Police are now using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the search for Hannah Graham, the University of Virginia student who has been missing for over two weeks.
According to a report from the Charlottesville Newsplex, Virginia's Albemarle County Police received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to operate an Aeryon SkyRanger, which belongs to Virginia Tech.
The UAV was already put into action on Oct. 1 in Albemarle County, following an OK from citizens whose land the aircraft may fly near.
A recent release from Aeryon describes the SkyRanger as bringing military-grade technology to public safety and commercial professionals by enabling users to collect aerial imagery and data in demanding weather and wind conditions.
John Coggin, chief engineer of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech, was asked to oversee the flight missions with the university’s Aeryon SkyRanger in order to collect real-time aerial imagery of the hard-to-reach, forested search area, according to Aeryon.
“The addition of the high-quality images from the Aeryon SkyRanger are invaluable to this search and rescue mission,” Coggin states in a release. “We hope that the efforts of everyone involved can be brought to conclusion soon.” The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership is headquartered within the Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech. Its test range comprises air space in Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland.
Last month, volunteer rescue group Texas EquuSearch was also granted FAA approval to operate a UAV in the search for a missing woman.
Read the full Charlottesville Newsplex report here.