Behind the Scenes of “A Day Above Mayo Clinic”

drone-video-shootThank you to everyone who has posted comments thus far about this video.

We have received a lot of great feedback about our video, “A Day above Mayo Clinic.” It certainly offered an amazing perspective of the institution we love.

We have received several questions and inquiries about safety and FAA/DOT regulations with regard to using a drone. We very much appreciate the sensitivities associated with unmanned aircraft systems, safety, and evolving Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.

About the Mayo One (Helicopter) Shoot

The video shoot took place in October 2015 and was coordinated extremely closely with all interested parties. Prior to any footage being taken, the video team met with Mayo One's flight crew, and the aircraft's flight path and location were coordinated with Mayo Clinic Hospital Aircraft Operations and the actual pilots of Mayo One. During the video shoot of Mayo One in action, the video crew had direct communications with the Mayo One Flight Crew. The drone was positioned more than 150 feet away to the south, allowing for a flight path that took Mayo One due north on its way to LaCrosse.

A Mayo Clinic Public Affairs Representative consults with the Mayo One Crew to finalize the drone flight path, distance, and location.
A Mayo Clinic Public Affairs Representative consults with the Mayo One Crew to finalize the drone flight path, distance, and location.

Safety and Security

The drone outside of the Hilton Building, home of the majority of the subspecialty clinical laboratories at Mayo Clinic.
The drone outside of the Hilton Building, home of the majority of the subspecialty clinical laboratories at Mayo Clinic.

Also prior to the video shoot, Mayo Medical Laboratories Marketing Team and the video crew worked closely with several Mayo departments, including Mayo Clinic Security (which works with our local authorities), Medical Dispatch, Hospital Aircraft Operations, and other Public Affairs divisions. Additionally, a Mayo Medical Laboratories Marketing representative was with the drone operators at all times. Throughout the drone flights, our Mayo teams and the video crew had open and frequent communications with a large number of areas to ensure safety for our employees, patients, and visitors. The drone flights were communicated to—and cleared by—the Twin Cities FAA branch.

The drone operators were contracted by Mayo Clinic after extensive background checks and verification of credentials to operate a drone. The operators complied with altitude maximums and distances outlined by the FAA, maintained a visual with the drone at all times, and performed all flights with two operators—one dedicated to drone operation and one to camera operation.

Safe Drone Operation

Your feedback and questions about following FAA and DOT regulations are appreciated. Mayo Clinic strongly encourages all operators of unmanned aircraft systems to comply with FAA and DOT regulations. Drones should never be flown near other aircraft without clearance from, and open communication with, the other aircraft and in accordance with FAA regulations. While the drone flight in this case preceded Minnesota Department of Transportation Regulations and FAA registration requirements, the flight still met the standards in place today for safe operation. The firm that operated the drone registered it with the FAA and filed all appropriate Minnesota DOT paperwork.

To learn more about the safe operation of drones, visit the FAA site for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at https://www.faa.gov/uas/.

andytofilon

Andy Tofilon

Andy Tofilon is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. He leads strategies for corporate communications, public relations, and new media innovations. Andy has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2003. Outside of work, Andy can be found running, hiking, snapping photos, and most importantly, spending time with his family.