Drone Blues And Useable Downtime

Every day when I have free time I love to go out with my UAV and practice filming and still photo shots. Like many “dronies” out there I feel relaxed taking to the skies every chance that I get for whatever the reason, whether for practice or for hire.

Here lately, however, the weather has been anything but cooperative. I have found myself getting the blues from not being able to fly. I sit and stare at my drone sitting in its case patiently waiting to be used again. Let’s face it, it becomes an addiction!

So, instead of wasting my downtime daydreaming about flying and getting that next big shot and wishing the bad weather away, I have decided that this time can actually be quite useful. As a commercial drone pilot, I keep maintenance records on my drone as any professional should. These come in quite handy if you ever need tech support from the manufacturer, or more importantly should an unfortunate accident happen and you are trying to plead your case. The more records you have, the better off you are in my opinion.

With that in mind, I have decided that no fly days are perfect for getting caught up on routine equipment inspections such as props, batteries, airframe etc. It is also an ideal time to get caught up on those log books! Not only that, but I have started using this time to plan ahead for my next big drone adventure. I pre-plan my next flight researching the area that I am wanting to go to. I check online and other sources to see if the area has had people previously complaining about drones or other model aircraft. If there have been complaints, I either decide to not go there, or approach it very tactfully.

Another thing that I always check for is NOTAMS issued by the FAA or TFR’s. Not only do I do this sometimes days in advance, but also the day of as all pilots should. I note in my daily flight log book that I have checked both of these things prior to my flight. I also note that I have acquired permission from the FAA or local airports, heliports etc.

On days that we are actively flying, especially moving from one job site to another, it is easy to get behind on some things. So, if you find yourself getting the drone blues, turn that downtime into useful downtime!

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