top of page

On The Fly Newsletter 10/11/23 - issue 6

Colorado State University FlyRoute Operations

This past weekend was full of drone excitement in Fort Collins, Colorado. FlyRoute exhibited at the first annual Colorado Drone Airshow, and we safely and successfully filmed for four high school football programs at Canvas Stadium. For a short video summarizing both events, click the image to be taken to YouTube.

Colorado Drone Airshow

The first annual Colorado Drone Airshow was an immersive drone experience, with 35 unique exhibitors, live drone demonstrations, educational sessions, drone racing, a drone light show, and more!

FlyRoute hosted an exhibit to discuss Part 107 drone pilot flight opportunities during sporting events. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet all of the eager drone pilots that stopped by our booth. Thank you to Scott Tometich, Glenn Sobbing, Arlen Croak, and Gayle Kakac for volunteering at the event!

FlyRoute Drone & Canvas Stadium Operations

Week 7 of the football season FlyRoute supported 44 high school football events with 52 drone pilots.

Pictured left to right: Arlen, Joe, Andy, Collin, Michael, Scott

Major emphasis was put towards safe operations at the second annual Canvas Stadium Community Classic, hosted by Poudre School District and Colorado State University. FlyRoute supported four high school football programs at two games at Colorado State University Canvas Stadium, an NCAA Division 1 stadium which seats over 36,500 people. The Friday, October 6th games consisted of Fossil Ridge vs Fort Collins at 4:30pm, and Rocky Mountain vs Poudre High School's at 7:00 PM.

Thank you to FlyRoute pilots Arlen Croak, Scott Tometich, Andy Iacuzzo, and Joe Cardiel for safely piloting at these events!

Drone Pilot Spotlight: Mark Bonfield

Mark Bonfield started with the Colorado State Patrol in 1994 and his first assignment was stationed out of the Glenwood Springs troop working the I-70 pipeline. From there, he spent the next twenty-nine years working in various troops and different assignments throughout the years, finally ending up in Fort Collins, Colorado. Some of those were internal affairs investigator, polygraph examiner, field training officer, range officer, sergeant, and captain. Mark retired in 2022 as a troop commander working out of the Fort Collins Troop, Troop 3C.

As a retired state trooper, what skills have helped you to become an effective drone pilot?

I certainly understand the liability that comes with being a responsible drone pilot and being as safe and up to date on the rules and regulations that accompany flying drones. I also feel communicating with the folks on the field, being friendly goes a long way in everything we do in life. Some of the skills, well it is still taking some practice to get that perfect framing and staying up with that fumble but attention to detail has made me a pretty good critic of myself.

How are police departments currently utilizing drones?

Drones have become popular over the last few years with law enforcement and they have been operating with a COA or Part-107. I have personally seen someone run on foot from law enforcement at night into a field and within minutes there is a drone in the air with thermal imaging finding that person hiding under a large bush. This saves the officer from walking into

a potential ambush. Some

of the other uses are vehicle crime units mapping and photographing the crash scene, hazardous material units flying over semi-crashes or train derailments with thermal to make sure those chemicals are not reacting and taking photos of hazardous leaks, and wildland and/or wildfires to capture those hotspots that may need extra attention.

As a new FlyRoute pilot this year, what has been your biggest lesson learned while capturing aerial film for football games? My challenge this year has been figuring out the proper framing and getting the players centered on the field. Trying to get that perfect game under your belt and not missing that quarterback fumble and run-back (you guys not what I am talking about!) However, I have enjoyed learning and being able to get out and fly.

Fly Safe, Film Smooth, Have FUN!


bottom of page