Avion’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team supported the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association (TSA) last week at the annual conference in Sevierville, Tennessee. We attended not only to support the Sheriffs’ Association, but to also display the benefits of employing drones in the Law Enforcement Arena. Aircraft for search and rescue remains a force driving the need for UAS in law enforcement. We view it as a lifesaving tool- saving lives and time.

For this year’s conference, we did something a little different. Avion Unmanned and the TSA partnered to offer online UAS training. For every TSA member that signs up for our online training, we provide 10% of the proceeds to TSA. If you are interested in UAS training, please visit http://tsa-avion.talentlms.com/. We thought this would be a great way to give back to the Association as well as provide law enforcement officers a cheaper, yet effective way to become trained on unmanned aircraft systems.

The purpose of the TSA is to promote better and more effective law enforcement; maintain a high level of ethical conduct on the part of all sheriffs, their deputies, and their jail administrators; provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience among all sheriffs; establish the highest degree of cooperation among the law-enforcing agencies in the State of Tennessee; bring the sheriffs of the various counties into close association and to promote cooperation in the conduct of the laws of Tennessee pertaining to the apprehension and prosecution of persons violating the laws of Tennessee; improve and encourage greater efficiency in the administration of sheriffs’ offices and to protect the welfare and interest of the members of the association. Learn more about them here: https://tnsheriffs.com/.

Avion is proud to support associations like this one and are looking into ways to support other state’s law enforcement associations in the near future. To learn more about Avion Unmanned, visit: http://avionunmanned.com/.

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About Avion Unmanned

Avion Unmanned is a branch of Avion Solutions Incorporated, a government defense contractor with 25 years of Army aviation experience. Avion Unmanned conducts nationwide UAS services and provides classroom and hands-on flight training geared toward UAS operations in the national airspace. We also have online training available utilizing the cloud-based TalentLMS (Learning Management System) in collaboration with seasoned aviation instructors. Avion’s UAS team consists of military and commercially rated aviators and maintainers. We are proud members of AUVSI, Know Before You Fly, and ASSURE.

If you would like to know more about the solutions and training options we offer, please visit our website avionunmanned.com

Twitter: @AvionSolutions

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AvionSolutions/   

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Avion Solutions, Inc. announced today a new partnership with the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association (TSA) to pay ten percent (10%) of UAS (drone) training for any member of the Association who wishes to obtain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to operate an Unmanned Aircraft System using Avion’s Online UAS Training Portal, https://tsa-avion.talentlms.com. In addition to training, Avion will monitor all participants registered through the TSA portal and payments will be made monthly to the Association with proceeds to be used for anything the Sheriff’s Association deems appropriate.

Avion has been instrumental in training many Tennessee Sheriff’s Departments including Williamson County, Hamilton County, Lincoln County, and Hawkins County. 

This agreement however, is the first of its kind since Avion and its commercial branch, Avion Unmanned, launched their online UAS Training Portal in February.

Designed and developed to prepare the growing number of drone users in the commercial sector, and especially in law enforcement, for the challenges they face in the operation of drones in National Airspace System (NAS), the UAS training portal offers self-paced remote training that encompasses recently released Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS regulations. Those who complete the courses receive a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA.

 “This is a great opportunity to work together to provide our Sheriffs access to professional UAS training and to provide funds back to the organization for projects that will benefit the TSA,” says Terry Ashe, Executive Director of the TSA. “Avion has been a good partner for many years and we appreciate their support for our organization.” 

Commercial UAS is proving to be the next big technology boom across the globe!

Avion Unmanned is leading the push for safety standards and quality training that will support the long-term growth and adoption of drones by modern industry.

“The only way to be effective with a tool is to be properly trained how to use it,” says Taylor Abington, Avion’s UAS Program Manager. “By enrolling in Avion’s online UAS training, you are sure to be trained to operate your UAS legally, effectively, and most importantly, safely.”

Avion Unmanned is eyeing customizations to the standard training packages to address specific needs and organizations such as aerial photography for construction, mapping and photogrammetry, specific aircraft platforms, and programs that will only be available to police and emergency response units.

For more information about the Avion Unmanned Online Training Portal, course content, and associated costs, visit www.Avionsolutions.com/unmanned or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Avion Unmanned

Avion Unmanned is the UAS division of Huntsville’s Avion Solutions, Inc. Backed by over 25 years’ experience developing equipment and training for the US Military, the Avion Unmanned UAS Training Portal utilizes the cloud-based TalentLMS (Learning Management System) in collaboration with seasoned aviation instructors. Included in the training are courses in aircraft systems, aerodynamics, flight control software, weather, airspace, and other categories on the Part 107 Remote Pilot Exam.

Find out more about Avion and Avion Unmanned at www.avionsolutions.com.

About Avion Solutions, Inc.

Avion Solutions is a certified small employee-owned business that provides engineering, logistics, software engineering, and test & evaluation services. Avion provides programmatic support for all of the Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) for Aviation, to include rotary wing, fixed wing, and unmanned aircraft project offices.

For more information about Avion Solutions, Inc. visit the company website at www.avionsolutions.com or contact Steve Cope, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at (256) 327-7176 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), with support from Huntsville’s Avion Unmanned, has obtained a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to implement Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as “drones”, into their daily operations. Avion Unmanned, a commercial branch of Avion Solutions, Inc., were instrumental in training the department’s officers and deputies to be FAA-compliant, legal, and safe UAS operators. Avion Unmanned supported the development of the agency’s operating procedures, and COA request as well. The COA was issued by the FAA in coordination with the local Air Traffic Organization (ATO) at Huntsville International Airport. This COA authorizes the LCSO to operate within Limestone County and in the surrounding areas.

