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Bill Reynolds and Piper Kimball at the Embry Riddle Career Expo

Embry-Riddle University Spring Industry & Career Expo 2020

We attended Embry-Riddle University’s Industry/Career Expo at their Daytona Beach campus and it was an event of epic professionalism! The moment we pulled up to the campus, students hurried out to help us bring in all of our booth supplies including our PrecisionVision 35 spray drone. At lunch we were able to take a few minutes and visit with key faculty (and two working interns) who offered advice on how to be a part of the university’s cooperative education and internship program encouraging us to sign up for Handshake, an online account for connecting students with potential employers. By the time we left our heads were spinning.  We were beyond impressed with all of the students, staff and the way the entire event was orchestrated. Here is just a quick summary of what we experienced.

Leading Edge Associates at the Embry Riddle University 2020 Spring Career Expo.

The doors opened at 9 am sharp as the students, dressed in crisp and clean business attire, entered the expansive hall full of employment opportunities. Forgive me for the following biological reference but it was like how I would envision a seasonal fishery release would be, opening up its’ gates in the spring, releasing healthy, vigorous hatchlings, eager to investigate their newfound freedom.  Only by expertly navigating different channels and streams will the student hatchlings find their own niche in a vast new world filled with tantalizing aquatic delicacies and fast moving fresh water. The student hatchlings were much more prepared than we were!  We could be their next new adventure, but so could Amazon or United Airlines or the military or the CIA. If nothing else, we thought the drone on display might help capture their attention, at least for a few who might want to work for a small grass roots company that specializes in spraying for mosquitoes and weeds. We were pleasantly overwhelmed to say  the least.

Leading Edge Associates CEO Bill Reynolds with a student at the Embry Riddle University Spring 2020 Career Expo

Federal Aviation Administration Drone Safety Week

This week is The Federal Aviation Administration’s first National Drone Safety Awareness Week. During this weeklong campaign, the FAA will be highlighting how key sectors use drones for good.

Leading Edge Aerial Technologies supports drone safety by offering aerial application pilot training for mosquito control staff. In celebration of Drone Week, check out a few highlights from our trainings nationwide: https://vimeo.com/358153478.

Featured in Video: Malheur County Vector Control DistrictWest Umatilla Mosquito Control DistrictNorth Morrow Vector Control District, Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control DistrictFresno Mosquito & Vector Control District and Kenny R from Tucson, Arizona.

Bannock County Mosquito Control: PrecisionVision 35 Integration

The Bannock County Mosquito Abatement District in Pocatello, Idaho purchased our PrecisionVision 35 UAS and integrated the system into their noxious weed and mosquito control operations in May 2019.

Check out this article from the Idaho State Journal detailing how Bannock County can now kill mosquito larva and eradicate noxious weeds in places that were previously inaccessible and how they have been able to save time and step up their program: https://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/local/bannock-county-mosquito-weed-programs-get-big-boost-from-new/article_e297461b-eafd-5ac4-91a6-d2bf6f8cab0d.html.

Leading Edge’s President & CEO on NBC2 Fort Myers

The Lee County Mosquito Control District is exploring the idea of using drones to aid in the fight to control the disease-carrying pests.

“A big focus in what we’re doing now is looking at what are called UAS which are Unmanned Aerial Systems,” said Eric Jackson, LCMCD Public Information Officer.

He explains that drones have more uses than most people think.

“We’re looking at methods where we could actually use that for surveillance to monitor and see where we have larvae in the county, places that are harder to get to,” Jackson said.

Currently, inspectors have the difficult task of locating mosquito larvae before they become adults.

“Our inspectors are out in the field and in those places where those mosquitoes are breeding,” Jackson said, “and our inspectors are getting bitten.”

Drones would relieve them of that duty, plus save time and money.

“Where it takes them eight hours to do 10 acres, you. And do 10 acres in about an hour,” said Bill Reynolds, President and Owner of Leading Edge Associates.

So with all of those benefits, why aren’t they using drones yet?

“Being a government agency, the rules may be different for us than it would be for a private citizen or even a private company,” Jackson said.

And those rules aren’t even written yet.

“What we need to do is make sure that we’re complying and the FAA is working on those rules as we speak,” Jackson said.

So for now, their timeline is unclear.

“For us, it’s still something that’s a way into the future,” Jackson said.

The LCMCD said all of their pilots are licensed and ready for when that day comes.

View the full article at http://www.nbc-2.com/story/37238629/lee-county-considers-using-drones-for-mosquito-survelliance.

