Jeffrey Yuna, CEO and Richard Ricks, Lead Instructor for Drone Systems International fly by the studio to talk to about legalities and safety when operating your drone whether it’s for personal or commercial use.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello, Texas. Welcome to Texas Business Radio. We got a great one. Oh, this is going to be fun. We’re going to be talking about drones. But before we get started, let me remind you, TexasBusinessRadio.com. I don’t need to say anything else. Everything, all of our sponsors, all of our guests, all of our hosts, it’s all there, TexasBusinessRadio.com. We do monitor hashtag TBR if you want to give us a Tweet, or 24 hour call in line, that’s right, you can call at two o’clock in the morning, when you wake up and want to ask that question about that drone. It’s 844-814-8144. That’s it. TexasBusinessRadio.com.
So, we’ve got that behind us. I have two very interesting gentlemen in the studio her this morning. It’s going to be very informative. I have Jeff Yuna.
Jeff Yuna: That’s correct.
Jay Curry: I got it.
Jeff Yuna: Yay.
Jay Curry: Yes, and Richard Ricks.
Richard Ricks: Yes, sir.
Jay Curry: I can almost handle that one. So, CEO and President, respectively, so basically the two dogs for Drone Systems International.
Jeff Yuna: Yes, sir.
Jay Curry: Very interesting. Folks, you need to listen to this, because you may be doing some things you shouldn’t be doing, first of all. But secondly, this is spreading like wildfire. This is like the internet when it was first getting started.
Jeff Yuna: Absolutely.
Jay Curry: It’s going crazy. So, Jeff, start us out with telling us, what is Drone Systems International?
Jeff Yuna: Well, at Drone Systems International, what we primarily do is, create drone programs, whether it’s for an internal company, a large business. Shell Deer Park is one of our customers, law enforcement agencies, we have several of those. So we’ve created internal drone programs, that’s cradle to grave training, maintenance, legal issues, that type of stuff. Then, we can also do it with our own employees if you don’t want to go to the trouble. We can bring in a team and provide all your drone needs.
Jay Curry: So when you say a program, you’re not talking about a computer program. You’re a program for a company, a whole, say, a division, or a unit, to do all their drone work.
Jeff Yuna: That’s absolutely correct. So we create standardized training, so that all the pilots are standardized. We’ll certify the pilots and their flight skills. We can help with company policies, procedures, data management. We do everything drone related that the company would need to fulfill their obligations, both legally and to their share holders.
Jay Curry: So this is a big deal, in the sense that it’s growing rapidly, and you can go to Walmart, or Target, and buy yourself a drone. You’re probably going to break some laws if you do that, aren’t you?
Jeff Yuna: If you use that drone, and Rick can interject, for any commercial purpose, and you do not have a Part 107 FAA drone license, you are violating the law, period.
Jay Curry: Well, you can’t peep on other people, either, right?
Jeff Yuna: No, you can not. Texas has some very stringent privacy laws. If you buy your drone at Walmart, and fly over your neighbor’s pool, and take a picture of their teenage daughter, that is a Class C misdemeanor. If you put that photo on the internet, it’s a Class B misdemeanor for every photo, every video.
Jay Curry: So, folks, you can’t just go buy it, and get it. You’ve got to go to someplace like Drone Systems International, professionally, trainers who are going to help you really understand, and how to work, and what the laws are. You’ll actually set up programs.
Jeff Yuna: Yes, that’s correct. In our flight schools, and even in our training programs, we start to deal with things like signal interference. These drones look great, they fly great, until they don’t. So, on a commercial application, depending on the corporate liability, we teach them how to avoid signal interference, how to react to signal interference.
I’m the only company that I know of that we actually do fly away training, where we have a drone that I’m controlling, and you’re flying temporarily, and we simulate that the drone has lost it’s signal, and it takes off. We induce stress to those pilots, and really try to give them a real world experience in what they’re going to do.
Later on, we come through, and we train again. Train, train, train. Train them on different subject matter as they progress as pilots.
Jay Curry: Now, Richard, your background is law enforcement, right?
Richard Ricks: Right, I just retired after 34 years with the Sheriff’s Office in Harris County. I have an aviation background. I was commander of the air support unit. I met Jeff when I was with the department. He graciously donated a drone to the Sheriff’s Office, and that’s how we met. After I retired, Jeff approached me about joining the company.
Jay Curry: Getting involved. So it’s got to have huge potential in the law enforcement area.
Richard Ricks: Oh, it does.
Jay Curry: So you see growth there?
Richard Ricks: I do, because with all the departments trying to be fiscally responsible, and shrinking budgets, and all the counties trying to keep up with the budgets, the drones won’t ever replace manned aviation, but they can sure be a force multiplier, and help the smaller agencies that can’t afford a regular, traditional aviation unit.
