For a better understanding of how drones – also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Miniature Pilotless Aircrafts – can affect us in our society, we investigated up to date FAA data. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecasts that the number of drones flying in the skies will reach around 7 million by the year 2020.
Having said that the number of drones sold by the years 2017, 2019, 2018 and 2020 might reach about 2.3 million, 2.9 million, 3.5 million and 4.3 million respectively. Such estimates are for drones practiced by hobbyists or what’s also called model aircraft.
The number for non-model, industrial aircraft or commercial drone is far lesser. FAA predicts that these kinds of commercial drones will have higher earnings, with 0.6 million and 2.5 million for the years 2016 and 2017 respectively; 2.6 million each for the years 2018 and 2019; and 2.7 million units in 2020.
Combining the number, the total number of potential drones operating will reach up to 7 million by 2020.
Here are five reasons why drones will be in high demand in years to come:
1. Drones Will Create New Jobs
Some current or traditional jobs may go away, but new better jobs may replace them. Old job example, the person whose job it would be to catch random spot samples of water to look for environmental contaminants. New job example, the drones will have the ability to gather far more data points than that human.
Many more analytical roles will likely replace lower-level jobs like this. You might even have a few of those jobs replaced by people trying to do things to relieve that environmental harm, which would be a good thing.
2. Military Drones Are Just a Fraction Of The Overall Drone Market
The civilian and commercial drone industry is supposed to rise at a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 19% from 2015 to 2020. That minimizes the CAGR of 5% for military drones.
3. Increased Number Of Drones In The Skies
An FAA 2016-2036 drone projection prophesied that we would have about 7 million drones in the air by 2020. The FAA forecasts that by 2020, commercial drone sales solely will touch 2.7 million. To put that number into a prospect, it is estimated there are between 23,600 and 39,000 airplanes in the world today.
4. Worldwide Drone Market Will Touch $17 Billion By 2024
Right now, the most apparent commercial application for drones must be their use in video and photography. However, as a report from Global Market Insights shows, commercial drones are more being used in other sectors. For example areas like agriculture, construction, property, media, and shipping – only look at Amazon’s proposed drone shipping service.
5. Drones Will Save Lives
There are all kinds of mundane activities like roof inspections can be accomplished more cheaply or safely using a drone. At this moment, you’ve got individuals inspecting shingles or tiles, and each year, about 50 roofers are killed on the job, with many more injuries.
Today, drone companies can find a drone up in the air, and a few moments can find the same data it would take a human 45 minutes to receive.
Less Than 1 In 100 Drones Will Be Delivery Drones
Drones delivering our packages are what customers consider when they think of commercial zones. But in fact, they’ll be few and far between. By 2020, less than 1% of all commercial drones will be used for deliveries.
Safety and logistics have to be work before delivery drones will start finding a market. Business-to-business applications, initially for internal services within one company where logistics will not be such a significant factor.
Drone Regulations Still Have To Catch Up With Tech
Aviation is among the most heavily regulates industries, which makes it tough to disrupt in the way that startups are used to doing. A company with the typical Silicon Valley mindset might consider that in case you make the solution. You show that to people, the wisdom of your thought and your solution will win them over. That is just only not how authorities works or how heavily regulate businesses work.
There is a step process or approach used in heavily regulated industries that make one work within the constraints that the government. Even if the governmental agencies want to work with you. There are timeline constraints on your ability to enter the business. And with UAVs, it’s not only the federal government, but there are also local and state governments that may have to approve your solution.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identifies that unmanned aircraft programs – “UAS,” or more popularly. “Drones”–will be the fastest-growing part of aviation. There are more than350, 000 commercial drones working in the United States. Going places, and doing things that would otherwise be unsafe for people or other vehicles.
The FAA is devoted to securely and fully integrating this advanced technology into the national airspace of America. The firm and its management and industry partners have two key initiatives, which will help to make the regular use of drones a reality.
The UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP)
Since it started in 2017, the UAS Integration Pilot Program has led the local, state, and tribal authorities mutually with private sector things, such as drone supervisors and producers, to accelerate safe drone integration. The overarching purpose of the IPP is to help the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA in designing new rules, guidance, and policy that encourage more complicated low-altitude operations. Specifically, the program is:
- Recognizing methods to balance local and national interests associated with drone integration
- Improving communications with local, state and tribal authorities
- Addressing privacy risks and security
- Accelerating the consent of operations that currently require special authorizations.
The IPP has been successful to date. The state, tribal and local governments are all working closely with their business partners to handle barriers to secure and secure integration. Such as nighttime operations, flights over individuals, operations. Beyond the pilot’s line of sight, detect-and-avoid technologies, package delivery, and the reliability and safety of information links between aircraft and pilot. Areas that could take leverage from the program include photography, emergency management, commerce, agricultural support, and infrastructure inspections.
One of the goals of the IPP is to find community approval of drones flying above their communities.
As the requirement for drone usage under 400 feet increases, the FAA, with NASA and business associates, a UAS traffic management (UTM) setting will be necessary to adapt these procedures carefully and efficiently.
The FAA will use UTM to encourage flight controls, principally for small (less than 55 pounds) drones. Functioning in low-altitude airspace. UTM depends on the market’s ability to provide services under the regulatory authority of the FAA. These services do not now exist. It’s a community-driven traffic control system, where supervisors are responsible for implementation.
The UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program was established in April 2017. As a significant component for identifying the first set of industry and FAA capabilities require to encourage low-altitude drone operations. The UPP will help identify data exchange, services, roles and responsibilities, information architecture protocols, software works, and performance requirements. For handling low-altitude drone operations by air traffic management facilities without intervention.
The Smartphone App enables drone pilots to find jobs by:
- Registering for free and no obligation
- Sign up for possible paid drone pilot jobs
- Get notice of paid drone pilot jobs available in their region
- View limited air space maps, weather, and other info
- Get paid for the drone pilot jobs
- Reply with price quotes
Licensed drone pilot jobs are in need as interest in drones is skyrocketing. All drone pilots enrolled on the network must be licensed and insured, and will have the chance to post the sort of scanners and cameras they’re currently carrying. Drone pilot jobs will be matched to the kind of equipment required by each customer, ranging from simple Thermography, photo/video to HD, and even LiDAR.
Pilots are encouraged to register now (no cost or obligation) to be prepared for upcoming drone pilot jobs be going to:
How To Post A Job
For anyone engaged in employing drone pilots, jobs are also posted on the App, which ranges from land surveys, inspections, and insurance documentation to family reunions, marriages, and sports events.
Clients seeking to hire a drone pilot can use the App to post jobs by merely downloading the App and obeying the simple guide to post a job. Pilots in the region will be automatically informed, and customers will have the ability to communicate with the pilot directly. All tasks assigned and completed using the App will need to be covered by insurance.
Are you searching for a position as a drone pilot? Or just thinking what kinds of jobs you will find in the drone market?
We produced this article that will help you navigate drone enterprise jobs. In this post, you’ll get knowledge on the kinds of drone pilot jobs on the market, enterprises using drones in their operation, some cases of salary and wages, and actual real job listings.
But before we proceed any further, we aspire to ask you these questions?
- A drone pilot who carries a Remote Pilot Certification in the U.S., or some similar form of certificate in a different country, and you’re looking for work?
- A drone hobbyist interested in what opportunities are out there for pilots that use a drone?
- Not a pilot, but curious about the non-pilot work opportunities which may be available from the drone market?
We have produced this article to help you post to learn more about the jobs available in the drone business, both for pilots and non-pilots, and to help you better understand each the kinds of work now being performed with drones.
From the list below, we concentrate on the current trends we’ve seen in the drone work that’s pilot have been doing from the last few years, meaning there are quite a few other drone use cases and job opportunities that we have not covered here, such as wildlife monitoring, wedding photography, or ecology, to name only a few.
Drones in Real Estate
Recently, drone pilots have been giving realtors with a prospect which were not possible earlier. Practicing aerial videos, stills, as well as 3D maps generated from information recorded by drone, potential customers are now able to get a thorough view of the property they are considering purchasing.
Real estate marketing job is usually done by a private drone pilot serving as a freelancer to catch aerial pictures and video of a property that is for sale, which the realtor will then use in promotional materials.
Another typical offering nowadays is a virtual tour of properties, which is a video walkthrough of the entire property, including both ground and aerial footage.
Real estate marketing job as a drone pilot needs experiences in both in video/photography work and flying. For a general real estate job you’ll show up at the property, get the coverage you want, and then go home and work on the raw material till you have usable pictures and video to give to a clients, which means you’ll have to have the ability to take care of post-production for the raw media you catch to turn it into real deliverables (i.e., finished photos and videos) to your customer.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot in the Real Estate Industry?
The majority of the drone pilots we have spoken with price their real estate work as a package or by the hour. Hourly rates may vary from $25 / hour all the way up to $200 or more.
Drones in Construction / Mining / Aggregates
Drone pilots are helping these industries to save big money by conducting surveys which help corporations keep account of various aspects of their operations, from the quantity and exact location of stockpiles to the advancement of work in a variety of areas of a job to the security conditions in crucial areas of a site.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Drone Pilot in Mining /Building Aggregates?
Depending on the research we’ve administered, many drone pilots are beginning at about $50 an hour for this sort of work, and for highly skilled pilots they are charging more anywhere from $250 to $500+ an hour, depending on the job, place, and skill level required.
We have read about more experienced pilots working full time in these areas that are making wherever from $50,000 to $70,000 or more than a year. However, as with anything, your earning capability in this sort of job will be straight associated with your level of expertise and knowledge.
Drones in Filmmaking
A drone pilot can place a UAV in the air and receive aerial coverage of a place quickly and gracefully, and drones also don’t incur the very same sorts of insurance prices as helicopters. It means that there’s growing work available for drone pilots in the film industry.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot in the Movie Industry?
Movie work appears to pay well, from the knowledge we have gathered, but the tricky thing is being able actually to get the job. Unlike aerial videography work, such as shooting for weddings or property, finding drone work in the film appears to have a barrier to entry, and it might take some time to develop a client base.
Just how much are people currently earning? Around $200-$500 an hour, anywhere from $ 1,000, or $500 a day, depends on the project and type of work.
Drones in Public Safety
In fire departments, firefighters are currently using drones for inclusive situational recognition. They are also using drones to make maps of other buildings and schools/facilities so that they could understand where the exit points are in the event of a fire.
Law enforcement has been similarly using drones, creating maps of highly trafficked buildings which may be used to help relocate people during an emergency, such as an active shooter scenario. And both fire and police forces use drones after tragedies such as hurricanes, floods, or intense storms to find victims in need of assistance, and also to comprehend the scope of the damage to best direct their resources to those areas that need them most.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot in Public Safety?
Almost all of the drone work, we have discovered about in public safety companies is done in-house, which means that the money you can make will be whatever wages you would expect to make as a firefighter or police officer. These wages vary greatly depending upon your location.
Drones in Insurance
To evaluate these applications, insurance firms have traditionally had to communicate out an insurance corporation, or adjuster who is physical goes to the website, climbs a ladder, and takes pictures of every roof to which a claim was made. But climbing steps all day can be dangerous, not to mention time-consuming.
And that is where insurance inspections come in. With a UAV, a drone operator can run a set design over a broken roof in 20-30 minutes and take all the pictures required to assess an insurance claim.
This type of work is almost straight forward and in high demand as a welcome replacement for hand-operated inspections. The original skill set required is the ability program or to fly your drone to operate a specific mission, and collect images while operating.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot from the Insurance Industry?
