4/11/2017: DJI released firmware version 01.03.0600 for the Mavic. It appears this version of firmware DOES fix the bug that was introduced in version 01.03.0500. DJI does not acknowledge the bug being fixed in the release notes but the information on the 3rd party apps web pages indicate 01.03.0600 does in fact fix the problem. If you are using a 3rd party app you should check with them to confirm 01.03.0600 does fix the problems introduced in 01.03.0500.
4/5/2017: DJI just released firmware version 01.03.0550. Unfortunately, this version of the firmware does not fix the problems when people are using certain capabilities of 3rd party apps. It is disappointing that DJI did not fix the bugs that were introduced in 01.03.0500 and that DJI does not even acknowlege that this bug even exists.
3/28/2017: The version of firmware that was released for Mavic / Inspire 2 / Phantom drones has an issue with 3rd party apps. The firmware was released on 3/2/2017 and is version 01.03.0500.
Two manufacturers of 3rd party apps have warnings about this version of firmware on their web pages (Auto Pilot and Litchi). There are also other 3rd party apps out there. We don't know if they are affected or not.
Here is the text from one of the websites (we have x'd out the name of the product):
There is currently an issue with the latest DJI firmware for the Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic Pro and Inspire 2 which causes erratic flight behavior in xxxx. We do not recommend* using xxxx with these aircraft types until a resolution has been found for this issue.
* It is still possible to safely use Human Flight Control Modes and Waypoint Mode as long as Lost Connection is set to Continue Mission (LCMC).
We don't know if other 3rd party apps are affected or not.
We suggest going to the appropriate web page of the 3rd party app for any updates regarding this situation.
Please note that DJI makes no reference of this issue in the firmware release notes and they did not appear to contact the registered owners of the Mavic / Inspire 2 / Phantom 4 making them aware of this issue.
DJI also does not appear to make users aware of this issue before they download the firmware. We know DJI is aware of this issue because there had been discussion about it in various RC related forums and DJI employees have acknowledged the issue.
We don't understand why DJI is not alerting their users about this problem.
In the RC forums, DJI employees are stating to get around this problem just downgrade to an earlier version of the firmware. Be advised if you do this and use the DJI GO 4 app you will get annoying screen pops stating you must upgrade.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact DJI and/or the manufacturer of the 3rd party app.
1/1/2017: The DJI Geo Fencing is currently optional for the DJI drones and current flight computeres. DJI has not provided any reliable guidance if making it optional will be continued in the future. Part 107 pilots have asked DJI to always make Geo Fencing optional for people who have a Part 107 license and/or a Section 333 waiver. We have seen no response from DJI stating they will do this.
Why is this important? Geo could make it impossible for you to fly in areas where it is perfectly legal for you to fly unless you request and get permission from DJI.
Part 107 pilots as well as holders of section 333 waivers have already gone through great efforts to prove to the FAA that they are responsible pilots. The FAA does not require GEO fencing and Mile High Drone Services does not feel that DJI should have to give Part 107 pilots permission to fly in areas where the FAA has already granted Part 107 pilots permission to fly in.
We do feel that the Geo Fencing feature is good for non commercial pilots because many of them have no clue on where it is legal to fly.
10/18/2016: DJI recently introduced their new Geo Fencing program which will be used with their new Mavic drone. This drone could be extremely useful for home inspectors. HOWEVER, if you are flying legally under the commercial rules then do NOT purchase the Mavic until we have had a chance to review it. There is a lot of concern in the community from the commercial drone pilots that this new Geo system may prevent us from flying in locations where we are legally allowed to fly in. In those cases you will need to file a request with DJI to allow you to fly there. Mile High Drone Services finds this policy unacceptable and we do not feel that DJI should prevent people who have permission to fly in a certain location to get permission from DJI. It is unclear how long it will take DJI to respond to your request. It could take days.
People are asking lots of questions on various Internet forums and people who work for DJI have been giving conflicting answers.
We have a Mavic on order but have not yet received it and it appears there are delays in shipping it out.
We plan on sending out a mass email to the 700+ home inspectors in the near future with more details.
