Beverly Hills – Construction: Documenting Rebar Before Concrete Pour

It was a cool and windy afternoon today in Beverly Hills documenting the construction of a high-end “private residence” property. It made flying a little more technical — with the takeoff zone on the ground level (supported by JJ) and a Visual Observer/Pilot positioned at the top of the new 11th floor. (See picture of how our operating areas were setup.)

Why the urgency in flying today??? Because we were helping to document the rebar and other utilities which will be buried when the concrete is poured tomorrow.

To ensure a safe flight, we had a “Split Operating Area.” — this helped maintain visual line-of-sight and ensured we avoided the crane in the middle of the property.

The crane operator shared that his equipment recorded wind gusts of 26mph. Our Phantom 4 Pro v2 handled the wind beautifully and resulted in a terrific capture.

This 360 degree panorama which captured both the progress of the project and the beautiful/clear day. In the distance you can see the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, Downtown LA, and even snow on the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.

#IloveLA #dronemapping #constructionprogress


Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Count Cars

We’ve been experimenting with a new car counting Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature one of our software partners has in beta testing — and it is really impressive! Check out the video link below to see the feature in action.

We’re also working with another partner who has a system which can be trained to recognize almost any object… and automatically count the objects. Here are some applications we’ve thought might benefit from this technology…
– Counting people in a crowd (without flying over the crowd)
– Counting animals
– Counting of autos, buses, cars, or train cars
– Traffic surveys counting moving cars in video or real-time
– And, by adding additional technology, reading trailer ID numbers on the top of trucks or trailers

Do you have a crazy idea??? If so, please send us a note.

Here’s a video of artificial intelligence counting in action:



Here’s a screenshot from the video if you don’t want to watch the 2 minute video:

Beautiful (and Successful) Day in Playa Vista – Flying in LAX “Zero Grid”

The Sky Ladder Drones team was treated to a beautiful day in Playa Vista today. You could see from the Pacific to Getty Center to Hollywood Sign/Observatory to Snow Capped Mountains. We had 3 teams flying at one point… on two different jobs. It was great having some new people (welcome to Miguel and Edgar) who came out to start learning about commercial drone operations and mapping. And Jordan and JJ were our videography team for the day. And special thanks to my partner, Barry Brennan from Flying Lion who helped keep everything organized and provided us with the very comfortable command post van.


Barry, Edgar, Miguel and Steven pose between flights.

Steven, Barry, Jordan and JJ take a “drone-selfie” with the Ballona Freshwater Marsh in the background.



Playa Vista Mapping – Approval from LAX Received to Fly in Restricted “Zero Grid” Airspace

We just got approval to fly in LAX restricted airspace (aka “Zero Grid”) to support a mapping project of Ballona Marsh and Teale Creek in Playa Vista. Planned for this Friday.


Great Press!!! Sky Ladder Drones included in Santa Monica College Article

Through our close partnership with Flying Lion, Inc. who provides training programs at community colleges and law enforcement agencies – Sky Ladder Drones was included in an article by Santa Monica College Extension. They published the article in their Spring 2019 Class Catalog (page 5) about our Point Dume Club Mapping project and how two extern students (Adrian and JJ) participated in this operation.

The partnership with Flying Lion benefits both organizations — Flying Lion provides professional, well training  students who need externship hours… and Sky Ladder Drones is able to provide “real world” commercial operations where they can take their theoretical education and turn it into practical skills.

Here is a link to Santa Monica College’s article. Flying Lion’s Commercial Drone Pilot Training courses have been taught at four different Southern California community colleges.

Spring 2019 – Santa Monica College Class Catalog (see page 5)


Article on Santa Monica College Externship Students  (see page 5)