Today

An AIR7 HD helicopter was struck by an object, believed to be a drone, at 1,100 feet over downtown Los Angeles Wednesday night. The chopper had to make a precautionary landing.

At around 7:15 p.m., as the helicopter was flying over the downtown LA area, pilot and reporter Chris Cristi said that he and the crew heard and felt a bang as an object hit the tail of the chopper. ABC7 Eyewitness News reports the incident as the helicopter being struck by a drone, even though that has yet to be proven. The initial photos show significant damage to the AIR7 HD helicopter.

Update: it seems that ABC7 Eyewitness News has changed the title of their news story to: “AIR7 HD struck by suspected drone over downtown LA, makes precautionary landing.”

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December 4

When the 10 sites for the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) were first announced, it always struck me as odd that DJI (and Amazon!) were not mentioned as partners in any of the test setups, even though their drones were widely used by others in the program. Finally, about one year into the UAS Integration Pilot Program, DJI officially joins it as one of the partners at Memphis International Airport.

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DJI Mavic Pro

Today, DJI released a new firmware update for the DJI Mavic Mini (DJIAmazon). The Mavic Mini firmware update is version v01.00.0300 and it delivers a number of improvements that make the drone operate even more smoothly. DJI states that it has increased flight stability, optimized the performance during take-off at high elevation, and optimized gimbal control among other things. All the release notes are listed below as well as an additional video from Billy with his first impressions and thoughts of this new Mavic Mini firmware update.

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As temperatures are rising throughout the Southern hemisphere, more drones are hitting the skies to capture the beauty summer has to offer. While you might not be doing anything wrong in the sky, your drone could be struggling due to the high temperatures edging on the limits of the drone and its battery.

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The bushfire seen tearing through the Perth suburb of Forrestdale earlier this week is now under control, but not without frightening locals and threatening Forrestdale Primary School. On the eastern side of Australia, bushfires have been burning for the last few weeks.

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The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) is the first in the world to use the Skydio 2 drones that are made in Redwood City, California. Eight CVPD officers have been trained, licensed, and FAA certified as pilots and have been using the Skydio 2 drones for the last four weeks. From early reports, we know that the American drone manufacturer has been targeting first responders, fire, and police departments with the Skydio 2 drone.

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