers, what systems will they buy? Most likely those usual suspects on the DOJ/DHS approved vendor list. Oh, they got this deal sewed up so tight, and everyone wants you to believe it all just happened that way. When you hear it’s all about safety, there is some truth in that as it is all about job safety. Do no harm to my career.

A couple more bullets in the back should kill this industry for small business…

Well, what about advocacy, who’s watching out for my patch? Unless your company is bringing down part of the $5 billion dollars a year in government contracts, your concerns may only warrant a chuckle.… Hard to squeeze personal gain out of a small business.

It is up to you to start advocating for yourself. Tell the companies and groups that are making money selling products that you would like to see them quit acting like the DoD blood money guys and put some of those profits into advocating for the small business end-user community.

Ok, you’ve highlighted the problems, what do we do?

Demand (not ask for) accountability from the FAA for public rulemaking.

A sub 2 or 3 kilo bin that is administered by a community based group. This will give people without huge budgets a safe place to operate. A reiteration of some of parameters… Speed under 35 knots, frangible made primarily of wood, plastic or foam. 400’ AGL and 1500’ laterally with no observer with direct pilot intervention. No class 2 medical, or commercial pilot certification.

Demand that the people involved with the rulemaking from the government side must know the technology they propose to regulate.

Demand that the people representing the industry must have industry experience. Not just board members from the DoD vendors and members of the GA groups.

Advocacy groups need to support qualified people (with experience operating UAS and running businesses) represent us to the FAA, ICAO and the Congress. Far too many mistakes have been made due to inexperience.

These existing conditions have added years as well as a hurdle to the airspace integration process.

Read more…

Give The FAA Preemptive NPRM Feedback



Be sure to tell them you are ready to get to work legally and share your ideas for progress etc. Tell them that regular access to the NAS in 2020 is unacceptable. SHare your thoughts on pilot and observer certification, aircraft certification and limitations on autonomous aids.

Read more…


"There won't be any Predators preying on the unsuspecting at

the Small Unmanned Systems Business Expo being held

in San Francisco on July 25-26, but rather a group

of entrepreneurs praying that they can bring enlightenment

to the masses by extolling the values of their small unmanned vehicles.


Sponsored by the sUAS News Group, the group is hoping to change the narrative

and broaden the perception of “drones”. They have gotten a bad rap and there

is a running misconception that they are going to be used to look in people’s windows,”

says Patrick Egan, President of the Silicon Valley chapter of the

Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, Int’l. “We see them being used in

search and rescue operations, wildlife management, forestry protection, waterway

and levy surveys , as well as feeding a hungry world,” he said.


 “The positive uses for this technology are endless.”


“California has had many firsts in aviation and we are continuing that tradition

as this business event will be the first of its kind, with speakers, exhibitors,

and an opportunity to pilot a drone,” said Egan. “This will be a great opportunity

for people to walk through the door of a new era in unmanned, robotic technology."

 Register here 

Speakers include:


Chris Anderson, 3D Robotics,        Chris Norris, CEO Alta Devices


Tad McGeer, CEO Aerovel               Chad Partridge, 2D3 Sensing        


Ken Giles,  PhD UC Davis                 Chuck Johnson, NASA


Dr. John Appleby, DHS                     Karl Hedrick, PhD  UC Berkeley


Patrick Egan, sUAS News               Joerg Lamprecht, AIBOTIX     


Gene Robinson “sUAS for SAR”    Douglas McQueen, LeClair Ryan Law


Eileen Shibley, Cal. UAS Portal       Ted Wierzbanowski “ASTM F-38 Update”


Gus Calderon, “IsisCopter”             Mathew Schroyor, “Drone Journalism”


Gary Mortimer, sUAS News             Dr Jerry Lemuix, UVU


Gretchen West, AUVSI

Read more…