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

August 23

Do not attach weapons to your drone, FAA warns. This week the Federal Aviation Administration sent out a message in which the agency warns the general public that “it is illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached.” Over the years, we have seen our fair share of drones with shotguns, flame throwers, and fireworks mounted on them. Mostly for fun, but the FAA and other government officials worry that weaponized drones might be used for other purposes. If you think that sounds farfetched just see how drones have been used in the MiddleEast. Using a drone with a dangerous weapon attached to it is in violation of Section 363 of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act. And, unless the drone operator has received special authorization from the FAA, he or she is subject to civil penalties up to $25,000 for each violation.

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August 22

Drone U Flight Mastery graduates receive lower drone insurance rates from SkyWatch.AI. This means that if you successfully graduate from the Drone U Flight Mastery training course you will receive a 15% discount on any SkyWatch.AI insurance policy. However, it doesn’t stop there. If you increase your safety score through the SkyWatch app you can increase your discount even further.

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DJI Mavic Pro

Are you looking to work in the drone industry, but maybe not as a commercial drone pilot? Well, check with Skydio. As you probably know, Skydio made its name in the drone world when they launched the autonomous Skydio R1 drone in early 2018. The California-based drone maker is about to launch the successor to the R1, which for now goes by the name Skydio 2, and they could use some extra hands. A quick look at their website shows that they have at least eleven open positions.

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August 21

A prepared photographer, Vic Moss with his DJI Mavic 2 Pro shot this amazing drone photo of an NFL Stadium and here is his story of how it all went down legally!

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Flytrex and Causey Aviation Unmanned receive FAA approval to deliver food by drone in North Carolina

As part of the UAS Integration Pilot Program, Flytrex and Causey Aviation Unmanned received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to start making food deliveries by drone in Holly Springs in North Carolina.

Drones increasingly used to save people’s lives in Africa

Fox News has a nice article today, explaining how drones are increasingly used to save people’s lives in Africa. In many ways, Africa has been at the forefront of developing new drone applications, mostly because the rules and regulations that apply to unmanned aircraft are less strict than the are in for instance the US, Canada or Europe. Zipline has been one of the companies that has shown how drones can have a massive positive impact on people’s lives in Africa by currently having flown over 16,000 medical deliveries by drone since the company began in Rwanda in 2016.

August 20

I’ll cut right to the chase, the best drones of 2019… haven’t been launched yet. Yes, of course, we still have our all-time favorites such as the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, which should be available again soon, and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro that is becoming more and more difficult to buy. But apart from the launch of the Parrot ANAFI Thermal back in April, it has really been a quiet year so far when it comes to new drones. However, we think that this will be about to change soon.

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The San Pablo police have purchased three US-1 drones from Impossible Aerospace to “keep our community safer and our officers much safer,” says Capt. Brian Bubar. The battery-powered drones from Impossible Aerospace are known for their incredibly long flight times.

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Here we go again… To prevent ‘window peeping,’ Prairie Village, Kansas, advances an ordinance that restricts drones. If the law is approved next month, violators can face up to a $500 fine or one month in jail. Just to be clear, current privacy laws already cover ‘window peeping’ concerns. Whether the camera is handheld or attached to a drone makes little difference. Furthermore, the FAA is the only body in the US that controls the airspace, as per their own words. However, time and time again, we see towns making up their own drone restriction rules, and the same goes in Prairie Village, Kansas.

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August 19

Apart from the amazing autonomous flying ability, one of the standout features of the Skydio R1 drone was the frame around the propellers and body of the unmanned aircraft. A few of our readers had pointed out that the shadow of the new Skydio drone in the video that the drone startup recently released shows us the new “frameless” design of the Skydio 2.

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Never mind that most drones from DJI are unavailable at their own online store, this image shows how the DJI Mavic Mini fits into the DJI product lineup.

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August 16

The world’s largest drone maker, DJI, has almost no drones available at their official online store in the US. We just checked their website and put together a little overview to show that almost all DJI drones are out of stock at the official DJI online store.