To give you an idea of what you can make as a pilot performing insurance-related work, DroneBase provides a flat payout of $70 per assignment for insurance flights. In case you have a lot of homes in a community, you could do them back to back, and make up to $140 an hour or so. But do not start counting your money yet. This type of work is seasonal because it follows the storm patterns, so while you could find plenty of work at certain times of the year, the job may dry up at other times.
Drones in Journalism
Generally, drones are employed in journalism as one more vantage point, for helping to narrate a story, since aerial imagery and video footage can append an extra layer of drama to news coverage.
Much like the film, drones are much affordable than using a helicopter, which offers aerial shots possible where before there would not have been the budget to incorporate them.
One thing to remember about operating drones for reporting is that there’s a spectrum of usage cases, using a range of quality needed. For disaster coverage or breaking news, having the camera out there might not matter so much as having the footage at all. Whereas, if you are attempting to catch an artistic still to follow a written composition or documentary-type footage for a more extended video-based narrative you are helping to cover, you might want a more expensive drone which enables a customized payload so that you can attach your own high-end camera, and get the very best shots possible.
The skill sets needed to use drones in journalism also differ with your individual use case. If you’re employed as a documentarian, you might require a high level of experience in photography and videography, whereas your skill level may not have to be entirely as developed for breaking news coverage. That being told, in most scenarios associated with journalism your flying abilities will have to be top notch, provided you can be flying under stress under challenging conditions, and you might have just one opportunity to get your shot.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot in Journalism?
Most of the people we have met who use a drone in journalism already work in journalism in another capacity, either as a videographer, an anchor, a photographer, or in another role.
Of course, location is a significant factor in how much you will make in journalism there is a city going to pay more than a more smaller town, and it would certainly help to have many skill sets (like having the ability to fly a drone and communicate well).
That being said, several drone pilots in the market do freelancing job in journalism.
Drones in Agriculture
Farmers have been using drones from the last few years to assist them to increase yields by surveying their plants to determine which areas require attention. Using a to do this kind of work is much faster than walking the entire farm on foot, and it’s also more accurate.
Among the most common deliverables, a pilot will give to a farmer is a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index map (NDVI). These maps may be used to recognize what plant is developing where on a piece of property, and also to tell how well each plant is doing.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot from the Agriculture? Industry?
Based on the data we obtained online, pilots are currently getting anywhere from $40 to $150 an hour taking drone job in farming.
That being said, these numbers came from some of their top suggested pilots, there are apparently pilots working for less, and we wouldn’t be shocked if pilots are working for more. If they’ve found a way to show the value of the job, they do in terms of real returns for the farmers with whom they’re working.
Drones in Transportation
Like many businesses, drones are currently helping to reduce the time and cost required in transport for inspections of infrastructure.
To do this kind of you need to have a general understanding of what you’re searching for in such inspections, so making sure that you get coverage of the resources being scrutinized whether their railroad ties, or bridges, or roads, so that problem areas can be identified using the information you collect.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot from the Transportation Industry?
A pilot can earn around $100 an hour performing transportation inspections. For clarity, we are getting this amount from the AASHTO’s announcement that investigations that earlier cost $4,600 and expected 16 hours of labor can now be completed in two hours, at a cost $250 (with $50 going to leasing equipment/information collection expenses).
We do need to note that the $100 figure implies both a drone pilot and a spotter working, so that would lower the hourly fee based on how you look at it. (But if you are running your own aerial services firm, you can assume some extra staff costs will be developed into your overall hourly price.)
Drones in Energy
Similar to transportation, drones are currently providing faster, cheaper techniques to inspect solar panels for electricity companies and assets such as power lines.
To perform this kind of work as a drone pilot, you’ll require technical information of what’s needed in inspections for solar panels, power lines, and other energy-related support. In common, these inspections are conducted to find areas that need maintenance so that issues can be detected early and addressed, but again, as the software develops, this understanding may become less and less crucial.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot at the Energy Industry?
Some pilots are doing energy inspections by drone for $100 an hour, working as a freelancer.
That being stated, A large amount of the energy inspection job we’ve discovered of is directed in-house, by a crew of pilots prepared for that purpose. Depending on our research, people doing power line inspections earn around $70,000-$100,000 or more a year, based on where they reside, what their expertise level is, and how much they work.
Drones in Telecommunications
Generally, when doing such inspections drone pilots are on the lookout for environmental or other hazards before climbing (bees, birds, structural damage, etc.); identifying damaged regions, or exploring the structure’s integrity before personnel climbs the tower to find out if it’s safe to climb at all.
Much like power line inspections, telecommunications towers typically release some sort of magnetic interference, which might make your drone down in case you fly too narrow (means, closer than 100 ft). To serve as a drone pilot in the telecommunications industry, it is essential to have the ability to take photos that are accurate from a distance and to be a highly skilled pilot.
How Much Money Can One Make as a Pilot in the Telecommunications Industry?
According to our analysis and discussions we have had with many drone pilots, various pilots are currently earning between $150-$300 an hour performing tower inspections for telecommunications companies.
One associated data point is that an individual tower climb for inspection missions can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, based on the extent of the inspection. This might be a valuable data point to be informed of if pricing investigation services for tower organizations, that is, it is excellent to know that your drone inspection could maintain your potential customer a lot of capital, while still making you a right amount of money, too.
The drone industry is growing significantly as many people are adopting the technology for various purposes. Some people fly drones for leisure such as performing activities like racing. Drone technology also helps to improve the film industry.
However, of significant concern is the fact that there are very few female drone pilots compared to their male counterparts. Women hold less than 4% of certificates compared to 96% drone certification for males in the US. Globally, women constitute fewer than 3% of drone certificates. The drone pilot gender gap is enormous, but various women groups are working toward improving the odds.
For instance, “Women Who Drone” is an online community that seeks to expand the visibility of female drone pilots in different ways. The total for women involved in the drone industry is still small, and the figure is discouraging. However, the few women in this industry are doing an exemplary job to support each other.
Significance Of Drone Technology
Drone technology helps different individuals and organizations to conduct their business. The technology allows people to perform activities such as photography and filming. Drones also play a pivotal role in improving the security systems of companies since they give real-time data about events taking place.
The drone industry is rapidly growing, and the limited numbers of female drone pilots is a cause for concern. In other sectors across the board, the presence of women is commendable and the online community Women Who Drone aims to increase the number of female drone pilots.
The primary goal of Women Who Drone is to educate women and girls about the significance of drone technology. The presence of women is vital in this industry that is gaining prominence since it helps to empower them. Females just like their male colleagues need involvement in different sectors.
The statistic that less than 5% of women in the US are certified drone pilots indicates the lack of females in STEM industries. However, the percentage of women who fly for recreational purposes can be much higher. The main issue is that there are fewer FAA-certified women in the UVA industry.
The drone industry presents a lot of career opportunities, but it seems that many women are not aware of that fact. New technology is right in that it can also empower females to become successful players in the booming industry.
The Women Who Drone community is a platform where female drone pilots, videographers as well as photographers can mix. The platform aims to bring women from different parts of the globe together so that they can learn from each other.
Some women lack interest in drone technology because they lack understanding of the benefits they can get from the industry. The idea is to enable women to interact with their counterparts in a free manner.
Credit: WYLDSIDE MEDIA
Empowering Women To Become Female Drone Pilots
The disparity between male and female drone pilots is not because women are incapable, but they lack proper support. It is against this background that Women Who Drone recently introduced a campaign that aims to provide support to inspire females to become pilots. The online community aims to close the gender gap that exists in the UAV industry.
As such, the high gap between men and women in the commercial drone industry is not a result of any logistical barrier to entry into the field by women. There are different social and environmental factors such as gender bias and stereotyping that affect woman to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
However, UAV Industries strongly believe that pilotless aviation provides rewarding and challenging work to both men and women. The industry is committed to actively support women in drones through various programs like ongoing training and internship opportunities.
Against this background, UAV Industries recently introduced the launch of a free program to offer Remote Licence Training Course for women only. UAV Industries is a South African commercial drone pilot training company and operator. It aims to close the gender gap that exists between women and male commercial pilots.
All people who want to work commercially as drone pilots should first acquire Remote Pilot Licence. The South African Aviation Authority makes it mandatory for all players in the commercial drone industry to be licensed. As such, a free course was offered to aim explicitly to attract females interested in pursuing a career in the unmanned aviation.
The free remote pilot training aims at attracting women to actively participate in this growing industry that seems to be male-oriented. The tasks involved in flying a drone are not as severe as other women think. With new technology, women can also play any different role like their male counterparts.
Women Who Drone Mission
The best way of attracting many female participants in the drone industry is to use mentors who can appeal to their interests. Prospective female drone pilots can get inspiration from other women who are active players in this particular field. It seems to be more comfortable for peers to influence each other to learn something new.
The founder of the online community Elena Buenrostro feels that the platform will draw female drone pilots and videographers from different places. Currently, there are more than 9,000 members of the community, and there are hopes that the number will continue to grow.
With its current membership, Women Who Drone is probably the largest online community for female drone pilots. The members share various online lessons as well as educational resources about safe practices in drone flying.
The online community also consists of photographs by over 400 women with experience in this particular field. The website also has a database of women photographers whose work is ready for licensing. It is for this reason that Women Who Drone partnered with Getty Images for licensing of its images.
The Women Who Drone group currently consists of 44 ambassadors across the whole globe. All the ambassadors based in the US have FAA certification as per government requirement. Brand ambassadors across the world also help the members to share various travel tips to other locations.
The members will also share pertinent information like local drone regulations in different countries. The women also learn about different places where it is safe to fly the drones. The group intends to make it easier for members to search photographs by location from its website.
While men seem to dominate in the drone industry, females also have an opportunity to prove their capability. The “Women Who Drone” offers different services that help the members to share information in a way that promotes learning.
What Women Who Drone Offers?
The online community aims to attract as many women as possible so that they can learn from each other. The philosophy of cognitive learning plays an inspirational role to other women as they learn from their peers. It is easier for similar people alike to learn from each other since they share similar interests.
Members of this platform have access to different online programs where they can learn from observing other qualified pilots. Online programs consist of various media such as videos that help other members to see different flying techniques in their respective places.
Women Who Drone aims to empower females so that they can acquire licenses to be eligible to operate commercial drones. According to aviation laws of various countries, only licensed people can actively participate in the commercial drone sector. This sector is lucrative hence promoting women to become pilots is the best way of empowering them.
The other aspect is that Women Who Drone also offers flying workshops to its members. The aim is to equip them with both theoretical and practical knowledge about flying so that they can improve their experience. These workshops also help the learner pilots to share their experiences with experienced people in this sector.
Workshops are useful in that they give the trainees a chance to get into contact with trainers from different backgrounds. Some people have a strong experience in photography and filming, and they can help impart their knowledge to other members.
If you belong to the online community, you can also use the platform to shop for drones and other related accessories. Through its partners, Women Who Drone has several links that can help you get different products related to drones. Members can also access vital information about maintaining various types of drones.
The community recently partnered with Getty Images to get access to license the work in the collection of Women Who Drone. Other partners of Women Who Drone include Uplift Drones, InterDrone, Tiffen, UAV Coach as well as Altitude among others. Members to the online society can significantly benefit from their partners who are experts in the drone industry.
Members also share educational resources and support each other to create more opportunities for new flyers. The environment presented by the community is supportive of all members from different parts of the globe.