Jay Curry: And Jeff, the potential for this is huge. What types of companies … I gotta think the oil and companies that have these big, huge storage tanks, and maybe refineries have got all this complex, very high up equipment. What type of applications?
Jeff Yuna: Well, we do love the petrochemical industry. We’ve got out teeth cut there, for sure. They’re tremendous cost saving devices. Any time that you don’t have to rent a crane, put up scaffolding, climb a ladder, you have saved an employee fatigue, you’ve saved a potential accident, and you’ve saved money, because those are very expensive options. So the petrochemical industry in particular, we’ve had tremendous success with Shell Deer Park. They had documented savings of 1.25 million in the first year. A lot of it just comes from inspecting floating roof tanks that had to be done by hand, or by, you know, somebody had to climb the stairs.
Jay Curry: Yeah.
Jeff Yuna: After a rain event, every tank had to be inspected. It would take them two weeks. They now do it in one and a half hours with an automated drone pilot program.
Jay Curry: Yes. That’s a good, classic example, and I think law enforcement has got to be getting into this big time.
Richard Ricks: Oh, they are, Jay. You know, there’s been 133 lives saved by drones since they’ve been keeping up with stats. Four lives were saved in May, in one day, so, they’re not just toys.
Jay Curry: This is serious stuff.
Richard Ricks: They’re saving lives, and we’re just going to see more of that.
Jay Curry: So talk about serious stuff. You talked about certification. If you’re going to be driving a drone … Is that what you say? Flying a drone? I’m not sure what verb we use.
Jeff Yuna: They’re flying, you fly them.
Jay Curry: You fly.
Jeff Yuna: If it’s in there, it flies.
Jay Curry: You’re piloting them, I guess would be the deal. If you’re going to be doing that, you need to be certified. You need to know what the laws are. Talk to me about that. What’s the Federal Government doing on this?
Jeff Yuna: So, if you’re using it for any commercial end, if you’re being paid while you’re flying that drone, if you’re a realtor that’s taking pictures for a friend, and giving them the pictures, you still have to have that FAA Part 107 license. What that teaches you is that you can not fly at night without a waiver. It teaches you that you can not fly that drone beyond visual line of sight, period.
So there’s lots of laws and nuances, and things that people are out there doing, that they’re actually breaking the law, by flying it too far away from them, or flying it after dusk, or flying it before dawn. We’re there to make all that simple and to condense it, and to let our clients be at the top of their game, and at the front of the industry.
Jay Curry: It’s really incredible. Can you tell us a little bit … Folks, you’ve got to go to TexasBusinessRadio.com, look at the video. We have a very sophisticated drone sitting here, in the studio. Tell me a little bit about this. How fast is it? What’s its potential? The cameras on it are amazing. Is this a classic, or is this a really expensive Lamborghini of the auto industry?
Jeff Yuna: I wouldn’t say it’s the Lamborghini, but it’s definitely the Mercedes-Benz. It’s a DJI M200 with a dual camera configuration. It’s actually 210, sorry about that. We have a 30X optic zoom camera, also a thermal imaging camera, simultaneously makes it dual purpose.
Jay Curry: I wish we could actually fly it, but that might be a problem.
Jeff Yuna: We can go outside later.
Jay Curry: It’s gotta be difficult to be controlling this thing, and watching where it’s going, and what you’re doing, and at the same time taking pictures of something that you’re specifically out. So you can actually have two people involved.
Jeff Yuna: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. So this is dual control capable. It actually has a third camera for the pilot that’s flying it if he needs to stay oriented. The camera man can operate his own control, point the camera, take pictures, videos, however he sees fit, while the pilot maintains the flight.
Jay Curry: Makes sure that it’s safe and secure.
Jeff Yuna: And also, we can transmit that data, encrypted, real time, via the internet, or put it to a larger monitor on scene.
Jay Curry: Jeff and Richard, I wish we had more time, we could go on. This is really pretty exciting stuff, but we have to pay a few bills ourselves, so we’re going to have to break folks. Let me remind you, Drone Systems International.
Jeff Yuna: Yes, sir.
Jay Curry: And how do they get a hold of you?
Jeff Yuna: DSI.Training. That’s DSI.Training, no dot com, or just call me, 713-726-6000. 713-726-6000.
Jay Curry: Alright, we’re going to put that on the video. We’ll have it on Texas Business Radio. Thank you so much, Richard and Jeff, for joining us. That’s Drone Systems International.
This is Jay Curry. We’re going to take a break, and we’re going to be right back. You don’t need to go anywhere. We’re going to have another very interesting segment coming up.
Sponsored in part by:
Jay W. Curry
Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.