Located in Athens, Alabama, LCSO’s Sheriff Mike Blakely made the decision to introduce UAS into the department after realizing the benefits drones offer a public-use agency. UAS have the capability to gather and record information much quicker and more thoroughly than people. In a search and rescue environment, UAS can complete the work of 875 man-hours in 30 minutes.

The ultimate goal is to use the small UAS for critical life-saving efforts such as locating missing persons, and monitoring incidents where a hazardous condition exists. The UAS can also be used to gain intelligence on a location, before a search warrant is given; or to help find an inmate that has possibly escaped. UAS could provide a perspective that could be invaluable to investigators.

 "These aerial systems give us several advantages in those types of situations,” Stephen Young, public information officer for the sheriff's office, told Huntsville’s WHNT News 19. “They give us better decision-making ability. Obviously, if you know what you're dealing with, the more you know about it without having to put men and women in uniform in the way of possible threats, then you make better decisions. Primarily, the mission is to save lives.”

“The only way to be effective with a tool is to be properly trained in how to use it.” says Taylor Abington, Avion’s UAS Program Manager. “Avion launched our unmanned division specifically to ensure agencies like emergency management and law enforcement are properly trained to operate UAS legally, effectively, and most importantly, safely.”

“We spent a little over $30,000 of our funds from the rodeo for the drones, paying for the training, and paying Avion (Unmanned) to make sure we're FAA compliant," Sheriff Mike Blakely told WHNT.

What Comes Next?

Now that the training phase is complete, LCSO has Operational approval to allow their Deputies to operate UAS in the National Airspace (NAS) to support law enforcement operations. That means saving lives, time, and money. A bird’s-eye view is an undeniable advantage. While the UAS will not replace a traditional aviation unit, there are many circumstances that do not require a fully equipped helicopter/airplane. The cost to fly manned aviation in public safety is estimated to be $350 or more per hour. Law enforcement agencies currently utilizing UAS to support operations say operational costs are below $25 per hour. The department’s operational UAS are a DJI Phantom 3, and the PSI Tactical InstantEye. They are both configured with four small rotors that allow them to take off and land vertically. Battery powered and remotely controlled, they can stay aloft for up to 30 minutes on a single charge. The UAS have a built-in 4K camera system, and the option to incorporate a side-mounted FLIR (Forward-Looking Infrared) camera.

The use of UAS in law enforcement is a growing trend nationwide. Three-hundred forty-seven first responder agencies across the nation have requested and/or received authorization to operate UAS, according to FAA records, and of those, only 121 are Sheriff’s offices.

If you have any questions about how to obtain a COA or want to develop your own UAS program, please don’t hesitate to email our UAS team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Avion Unmanned

Avion Unmanned (www.avionunmanned.com) is a branch of Avion Solutions Incorporated, a government defense contractor with 25 years of Army aviation experience. Avion Unmanned conducts nationwide UAS services and provides classroom and hands-on flight training geared toward UAS operations in the national airspace. We also have online training available utilizing the cloud-based TalentLMS (Learning Management System) in collaboration with seasoned aviation instructors. Avion’s UAS team consists of military and commercially rated aviators and maintainers. We are proud members of AUVSI, Know Before You Fly, and ASSURE.

If you would like to know more about the solutions and training options we offer, please visit our website avionunmanned.com
Twitter: @AvionSolutions     Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AvionSolutions/    Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user63963619

Published in News

Avion Solutions will help The Limestone County Sheriff's Office take flight, getting a bird's eye view like never before with the installation of drones into their daily operations. Sheriff Mike Blakely made a decision on Thursday to sign a $30,000 contract with Avion Solutions to train his deputies on the proper safety protocols and FAA regulations regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Profits from their Sheriff's Rodeo this year gave the department the final financial push it needed to purchase the UAS, adding two more drones to its aviation unit. Having the drones will give the deputies a quick, convenient way to get an eye in the sky in all sorts of situations- anywhere from car accidents to hostage situations. “It's going to be an excellent opportunity to expand our capabilities,” the sheriff said. “This is something that's really been on the back burner the last few years, we're just now able to take advantage of it. This is something that can really save on man-hours and even save lives.”

The drones being purchased from Avion Solutions are identified as the InstantEye by the PSI tactical. These will come equipped only with a camera and electronics needed for light. These aircraft will in no way be weaponized. As far as training goes for the officers, our UAS team will not only provide the training needed to follow federal guidelines, but also provide technical support needed to keep the unmanned aircraft operational and ready to take off at a second's notice. Each officer and pilot will spend an entire 40 hour work week learning the InstantEye inside and out and become federally certified before they can officially fly the drones. Training is set to start late August. The sheriff said whenever his officers are ready, the department is going to host an open house for the public to observe the drones at work. Our team can't wait to be at that open house!

For more about the article, visit: http://www.wsfa.com/clip/12626574/limestone-county-sheriffs-office-to-use-drones

About Avion Solutions
Avion Solutions, Inc. is a certified small, employee-owned business that provides engineering, logistics, software engineering, and test & evaluation services. Avion provides technical support for all of the Army’s Program Executive Offices (PEO) for Aviation to include rotary wing, fixed wing, and unmanned aircraft project offices. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, (USA) Avion has been working with the Department of Defense and commercial clients for over 20 years.  

Avion is a member of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and supports the FAA’s Know Before You Fly campaign, which promotes Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) safety.  Avion’s UAS Program Director, Taylor Abington, also serves as a voting member on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC 20/SC 16) for unmanned aircraft, which is currently developing a globally relevant international standard for unmanned aircraft (General Specifications, Product Systems and Operational Procedures). For more information on Avion, please visit www.avionsolutions.com/uas

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