Women Who Drone also provides a variety of career opportunities to its members. After successfully acquiring Remote Pilot Licenses, the members can even get access to available jobs in the drone industry. The community aims to inspire as many women as possible to become drone pilots since they are in demand in various places.
Benefits Of Online Drone Training
If you are interested in learning to fly a drone online, there are many benefits that you can get from Women Who Drone platform. It is easy to join the community since you only need to create an account by visiting its official site.
The site gives you the opportunity to connect with other women who drone from different places across the globe. It does not matter where you live since the platform can help you to communicate with people from distant places. You can share drone life in your respective cities or countries, and the issue of geographical location does not affect you in any way.
Members of the community can share their drone experiences with other participants. Qualified pilots are encouraged to share their drone projects, and these may include videos and photos. Such projects can inspire other women who are still new to this booming industry.
The platform also enables all the members to share their thoughts in general so they can inspire each other. Women lag in other aspects that can affect their welfare in their respective societies. Therefore, the online community is also the best place where women from different backgrounds can share other pertinent issues in their lives.
Women Who Drone also provides blogs and news releases to help the members stay abreast with the latest drone information. The industry is continually changing, and blogs help the women to keep pace with these changes. The members also have access to a calendar about upcoming events of which they can join if interested.
Online Training Is Flexible
The other notable benefit of drone training at home is that you can learn during your own time and pace. The practice is so flexible such that you can choose a time that is convenient for you. Many people will fall in love with the free learning environment that can allow them to express their views freely.
Members of the online community can also get the opportunity to enjoy other services like one-on-one lessons. You can interact directly with your mentor, and the learning process is free. In this kind of setting, there are no fears of intimidation since you directly communicate with your instructor.
Drone Technology Can Improve Your Business
Drone technology gives you a lot of benefits to your business such as minimizing risks. You can use the drones to conduct inspections of your construction businesses. Physical examinations might be risk hence the need to use a device that you can operate remotely.
Drone technology is also reliable since it gives you real-time data about the events taking place around your entire commercial property. Females can also perform such tasks hence the reason why they should learn how to operate drones.
Drone regulation is an ever-evolving subject. For every new opportunity and piece of tech that comes along, there are questions over correct practice and uniformity in laws. The FAA continues to update its guidelines and amendments to cover new rules and restrictions as they come into place. At the same time, bodies such as the ULC attempt to challenge current legislation over privacy concerns.
What is clear and legal today may, at some point in the future, alter and become illegal. That is why it is important that all drone owners and operators keep up with current rules, trends, and amendments. The more that drone operators know, the easier it is to stay compliant and work without concerns.
There are three major factors to consider right now with the state of FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drone regulations in 2018. They are as follows:
- The current rules and regulations on the basic flight as detailed by the FAA
- New challenges by the ULC over airspace ownership and aerial trespass
- Issues of national security and restrictions around military sites
Some of these regulations are set in stone and operators must adhere to them at all times, whatever the purpose of the flight. Other amendments are a little more fluid and pertain to specific sites. Then there are the legal challenges that may or may not affect drone laws in the future.
It is a complicated mix of issues. But, drone users that keep up with these trends and alterations should have few issues.
FAA Drone Regulations For Basic Flight
In July 2018, the FAA released an update to their current rules and regulations on the use of drones in the US. Many of these clauses and statements are familiar to those that fly drones regularly.
However, it is important for the FAA to continue to issue press releases and amendments to keep pilots informed. The most important changes relate to the national security issues below. Still, it doesn’t hurt for drone users to brush up on the basics.
The following rules come from Part 107 of the FAA regulations on drones weighing less than 55 pounds. These rules are some of the key points in the current guidelines on safe drone operation and certification. Failure to comply could result in serious penalties. Please note the rules for commercial drone flying are different from recreational flying or hobbyist requirements.
Check-Out FAA Website For Drone Regulation News & Updates
As always, there is great emphasis on maintaining a flight path within the eye line of the user. The drone must remain within the sight of one person on the ground. This rule is essential for those testing out First Person View (FPV) tech on their new drones. First Person View allows users to go a little further with greater control and is a popular addition to new transmitters and drones. But, those operating in FPV must also have a visual observer beside them for safety.
Sight restrictions also mean that twilight flight is only permitted with anti-collision lighting and that minimum weather visibility is three miles. This issue of visibility partly explains the restricted height of 400ft from the ground. Any higher than 400ft and pilots are in breach of these regulations.
Safety is essential when handling these drones, especially around other people and property. Therefore, pilots cannot fly within 400ft of a structure, within a covered structure or directly over people. Takeoff, flight, and landings must come from a static point on the ground – never from within a moving vehicle.
Weather is another important safety consideration. Visibility is a good starting point, but rain and wind are also crucial variables. The maximum wind speed during flight is 100mph/87 knots. With so much to consider, it is essential that pilots take the time to build their own safety plan.
Then there is the security of any external loads on the drone, such as cameras and cargo. The increased desire to use drones for deliveries and transportation will surely lead to a few experiments. Drone operators need to ensure that the combined weight of the cargo and drone does not exceed that 55 lb. limit. All items connected to the drone must also be secure enough to avoid damage or injuries. Pilots must checks connections and ties before every flight.
FAA Drone Regulations On Certification
As things stand, everyone with a drone operating under Part 107 conditions must have the right certification. The great news for new drone owners with drones under 55 lbs. is that there is an automated registration system available. One of the interesting things about regulations for these small drones and model aircraft is the lack of aircraft certification.
It is possible for pilots to operate these craft without any certification of airworthiness. Yet, that doesn’t mean that drone owners can afford to be lax with their checks and safety. It is advisable to perform the relevant safety checks on these UAVs. One such pre-flight check would be to ensure all the right communication links.
Then there is the issue of pilot certification. All drone pilots operating under this Part 107 conditions must have a remote pilot license. If not, they must work under the direct supervision of a licensed operator. This certificate comes through either an FAA-approved aeronautical knowledge test or, for those with a Part 61 license, an online training course.
There is an age restriction of 16 for a remote pilot license. Therefore, children should not use a drone without the direct supervision of a licensed adult.
Drone Users Need To Stay In Touch with the FAA To Remain Current
There may be times when the FAA calls upon drone users and request information about a drone and its operation. It is essential that all drone owners comply with these requests, even if it means handing the drone over for inspection. Owners should also make sure they have copies of all records, certificates and other details as needed.
The FAA may do so in cases of accidents, such as property damage or injuries to others in the area. Pilots should inform the FAA of any incident involving serious damage or injury within 10 days. This communication will help cases in the long run.
Another reason to contact the FAA is to appeal for a waiver. Waivers are one of the reasons why drone operators can get a little confused by these FAA drone regulations. Even though there are clear rules in place, it can seem like one rule for one company and another rule for another. Waivers give pilots a pass on certain clauses if they can ensure safe operation. Examples of these waivers include a slightly heavier load on a secure system, flying above crowds or flying in lower light levels. Any proposed waiver within Class B, C, D and E airspace requires ATC approval.
Source: Federal Aviation Administration
The ULC And Aerial Trespass
The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) wants to see greater regulation on the National Airspace System, with more rights and greater, say awarded to landowners. Changes to ownership and airspace rights could have significant implications for drone use. The ULC’s proposal is that property owners would control the first 200ft of airspace around the home. Drone pilots flying into this space would commit a form of aerial trespass.
If approved, the proposition would create a corridor between 200 and 400ft where operators could fly with ease. This would reduce invasions of privacy, but also limit the creative output from the UAVs.
There are two sides to this idea of aerial trespass and a drone’s right to roam.
There are some drone users that will see this as an overreaction to the use of UAVs. Yet, current concerns over privacy and the integration of drones in modern society leave this issue up in the air. Different companies and educational institutions are against the idea of drones getting too close and creating images of workers and children.
There is already debate over photography in public spaces and posting images of strangers without consent. Some galleries, for example, don’t allow photography when school field trips are in progress. Drone footage and aerial shots raise similar concerns.
On the other side, there are the media outlets that rely on drone footage for news reports. Media outlets would struggle with this 200ft restriction. Crews use UAVs to reach areas inaccessible to cameramen and capture images of major disasters and dangerous incidents. This process is vital to see and understand the scope of a major incident.
Yet, there is a good chance that these drones will have to fly over private property to do so. A drone capturing the devastation of a wildfire in California shouldn’t require the permission of every homeowner to film there. It isn’t practical and there just isn’t the time.
How does the FAA Reauthorization Act 2018 relate to this proposal?
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 should provide great clarification of the FAA’s influence on the regulation of drones. The Federal Appeals Court made it clear that drones are model aircraft, so meet the criteria for FAA regulation. Yet, there are two amendments to the act that raise questions about the organizations’ influence.
The DeFazio Amendment seems to offer the FAA full control and approves the idea of knowledge tests and full certification for drone pilots.
Meanwhile, the Sanford Amendment says that the Administrator – the FAA – shall not “require the pilot or operator of the UAS to obtain or hold an airman certificate”. Irregularities like these continue to blur the lines in FAA drone regulations and cause confusion.
Drone Law Amendments And National Security
As of the 7th of July, there have been some alterations to specific flight restrictions around certain air bases. Drones and UAVs remain a constant source of stress regarding national security. It is too easy for pilots to get too close to airbases, runways, and other protected facilities. Drones could pose a safety risk to aircraft in the area.
Also, the cameras may pick up sensitive information about operations or aircraft in use. The sight of a drone, or just the suspicion of one in the area, could shut a base down. The most recent amendment refers to a flight restriction of 400ft around the lateral boundaries of Administrative United States Penitentiary Thomson near Clinton, IL.
This is set to be just one of many of these amendments. The FAA claimed that they have an ongoing review process of different requests from other sites. These areas want their own drone-specific restrictions for improved security.
The policy of the FAA is to announce each change in its own time. Therefore, the list could change quite frequently. Thankfully, there is an online tool that drone operators can use for further information. The FAA website carries an interactive map with all the necessary information.
Source: U.S. Air Force graphic by David Perry
Education And Awareness With FAA Drone Regulations
It is important that all drone users, whatever their profession or intent, stay up to date with current laws and amendments. The fact that the rules above relate to Part 107 of FAA regulations shows the complexity of the situation. The national security amendments are subject to change.
The B4UFLY app is a great tool that can help drone pilots understand regulations in their area. This smartphone app advises users on localized restrictions and their parameters. The interactive maps, planner software, and FAA links mean that users have access to all necessary information. A quick status check could make the difference between a safe, legal flight and one with all sort of complications.
Drone users should also take the time to keep an eye on FAA news updates and reports, as well as other news stories on drone laws. Ignorance of the law will only get users so far because the FAA consistently update their site with current amendments. No pilot should get complacent that current legal flight regulations will stay the same.
Contradictions in the Reauthorization Act highlight that this is not a straightforward issue. The world is still adapting to drone use and the ULC challenge is part of a larger resistance against invasive drone use. The issues and laws above highlight the current state of affairs. In a year, or maybe just six months, it could be different again.
Every hobbyist has to start somewhere. If you have a passion for flying drones but don’t yet have the experience, look to buy a starter drone. As a beginner drone pilot, it is necessary that you purchase a UAV that is easy to learn to operate, before graduating to a more complex model. The more advanced drones are not cheap, and if all you do is crash them, you will quickly get discouraged. Read our tips for drones that are great for beginners.
5 Of The Best Drones For Beginners
The site used to compile this list include Best Drone For The Job, Parrot, DJI.com, Yuneec, Amazon.com. Several of these drones have been around for a couple of years and have stood the test of time. They are still our recommendations for 2018.
