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Introducing NewsDrones

Flooding at Richardson, TX, 2015 | Image by Sky Eye LLC

NewsDrones is a new company, intended to educate you and consult with you and your organization, on the hows, whys, procedures, equipment, insurance, and legalities of getting your camera into the air, capturing the video scenes you want, and delivering them back to your studios, newsrooms, or online editors.

Here’s why you should be thinking about, and planning for, using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) at your news organization, and working with NewsDrones:

  • Effective, compelling video
  • Quality HD imaging
  • Much less expensive than helicopters
  • Expected to be able to be done by your in-house staff (with training and certifications)
  • We’ll help you meet all regulations and comply with any operating limitations
  • You’re in the driver’s seat…. Your equipment and people.  We just help you get there

Right now, as you probably know, newsgathering of breaking events by small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, or more commonly, drones) is all but an impossibility to accomplish, due to stringent limitations, qualifications, and conditions set by the Federal Aviation Administration for non-recreational or non-hobbyist uses of drones.  Integrating unmanned aircraft into the busy U.S. skies has proven to be a formidable challenge for the FAA, which is responsible for air transportation safety. A process for commercial drone operation, commonly referred to as the 333 exemption process, had been the norm during 2014 through mid-2016.  However, effective with the introduction of a new UAS operation rule (Part 107) by the FAA in June, 2016, that will become the standard for rules, requirements and limitations for anyone wishing to fly UAS in a “non-model” role.  Part 107 is a topic of a post elsewhere in these pages.


NewsDrones is staying tuned in to what’s happening at the FAA, and FCC, and other agencies, watching an ever-changing regulatory landscape, and indeed is participating in shaping FAA policy on such matters to try to give news director and news photographers a voice in the process.   Berl Brechner, principal of NewsDrones, has been a big-four network-affiliated TV stations owner, video production writer/producer, a newspaper/magazine/video journalist, and is a commercial pilot with instrument and multiengine ratings and thousands of hours of flight time.  He is uniquely qualified to interpret the rules and procedures that will go along with drone operations, find the resources that will help, and understand the needs and interests of the TV or Cable news operations, or website news services, that may wish to use them.  He speaks your language.  And he is assembling information and advisors that will assist towards getting your pictures from drones as the rules change and the opportunities expand.

NewsDrones wants your opinion on such matters, and is presently surveying newsroom needs.  Contact me to learn more, to get answers to questions now, to give me your input on our questionnaire, or just to chat.  No charge.  Let’s see how NewsDrones, in the months ahead, might work with your organization or news team to get your drone up and available to meet your specific local newsgathering needs, at a cost reflective of your needs.

Don’t get left behind when this door opens.  For more information and further background, explore this website, or contact me.

Thanks, and we look forward to working on this exciting new way to enhance your news, and your service to your communities.

NewsDrones Company, Berl Brechner


(updated Aug. 9, 2016)

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