Louisville, Ky.-based Donan – one of the first two forensic investigation firms to receive a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exemption for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – says it has received a second exemption for its fleet of multi-rotor drones.
Donan received an initial FAA exemption on May 5 for the fixed-wing senseFly eBee. Now, the second exemption authorizes the company's commercial use of multi-rotor aircraft, including the DJI Phantom 2, DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ and DJI Phantom 3.
The company intends to operate the drones to assist in forensic engineering and fire investigation applications, including roof and structure inspections, as well as fire scene documentation.
While fixed-wing drones are ideal for collecting data over large areas, Donan explains, multi-rotor drones are a better solution for single property investigations and for documenting very small details, such as in hail investigations.
Since receiving the initial exemption, the company has deployed the eBee for an explosion investigation and provided aerial photos and an orthomosaic so that the client could analyze the damage and the debris field.
Donan says it is the first and only forensic investigation firm to obtain FAA authorization to fly both its fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAVs for property inspections. The company anticipates submitting additional exemption requests.