© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Eastern Oregon Drone Test Range Chalks Up First Flight

First test flight on Pendleton UAS range utilized an Aeryon Scout quadcopter
Peak3 Inc.
First test flight on Pendleton UAS range utilized an Aeryon Scout quadcopter

A drone test range in northeastern Oregon launched its first flight Tuesday.

First test flight on Pendleton UAS range utilized an Aeryon Scout quadcopter
Credit Peak3 Inc.
/
Peak3 Inc.
First test flight on Pendleton UAS range utilized an Aeryon Scout quadcopter

A small quadcopter made two five-minute flights over a fallow wheat field outside Pendleton. Then high winds scrubbed the rest of the day’s planned testing.

Pendleton UAS Range manager John Stevens said one of the primary goals of the range is to work out how drones can safely coexist with manned aircraft.

“We use a visual observer on the ground. We clear the airspace around where we’re flying,” he said. “ We publish a NOTAM -- a notice to airmen -- where we’re flying, when we’re flying and what altitudes.”

The Pendleton test range is one of three in Oregon to win the blessing of the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s the first to become operational. The other ranges are centered at the Tillamook airport on the Oregon Coast and over the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

A coalition of groups in Washington state also competed last year for FAA approval to host drone testing, but were passed over.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers business, science, public policy, sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding.