Pipeline Air Force
Going above the construction to see beyond the tree-line
The Pipeline Air Force (PAF) is made up of volunteer pilots and licensed drone pilots who take photo evidence of pipeline activity that lies beyond the view of the public. The PAF also includes a group of volunteer aerial photo reviewers who meet both in-person and online to review the hundreds of aerial photos periodically gathered by our volunteer pilots for apparent violations.
Read the descriptions below to learn more about each aspect of the PAF division of the Pipeline CSI. Sign up to volunteer as one of the roles if you are interested by clicking the button above.
Are you a pilot in the Shenandoah Valley or surrounding area?
Do you wish you could do more to stop climate change, deforestation, out of control government, or big corporations running roughshod over rural people? Then we have a job for you!
Join the Pipeline Air Force and help us collect photo evidence of ACP activity in WV & VA!
Watch the news video below (full article here) to learn about how other aviation enthusiast are giving back to their community and how you can make an impact while soaring over our beautiful countrysides.
Sign up on our volunteer form to learn more.
Part 107-Licensed Drone Pilots
Drones present a versatile and effective way to ensure public oversight of pipeline construction zones. They can be easily and quickly deployed to gather high-resolution photo evidence of pipeline noncompliance and environmental impacts.
We are looking for drone operators who already have their Part 107 licenses, but we also hold drone trainings and meet-ups to help those new to the technology.
See the video below (full article here) to learn more about this aspect of the Pipeline Air Force from the CSI's Virginia Field Coordinator, Ben Cunningham (Part 107, AOPA member).
Aerial Photo Reviewers
After a PAF flight is completed, we often have hundreds or sometimes thousands of photos to review for potential violations. We've found the most effective way to tackle this task is to host in-person photo review sessions with volunteers, some of whom join us by video conference, a la the Missing Maps Project & Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team 'mapathons'. These photo review sessions can actually be great fun and challenge everyone to become familiar with the landscapes in the photos and with what non-compliant construction looks like from the air.
With this workflow we've been able to turn photos around into complaints to state and federal agencies within 48 to 72 hours. This is vitally important, since the apparent violation may no longer be evident by the time an inspector visits just days later.
For an example of how we do this best, check out our Swipe Tool Demo, which shows a comparison of our imagery versus the ACP construction plans.