Category Archives: Flight Diaries

IEEE features The Drone Girl in Women in Engineering magazine

Check out the December issue of IEEE’s WIE (Women in Engineering) Magazine.

The magazine is an entity of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization, and profiles of women in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

This month features an article written by Katianne Williams about Drone Girl creator Sally French, highlighting her story, how she found drones and her experiences as a woman in the industry.

Don’t have the physical magazine? You can find it archived here.

Want more from Drone Girl? Read her forecast for 2018 in drone journalism in Poynter.

Drones are one of tech’s most overhyped sectors, survey finds

Love drones? Your passion may be honest, but for most Americans, drones are pretty overhyped.

First Round Capital surveyed 869 tech entrepreneurs to get their opinions on how overhyped or underhyped each tech sector is. Drones come in at No. 4 as the most overhyped tech sector according to the report, which was then put into graphic form by Visual Capitalist.

drones overhyped

53.7% of entrepreneurs say drones are overhyped, vs. just 12.1% who think they are underhyped. Drones come in behind virtual reality (64.7% overhyped), wearables (63.6%) and chat bots (61.4%) on the overhyped ranking.

Drones certainly have a myriad of useful applications that safe time, money and even lives. They brought cell service to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria,  they are researching oceans, and high school students are exploring how they can be used to fly life rafts out to drowning victims. They are protecting animals from poaching and can perform otherwise expensive infrastructure inspections for a fraction of the cost. But it’s also hard to disagree that drones haven’t fallen prey to at least some hype.

Much of the hype — and lack of follow-through — has come out of the drone delivery industry.

You’ve read the big, media-friendly announcements of dozens of delivery “firsts” including the first-ship-to-shore drone delivery, the first FAA-approved drone delivery to a customer’s home, the first urban drone delivery. All of those were made by a company called Flirtey, which also announced a partnership with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited to create the first-ever drone pizza delivery service. The thing is, it could only deliver to buildings within 1 mile of a single store in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand. More than six months after the announcement, it had made four deliveries since the original launch, according to a Domino’s spokesman. You can hardly call that a drone delivery service.

Whether drones are overhyped is up to you.

Poynter features The Drone Girl in 2018 drone journalism forecast

What can you expect from the world of drone journalism in 2018?Poynter’s Al Tompkins interviewed myself along with drone experts Matt Waite of the University of Nebraska Drone Journalism Lab and Mickey Osterreicher of the National Press Photographers Association to find out.

This was a big year for drones on a commercial scale. Journalists used drones to document the floods and destruction from hurricanes and the devastation that California wildfires left behind.    Poynter itself taught 400 journalists how to fly in a workshop held in Nebraska.

But did the year live up to the hype and expectations? Should we be concerned about what 2018 has in store for drones? What can we expect next year?

Read Poynter’s piece here.


6 ways law enforcement uses drones

As drones become safer, cheaper and more reliable, there’s one field that has found tremendous success in using drones: law enforcement.

Drone and camera technology allows law enforcement officials to have a better viewpoint of chaotic situations where having ground personnel is too risky. Aerial points of view also allow post-accident or crime scenes to be better evaluated to help understand the timeline of events that took place.

First responder situations are the 6th most common use for drones according to a report from Skylogic Research, behind other popular uses like aerial photography, mapping and construction.

But use of drones by law enforcement is also highly controversial. A pair of drones donated to the Los Angeles Police Department was actually locked away for three years, collecting dust after a public outcry over the idea of police using the controversial technology.

But it seems drones are here to stay, and plenty of police departments are adopting them.

The team at, a commercial drone distributor, created a graphic to show all the ways law enforcement teams are using drones: Continue reading 6 ways law enforcement uses drones

Halloween Drone Contest: win a drone!

Time to test your luck and possibly win a drone!

Drone Girl has partnered with TRNDlabs to giveaway one FADER drone (valued at $129), and one SPECTRE drone (valued at $149).

To enter, simply comment on either the Instagram or Facebook post below with your best idea for using a drone on Halloween!

I’m thinking candy delivery device! Or how about this drone-turned-pumpkin cannon?

**The winner must also ‘like’ BOTH @TheDroneGirl and @TRNDlabs on Facebook OR Twitter in order to be eligible to enter.

Two winners will be chosen at random on Sunday, Oct. 29 at noon PT. The first randomly chosen winner will receive the FADER drone, and the second winner will receive the SPECTRE drone.

The winner will be contacted via Instagram or Facebook message and have 48 hours to respond with shipping information, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Want a bonus entry? Tag a friend (or five!), and both you and your friend(s) will receive a bonus entry! Bonus entries are limited to five per person.

Good luck!

Check out my review of the TRNDlabs Fader and Spectre drones here.

Camera drones like Mavic, Spark will generate just 13% of all drone revenue, report says

‘Prosumer’ camera drones may be all the rage, but they’re not what’s fueling growth in the drone industry.

Two-thirds of all drones shipped in 2022 are expected to be priced under $2,000, but they will generate just 13% of the UAV industry’s revenues. That’s according to a September 2017 report from Interact Analysis, which estimates that more than 620,000 commercial drones will be shipped in 2022, a six-fold increase on 2016.

It’s a pattern that most drone companies are seeing: low-cost, consumer drones excel in sales but lag behind commercial drones in revenue.

Parrot’s drone sales were up 72% in the second-quarter of 2017, with commercial drones generating 11.7 million euros, totaling 33% of its revenue — that’s up 42% from the same quarter of 2016.

The company sited its fixed-wing drones as a major reason for the growth, along with products related to high-precision data.

The commercial drone market is expected to reach $15 billion by that year; it currently generates a fraction of that at about $1.3 billion in revenue. Continue reading Camera drones like Mavic, Spark will generate just 13% of all drone revenue, report says

Interdrone 2017 grows by 10% in third year

Interdrone 2017, one of the largest drone conferences out there, saw a whopping 3,700+ attendees in its third year.

The Las Vegas-based conference held in September saw its attendance grow by 10%, according to its organizers. The conference hosted attendees from 59 different countries, as well as 165 exhibitors and 130 press.


Interdrone will head back to the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada next year, running between Sept. 5-7.

I spoke at the conference earlier this year, and odds are you’ll find me again there next year! Check out my events list to see where else you can find me around the world!

Stay tuned for tons of Interdrone news after a hiatus

Hey Dronies!

You may have noticed a small hiatus in my posting. I just spent two weeks in Australia at four different events — two talks at the incredible World of Drones Congress, a Drone Day for young ladies interested in tech in partnership with my friends SheFlies, and a guest lecture for a journalism class at Queensland University of Technology.

It was all crazy busy, educational and tons of fun!

Here were some highlights from the last few weeks:



I’m now en route to Las Vegas for what I like to call “Drone Christmas” aka Interdrone! It’s a big family reunion and packed with drone news.

Stay tuned for more posts, and I apologize for the brief hiatus! Happy flying!