There are many possible limitations when using UAVs as a means of inspection. During UAV operations, various conditions could require the use of different inspection techniques or methodologies. These conditions include:

  • The inspection reveals damage that requires immediate attention;
  • The inspection reveals deterioration that requires immediate attention;
  • The review of the data captured does not allow for a meaningful examination;

For this reason, proper pre-planning, preparation and close cooperation between the attending Surveyor, operator representatives, and UAV Service Provider is an important part of the survey process. For a survey, the following should be considered:

  • Type and Extent of Survey (overall survey/GVI, close-up survey/CVI, Annual survey, Intermediate survey, Special Periodic survey, damage survey, etc.);
  • Asset type, operational details, etc.;
  • Arrangement for the attending Surveyor and third-party specialist to perform confirmatory inspections by conventional means and thickness measurements;
  • Location and anticipated time frame for the survey as well as operational status of the asset;
  • Logistics including permissions from local aviation authority, site permissions, work permits, transportation, accommodations, etc.;

Furthermore, another important aspect for UAVs is Risk Management. A case specific risk assessment should be carried out to identify any hazards related to planned UAV operation and the need for risk control measures. This risk assessment is important to be finalized during the survey planning meeting attended by all parties and incorporated in the Survey Planning Document. Each party should acknowledge the risks associated with the UAV operation and agree to the mitigation plan associated with those risks.

For more information regarding surveys and inspections for UAV's, click in the PDF herebelow