Ask an Expert: Utilizing Drones for Inspections

Ask An Expert is a question-and-answer column designed to address common questions related to forensic investigation and property damage. Each month we’ll feature one or two questions submitted by you – our readers and customers – and provide detailed, easy-to-understand answers. Email your questions to [email protected] or submit your questions here.

Question #1: Can the drone be positioned in such a way where it can get a close-up photo of the roof for hail damage claims?

Matt Kenney, P.E.: In most cases a drone can easily be positioned within a few feet of a roof to capture very detailed photos as needed.  The use of prop guards is recommended anytime a drone is operated within close proximity of infrastructure for inspections.

Question #2: Can you pre-program drone flight on single homes?

Matt Kenney, P.E.: Yes.  A drone flight capturing photos of a single home from a constant altitude can quickly and easily be programmed using various flight control software.  However, it is important to note that, depending on the purpose and details of the inspection, photos from a constant altitude – for example 75 feet – above the roof may or may not contain the necessary resolution to conclusively determine the information needed for the inspection.

Question #3: Do you carry out drone training at any of your locations?

Matt Kenney, P.E.: We are offering UAV training in conjunction with DataWing. We can offer UAV training at our location or our flight instructor can come to your location to conduct the training.  You can find out more about our training program here.


You can discover more about Donan’s UAV services at donan.con/uav.
Learn more by attending an upcoming webinar or viewing other resources at 


About the Expert

Matthew Kenney currently serves as technical program manager for the firm’s research and development efforts, and is Donan’s in-house UAV expert. Mr. Kenney is a licensed professional engineer and licensed master plumber in Kentucky, a certified fire and explosion investigator, an EPA-certified universal technician, and a licensed pilot. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisville. View Matt’s full professional profile here.

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