10/1/2016: DJI Announces new drone called Mavic. This drone could be very well suited for doing roof inspections. Mile High Drone Services has ordered one but they will not start shipping until mid October. Once we receive it we will put it through the tests. We recommend home inspectors to NOT order one until we test it. We will monitor various user forums to see what other people think of it and to see if DJI has improved their customer support.
8/29/2016: Mile High Drone Services chief pilot is one of the first people in the USA to get a Part 107 drone license from the FAA.
6/23/16: Mile High Drone Services chief pilot takes FAA course (ALC-451) and passes test with a score of 100% correct answers.
6/22/16: FAA releases online course / test for private pilots. This course and test must be taken / passed in order to satisfy new Part 107 requirements.
6/21/16: FAA announces Part 107. This drastically changes how drones can be used for commercial purposes. The biggest change is no longer does the pilot in control need to hold a pilot's certificate. More information will be published soon on this significant development.
6/14/16: Mile High Drone Services talk to 100 cub scouts about drone technology followed by a demonstration in a park.
5/9/16: FAA gave us our closed set production certificate. This process has taken over 6 months! We are now cleared for using drones for closed set movie / television production.
5/1/16: Mile High Drone Services talks to kids about drone technology at the STEAMFEST event in Longmont Colorado
4/20/16: Mile High Drone Services attends UAS symposium put on by FAA in Daytona Beach Florida.
4/10/16: Mile High Drone Services provides drone presentation to Wings Over the Rockies airplane museum
4/4/16: I talked to someone in the FAA today. Current backlog of 333 waiver applications is over 5,000 and there are thousands of pending COA applications. With the new 400 blanket COA raising the flight ceiling to 400 feet they hope a lot of these COAs can be closed out without further processing. They are currently processing the COAs that were submitted in January. I sure hope the FAA gets Part 107 approved soon. The current system is not working.
4/3/16: Mile High Drone Services to attend FAA UAS Symposium in Daytona Beach Florida. Hopefully, we will get an update on what the FAA is thinking around Part 107 and also the huge backlog of 333 Waiver applications and COAs. The symposium is on 4/19 and 4/20
4/1/16: This is not a April Fools joke. FAA announces new blanket COA which will allow commercial operations to fly up to 400 feet in most cases (instead of 200 feet). The new COA is here
3/24/16: On April 19-20, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) will co-host an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium in Daytona Beach, FL. This Symposium will feature keynote speeches by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker. The event will be a forum for the UAS industry and stakeholder community to provide input and feedback directly to FAA decision-makers on topics related to UAS integration.
3/23/16: FAA admits they are having a problem dealing with the 333 applications. The following is on the 333 information page.
Due to the high volume of Section 333 petitions received, we are experiencing delays in processing petitions. We will do our best to process petitions being posted to the docket as soon as possible, and in the order they were received. We appreciate your patience as we work diligently to process your request.
1/23/16 - 1/26/16: Mile High Drone Services attends Inspection World conference in San Diego to educate home inspectors about how to use drones legally in their businesses
1/10/16: Mile High Drone Services to go to Butte Montana to document world record daredevil attempts at Evel Knievel Days to be held 7/22 and 7/23/2016. Mile High Drone Services will be the exclusive drone company for the filming. Click on our Photo Gallery to see video from the 2015 event.
12/14/15: FAA Announces Drone Registration Rule
The rules that were announced on 12/14 apply mainly to recreational uses of drones and not commercial use. Drones used for commercial use still need to be individually registered with the FAA. All the drones we use for commercial purposes are registered with the FAA and we are in full compliance with the law. In addition, we carry $1,000,000.00 liability insurance on each of our drones which is not required by the law.
12/10/15: Mile High Drone Services to attend American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) conference in January 2016 (booth 529)
We have been asked to attend the 2016 ASHI conference to answer questions regarding 333 Waivers and general questions around using drones for home inspections. During the conference we will be offering a discount on our "333 waiver application" service. If you are attending ASHI and would like to take advantage of this before the show then contact us via our "Contact Us" link.
12/1/15: Mile High Drone Services launches "333 Waiver Assistance"
In the past, Mile High Drone Services has helped individuals and small companies obtain an FAA 333 Waiver. Seeing the demand that is out there and no economical solutions
for individuals and small corporations we have decided to offer that service. Go to our 333 Waiver link for more information.