Parrot Bebop 2
The Parrot Bebop 2 sells for around $450 and can give its pilot twenty-five minutes of fly time on full charge.
The video boasts 14 megapixels of the quality video made possible by its advanced stabilization system. It has a unique feature that lets its pilot operate it via smartphone or tablet.
Even though it is very lightweight, its material components make it very durable, something every beginner pilot needs. The drone retails for around $450 and is good value for the price.
Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K
Yuneec’s Q500 is perfect for a beginner pilot. The 4K high definition camera fits snuggly on the bottom of the drone and is capable of taking 30 frames per second with a 115-degree field of view. The controls are easy to learn and operate.
To begin flying the pilot will need to push the left stick up, the Q500 will take off and continue to rise in the air until the user takes his finger off the control stick. Once he releases it, the UAV will hover in place.
The control stick is very rudimentary in operation. Press up, and the drone flies upward, press down and the drone flies lower to ground, pressing the control left will move the drone left, and right will push it right.
The drone is equipped with a state of the art GPS system that can help it maintain the desired position even in windy conditions. The Q500 is fast too. It can reach speeds up to 22 miles per hour, which sounds like fun, but it could be a little risky for an under the experienced pilot.
The pilot can control the speed, however, so it’s crucial that they go slow while first learning. The drone has two modes aimed at user ease. The “Watch Me” mode keeps the camera lens on the pilot at all times no matter which direction it’s flying.
The “Follow Me” mode will keep the drone near to the person holding the control no matter where they walk. Coming in at around $1,000, it’s the most expensive drone on the list, but it’s indeed a great value considering all the camera specs and user-friendly innovations. This drone is also the largest to make our list as it weighs approximately four pounds.
The Hubsan X4 is tiny, about the size of an adult human hand with fingers extended. Because of its small size, its owner can practice piloting right in his home.
The camera is built into the front part of the drone and captures .3 megapixel videos. It can fly for about ten minutes before needing to be grounded and recharged. One of the best features is its ability to turn flips by just touching a button on the control.
The Nighthawk DM007 is another excellent choice for beginners. In the case of a crash, it’s easy to repair.
It only costs around $35, and it can be a lot of fun to fly because of its simple trick capabilities. It’s small enough to fly inside a building and has a unique HD video camera.
UDI U818A Discovery
The UDI Discovery is by no means exceptional, but it’s very easy to use and resists crashes caused by gusts of wind.
It sells for around $75 and is ready to try out as soon as it is out of the box; there’s no need for construction. It can only fly for around seven minutes, but it can take some amazing aerial skills while hovering.
It’s recommended that beginner UAV pilots purchase a UAV that is not too costly to start out with. Even pilots with some years of experience admit that drone crashes are guaranteed if you fly them often enough.
The crashes are more likely when the pilot is new to the hobby, so it’s best not to invest in the most expensive models when starting out. It’s also a good idea to sign up for the insurance that is offered at the time of purchase for an additional cost. All beginner pilots should check out what the FAA regulations are for flying a drone, so you do not violate any rules unknowingly and end up paying a penalty.
President Trump has a plan to make it much easier to fly commercial drones across the US. He has a vision for a country with a strong, fluid drone network and drone-based economy. Current FAA laws and regulations mean that this is a long way off.
President Trump’s solution to the current situation is the new Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program. This could shake up aviation and help drone operators and businesses across the nation. This new development will thrill some people, others less so.
What does it all mean for drone operators, developers, and haters over the coming years?
Why has President Trump announced this new program for drone laws and applications?
President Trump released a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Transportation on October 25th. This document outlines all the guidelines and implications of this new program. It begins with an insight into the reasons for its creation.
UAS Integration Pilot Program
Trump claims that drones mean “novel, low-cost capabilities” that are applicable in public and private applications. The statement also mentions the chance to “enhance the safety of the American public, increase the efficiency and productivity of American industry, and create tens of thousands of new American jobs.”
There are three key points here:
- job creation and economic benefits
- improvements to American industry to boost the status of the US
- public safety and security
These points are interesting because they highlight the priorities with this new drones venture. Industry and economic prospects are the main focus here. There is the hope that companies can improve profits, develop brands and improve tech with drone systems. There is also the chance to build and supply the drones themselves. This is where many of those new jobs could occur. As for public safety, this implies links to homeland security and surveillance.
(source: Aero-News Network)
Who Will Be Happy About This New Proposition?
There are sure to be plenty of drone lovers and commercial operators jumping for joy at this news. But, who stands to benefit from any relaxation of drone laws or new opportunities. There will be many drone operators a little hope that they can benefit here. The big four include
- commercial operators currently restricted by the FAA
- companies planning drone-based delivery services
- those in industrial sectors that may benefit further.
- emergency services already benefiting from drone applications
There are lots of people that either own or wish to own, a license for commercial drone flight. These licenses come with rules and restrictions that can limit the potential of the venture. For example, many film-makers want to create groundbreaking footage of locations and events. They can only fly to a certain height, in certain light levels, and can’t go above crowds. New rules and regulations for commercial use may relax current limitations, opening doors for many drone enthusiasts.
Aspiring Delivery Companies:
This is one of the main talking points for new drone laws in the US. There are many companies with their eye on drone-based delivery services. Amazon has mentioned it for a while now, with the hope of speedier direct package transfers. This could help with same-day deliveries for small packages. Then all the food outlets see drones as the best replacement for delivery boys. 7-Eleven is one such company to express their interest. Then all those big brand pizza makers would use drone service as a way to compete on delivery times.
The focus of this new approach largely rests with the commercial side and an opportunity for big business. However, there is also the opportunity to help those in industrial sectors. Drones are important tools in many industries, from mining and infrastructure to electricity boards and surveying.
Operators use these tools over vast areas to determine new areas of development and the safety of vital equipment. Is there any way that the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program could also help here?
Then there are all those drones used in emergency applications, such as fire, ambulance and search, and rescue. Where possible, and safe, operators here need the freedom to roam and operate in a dangerous situation. This often means remote locations, tight spaces or around people.
Again, this Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program might prove beneficial here. There are already great examples of developers and services benefiting from drone use. This was clear with the use of drones in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Elsewhere, Flirtey has new tech that allows the drone to deliver first aid and defibrillators in disaster zones. These life-saving operations need as much help as possible.
Who Might Be Unhappy with this New Program?
Then there are those less than thrilled about any plan to change drone laws. Some in the drones industry are more than happy with the safety rules and regulations in place at the moment. Others would like to see stronger laws to protect airspace, property, and privacy. Those possibly concerned by this venture include
- the FAA monitoring drone use
- Airports and aviation officials
- private citizens fearful of drones
It is the job of the FAA to regulate the skies in a manner that works for everyone. They need to ensure the safety of users and aircraft, as well as clarity of rules. In other words, there can’t be a free-for-all situation in the skies.
The current situation is perhaps too strict for Trump and those delivery service providers. The FAA would argue that it serves a purpose. All those that want to operate a drone must pass an exam. Even then, there are strict rules and limitations on the flight. For example, these drones cannot fly beyond the operator’s line of sight, go too near people or operate at night without authorization. This new Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program. Could disrupt things a little.
Airports and aviation officials:
A relaxation of the laws and changes to operation regulations would also affect airports. Drones are a nightmare for air traffic control. They encroach upon airspace and threaten flights, and then dash away as though nothing happened. This is a growing problem over in the UK, where major airports see flights grounded due to nearby drone activity. These delays are the best case consequence.
What would happen if a landing airliner sucked a drone into the engine? There are also questions about counter-UAS security to keep drones away from these restricted areas.
Private citizens and property owners:
Then there are all those that dislike drones and don’t want them near their property or families. There is a big concern about privacy with commercial and personal drone use. What can operators see as they fly over homes and gardens? Are images and data shared without the occupier’s knowledge? Any delivery drone will have to travel to other people and properties to reach its destination.
Then there is the risk of damage to property if the drone malfunctions or crashes. What is the responsibility of the homeowner if a drone dies on the back lawn? There are a lot of unanswered questions, which is why this new scheme will take some time.
What is the Department of Transportation Doing?
President Trump sent his Presidential Memorandum to the Department of Transportation. It is now down to the Secretary to set the ball in motion. This means:
- gathering ideas on the subject
- talking to all the major stakeholders
- narrowing down the best five ideas for developments
- implementing these test projects
- creating new laws on the evidence of the projects
The first step with the new Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program is to gain ideas from those with insight. This means developers, operators, and officials with experience in drone flight and laws. They also want to take the time to talk with a range of target audiences for a broad set of opinions. This means city authorities, pilots, operators and also private citizens.
There is also a need to speak to state, local and tribal authorities on the issue. With time, the best five solutions will move forward. The aim is that these will be the biggest crowd-pleasers with the best outcomes.
There is the sense that President Trump doesn’t want to lag behind other countries on drone use.
Trump wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ which often means ensuring it does better than other nations to stay on top. The industry is a clear focus on economic and technology development, and drones play into this pretty well. If other countries can create their commercial drone networks, why can’t America?
The US has a desire to be the best, the fastest, the smartest and the most developed – without consideration of the full implications. The problem is that there is more to this issue than simply signing some laws and allowing more drones in the air. The concerns expressed above show that this isn’t going to be straightforward.
A great example of this difference between nations comes from Rwanda.
There are a few African nations with new drone networks, undoubtedly envied by Trump. Rwanda was the first, with a partnership with a Silicon Valley start-up called Zipline. This network is for emergency aid, rather than a commercial benefit. The drones help to deliver emergency supplies of blood to remote areas when roads are impassible.
This is an impressive, admirable use of a drone network, but it is hard to compare Rwanda’s situation to that of the US. The nature of the program is just the start. There is also the fact that it is much easier to manage a drone network in these African air spaces. The same is true for the European nations, like Switzerland, keen on their developments. American airspace is much busier, complex and difficult to negotiate. The FAA already handles more than 40,000 flights a day. Urban air spaces are chaotic.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t improvements to make with the current FAA drone laws.
There are issues already with the FAA and current drone laws. It is difficult to keep everyone happy, and within the law, as they develop their tech and venture. The FAA themselves are just as guilty of trying to please everyone and creating a few great areas. For example, there is a waiver system in place where operators can essentially apply to break the rules. This could have been for exceptional cases. They granted around 1,300 of these waivers. This covers those that want permission to fly and night, over people or to break another clause.
On top of that, they also gave a permanent exemption to CNN. This means that they are constantly allowed to fly over crowds to create drone-based news footage. No other outlet has this right. This flexibility shows the need for improvements to drone regulations, which this Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program could provide. Some areas need strengthening.
This trial period will be significant for all involved in the drone industry.
It will be interesting to see how these Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program trials and recommendations develop. There is the risk that they will alter the rules to favor commercial businesses and revenue while risking safety. The “line of sight” rule is a great example.
Drones are only truly safe when visible. Operators need to know precisely where they are for safe operation and landing. This prevents crashes or the craft getting too close to people, property or planes. How can this continue with long distance delivery services? Even so, the administration is sure to play up the safety angle and insist that this is in the best interest of public safety.
The results of this proposal won’t be clear for years. There are quite a few hoops to jump through with the consultations, plans, and test runs. There is also the likelihood that the consultations won’t appease everyone. But, there is potential in this Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program for many stakeholders. This is especially true for those commercial enterprises. In a few years, the US might get those drone-based package deliveries after all.
