Textbook Cover

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Safety


SKU: 9780998729510

Traditional aviation is by all accounts considered safe, but it was not always that way. More than 100 years of trial and error have given us the tools to improve safety. Our approach to safety is based on what works in commercial aviation and what can be applied to the unmanned aircraft industry. The essence of this textbook is focused on four domains: understanding the limits of the technology, applying UAS technology in a dynamic and challenging environment, improving crew qualifications and performance, and building safety-conscious organizations.

From an aviation safety perspective, one of the major differences between traditional aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems is reliability. Traditional aircraft are highly reliable, but small UAS (sUAS) can have failure rates as high as 1 per 100 hours of flight, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports. This poor reliability could be improved through the advances in certification, proper maintenance, and new technologies. Traditional aircraft are built to strict standards and certified by engineering representatives of the FAA. Most UAS never go through this process and instead, receive waivers of airworthiness standards. Without these standards, manufacturers tend to rapidly prototype new systems and do not put UAS through required rigorous testing. In addition to systems that lack reliability, many UAS are hand-built without well-designed manufacturing processes. Standards, guidelines, and improvements in these areas could dramatically increase reliability, as is evident with military-grade UAS.

The FAA has mandated that remote pilots learn and pass a knowledge test on regulations, airspace, weather, decision-making factors, and communication (to name a few). Missing in the remote pilot certification is any practical examination or skill requirements to fly a UAS.  Having knowledge without any experience does not qualify someone to fly a UAS.  The Unmanned Safety Institute recommends all remote pilots build skills prior to commercially operating.  Many aspiring commercial remote pilots have either no aviation backgrounds and/or are transferring from the model aircraft community. Because of this, professional and safe attitudes are paramount. Professionals engage in activities that are paid occupations and are expected to maintain qualification and uphold standards. Part of making professional remote pilots is adhering to professional standards and a code of conduct. The Unmanned Safety Institute has created this textbook to provide a body of knowledge that lays the foundation for the most well-educated professional remote pilots of the future.

Additional information

Weight 4 kg
Dimensions 2 x 5 x 5 cm


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