LEA Holds First UAS Training Course for Mosquito Control

On May 11th-12th, 2017, Leading Edge Associates held the first small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) training course designed specifically for mosquito and vector personnel. The training was completed at two separate locations in Northern California; the Sacramento Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control district property and the Western Center for Agricultural Equipment near UC Davis. A total of nine attendees from California and one from Michigan spent over 16 hours learning how to prepare for the FAA’s Part 107 sUAS exam. Topics covered many vital components of aviation from reading aeronautical charts to understanding Zulu time. As a bonus to the learning experience, the California Department of Public Health approved 11.5 Continuing Education units upon completion of the two courses.


To get hands-on experience piloting a sUAS safely, all of the students took their turns at flying a small drone, the Phantom 4 Pro. The Basic Flight Course included pre-flight inspections, take offs and landings, level flight, as well as figure 8, flying around a point and flying in reverse flight patterns.





















The instructors, Shanon Kern and Bill Reynolds are not new to the world of piloting aircraft, big or small. With more than 5,000 hours of flight time in manned aircraft, instrument ratings and sUAS pilot licenses, Shanon and Bill offer the highest quality of training available for unmanned aerial systems and applied technology.











Piper Kimball, sUAS course organizer and vector biologist, can be contacted for more information on upcoming trainings in unmanned aerial systems at piper@leateam.com

Stay tuned in 2018, as we expand our training curriculum to include multispectral imagery, aerial applications for mosquito & weed control and precision agriculture technology.

Unmanned Aircraft System Operator Training

UPDATE: For information on upcoming 2018 UAS Operator Trainings, fill out our contact form here.

Leading Edge is excited to announce new dates for our Unmanned Aircraft System Operator Training Program taught by FAA Certified Instrument Rated Pilots on Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12, 2017. Breakfast and lunch is provided both days for attendees.


Thursday May 11, 2017 | 8 am – 3 pm: sUAS Basic Flight Training
Location: SacYolo Mosquito & Vector Control District
8631 Bond Road Elk Grove, CA 95624

Friday May 12, 2017 | 8 am – 3 pm: FAA sUAS Part 107 Knowledge Test Prep
Location: Western Center for Agricultural Equipment
154 Hills Drive Davis, Ca. 95616

For more information and to register, call:

Piper Kimball: 707-484-6937

Bill Reynolds: 407-468-0008

*Limit 30 attendees, please register by May 9, 2017.

Please note that the FAA sUAS Part 107 Knowledge Test Prep Training Course will be held at the Western Center for Agricultural Equipment 154 Hills Drive, Davis Ca 95616. Travel time from SacYolo Mosquito & Vector Control District hotels to the Western Center for Agricultural Equipment is 45 minutes to 1 hour during rush hour traffic on Friday morning. To avoid long travel times, see the hotels available below in Davis, CA for Thursday night.

Wednesday Night Hotels (May 11)
Holiday Inn Express, Elk Grove: 916-478-9000
Hilton Garden Inn, Elk Grove: 916-691-1900

Thursday Night Hotels (May 12)
Best Western Plus Palm Court Hotel: 530-753-7100
Best Western University Lodge: 530-756-7890
Hyatt Place UC Davis: 530-756-9500
La Quinta Inn & Suites Davis: 530-758-2600

Signed Dealer Agreement with DJI!

Headquartered in Shenzhen, widely considered China’s Silicon Valley, DJI benefits from direct access to the suppliers, raw materials, and young, creative talent pool necessary for sustained success. Drawing on these resources, we have grown from a single small office in 2006 to a global workforce of over 6,000. Our offices can now be found in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong. As a privately owned and operated company, DJI focuses on our own vision, supporting creative, commercial, and nonprofit applications of our technology.

Today, DJI products are redefining industries. Professionals in filmmaking, agriculture, conservation, search and rescue, energy infrastructure, and more trust DJI to bring new perspectives to their work and help them accomplish feats safer, faster, and with greater efficiency than ever before.

Leading Edge Associates, a leader in the vector control industry and innovator of unique technology solutions, is extremely excited about the work to date and future solutions DJI and Leading Edge are bringing to the industry.  Our focus is strongly seated in the geospatial web-based mapping solutions, droplet technology solutions, and PrecisionVision UAV solutions.  We have successfully integrated a combination of DJI solutions for aerial imagery and aerial applications in mosquito control operations and there are greater solutions to come.

For more information, contact Bill Reynolds at 407-468-008 or visit our website www.leateam.com