In recent years, “drones” have become ubiquitous and moved from the realm of toys to useful tools in many industries, including broadcasting. They are finding uses in news reporting, live sports and engineering. Many tower crews have found drones useful for pre-climb inspections, scouting and documentation of work. Engineers are using drones for tower and tower site inspections; troubleshooting of antennas, lines and microwave links; oversight/monitoring of tower work in progress and even delivery of materials and tools to workers on a tower. In our presentation on drone use in broadcast engineering, we will examine some of these uses, talk about available drones and their features and limitations, and outline the path that an engineer must take to becoming licensed to fly a drone commercially.
Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD, DRB has, for the past 37 years, been Director of Engineering for Crawford Broadcasting Company. For many years he has been a member of the SBE’s national Certification Committee and certification chairman for SBE Chapter 48. He is a lifelong licensed pilot and aviation enthusiast as well as a licensed commercial sUAS pilot.