About the Author

Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and Electrek.

Haye can be reached at haye@dronedj.com or @hayekesteloo

 

Haye Kesteloo's Favorite Gear

November 15

The DJI Mavic Minis that were stuck in customs are moving again with some of the earliest deliveries scheduled for today. On social media, some people who had ordered the DJI Mavic Mini directly from DJI were getting somewhat nervous and were wondering whether the hold-up was related to somebody not paying their tariffs. Luckily those fears seem to have been alleviated now that we are seeing the first notifications of scheduled deliveries. expand full story

November 14

Drones bring us some of the most amazing video footage. Just take a look at this drone video showing a grey whale casually swimming underneath a group of surfers at Doheny. And the crazy part is that hardly anybody seems to notice the massive creature.

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DJI Mavic Pro

November 13

DJI announced today that the Chinese drone maker has been working on a new drone-to-phone Remote ID solution that uses WiFi. The new app was demonstrated with a DJI Mavic Air (DJI, Amazon) and a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise drone at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s third annual Drone Enable conference in Montreal. In their statement, DJI says that with this simple app “anyone within radio range of the drone can receive that signal and learn the location, altitude, speed and direction of the drone, as well as an identification number for the drone and the location of the pilot.” the new drone-to-phone Remote ID app and firmware updates from DJI are not yet available for public use as this was merely a demonstration. The company is waiting for further direction from aviation regulators and final publication of the ASTM International standard.

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DJI Enterprise announced on twitter that a new DJI Pilot update will bring MSX support for the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual to iOS users. The update will include other iOS 13+ performance improvements as well, although DJI Enterprise did not specify what those might be. In a second tweet, DJI said that the update has been submitted, and that they expect it to become available this Friday or Monday.

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In a press release today about a future firmware update, we’ve learned that Fujifilm is in talks with DJI to make the Fuji X-T3 camera and other Fuji cameras work with DJI drones. The press release does not say with which DJI drone specifically the X-T3 will work. Could it be the DJI Inspire 3 that we expect to be released next year? In addition to working with DJI drones, Fujifilm also announced that the X-T3 camera will work in a similar fashion with Zhiyun gimbals.

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November 12

First part New York’s 50-mile drone corridor receives FAA approval for BVLOS

Last week, the first part of New York’s 50-mile drone corridor received approval from the Federal Aviation Authority for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone test flights.

Billy Kyle explains in a video on YouTube the DJI Mavic Mini firmware update with example photos and video footage. Billy noted that the photos looked much better with fewer blown-out highlights. And it seems that DJI indeed made the Mavic Mini (from DJI or Amazon) more stable right after take-off. I haven’t had a chance to check out the firmware update myself but check out Billy’s video as he does a great job comparing the drone’s performance before and after the update.

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Rick from Drone Valley explains in this short video how you can (and should) calibrate your IMU and Compass on your DJI Mavic Mini (from DJI or Amazon). The video contains an excellent and very detailed explanation of what an IMU is. What is does, why it is important. And why you should calibrate your Mavic Mini. So, get a cup of coffee and watch Rick’s 10-minute video.

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Florida Power and Light uses DJI Phantom 4 drone for powerline maintenance

Florida Power and Light use a DJI Phantom 4 drone for powerline maintenance and repairs as the unmanned aircraft can provide a 360-degree view that is difficult to achieve otherwise. “Drones offer a huge advantage,” according to the utility’s technology manager, Eric Schwartz.

Iris Automation completes FAA approved BVLOS drone flight

Iris Automation successfully completed a Beyond-Visual-Line-Of-Sight BVLOS drone flight that was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Kansas. The flight is seen as an important step towards making commercial drone flights routine across the country. The onboard drone collision-avoidance system has been created by Iris Automation. The company said that routine flights may start taking place in a matter of months.

Drone Trainer Podcast interview about the DJI Mavic Mini with DroneDJ

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Chris Anderson for his well-known Drone Trainer Podcast. In the interview, we spoke a bit about how we got started with DroneDJ but mostly about flying the DJI Mavic Mini (from DJI or Amazon) and what my experience had been so far. If you haven’t heard of Chris’ podcast, you should totally check him out. He has been interviewing drone pilots and other people from the drone industry for some time and is up to episode 104 already. You will find the transcription below as well as a YouTube version of the podcast itself.

November 11

Before we get into the DJI Mavic 3 Pro and Inspire 3 rumors, let’s take a step back and reflect a little on what has happened with DJI in 2019. Over the last few weeks, a lot of attention has been given to the DJI Mavic Mini (from DJI or Amazon), and rightfully so, as this new sub-250-gram can surely hold its own among the other DJI Mavic drones. But why is it that this capable mini-drone is all we got from DJI in 2019? What happened to all the other DJI drones that were rumored to be released, such as the DJI Phantom 5, the DJI Spark 2, the DJI Inspire 3 and even the temporary return of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0? Where are they? And, maybe more importantly, what does this mean for 2020? What can we expect from DJI next year?

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November 10

Before you fly the DJI Mavic Mini (from DJI or Amazon) do this first. I know when you receive the new mini-drone from DJI, you really only want to unbox it as fast as you can, charge the batteries and start flying. But, before you do that, do these things first, which includes a firmware update.

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With the first DJI Mavic Minis (from DJI or Amazon) arriving in the hands of drone enthusiasts yesterday, many of you were wondering when the DJI Fly app up would become available. According to DJI the Fly app would not be released until November 11th, however, earlier this morning, we were able to confirm that the DJI flight app has become available both in the Google Play Store for Android devices as well as on the Apple App Store for iOS devices. I was able to download the app earlier today and it seems to work just fine.

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November 8

UPS Flight Forward recently was awarded their Part 135 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration, which allows them to make deliveries by drone throughout the U.S. This week, UPS in partnership with CVS made their first residential delivery by drone by dropping off prescription drugs from a CVS pharmacy directly to a consumer’s home.

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November 7

Wayne Baker joins DJI to expand drone use in Public Safety

Retired Fire Chief, Wayne Baker joins DJI as the new Director of Public Safety Integration. If that leaves you wondering where Romeo Durscher went. Well, don’t worry, Romeo has earned himself a well-deserved promotion and he is now DJI’s Senior Director of Public Safety Integration. Congratulations to both Wayne and Romeo!

DJI plays ‘textbook’ lobbying game in Washington

An article in the Financial Times yesterday said that drone maker DJI plays ‘textbook’ lobbying game in Washington by attaching itself closely to parts of the government and quickly responding to any political concerns. Especially since the trade tensions between the U.S. and China continued to increase, DJI has come into the spotlight.

November 6

Every year DJI runs a number of special promotions as we get near the Holiday Shopping Season and this year is no different. Today, DJI announced their 2019 DJI Black Friday deals and holiday promotions with discounts for products such as the DJI Mavic 2 Pro for $1,379, and deals on DJI’s Osmo Pocket, Osmo Action, Osmo Mobile 3, Ronin S, Ronin SC, and the Ryze Tello. The Black Friday sale will run from November 24, 2019, to December 4, 2019, and the holiday promotion will run from December 13, 2019, until January 1, 2020. See below for all the details!

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November 5

The NYT published a great and lengthy article on drones used in crime and the fact that local law enforcement is almost powerless in fighting these crimes. Below are some of the highlights of the article.  If you have a minute I would suggest reading the entire piece.

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DJI Argas drone fights malaria in Zanzibar

On the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, tests are underway to fight malaria with the DJI Argas drone for the first time. The unmanned aircraft are used to spray silicone-based liquid on rice paddies to prevent the malaria-carrying mosquitos from laying their eggs.

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