Hangar 360

I’ve been taking part in the Hangar 360 beta test of their app that shoots 360 degree aerial photos. Click here to see a late winter 360 of my neighborhood in Central Pennsylvania. The app automatically captures 23 images which are uploaded to the cloud and stitched together. My image was shot with a Phantom 4.

If you fly real estate jobs I think the 360 shots are great for contextualizing a home in its neighborhood. I can see many uses for these 360’s.

Before starting-up the Hangar 360 app I run the DJI app and configure the compass, and take a look at the camera settings. Once that is done I go to the Hangar app. All you do is follow is follow the prompts and confirm a few check list items. When you press the launch button the app does a five second countdown, automatically launches the aircraft and takes it to 300 feet where it shoots the photos and asks you if you like to automatically land the UAV, continue flying, or land it yourself.

Once the UAV is back on the ground you can automatically load the photos to the cloud from the drone, or wait until later when you have WiFi or a faster connection. I uploaded right after I landed and once the upload is complete the app will have a thumbnail from the flight and the word processing over the thumbnail.

The entire flight process took less than 15 minutes. I had the link to my 360 in a couple of hours.

When Hangar 360 launches I think you should give it a try. For commercial pilots its another great option to offer you clients.


Night Flights

I’m FAA approved now to fly drones at night. Check out my thoughts in an article written by Unmanned Aerial Online http://bit.ly/2mG3OHb

Certificate Waiver Number: 107W-2016-01996

Luxury Home In State College

Slowing sales of high-end homes has real estate agents looking for every edge when marketing these properties. More and more agents are partnering with Pennsylvania SkyOps to shoot compelling listing photos and aerial video tours to engage buyers who are shopping online. Aerial video brings a dimension that engages buyers like never before.  Click below to see how we helped one real estate company experience elevated video marketing.

Cornfield Construction Site

Autumn is here and the corn harvest is almost complete. However, this flight wasn’t about harvesting the field in this shot. It was a dual-mission flight to document the site of a new construction project and to provide the aerials needed for a TV commercial. One of the requirements of the shoot was to capture the rural “feel” of the property, yet show that it was close to town.
The site will be home to a condominium project for seniors.
Flight Tip: Drone take-off in a cornfield stirs up a lot of husks that can get into the props. To avoid damaging your props, take a solid platform with you to use for launching your drone.

York County Law Enforcement

Just got back from York County in Eastern Pennsylvania where I had the honor of flying for a group of law enforcement professionals. Before landing my Phantom 3, I snapped a group selfie of this fine group. From left to right you see me (I’m the guy with the drone.); David Sterner, Chief of Operations, Ruppert Detective Agency (blue shirt with hand on his chin); Chief Brian Rizzo of Northeastern Regional Police Department NERPD, Detective Brian O’Melko, NERPD (blue shirt); Darryl Albright, Chief of York County Detectives and far right in the bright red shirt is Paul Pelaia, Commander of the York County QRT, or “Quick Response Team.”

After flying the Phantom 3 and the Inspire One Pro around NERPD HQ and the surrounding neighborhood, talk in the group was the Phantom 3 would be a better choice for their work since it is smaller, quieter and has a lower profile target. Price also makes the Phantom 3 their best option since they anticipate doing a lot of flying in high-risk situations.


Part 107 Testing

If you plan on taking your “Remote Pilot Certificate” test at the end of August here is what you need to know to sign-up. I completed the process and scheduled my test for August 30th. Follow these steps and you’ll save yourself some time and aggravation. Before running these steps make sure you have your drivers license and a credit card in hand.

How To Register For the Part 107 Test

  1. You CAN’T schedule your test directly with the FAA-approved knowledge testing center.  Booking is done though CATS – the Computer Assisted Testing Service. Go to the CATS site to find a testing center near you.
  2. You CAN’T schedule your test online. You have to call 1-800-947-4228 and book with a CATS representative
  3. You will be asked for your name and address exactly as it appears on your license. They’ll also ask for your place of birth and you email address.
  4. The testing fee is $150. CATS accepts all credit and debit cards for payment.

Once payment has been approved by your credit card company or bank you will receive a confirmation email. You can view mine by clicking the link.

CATS Testing Registration Confirmation

Drone Pose

During a demo flight for some family members I accidentally created an oddly engaging photo. I had the lens of my Inspire One Pro X5 pointing straight down on a hot and humid early evening. My brother-in-law thought the prop wash was a good way to cool-off and looked-up so I snapped the photo. I stipulate this isn’t the safest way to take a photo. But it is safer than looking up at that bird flying overhead.


John Mullally

Listing Photos


While flying a real estate job recently the home owner requested to review every photograph and video being used to market his property before the listing went “live.”  It is an attitude I believe everyone should have when they go to sell their home or other property. It puts the listing agent on notice that they should be using a modern marketing plan that includes aerial photography and it starts with the listing photo.

The listing photo is the first impression left with a potential buyer.  This first photo looks like a cell phone picture shot by someone who didn’t bother to get out of the car.

Listing Shot Poor

The second is a drone shot that cost less than $200 and used by an agent that makes extensive use of aerial photography and video as part of a modern marketing plan.  Ask yourself if the effort put into the listing photo is going to be the same effort put into all the marketing for you home. If it is then which listing shot, and agent, would you rather have working for you?




Luxury Real Estate Home Tour

A bit of video chemistry today. What do you get when you mix a magnificent home, with interior video, aerial video, interviews with the home owners, a fabulous presenter and great post production ?

You get real estate marketing taken to a level not seen in this area before! Thanks to Dawn PellasScott Pickrell, and Adam Conrad for including Pennsylvania SkyOps in the project.



Save Your UAVs Life

When I have a busy shooting day the process of breaking down my Inspire 1, and putting it back in its case takes time I just don’t have. I’ve found this to be a great way to save time and keep the UAV secure. Take off the props and strap the Inspire 1 in with your seatbelt. It also saves wear and tear on the locking mechanism and delicate contacts for the gimbal and camera. If a seatbelt can save your life it can save your Inspire.



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