Blog

Service Drones?

You’ve heard of service animals for different disabilities and for our fantastic military folks who need some special help?

What about service drones?

Former member Kathy Wyant ran across David Walcott and suggested he contact us with his unique story!

After a distinguished 20 years in the United States Marines, David suffered from many of the issues experienced by those returning from combat zones, including PTSD. Struggling with these issues, David discovered that flying drones actually helped him focus and get away from his PTSD symptoms. Knowing that flying could help others like him, he and another veteran started “Eye in the Sky,” which promotes sUAS flying.

Photo of David Walcott
David Walcott and his wife, Ashley.

David will tell us his story and his adventure and why the use of drones can be such a benefit to others at our June, 2022 meeting.

Plan to join us at 9:00am on June 4, 2022 at the Central Colorado Regional Airport, 27960 CR 319 in Buena Vista, Colorado. As with all of our meetings, you may attend via Zoom Meeting as well.

We hope to see you on the 4th!

Black Swift Latest Sponsor

We are excited to announce that Black Swift Technologies is the latest company to sponsor Central Colorado UAS! Dr. Jack Elston, CEO, joined us at our April 2022 meeting and provided a fantastic presentation about his recent flights to inspect a volcano in Alaska.

photo of Jack Elston

Dr. Elston and Black Swift have been great supporters of sUAS in Chaffee County for a long time. They have had a presence at just about all of the UAS Roundups at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs including being a panelist. We hope he is a contributor to the upcoming UAS Roundup on September 11 & 12, 2022.

Black Swift joins a growing list of fantastic companies helping Central Colorado UAS achieve our initiatives for a Drone Training Park and education.

In addition to Black Swift, our sponsors include Pilot Institute, Unmanned Safety Institute, Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, Our Town Medical and TNL Aviation!

Please visit the Black Swift website for more information about this innovative company.

Moen Honorary Member

The leadership team voted unanimously to recognize the contributions of Rick Moen by awarding him an honorary membership to Central Colorado UAS. The award was presented to Rick by President Taylor Albrecht in an impromptu ceremony on April 13, 2022, which was captured in the video below.

Rick Moen

Dear Rick,

Your contributions to Central Colorado UAS have been incredible!

Not only are you a “rock” star (literally!) by helping move that boundless supply for proper placement of the bucket stands in the Certification Course, but always lending a helping hand to install just about everything at the Drone Training Park. Your enthusiasm is contagious and energy boundless.

Your engagement with the club goes far beyond the Drone Training Park. Your keynote address at the 2021 Fall UAS Roundup was the highlight of the conference. It combined your deep knowledge of the industry with your delightful sense of humor.

Finally, your contributions to the industry including two disaster responses, numerous search & rescue operations, flights with tethered drones and others are a testament to your thirst for knowledge and personal mission to help others.

As a result and on behalf of the club, it is my pleasure to tell you that the Central Colorado UAS leadership team unanimously voted to award you with an Honorary Membership as a small token of our appreciation for all you have done.

Congratulations and thank you!

BV High Grant

One of the main initiatives of Central Colorado UAS (CCUAS) is to promote the technology and industry in education arenas.

We are pleased to announce our second grant to the Buena Vista High School drone program! On April 1, 2022, the leadership team visited the class, taught by Adam Fuller, to get an idea of their experiences and to present a $2,000 grant to help them acquire aircraft and equipment. This was a matching grant which they used to purchase a DJI Phantom 4 for growing interest in photogrammetry and a DJI FPV for fun!

CCUAS was instrumental in helping Mr. Fuller and the school district adopt the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) curriculum. This curriculum is safety focused and provides students with industry-recognized safety certificates along with knowledge to achieve the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Remote Pilot certificate.

First BV High Drone Class – 2022

May Meeting

Our May meeting will be an open topic meeting, so come with questions, comments and advice to share with your fellow members.

We have received a couple of requests for pilots recently, so will probably discuss those qualifications and the state of the industry a bit as well.

Afterwards you’re invited to join us at the Drone Training Park for a little cleanup and a lot of flying, weather permitting.

Members will receive Zoom Meeting information the week before the meeting. If you’re interested to join us and are not a member, please email ccuasclub@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 7, 2022, 9:00a MDT
Central Colorado Regional Airport
27960 CR 319, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Fundraising

The Ray Foundation has graciously awarded Central Colorado UAS with a $50,000 matching grant to build out the Buena Vista Drone Training Park and acquire aircraft for use by schools and the group. The grant is funded in two $25,000 increments.

Ray Foundation logo

As of March, 2022 we are just under $3,000 short of our initial $25,000 goal!

Would you consider helping by donating to the cause? We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so your help may be tax deductible.

BV High Award Ceremony

You can contribute in one of three different ways.

Send a check to:
Central Colorado UAS
POB 1727
Buena Vista, CO 81211

Follow one of the links below:
PayPal Donate Site https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=GEX7CP6ZHHCBQ
GoFundMe Fundraiser https://gofund.me/dcae3d5e

Thank you so much for your consideration!

Flight Into Active Volcano!

Many of you may have seen the video created by a drone inspecting an active volcano.  We featured it as our meeting “takeoff video” last last year. Here’s a little snippet.

We’re delighted to have the creator of that video, Dr. Jack Elston, CEO of Black Swift Technologies, presenting at our April meeting! He will join us on Saturday, April 2, 2022, 9:00am at the Central Colorado Regional Airport, 27960 CR 319 in Buena Vista, Colorado!  As always attendance via Zoom Meeting will be available.

In September, a team of Federal scientists and industry engineers pushed back the frontiers of monitoring hazardous volcanoes, flying a small UAS over an active Alaskan volcano. This public-private partnership between USGS, NASA and Black Swift Technologies LLC showed that cost-effective UAS equipped with state-of-the-art gas sensors and imaging systems can fly safely beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS), opening the door to routine autonomous missions over hazardous volcanoes around the world. With this new tool, scientists can alert local and aviation communities to oncoming signs of danger. The Team has now flown four missions, acquiring high-resolution imagery to detect changes from recent volcanic activity, and demonstrated the capacity of gas sensors to detect hallmark volcanic gases that signal onset of activity. The experience collected on these safe flights pave the way for future BVLOS UAS operations for monitoring potentially hazardous volcanoes from a safe distance. This partnership represents a Federal-Industry effort that could provide USGS and NASA with routine use of BVLOS UAS for a diverse suite of hazards, including volcanoes, drought, floods and many others.

photo of Jack Elston
Dr. Jack Elston

Dr. Elston is the CEO and co-founder of Black Swift Technologies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder based on work that developed a complex meshed network, unmanned aircraft system, and control algorithms for in situ sampling of severe convective storms.  His team was the first to intercept a tornadic supercell thunderstorm with a UAS, flying over 72 different missions, with ground speeds of over 100 mph, and never losing an aircraft. He’s continued his work at BST in extreme environments, having visited
all seven continents and has flown aircraft in the arctic, on the side of volcanoes, and over wildland fires.  Dr. Elston is involved with several cutting edge UAS projects including a tube-launched UAS for hurricane observations, machine vision for low altitude flights and GPS denied environments, and even a NASA project to design a glider to explore the upper atmosphere of Venus.