Falcon Unmanned is proud to have provided support to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) in response to a large landslide which hit the county on Sunday night. After hearing about the event on Monday morning we loaded up a few aircraft and headed out arriving Monday afternoon. We flew one mapping mission with our fixed wing Falcon over the lower third of the landslide which is the best estimated location of three missing persons in the area when the slide hit. We launched and parachute recovered from a narrow path about 8 feet wide with tall scrub oak on either side of us. After returning to the hotel we were able to process over 750 images using Photoscan in a few hours. The processed data included updated maps with the slide, an elevation model of the slide area covered, google earth overlays, and of course the raw images. The size of the slide is just mind boggling and still hard for me to comprehend. It was 2.8 miles long, 1/2 mile wide at the widest point, and on the lower third of the slide our elevation model revealed about 20-30 feet of new elevation gain with some spots over 100 feet deep. We flew a second flight with Falcon Hover to capture some HD video to hopefully put things in perspective. When we are clear to do so we'll do another post providing the Google Earth overlay. As always we are proud to support the Mesa County Sheriff's Office!
I saw this video on CBS news this morning. Nice to see where it came from.
We have FAA COAs for both platforms for the entire 3300 square mile county so I don't think we'll have any FAA issues.
I can see tomorrow's headline. "FAA INVESTIGATING EVIL DRONE ENDANGERING LIVES AT MUDSLIDE"
This is clearly up there with other terrible, unlawful, dangerous uses of UAVs, along with locating missing children and taking pictures of a corn husks.
That sure if a big mudslide. Hope the cops/relief workers can get some good use of the maps and pics you've produced.