A career in the armed forces is something that many people consider after high school. Some find themselves drawn to military service from a young age with a desire to serve their country, perhaps due to family ties. Others find their way into the service through other skills and disciplines.
The US Air Force is proud to recruit many different people of different abilities into the service, with a growing range of roles. One area that has grown particularly rapidly is that of drone operations. There are now calls for more trainees and drone pilots in the US Air Force, and it is easier than ever to apply.
However, this line of drone work is not for everyone, and the US Air Force has only just realized the true implications of this form of UAV.
There are many questions to ask yourself before committing to this role. Do you understand the requirements and responsibilities? Do you have the determination and skill to get through the qualifications? Finally, do you have what it takes to handle the mental side of the job?
Drones are an essential part of so many industries that it is no surprise that the US armed forces utilize them too.
(Source: Brian McIntosh)
Drones have quickly developed from novelty toy and instrument of the rich and powerful to widespread tool with potential in many fields. It is not enough to call yourself a drone operator anymore. There are so many fields and industries that make use of these systems that the are clear distinctions between job titles. For example, there are drone operators to work in surveillance and videography, and then there are the Remote Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operators in the Air Force.
At one point, it was quite difficult to get a place as an RPA officer due to a mixture of the factor. First of all, places went to commissioned officers due to the nature of the role. There were also limited training places available to those that made the grade.
Now its seems that the US Airforce has made a slight U-turn by opening up the roles in a need to fill the gaps. There are more opportunities than ever to join the force in this capacity. The continued development of tech and drones means that this can only continue. The Airforce want more planes, more weaponized ones at that, with a new line of Reapers.
The Distinction Between The RPA And The UAV
The name Remote Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operator is quite a mouthful, perhaps to distance the role from that of other drone operators and pilots. This is understandable when we consider the work and training that goes into this post compared to some other roles. Not to mention the sensitivity of the tasks involved. Some RPA operators in the armed forces would probably be a little offended at the term drone operator. Their work goes much further than that.
We have to consider the reasons for these RPAs when we consider the work of the drone pilot in the US Airforce. There are sure to be times when surveillance work and videography are useful on the basis, perhaps with the maintenance of hard to reach places, and small drones and UAVs play their part. However, these roles with RPAs go beyond that into warfare and conflicts. The work of these drones and their pilots is crucial for the success of missions, the information gathered and the ongoing work of the military in key areas.
Then there is the fact that this isn’t your basic drone that you fly around the park.
It is important that we make the distinction here between drones in the air force and drones in commercial settings. This isn’t a quadcopter with a small camera that these pilots operate. Instead, they are more like small unmanned planes that bridge the gap between spy plane and UAV. They are substantial pieces of equipment with serious technical capabilities. At the moment, the US Airforce work with Predators and Reapers, with a desire to focus on improving the Reapers.
The scale and sophistication of these RPAs are clear in the Predator XP. This is the most recent model within a family of drones that stretches back as far as 1995. A lot has changed since then.
The Predator XP provides line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight data link systems, with access to multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors, cameras and radar systems. This highlights the difference between disciplines.
A camera on this RPA is not the same as the camera on a commercial drone. The addition of other ISR systems adds to the complexity. It does take skill and technical knowledge to fly these things.
So What Are These RPA Operators Responsible For?
There have long been jokes made about the roles of soldiers taken over by robots and automated devices. This soon evolved to comments about the roles of drones and the images of pilots flying UAVs into enemy airspace with what looked like video game console controllers. The problem with these jokes and memes is that they run the risk of trivializing the importance of these machines.
US Airforce drone pilots send unmanned machines into enemy territory to gain information on locations and bases without the need to put any human lives at risk. There is always the chance of someone spotting the RPA and shooting it down to prevent the information from traveling back. This is preferable to the alternative with a manned mission or spy plane.
The Airforce mention the following when discussing the role of these operators:
1) “perform pre and in-flight mission planning activities.”
2) “test and evaluate capabilities of new equipment and propriety of new procedures.”
3) “detect, analyze and discriminate between valid and invalid targets.”
4) “perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance”.
5) “assist in air navigation, fire control planning and determining effective weapons controls and delivery tactics.”
6) “conduct immediate first battle damage assessments”.
Simply put, this means a range of potential requirements from planning the mission in addition to operating it, keeping an eye on the enemy, helping to weaponize the systems, determining the best targets and being first on the scene after a battle.
What Qualifications Do Drone Pilots Require?
The image of a soldier in a remote location, manipulating the controls of a far off UAV with a games controller, gives the impression of a laid back, low-skilled effort. However, this is far from the truth as these pilots require a lot of skill and qualifications to enter the service and work these missions.
A drone operator with a pilot’s license and a year in the industry can’t simply walk in and expect to work with the air force. There is a long process of qualifications and training here. After all, the US Air Force only wants the very best who are truly capable of flying these missions.
This all starts with some basic academic qualifications. The force look for candidates with at least a high school diploma, a GED with 15 college credits, or a GED. They also highlight general ASVAB requirements and electronics qualifications. Then there is the experience of the candidate. They tend to look at those with flight experience, as this is both beneficial and desired, but it is possible to train without it.
Applicants must also complete a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI), 7.5 weeks of basic military training and take part in Airmen’s Week. Finally, all applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 39 with a normal color vision for the operation of the drone. Their status upon completion is “Enlisted Airman with credits earned towards Air and Space Operations Technology.”
What About The Qualities Required And The Best Type Of Person For The Job?
Of course, we have to remember that there is more than just physical skill and technical knowledge involved in the qualifications to be a drone pilot in the US Airforce. There are mental capabilities and mindsets required to work well in this environment. This all goes back to that idea of why these pilots fly the drones.
There are deeper implications and moral issues involved with all drone flights. It is one thing to manage a safe, secure flight to and from the designated area with the right footage.
There are also the consequences of these actions. What will happen as a result of the mission? What action will occur if the mission is a success? Some pilots may not know, they may go blindly into their next task with nothing but assumptions. Those that cannot handle those assumption and potential consequences cannot fly drones for the military.
Others will know all too well what is happening and what the implications are. These pilots are those that help with the target identification and weaponization, and those that end up firing a weapon on a person of interest. There are misconceptions about the role of the drone pilot in this situation. That it is perhaps easy to do this in this remote location where they can distance themselves from battle.
However, some say it is easier to be in the war zone where it makes a little more sense, and there is time to process the action on deployment. Here pilots go home to their family after a shift, like a typical 9-5 job, and struggle to answer the question of “how was your day.”
This job is tough to handle, and all trainees need to prepare themselves.
There is the sense here that this is a job full of excitement, like a real-life video game where pilots get to fly around, look for trouble and shoot the bad guys. There is this possibility of action, but most of the shift requires a lot of basic screen monitoring.
Pilots have described the experience as 99% boredom and 1% adrenaline rush, which can take its toll on a shift. There are three shifts per day, each of which is a long time to concentrate on a screen and fly successfully. They are, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., and 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. They can arrive around an hour before the shift starts for a mass briefing on the weather, changes in instructions for the area and other notes from the previous day.
There is then a briefing on the day’s specific mission and an assessment of crew readiness regarding sleep, stress levels and health. They then head to the Ground Control Station (GCS) to replace the previous shift. It is a long period of little action with the potential for that 1%.
It is important to consider why you want to fly a drone in the US Air Force, and if you can handle it.
Anyone considering a move as a drone pilot in the US Air Force needs to consider their reasons for signing up in the first place. Which is the most important priority here? Serving the country or flying a drone? Those that think that flying a drone with the military is the most exciting job prospect with drones need to reconsider. Those that make the grade do some vital work, but it takes a lot of training and hard work to get there.
Also, there are opportunities in other fields where the training is easy, up to date and the work is enjoyable. Those that put the service before the job will stick it out, work their way through and enjoy the role. Still, it is important to remember the qualifications that the air force is after. A high school drops out with few formal qualifications into going to get far, no matter how badly they want it.
The Air Force took its time to wise up to impact of drones and the need to switch enrollment options from commissioned officers to enrolled airmen. Now the opportunities have increased to the point where there aren’t enough drone pilots to fulfill the needs. There is no doubt that the number of positions for RPA operators will only grow in the coming years.
Drones are a necessity with scope for increased numbers and more advanced tech. The US Air Force will always want to best pilots rising through the ranks to take the controls and succeed in these complex missions.
UAV drones and other manned crafts are here to stay. They have gained popularity as hobbyist toys and fun gadgets, but also as commercial, high-end tech with industry potential. The growth of drones – both regarding their tech and potential – means a large number of crafts taking to the skies. To fly responsibly require rules and FAA regulations for UAV drones.
The FAA has worked on these laws and regulations for some years, with the latest update in August 2016. They are work in progress, but not something to take lightly. These laws are an important part of drone use because they help to regulate the system and protect users.
These regulations have been in place since 2014 when the National Transportation Safety Board finalized the classification of drones as aircraft. This subsequently meant that all drones are subject to FAA regulations. Those that abide by the rules can fly drones. Those that don’t face fines other penalties.
The FAA regulations and UAV drone laws have their pros and cons. They provide strict guidelines to protect users, bystanders, property and airspace. They also have potential waivers for individual cases. Some feel that they are too limited and need more room to develop. Either way, operators need to understand how these laws affect their activity.
Important Rules For Model Drones And Other Hobby Craft
Naturally, any people assume that these detailed laws only regard the large-scale commercial drones that may be a risk to other people. Model craft and hobbyist drones don’t have that much weight attached – literally and figuratively. There are still laws in force for this sub-group, and a whole chapter devoted to them in the August review. These models are not above the law, even if they are small, light and don’t fly very far.
It is important to know what classes as a hobby drone or model aircraft under these rules.
Simply put, a model aircraft, in this capacity, is an unmanned aircraft capable of what they call “sustained flight in the atmosphere.” It is flown within the operator’s clear visual line of sight, and it used purely for hobby or recreational purposes. This is a pretty simple explanation. It covers all small UAV drones that are flown for fun – not commercial means – but must obey similar guidelines on flights and safety.
Key flight limitations and safety guidelines for these model drones.
There are limitations on these hobby drones in terms of size and ability. Those that exceed these rules are either classed as a commercial craft or simply breaking the law. The first consideration is the weight, as the drone cannot exceed 55 pounds unless otherwise certified.
Like all drones, there are important rules on the distance and visibility of the drone in the pilot’s line of sight. Here the rules are a little more relaxed as there are few concerns over the use of first person view operation or night flights. Still, the latter is only an option if the drone has the appropriate lighting for that clear view.
One surprising clause here is that there are currently unrestricted flight altitudes. Pilots have more freedom to roam unless they are within three miles of an airport. This is where tough rules on airport airspace come into effect again.
Some pilots may feel that safety guidance isn’t as important here as for the larger commercial models below. However, this is still a drone capable of damage and must be flown with care and respect.
The FAA insist that all pilots fly within what they state as a “community-based set of safety guidelines” which comply with the “programming of a nationwide community-based organization.”
Many basic, common-sense ideas are in place; such are a prohibition on flying directly over people, vessels, vehicles or buildings without the proper protection. Also, “hand-catch” landings are also forbidden. This is where pilots reach up and grab the craft out of the air as it returns. This is dangerous when rotor blade is in motion and can cause injury.
Finally, model aircraft users need to make sure that they are registered.
Some model drone users may not consider the need for registration. There is the sense that this level of regulation and paperwork is just required the large, commercial models. There are clear rules on registering hobbyist drones and fines for those that don’t comply.
