RCAPA Board of Directors


 Eugene “Gene” Robinson
Gene Robinson founded RPFlight Systems, Inc. in March of 2004 and performed groundbreaking research by producing a flying wing as a stable UA payload platform.  Gene’s formal college education is in aviation science and he is a full-scale pilot.  Utilizing his professional background as a computer programmer/analyst, he used software to perform data and image analysis to enhance images that aided search and rescue operations.  Gene has utilized small UAs in searches from California, to New York visiting 30 states in the union.  He also conducted UA operations in Jamaica, Mexico, and Africa and has assisted SAR crews in recovering victims lost for lengthy periods.  He is directly credited with 10 recoveries and numerous assists for law enforcement and government agencies in a wide variety of operations.

Gene is also owner/operatorRPSearch Services, which is an IRS recognized 501©3 organization that utilizes UA technology to assist in search and rescue/recovery (SAR) operations on a charitable basis.

He authored the book “First to Deploy – Unmanned Aircraft for Search & Rescue and Law Enforcement”.  The book is the first of its kind that addresses the specific use of small unmanned aircraft for the civilian first responder and SAR teams

Gene is currently acting as the PIC in the only National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) certified unmanned aircraft flight crew.  The team flies the MLB Super Bat UA to collect data for the development of the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fire exposure scale.  The team has developed sensors and payloads and manages all assets for the NIST UA project.

College Education : Aviation Sciences – General Aviation Pilot – 1976

Air Force – 48 TacFighter Wing – USAFE – 1980

Patrick Egan
Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series and Drone TV.

Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project.

Patrick built and operated commercial remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) prior to the 2007 FAA policy statement. In an effort to assist airspace integration, he served as director of special programs for the Remote Control Aerial Photography Association (RCAPA), on the ICC (International Coordination Council) which inputs to the EUROCAE wg-73. Past collaborations within the framework of the standards groups; ASTM F-38 and RTCA SC-203 (lightly regulated sub-group), and was also a full member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking committee (Order 1110.150)

Mel Duval

Mel Duval is a retired USAF civil service electronics engineer.  Mel worked as system engineer on numerous aviation programs.  He was the Chief Engineer on several projects. Mel has experience last in System Safety and has performed system safety assessments on a multitude of system, including unmanned aircraft systems.