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The night before DJI releases a new product, we learn that the DJI Mavic Mini specs might have leaked. The new DJI mini-drone may only weigh 245 grams (!) and may officially be part of the Spark Series. Will the Chinese drone maker call it the Spark 2 after all? Let’s take a look at the DJI Mavic Mini leaked specs.

Update 8/16/’19: We received confirmation from another source (unrelated to OsitaLV or Aero X) that the Mavic Mini specs mentioned below are correct. Our source told us when asked about the Mavic Mini that “All of those specs are accurate.” However, he also said that we are still at least two months away from an official announcement and that DJI has yet to decide whether this new drone will become an ‘Air’ or ‘Spark’replacement. Regardless of the Mavic Mini’s small footprint, the drone will almost certainly have No-Fly Zones incorporated through the app. Lastly, the Mavic Mini is not expected to have Lightbridge but rather a new and enhanced Wi-Fi connection. Currently, DJI is working on a multi-charger for the mini-drone. That’s all the info we have for now and no, this does not come from OsitaLV. expand full story

August 15

Every year, it seems, DJI runs a promotion during the summer. This year is no different. Today, DJI announced the 2019 DJI Summer Story Sale event with discounts on both the DJI Osmo Pocket & Expansion Kit Combo and the DJI Osmo Action. The Osmo Pocket & Expansion Kit Combo has been discounted by $30 from $458 to now $428. And, the DJI Osmo Action is now $50 off and retails for $299 instead of $349. Both deals are available on the official DJI online store.

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August 14

Yes, you read that correctly. The DJI Phantom 4 Advanced is back in stock at the official DJI online store. After months of being out of stock, as were many of the accessories, the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced is back for now. We do not know how many are available or for how long DJI will offer them online, but if you have been waiting for the iconic quadcopter’s return with its 1-inch sensor and mechanical shutter. Well, this is your chance.

Note: we expect the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 to make its return shortly as well. The latest news is that it will be back in September.

Update: less than one hour after posting this article the Phantom 4 Advanced was out of stock again.

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Photos of the DJI camera with interchangeable lens system have shown up again on Twitter. Even though we no longer expect the DJI Phantom 5 to be released with this camera and gimbal combination, it is interesting to see what DJI was working on. Officially, DJI denied that this was going to be the new DJI Phantom 5, but many industry insiders concluded that DJI’s explanation that this was a one-off version for a customer was bogus. It would simply be too expensive for DJI to develop this just for one customer. These photos show more detail than we have seen before.

Note: these photos show a camera, lens, and gimbal from at least one year ago. And, we believe, are from a project that DJI has since abandoned.

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One of my favorite YouTubers is Faruk from iPhonedo, who by the way just reached 500,000 subs (congrats!). Faruk is always one of the first to review new DJI products as is the case with the Chinese drone maker’s latest addition to their ever-expanding line-up, the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. As I mentioned in the title, if you going to watch one DJI Osmo Mobile video review, watch this one.

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Climate change activists are planning to shut down Heathrow Airport in London with drones, aiming to create chaos for more than a million travelers.

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August 13

The new DJI Mavic Mini will dominate the consumer drone market by weighing less than 250 grams.

Yes, less is more. And here’s why.

We’ve already seen the leaked spec sheet of the new DJI Mavic Mini indicating that the drone will weigh only 245 grams. But there are other indications that this drone will indeed weigh less than the 250-gram weight limit registration requirement set by the FAA. And this one comes straight from DJI themselves. Furthermore, I will explain why 250 is the magic number, and why it will lead to DJI dominating the consumer drone market (not that they don’t already) when they launch the DJI Mavic Mini later this year.

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The news just doesn’t seem to stop when it comes to the new DJI Mavic Mini. First, we see the photos, then we learn about the price, then the specs of the DJI Mavic Mini leak and now we get to see the first video of the seemingly soon to be released DJI Mavic Mini. Check it out.

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