Verifly Case Study Featuring Sky Ladder Drones Published Today

I was interviewed by insurance carrier Verifly a few weeks ago who supplies “on demand” insurance to the drone industry (and now just added General Liability insurance ‘on demand.’)  They did a good job capturing how we use their products.

Their insurance offering allows thousands of “startup” pilots to fly responsibility (with drone liability insurance) — which is exactly what it did for us here at Sky Ladder Drones.  The Verifly offering now provides us the ability to add insurance for additional drones “on demand” when we have large jobs beyond our standard annual liability policy. And, their new offering of ‘on demand’ General Liability insurance is really reasonable when our customers require it.


Monitoring Ship Emissions at the Port of Los Angeles

It was a beautiful day at the Port of Los Angeles today – clear, warm and a light breeze. We were there to support the Danish company,, demonstrate their emission monitoring system for dignitaries in politics and environmental monitoring. Their system mounts on a DJI M600 drone and when flown in the plume of a ship’s smokestack can monitor emissions.  (Think of it as a smog check for large ships — but without ever having to board the ship!)

Getting the permit to fly at the Port of Los Angeles took many long hours of applications and insurance paperwork, but in the end we are now qualified to fly missions at the Port of Los Angeles. Now that we’re qualified, we just need to submit a request and pay for the Port Police escort!

Currently ship emissions are mostly unmonitored — meaning that the emissions laws for the United States and State of California are not enforced. This solution can change that in a very non-invasive way!


The sensor mounted on the M600 drone — you can see the small white tube protruding from one of the arms if you look closely.  The drone is lined-up with the plume from CSUMA Golden Bear ship.


The California State University Maritime Academy (CSUMA) Golden Bear ship was the host for the demonstration and a terrific lunch reception.


Guests of and ADEPT get briefed on the technology and watch the demonstration from our 65inch TV monitor inside the command center van.

Drone ‘Over-Watch’ at the 1st Annual Beachlife Festival

It was a great weekend… we arrived back from the AUVSI XPONENTIAL Conference in cool Chicago to 75-80 degree sunny weather in Redondo Beach.

Via Flying Lion’s contract with Redondo Beach Police Department, we provided aerial ‘over-watch’ for the first annual Beachlife Festival. Supporting the Redondo Beach Police, Fire and Public Works department — the Flying Lion team had at least one drone in the air for all 27 hours of the festival. Drones remained over the perimeter of the Festival to avoid flights over people.  This helped monitor medical emergencies, traffic and police activities.

In addition to over-watch support, we had a technology team that was able to detect and monitor non-sanctioned drones in the area. This allowed the Police to contact pilots to have them avoid the Festival area to ensure a fully safe environment for Festival attendees.

Here’s a photo of the command post:

Flying Lion drone and Police Command Centers support the Beachlife Festival.


Photo from within the 1st Annual Beachlife Festival in Redondo Beach.

My Business Partner and friend Barry Brennan (Flying Lion) won the 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE AWARD!

This year’s AUVSI XPONENTIAL conference was terrific. Besides visiting with some amazing vendors and seeing new/old friends, the big news is that my business partner and friend Barry Brennan of Flying Lion just won the 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE AWARD for Training and Education!

And yes, I can take a little credit since I nominated him… but he really deserved it for creating a very unique community college program which includes Part 107 test prep, flight training and 120 hours of externship “on the job” training.

auvsixcellence auvsixpo


Barry Brennan received 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE AWARD from AUVSI President & CEO Brian Wayne


Fellow Flying Lion instructor Yvonne Watkins and I pose with award winner Barry Brennan (Founder of Flying Lion.)


We arrived in Chicago (L. to R) – Barry Brennan (Founder of Flying Lion), Yvonne Watkins (Instructor, Flying Lion), and Steven Katz (Instructor, Flying Lion)