Abstract：This paper presents a practical application of the aerial photo technique using an unmanned aerial vehicle to inspect cable PE appearance in Tianxingzhou river bridge. First, we design a detail scheme including the flight and inspection based on the structural characteristics of the bridge and the distribution pattern of the bridge cables. Then, high-definition (HD) images of the cable PE appearance are acquired densely by the HD camera of the unmanned aerial vehicle. Finally, the working status and health condition of the bridge cable can be evaluated effectively by analyzing the acquired HD images. Compared to the traditional inspection techniques, such as the hanging basket and rope climbing robot, the aerial photo technique using unmanned aerial vehicle has advantages, including ease, effectiveness and strong maneuverability.