The new FAA regulations state that owners must register if their craft is above the designated weight. Those that fail to do so may risk civil penalties of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000. There is also the risk of imprisonment on top of that. It isn’t worth the risk when it takes so little effort to register. A registration fee of $5.00 covers all the UAV drones and other items owned. It is a one-time thing.
Other Non-Manned Aircraft And Drones
There are also important rules and laws in place for all commercial non-manned UAVs. It all starts with some basic operating limitations for the aircraft and the pilot. The ground speed of the UAV cannot exceed 87 knots, the altitude must not be greater than 400 feet above ground level, and the minimum flight visibility can be no less than three statute miles.
The operator, meanwhile, must have the appropriate training and certification for the job. The exception to the rule applies to those under the direct supervision of a licensed remote pilot in command with the ability to take immediate direct control. The operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft at one time is also prohibited.
Many rules refer to drone flight in the proximity of people, buildings, and other craft.
All operators must fly their UAV drones in a manner that does not put other people, aircraft or property at risk. This means that drones cannot fly directly over people with two clear exceptions. Either they are participating in the operation and aware of the situation, or they are within a covered structure or stationary vehicle with what the FAA cal “reasonable protection.”
Then there is the area of flight and proximity to airspace and airports. Operators cannot fly those drones in Class B, Class C or Class D airspace without the authorization of Air Traffic Control (ATC)107.43 Operation cannot interfere with “operations and traffic patterns” in any form of the airfield or airbase.
This all leads to concerns over visibility. This is one of the main issues with drone use. A drone has to be visible to the pilot at all times. Therefore, pilots must ensure a visual line of sight that is “unaided by any device other than corrective lenses” and be aware of the craft’s location at all times. This means a clear understanding of altitude, distance and direction, and proximity to people, structures, and hazards. There are also rules on daylight operation where pilots must not fly in the “periods of civil twilight” without clear anti-collision lighting
This is all essential for the safety of all concerned.
Safety and safe operation are the number one concern for any pilot, and this regards their well-being, the safety of other people and the risks posed by the device. There are strict safety laws on the operation of these UAV drones.
Nobody can operate them in a “careless or reckless manner.” This includes restrictions on use while under the influences of drugs or alcohol, or if the pilot has a known medical condition that may affect reaction times and abilities.
As for the device itself, there are clear laws on the condition and use of these machines. There is a sub-clause on the condition for safe operation that states that nobody can fly a machine that isn’t in flight-ready condition. Therefore, users must perform safety checks on the condition of the UAV and the systems before each flight.
A faulty channel, rotor or battery could be disastrous. Also, pilots must be careful with additional items and packages on the drones. Pilots cannot drop objects in a way that may cause damage or harm to people or property. There are also laws against the “carriage of hazardous material,” for fairly obvious reasons.
What Are Waivers And Why Are They Such An Important Part Of Drone Laws?
Waivers essential act as a loophole in a world of either insufficient or inappropriate legislation. The current guidelines under these laws are a bit of a one-size-fits-all approach to drone regulations. They lump all drone operators together under the same rules with little breathing room.
Many operators and companies will not be able to carry out their goals with these limitations. Therefore, they need to apply for a waiver to cover their actions. These waivers are essential in some industries that need to fly a little further, a little higher or work needs people.
At the moment, the FAA has a clear subsection on the use of, and application for, waivers for drone operation. Companies can apply for a waiver directly that will authorize them to break’ certain rules.
Administrators will apply for these waivers if they feel that the applicant can still operate in a safe manner under these new terms. They also have the power to impose additional limitations depending on the situation. This is important because it removes this one-size-fits-all approach and works on more of a case-by-case nature.
Why Might Companies Apply For, And Receive A Waiver From The FAA?
Many operators will apply for a waiver based on the need to fly outside of the pilot’s line of sight. This rule limits the flight capabilities and purpose of drones.
Pilots with FPV and a good safety record could push the boundaries if permitted. Others have tried to take this further and applied for a waiver to operate without a pilot watching at all. However, this has only been successful a total of three times. Waivers to fly over people are even rarer.
The FAA have, at the time of writing, awarded just the one waiver of this type to CNN. There have only been 322 recorded waivers for commercial drones as of the beginning of 2017. However, this decision for CNN suggests that there is room for negotiation.
Companies that want to expand drone use will look upon these waivers and decisions quite favorably. These waivers on visibility, distance and flight time are important for all those looking into delivery, maintenance and surveillance programs.
Delivery companies are keen to employ drones for automated drop-offs. The problem is that UAV drones cannot fly over densely populated areas, or people and cannot leave the operator’s line of sight.
Waivers and new rules open the door to great flight times and new flight paths in the right hands. The same is true for those using drones to survey large areas of land or power lines. A recent delivery shows the potential here. In May 2017, a drone flew 97 miles along a delivery route in Austin, Texas. This was the longest drone deliveries yet, partly because of the route it had to take.
While waivers loosen the laws, the Trump administration are out to tighten them.
The current problem for drone development and law changes is that President Trump has set up his road block. It comes in the form of an executive order. It reads:
“ Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice…or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed.” Therefore, every new rule that the FAA comes up with for drone use must see two rules repealed. This could mean one step forward and two steps back for drone use.
There are tough drone laws and regulations for a reason, and they may not get easier anytime soon.
The rules and regulations for the August 2016 FAA amendment are long and complex. This guide is a summary of the key points and major themes. Drone operators and companies relying on the tech need to read the full clauses carefully. There are then two choices.
Users can either abide by the rules or apply for a waiver to bend them to suit their needs. While the latter is possible, with interesting decisions for news agencies and potential for delivery companies, there are still obstacles in place.
Some people see drones as nothing more than a bit of fun. They are toys and tools that provide people with entertainment and some aerial footage.
The problem with this idea is that it overlooks the development of these drones as large, dangerous pieces that can fall from the sky. This is a heavy piece of machinery with a series of rotors – 4 spinning blades on the fastest quadcopters – that can do some damage.
There are some important areas of insurance coverage to look at here. They include personal injury, property, privacy torts and general liability insurance. Check with your own insurance provider to see if your current policies cover your drone.
The FAA has guidelines in place to stop drone users from getting into too much trouble and ensure that the device is under control. Drones of a certain size can only be flown with the right training and a license. Those operators then need to make sure that they keep the drone in view at all times, without going too far or too high.
Naturally, it is common sense for operators to avoid power lines, buildings and build-up areas. Also, drones cannot be flown over people for safety reasons. This leads nicely to the first of the key reasons for getting drone insurance – personal injury.
Drones And Personal Injury Insurance
The danger of drones is clear in footage of anyone that tries to catch a flying drone in midair. The blade can do a lot of damage. Therefore, users need to be careful not to get too close to people and risk injury. There is also the risk that the device could lose control over crowds in high wind or if the battery fails.
A crash landing onto a bystander could be dangerous. Those that are properly insured have some protection in these circumstances. An injured party could sue those that own the drone or the company involved, even if they hired a pilot for the day.
Drones And Property Insurance
In addition to this potential damage to people, there is potential damage to property. This is true with drones working around buildings in a professional context.
Building contractors, surveyors, and real estate agents all use drones to look at the building from a new angle. They can see damage, energy loss and other potential problems. They can also take impressive photographs.
The problem is that there is too much risk of damage to buildings and windows. An errant drone crashing into a property could do some damage, which is especially problematic when trying to sell someone else’s home.
Drones And Privacy
Privacy is another issue with drone operation that some newcomers tend to forget. There is the chance that they could have a drone flying over the property with cameras attached. This may be unintentional on the flight path, but property owners can see this as intrusive. Pilots are seemingly spying and invading privacy. Privacy insurance protects against this.
Exemptions And Considerations In Drone Insurance Plans
It is also important to remember that there are clauses and exclusions in these liability insurance claims. No operator is free to roam and do what they want with this safety net beneath them. An example of this is the illegal acts exclusion for intentional violations of the law, as opposed to negligent acts.
There are also issues with workers’ compensation insurance. There are many terms and condition here, which just highlight the importance of a good insurance plan for all drones.
The best operators are the ones with full coverage and a sense of reliability.
These issues highlight why it is so important for people to hire drone operators with insurance for their needs, and why drone pilots need coverage. This is true when hiring aerial photographers or aerial surveyors for a project.
Companies and homeowners need to know they have a person they can trust and that safety net if something goes wrong. Also, companies that outsource to drone operators for their project could face action themselves if something goes wrong.
A property owner or injured party will look at the company sending up the drone before the operator regarding compensation. In the end, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems, also known as drones are revolutionizing industries from across the board. This has led to some experts asserting that drones are the future.
In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suggested that as many as 600,000 drones would fly commercially in 2017.The Association for Unmanned Systems International (AUVI) is one of the foremost organizations in the drones industry.
One of the biggest ways through which the organization has impacted the drone industry is through the annual XPONENTIAL experience. This is an exhibition which provides a platform for drone enthusiasts from all over the world to meet, network, deliberate and showcase their inventions and ideas.
The 2017 show will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas.
Who is Attending?
AUVSI XPONENTIAL is the largest such exhibition in the unmanned systems industry and this year, it is expected to draw as many as 7,000 professionals within the unmanned vehicle and robotics industries.
Also included is cutting edge technology from more than 600 companies all around the world and representing at least 20 industries including energy, construction, agriculture, automated vehicles, defense and even oil & gas. Some of the attendees/participants expected in this year’s event include;
- American Airlines
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Department of Defense
- Department of Interior
- The FBI
- Microsoft Research, Adaptive Systems and Interaction
- Uber Advanced Technologies Center
- IBM Corporation
For drone enthusiasts, the exhibition is a chance to get insight from the most influential people in the industry. It is also an opportunity to gain insights into topical issues, trade secrets & best practices and even keep at par with the latest advances in the industry. In line with this, several keynote speakers are going to be at AUVSI EXPONENTIAL, and they include;
- Brian Krzanich the CEO of Intel Corporation
- Terry McAuliffe the Governor of Virginia
- Jim Cantore who is a house-hold name in weather and who will also double up as the host of the 2017 show.
What Is On Offer?
The 2017 AUVSI XPONENTIAL will feature four distinct programs;
i. The Policy program will focus on issues to do with airspace, cooperation of local, state and federal agencies, international trade and the regulatory landscape of the industry.
ii. The Technology program will feature innovation in the defense industry as well as in the commercial industry and particularly drone delivery. It will also delve into the protection of intellectual property and software development in the drone industry.
iii. The Business Solutions program will delve into remote sensing, the use of drones in the wireless industry as well as in applications such as mapping and imaging.
iv. The Educational program which includes technical sessions that feature white papers as well as a presentation on government and defense opportunities in the drone industry. This will also feature unique sessions such as those providing insight into the role of women and diversity in the drone industry.
Most importantly, AUVSI XPONENTIAL will provide a platform for attendees from all across the divide to network and interact. In fact, there are some special events specifically meant to facilitate networking and interaction among participants. They are;
- Exhibitor Reception
- First Timers Reception
- Welcome Reception
- Chairman’s Reception
- XPO Hall Networking Receptions
- Start-up Showdown Happy Hour
- The Mix (which allows attendees to experience the southern culture).
What Else Is Worth Knowing?
The organizers of AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 have made things easier for attendees by developing several onsite services meant to improve their experience.
Organizers have reserved several room blocks in seventeen hotels around the venue of the event. These include the Crown Plaza Downtown Dallas, Hotel Indigo Downtown Dallas and Hyatt Regency Dallas among others.
