Successful UAS flight from Crisfield airport

CRISFIELD — The University of Maryland (UMD) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site conducted flight operations with the Talon 240, a 140 pound UAS with a 20 foot wingspan, at Crisfield-Somerset County Airport on Dec. 5, successfully proving the operational processes and procedures required to fly larger UAS.

“We can’t overstate the significance of our operations today,” Tony Pucciarella, Director of Operations for the Test Site said. “We verified not only our operational and safety procedures, but also successfully worked with our partners to ensure the system’s airworthiness; the first step in the FAA’s rigorous Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) process.”

The airworthiness process the UMD UAS Test Site uses is one Mr. Pucciarella, a recognized expert in unmanned systems, developed based on more than 25 years working in and with the Navy. The process involves having each component of the system verified by a Subject Matter Expert with final airworthiness certified by the UMD Research Department.

Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan of the University System of Maryland said, “What our team of scientists and engineers accomplished today is no small feat. The University System of Maryland and our flagship campus, the University of Maryland at College Park, are focused on advancing our state as a leader in UAS research and this flight is an important milestone in establishing our capabilities as a world-class research base for UAS testing.”

UMD UAS Test Site receives FAA approval to fly in Crisfield

FAA approval has been received for the University of Maryland to begin test flights of a drone from the Crisfield-Somerset County Airport, starting sometime in December.