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Cool Stuff: Broken Samoan Hearts prompt Civil Drone Patrol

Cool Stuff’s” DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Cool Stuff’s” DJI Phantom 4 Pro equipped with powerful Lume Cube lamps was an early search and rescue drone configuration. More options have emerged in drones, lighting, and remote rescue supply release mechanisms. As proven in our recent tragedy, the need in the Territory of American Samoa and all Pacific Islands is great. [photo: Barry Markowitz]

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Territory mourns. The Samoan Universe outside the islands mourns. The loss of young Alex Peric and Anthony Leota is a punch in the gut as the worldwide Samoan community are closely connected as blood relatives or as fa’a aiga.  

The ASG, elected officials and territorial relatives will sort out what boats, ramps, and personnel coulda shoulda been built, been operational, and been staffed. “Cool Stuff” will simply regurgitate his pragmatic past cost effective immediate potential solution.

“Cool Stuff” proposes the creation of a Civil Drone Patrol (CDP) a group of volunteer drone enthusiasts who will be “on call” to assist in various emergency situations at the direction of Territorial first responders.

As you can see in the below link, a prosumer drone can quickly spot and equally important, drop floatation devices for rescue to victims.

The Civil Drone Patrol should be a non-profit organization that acts like a drone enthusiast club, but recruits, trains, and teaches skills to assist with ocean and mountain rescues, tsunami/cyclone victim search/recovery and damage assessment.  

“Cool Stuff” has covered Amateur Radio Operator (Hams) field training exercises. The proposed CDP should train along side Ham operators, Territorial Fire, Police, EMS and the Red Cross. When a real natural disaster or human tragedy unfurls the CDP should have recruited/trained a diverse island wide membership to respond within minutes anywhere... not the reported recent 3 hours.

“Cool Stuff’s” specific Civil Drone Patrol Plan:

1) The conference of Pacific Island Police Chiefs should TODAY pass a resolution supporting and encouraging the creation of a Civil Drone Patrol in each island nation, request support by the Drone Industry, respective federal governments, and the business communities serving island nations.

2) On September 3-6, “Cool Stuff” is invited as credentialed media to the InterDrone 2019 Conference (our 4th year). DJI, Yuneec, Parrot, Hoodman and other major drone & accessory manufacturers will be in attendance and accessible.  

3) Mix #1 & #2 and you get “Cool Stuff” personally presenting a Pacific Island Police Chief resolution at InterDrone 2019. You get “Cool Stuff” saying fa’amolemole for drone demo gear to donate to the CDP.

You get “Cool Stuff” sniffing around for federal and corporate grants.

4) Inquire if Tom & Tee Drabble will allow monthly meetings of the CDP in their upstairs meeting room at Sadie’s by the Sea. Tom is already a drone guy for whom I have pitched this idea in the past... so it shouldn’t be a hard sell.

5) “Cool Stuff” & our cousin Aaron Hall could volunteer basic flight and safety training for new CDP recruits.  Harold Sweet from LA is a highly experienced drone & RC Model Airplane pilot who is ready to volunteer a week of instruction. His pals Billy Malo and others would surely also commit if we can all get assistance from Hawaiian Airlines to travel.  

6) Weekly regional flight practices should occur at beach parks and schools (after hours).  Training must be done over water, and mountains. Pilots need to avoid flying over people, recognize wind elevation variables affecting safety, battery life, flight range, transmitter interference from residential wifi, power lines, vessels, aviation and land based transmitters, etc.

Notations should be made and uploaded to a common database of each region’s unique characteristics. Tafuna has an airport, “secret” federal relay transmitters. Utulei has significant bats at sunset. Leone has lots of rain, humidity, and aviation flight paths. Pilots have to acquire and share local knowledge.

7) Maybe the Territorial’s techy telecoms could support the creation of the CDP by encouraging their brainy staffers to join... maybe chip in some tala to buy a trainer unit for new CDP members who cannot yet afford  their own drone

“Cool Stuff” can guarantee the good hearted folks at Lume Cube, Litra and Foxfury will donate high intensity drone mounted lights. I have shared my concerns over the years and each company has responded with sincerity. I will give my personal drone lights to help... that’s why the solid guarantee.

No rescue helicopters exist in the Territory of American Samoa.  We can reach out to our island drone pilots to save lives. Let us nurture and elevate them to a new substantial calling.

Bless you Alex, Anthony and families.  May the Peric and Leota families find peace.  May the creation of the Territorial Civil Drone Patrol be a vibrant tribute to Alex and Anthony. 

Soifua & Shalom,

“Cool Stuff”