In addition to that, attendees staying in the hotels with reserved room blocks will have complimentary shuttle services provided to them with the exception of the Aloft Dallas Downtown, Omni Hotel Dallas and La Quinta Inn & Suite Downtown Dallas all of which are a walking distance from the venue.
Attendees coming in their vehicles also have the benefit of access to ample parking for cars, trucks and trailers within the venue grounds. However, there is a parking fee of $15 per day for each vehicle.
It is also important to note this will not include in and out privileges and neither will it include overnight parking or utility connections for attendees using recreational vehicles (RVs).
iii. AUVSI XPONENTIAL attendees will also have the liberty of taking up dining options at the convention center as well as complimentary internet and Wi-Fi in all the lobbies within the convention center.
Just like automobiles, drones are set to become part of our daily lives, and their application has evolved from military and stretched to other sectors including filming, surveying, and real estate.
As a matter of fact, online stores like Amazon and eBay have pointed to the possibility of using drones to deliver products in the future even though there are no federal laws to govern the use of drones in transportation.
With these emerging opportunities, the need for a qualified drone pilot becomes apparent. Back in 2016, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) released a job listing that required qualified drone pilots who could fly drones less than 55 pounds.
The requirements were relatively basic as pilots were only needed to keep the drone in sight at all times, fly within 100 miles/hour and operate during daytime only. They were also required to report any accidents that resulted in an injury.
Since then, becoming a certified drone pilot became the dream of many people ranging from video game lovers to aviation experts and those seeking a career change.
What Is Required To Become A Drone Pilot?
The requirements for becoming a certified drone pilot are quite simple. Currently, pilots should be at least 16 years of age and pass a simple written test on the same.
Due to the demand for qualified pilots, schools and training institutions that provide courses for drone flying have popped up all over the country.
One such institution is UVU (Unmanned Vehicle University) found in Phoenix. Tuition and certification costs around $3,800 and participants are taken through three steps.
The first involves watching some 16 hours of online videos segmented into 20 minutes. At the end of each section, learners are expected to answer one question. These videos aim at helping students come to terms with the various drone flying aspects like flight, airspace limitations, weather conditions and how drones work.
After completing this phase, learners are sent a simulator with a controller similar to the original drone controller used in real life. This simulator provides about 12 hours of the various drone flying tasks.
The last step is meeting with a professional instructor for a 2-day hands-on drone flying experience. Learners are also required to pass a written test for the FAA 107 drone pilot certificate.
Where Can You Get Employed?
The demand for drone pilots is set to increase over the coming years as drones become more popular in routine applications. Drones have multiple applications in different industries including the following;
- Filming and video production
- Inspection and survey of real estate property
- In military surveillance, spying, and execution
- Transportation and logistics
- Leisure and entertainment
- Security surveillance and monitoring
Drones can have cameras attached to them and may also be built with sufficient space to carry light cargos and products. The applications of drone technology are often cited as limitless especially since new sectors keep emerging, and the technology is always growing and expanding.
When drones first emerged, they were only associated with the military industry. Today, there are drones in the filming and entertainment industry and real estate.
As drones continue to harness the benefits of existing technologies in other areas, it is expected to impact numerous industries within the coming years. Some experts have compared drone technology to automobiles and cell phone technology.
Is There Career Overreach?
Back in 2013, the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned-Vehicle-Systems-International) released a report that projected over 100,000 jobs within the unmanned aircraft sector before 2025.
In another analysis in 2016, Pricewater Coopers’ analysts expected that the market for commercial drone technology application could hit $127 million within the next four years. Since the FAA announced for drone pilot applications, the number of people looking to join the sector has continued to rise.
More industries are also open to considering new ways in which drone technology can benefit their operations. In the logistics and transportation, for instance, drones can be used to achieve faster delivery of lightweight goods.
The sector will overreach in the future, and the career opportunities for a drone pilot are in no way limited. More trainers, engineers, mechanics and software developers will be required as the technology expands and impacts the world in large scale.
Those interested in changing their careers by becoming a drone pilot will realize it is just as broad and complex an industry like any other and offers various new things to learn.
Owning a drone can be a fun pass time for some individuals, for others, it can be a good way of earn money.
It’s important that professional drone pilots register their UAV and follow the laws that pertain specifically to them. This article includes a list of “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to drone usage.
- Take a piloting course. Enrolling in a UAV/drone course can help a pilot perfect their skills and learn important safety habits.
- Purchase insurance from the seller. Most of the newer types of drones come with optional insurance from the seller. Because of the certainty of an unwanted crash sooner or later, it’s best to pay a little bit more for the insurance than having to replace the entire drone out of pocket.
- Do have fun. If drone photography is a hobby, don’t take it too seriously in the beginning if the pictures aren’t perfect. Pilots will get better in time and so will the quality of their pictures over time. The main purpose of any hobby is to engage in an activity that is enjoyable and relaxing. It’s hard for pilots to have fun if they are overly-sensitive about their first pictures.
- Launch after a visual check of all equipment. The most important thing to check is the battery life of the drone. After the UAV has been used for a time, the owner will likely notice a difference in how long the battery will last. It’s important that they monitor the drone, so they don’t run out of battery while the drone is mid-air. They should also check the propeller for debris of any kind that could have gotten stuck to the blades in a previously flight. Making sure their camera has enough battery and that the camera has been adjusted to the appropriate settings is a must for getting back great photography.
- Don’t purchase the most expensive drone equipment right off the bat. Even novice and expert drone pilots admit that crashes still happen to them.
- For new pilots, it’s best to start with cheaper equipment and then buy better equipment once they’ve built up their expertise and confidence flying. The pilot can always sell their old drone when it’s time to get a new one and recoup some of their money.
- Don’t fly when the weather isn’t ideal. It can be tempting for a drone enthusiast to want to fly their UAV even when in not-so-perfect weather. If it’s rainy (or looks like it’s going to rain), snowing or the wind is blowing above 15 mph, it’s not the day to take the drone out for a whirl. The pilot should wait for a day that has milder weather conditions to avoid a crash.
- Don’t fly in high-risk areas. Anywhere within five miles of an airport is off limit to drone pilots due to a small but real possibility of interference. Pilots also should avoid areas that are crowded, because they wouldn’t want a crash to occur on top of a fellow human being in case something on the drone malfunctions or weather causes it to fall.
- Don’t rely fully on autopilot. Most new pilots make the mistake of being heavily dependent on the autopilot and GPS system. The problem with this is that GPS isn’t 100% accurate and GPS can fail if there are tall structures blocking the signal. Autopilot isn’t foolproof either. In case it quits working, the owner will need to know how to pilot their UAV well enough to land it safely.
The UAV is an acronym for “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle”, which is a flying machine with no pilot. It is controlled by a pilot with a remote from a ground station. With drone usage on the rise, investing in UAV or Drone training courses could be life-changing.
Check Out These 4 Interesting Facts:
1. Professional appearance
When someone is looking for a drone pilot to help them photograph anything from an aerial point of view they will seek out someone they feel has the knowledge and experience to provide them with the best work. Since there are no “official” training courses right now that are required by law, lots of drone pilots’ bypass taking a course.
A pilot that is able to honestly advertise that they have completed a course in their field lead by certified instructors will be a step above the rest.
2. Prepare for the future
Though the FAA doesn’t yet have clear, enforceable laws when it comes to the certification of a drone pilot, it’s very likely to change sooner rather than later. By electing to take a course in UAV/drone piloting now, it could potentially save the pilots a headache in the future.
Since courses right now are optional, no one is forced to take one or lose their job. Course administrators have to keep their prices relatively affordable or few people will sign up for the course.
If the course became mandated by law then the prices for these courses would probably go up tremendously because the administrators would know that they can raise the price and pilots who want to keep their jobs will just have to pay.
In the very likely event that the government does intervene, those who already have their requirements met will be able to be booking gigs while those who procrastinated have to spend time getting caught up.
3. Get better
when a pilot takes the time and effort to complete a course that isn’t even government mandated, it shows how much they truly care about improving their skills and providing quality work for their clients.
As technology progresses, so does the potential for better photography if the pilot knows what he’s doing. By taking a course, pilots can learn the latest techniques in aerial photography as well as the most basic and proven methods.
The most important reason why an individual should invest in a drone piloting course is so they can make the experience as safe as possible. In these classes, safety takes precedence over all other factors involved. UAV piloting classes will help prepare pilots for the unthinkable such as a sudden change in weather or how to handle a flock of birds.
Pilots will also be taught how to manually pilot their drones so that they’re able to properly fly their drone without the use of GPS or autopilot settings.
Most of the newer drones come with a feature that enables the drone to touch down at its take-off point, unfortunately, this is not always exact and sometimes touching down at the same point is not feasible, examples being the initial launch was on a boat or the area of the first launch is now crowded with people.
Drones are a growing hobby in the United States. After forecasting, it was predicted that around 1,000,000 drones will be bought in 2016. Due to the big increase of drones, some new drone owners are turning a fun hobby into a new career after taking the required Drone Pilot Training courses.
10 Tips For Getting Started
1. Know the rules
Laws regarding drones are constantly being added and changed, but there aren’t many federally enforceable laws that apply to hobbyists; there are more restrictions for professionals.
It’s important for those new to flying drones to understand the laws that do apply to them. Most of the rules for recreational use of drones are put in place for safety measures. Whether or not these types of laws pertain to the owner, these are still good rules to follow:
Don’t fly the drone if it’s not fully charged; the pilot obviously wouldn’t want the battery to die and it crashes.
Don’t fly over restricted areas. Airports and stadiums are good examples of where not to fly. Don’t fly the drone anywhere where if it were to fall that it could hurt another human.
Never pilot the drone farther out than the pilot can see it. The owner needs to be able to navigate it at all times.
2. Find an open area for practice
The first time the owner uses their drone can be a little challenging. Play it safe and choose a day when there are good weather and almost no wind to take the drone for a spin through the air.
An open terrain is best, so just in case, there’s an accident the pilot will want to choose a place that won’t damage any property or hurt anyone. Also, try to ascend and descend in areas free of tall trees, buildings, and power lines.
3. Practice, practice, practice
As with any new hobby, it’s important to start to slow and progress when ready. Taking a small period of time to understand how to operate controls can make a significant difference in safety and in picture quality.
The pilot should begin hovering the drone no higher than their personal stature, then increase in five-foot increments as they gain more confidence. Next, it’s time to get a handle on the pitch, throttle, and yaw.
4. Set aside a savings fund for the drone
Even with all the practice in the world, accidents can and will still happen. A gust of wind can come out of nowhere and knock the drone off course and into a tree. The spare parts cost money of course, so it’s good to have little savings to support the hobby.
If the interest in the hobby grows, so will the costs of keeping it going. Upgrading equipment over time is a given.
5. Get insurance
As the pilot’s skill and confidence level grow, they will want to invest in more expensive equipment. Most of the better brands of drones offer insurance plans in case the pilot crashes the drone or the parts break. It’s not a bad idea for owners of a drone to pay into an insurance plan at the time of purchase.
6. Upgrade equipment over time
As stated before most drone owners will want to upgrade their gear after they continue in their hobby. It’s a bad idea for them to start with the most expensive kinds first since their lack of experience could cost them a pretty penny.
7. Look for resources
Drones are growing trend and not the most common hobby in the US…yet. If piloting a drone becomes a favorite hobby, the owner of the drone can get advice about maintenance and improving skills in one of the many forums or blogs online dedicated to drones and UAVs.
8. Have a set routine for each flight
There’re several steps a drone owner can take to help ensure a safer, easier flight for their drone.
Check the weather forecasts to make sure there are no impending storms and the wind is under control.
Visually check all equipment to make sure everything will go according to plan. It’s especially important to make sure the propeller seems to be functioning properly and hasn’t gotten dirty from a previous flight.
An obstruction in the propeller could mean a bad day for the pilot and the drone. Get the camera on the appropriate settings before launching it. The pilot should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes while manning the drone. They should also check to make sure the battery is charged.
9. Get used to flying manually
A lot of today’s drones come with built-in GPS that allows the pilot to be less of a pilot and more of a supervisor. It’s crucial that the owner knows how to fly the drone without the use of GPS as it isn’t always available or 100% accurate.
10. Turn a hobby into cash
Flying a drone for pure fun is great, flying a drone for money is even better. In time, the owner’s photography should improve and that could mean more cash in their wallet.
Also, if you switch from being a hobbyist and you start using a drone for commercial purposes you do need to register the drone with the FAA(Federal Aviation Administration) and pay your fee.
Drone Pilot Jobs
Because of its high-paying jobs, the drone industry is considered as one of best new career options in America.
An experienced and skilled UAV pilot can make up to a quarter of a million dollars each year.
There are places where drone pilots can help us, for example, during fire emergencies, natural disasters, police, etc.
Fire resistant drones can be used to check if there is anyone stuck inside the building, so that firefighters can help them as soon as possible.
Drones can also help us see the damage caused by an earthquake or any other natural disaster.
There are many different types of jobs available in drone industry from which some of them are given below.
In big projects like construction of a huge building or bridge, drones are always used instead of human beings as it becomes a risk for human life.
To get the perfect camera angle from the sky, drones are used in the movies instead of helicopters, as they are really cheap and handy.
Agriculture drones are used to check the health of the crop and monitor if there is any bug in there as it can affect the overall yield of the crop.
It becomes easier for a farmer to check which part of the field needs water and which part needs fertilizers.
An inspecting team, with the help of agriculture drones, can determine in few days the potential harvests of the crop.
To get the pictures of the huge property, drones are being used largely as it gives us the overall view of the building. Now drone photography is available, drone pilots contacted from time to time to get the picture of the property from outside and inside.
These are just some of the fields available in the market, where drone pilots can work.
In the near future, expect even more new jobs will be created, as this is a fast-emerging field.
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- Correspondence and other information that you send to us; and
- Additional information as otherwise described to you at the point of collection or pursuant to your consent.
We also may collect certain information automatically when you visit the Services, including:
- Your browser type and operating system;
- Your Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is the number automatically assigned to your computer whenever you access the Internet and that can sometimes be used to derive your general geographic area;
- Other unique identifiers, including mobile device identification numbers;
- Sites you visited before and after visiting the Services;
- Pages you view and links you click on within the Services;
- Information collected through cookies, web beacons, and other technologies;
- Information about your interactions with e-mail messages, such as the links clicked on and whether the messages were opened or forwarded; and
- Standard Server Log Information
Use of Information
We may use information that we collect through the Services for a variety of purposes, including to:
- Provide you with the products, promotions, services, newsletters, and information you request and respond to correspondence that we receive from you;
- Customize and personalize your use of the Services;
- Provide Garmax-Aviation users with premium content, products, promotions, and information;
- Contact you via email and otherwise about products, services, and events that we think might be of interest to you;
- Contact you with surveys, legal notices, and other information that may be relevant to your use of the Services;
- Maintain or administer the Services, perform business analyses, or for other internal purposes to improve the quality of our business, the Services, and other products and services we offer;
- Publish stories, comments, and other information posted in our interactive online features;
- Process employment applications and inquiries; and
- As otherwise described to you at the point of collection or pursuant to your consent.
Sharing of Information
We are committed to maintaining your trust, and we want you to understand when and with whom we may share the information we collect.
- Corporate Parents, Affiliates, and Subsidiaries. We may share your information with our corporate parents, subsidiaries, and other affiliated entities for a variety of purposes, including business, operational, and marketing purposes.
- Service Providers. We may share your information with service providers that perform certain functions or services on our behalf, such as to host the Services, manage databases, host a store or other e-commerce platform, perform analyses, or send communications for us.
- Select Business Partners. We may share your information with select business partners so that they can provide you with special offers, promotional materials, and other materials that may be of interest to you. However, Garmax-Aviation is not responsible for the privacy practices of these business partners, which may use your information for their own purposes.
- In Connection With a Transfer of Assets. If we sell all or part of our business, or make a sale or transfer of assets, or are otherwise involved in a merger or business transfer, or in the event of bankruptcy, we may transfer your information to one or more third parties as part of that transaction.
- Other Parties With Your Consent. We may share information about you with third parties when you consent to such sharing, including when you post information to a user profile or a public area of the Services, such as a chat room, forum, blog, or other community tool.
- Aggregate Information. We may disclose to third parties information that does not describe or identify individual users, such as aggregate website usage data or demographic reports.
We may allow third parties to place and read their own cookies, web beacons, Local Shared Objects, and similar technologies to collect information through the Services. For example, our third-party service providers may use these technologies to collect information that helps us with traffic measurement, research, and analytics. Local Shared Objects (sometimes referred to as “Flash Cookies”) are similar to standard cookies except that they can be larger and are downloaded to a computer or mobile device by the Adobe Flash media player.
Please note that you may need to take additional steps beyond changing your browser settings to refuse or disable Local Shared Objects and similar technologies. For example, Local Shared Objects can be controlled through the instructions on Adobe’s Setting Manager page. If you choose to refuse, disable, or delete these technologies, some of the functionality of the Services may no longer be available to you.
Garmax-Aviation does not share information that it collects with third parties for the third party’s direct marketing purposes.
We maintain reasonable security procedures to help protect against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration or destruction of the information you provide to us.
Please note that no data transmission or storage can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your information and privacy, we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you disclose or transmit to us online and cannot be responsible for the theft, destruction, or inadvertent disclosure of your information.
You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account password and for any access to or use of the Services using your password, whether or not authorized by you.
Please notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security.
The Services do not knowingly collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under the age of 13 without prior parental consent, except as permitted by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).
Social Networking Services
Garmax-Aviation has worked with certain third-party social media providers to offer you their social networking services through our Services. For example, you can use third-party social networking services, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and others to share information about your experience on our Services with your friends and followers on those social networking services. These social networking services may be able to collect information about you, including your activity on our Services. These third-party social networking services also may notify your friends, both on our Services and on the social networking services themselves, that you are a user of our Services or about your use of our Services, in accordance with applicable law and their own privacy policies.
If you choose to access or make use of third-party social networking services, we may receive information about you that you have made available to those social networking services, including information about your contacts on those social networking services.
Links to Third Party Sites and Services
The Services may contain links to other websites or online services that are operated and maintained by third parties and that are not under the control of or maintained by Garmax-Aviation. Such links do not constitute an endorsement by Garmax-Aviation of those other websites, the content displayed therein, or the persons or entities associated therewith.
Please note that the Services are directed towards users who reside in the United States.
By using the Services, you consent to the collection, storage, processing, and transfer of your information in and to the United States, or other countries and territories, pursuant to the laws of the United States.
While some of these countries may not offer the same level of privacy protection as your own, Garmax-Aviation commits to uphold the privacy protections as explained in this Policy.
Your California Privacy Rights
It is our policy not to share your personal information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes.
Some web browsers may transmit “do-not-track” signals to the websites with which the user communicates. Because of differences in how web browsers incorporate and activate this feature, it is not always clear whether users intend for these signals to be transmitted, or whether they even are aware of them.
Because there currently is no industry standard concerning what, if anything, websites should do when they receive such signals, Garmax-Aviation currently does not take action in response to these signals. If and when a final standard is established and accepted, we will reassess how to respond to these signals.
You may choose to receive promotional emails, newsletters, and similar communications from us. You may opt out of receiving commercial emails from us by clicking on the opt-out or “unsubscribe” link included in the commercial e-mails you receive. Please note that opt-out requests may take up to 10 business days to be effective.
Your opt-out request will not apply to messages that you request or that are not commercial in nature. For example, we may contact you concerning any purchases you have made with us, even if you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial email messages.
Nowadays drones are being used in almost all fields whether it is Construction, Real Estate, Events, Agriculture, and Movies etc. To work in these field, skilled pilots are required who can fly drones, so being a UAV pilot is one of the most promising new careers in America.
Those who fly drones for fun/ hobby can become a professional and skilled pilot and can have a good source of income.
For the purpose of safety, it is important to go for a pilot training rather than flying drones without knowledge and skills.
There is no need of any degree to be a drone pilot; it is a profession that anyone can pursue at any time just by spending some money in training. Drone photography/videography is the most common job available in this industry.
Investing in drone training programs can be very helpful for a pilot as it fulfils the main purpose of safety. Those who have taken drone training classes have a good understanding of safety. Other than safety FAA has some guidelines which should always be followed to make sure that it will not affect you in future.
Getting certification in UAV training can also help to attract the new clients easily because unskilled pilots cannot give you the assurance of safety. Along with the acquisition of new clients, old clients will also be repeated because their work quality is obviously higher than those of non professionals.
During construction of large projects like bridges, there are places where it is risky for a human being to go, at those places drones becomes really handy and can help to get the clear picture easily.
Drones are now used in most of the movies to get the camera angles which are only possible by helicopters other than drones. Since drones are really easy to use, cheap and portable, they are used mostly to save the time and money.
Agriculture drones are helpful to check the health of the crops and find if there is any bug or insect is there in the crop. Proper measures can be taken if these things will be known to a farmer in advance. There are a lot other uses of drones in agriculture besides surveying drones.
The demand for UAV pilots is going to increase in coming years as it is an industry which is growing at a very fast rate. There will be more emerging careers in the drone industry which can help pilots to make way for their better future.
On this blog we cover the best training schools that provide practical pilot training for drones and UAVs of all types: fixed-wing, multi-copter and more.
We are focused on helping people who want to get into the drone piloting industry. These include existing pilots and those who know nothing about flying a drone. Let us guide you to the training programs, simulator software and online training courses that you need to build a career in this field.
Who Is Garmax Aviation?
Our small team of UAV operators has experience preparing drone/UAV pilots in several industries, including agriculture, real estate, construction and utilities.
We provide new commercial operators with training tailored to the individual. Our training covers UAV flight basics, navigation, regulations, operations and security.
Our dedicated team has many years of experience in the aviation industry, and we are further increasing our skills as changing environment and demands dictate.
Why Become a UAV Operator?
The demand for UAV pilots and technicians is rising at an extremely fast pace in America, but the availability of skilled workers is not enough to fulfill this demand. This shortage will only increase when the new FAA certification program comes online in early 2017 (no more COA’s).
Companies are now looking for skilled technicians and pilots to fill their slots, and many are offering an average annual salary of about $100,000.
We are here to help you grab this opportunity and to prepare you for this high income career of the future. Our goal for this blog is to guide you to the practical knowledge, certifications and expertise you need to enter this field. Whether that involves us, or not.
We’ve found that most people who are interested in this industry – especially those who fly drones as a hobby and want to make it as their profession – just do not have the basic piloting knowledge and technical education needed to operate a UAV safely and within regulatory guidelines.
For those who are interested to know the future of this industry and available jobs, we are here for you.
Just drop us a note on our Contact page if you have a question!