Blog

Drone Laws And Opportunity

There was an article today in my local newspaper talking about how the FAA and the Trump administration has been delayed in regulating new drone laws, specifically regarding flying over crowds.

As frustrating as this is, we all have to realize that this is the government we are talking about. Very few things ever happen quickly. So, in my opinion, we (commercial drone operators) can either crawl up in a corner and boo hoo over something that we have no control over or take this time to further educate the public on the many good uses of drones.

Law enforcement, in particular, has concerns regarding drones in and around populated areas. My suggestion for us dronies is to actively reach out to public officials, maybe offer free services in some type of way so they can observe not only what drones can do, but more importantly the safety features of the newest commercial-grade drones.

We have an opportunity to possibly assist in the regulating of drones in a positive way if we act soon! We all must do our part as drone operators to reach out to the public and educate our communities if we ever want to be truly accepted in today’s society.

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!

Useful Links:

See FAA

See NOTAMS

See TFR

Your True Self

via Daily Prompt: Recognize

I often get caught up in trying to compete with today’s world and the people in it. I often feel like I am trying to “keep up with the Jones’s”.It easy to get wrapped up in everyday events between work, school, kids and social life that we can easily forget who we are and more importantly, what we are all about as individuals.

It is important to recognize your true self. Forget about what others think sometimes and take a moment to look in the mirror. Some potentially troublesome issues within yourself can sometimes be masked by temporary excitement over the new relationship, new job, new school or just hanging out with the gang. If not recognized in time, these areas that are silently affected can begin to implode and cause an internal self-destruct sequence. Self Destruction

The point I am trying to make is to try not lose sight of who you really are and what you really want out of life. If you have a passion, pursue it no matter what it takes. Your dreams may not become reality overnight, but if you do not at least try, they will never become reality and you will always ask yourself “what if”?  Pursuing Dreams

When I was little, old enough to know what an airplane is, I developed a dream to become a pilot. I wanted to soar through the clouds more than I wanted anything else. I grew up near Little Rock Air Force Base LRAFB watching the c-130’s C-130 flying overhead and going to airshows every chance that I had. Even as a young adult I would sometimes spend most of my free time sitting at the end of runways watching the planes take off and land wondering what it would be like to be a pilot. I started taking flying lessons when I was 16. My family did not have much so I was literally taking lessons once or twice a year as I could afford them. I often thought it would never happen. I did this until I was 29 years old when finally, thanks to my brother Ron co-signing for a student loan for me, I was able to jump in the pilot seat as a student full-time and completed my private pilot training! That was one dream, after all the hard work and years of ups and downs, that I finally managed to live 🙂

I have taken that dream to another step now, and I have recently become a commercial drone pilot Become UAV Pilot and conducting aerial photography using a UAV. What Is A UAV  My dream is to be successful in the business and perhaps help other people understand the usefulness of these magnificent devices. To me, flying the drone and watching the live video feed, is almost like flying in a real plane! So I get to enjoy the thrill of flight, and maybe make some extra dough on the side:) Whether I succeed or not as a commercial drone pilot is not as important as the fact that I at least tried. I do not worry about what others think, as the drone world has not been accepted by many yet, but I still hold on to what is important to me and I continue to work towards that goal.

Now, I am taking on a new task and trying my luck at writing blogs, obviously. I have always had an inner nudge to write. Not novels or movies, but short stories and maybe even poetry. I love sharing my experiences with other people and offering advice when needed and accepted, so why not! Am I any good at it? I’m not sure, but at least I am trying. I do not know if anyone will even read what I post or not, but at least it is there should someone be interested. Most importantly, I will not have to ask myself “what if”.

I hope you have enjoyed this posting and found it useful in some way. Thank you for reading and there will be more soon!!

 

Drone Days

Being relatively new to the world of drones, or UAV’s, I am filled with ambition and anticipation of what the future holds for these magnificent machines.  Like with most new technology, they have entered into our generation and have been met by mixed reactions worldwide. Some have gladly accepted their advantages, while others have resisted out of fear of their capabilities. For the most part, however, I think the majority of the population have come to terms that drones are evolving and quickly becoming a part of everyday life for a lot of people and even communities.

I have recently acquired my remote pilot certificate from the FAA,  See Remote pilot Certificate and I am in the process of trying to establish an aerial photography business in my local area. I do not have the most technologically advanced UAV out there, as you can easily spend thousands of dollars on these things, but I do have one of the most reputable drones on the market for what it does.  It offers 16mp still photos with 4k video capabilities and an abundance of automated features to take some of the workloads off of the operator. Like most “professional” grade drones, it boasts full GPS capabilities with redundant safety features including terrain and restricted airspace avoidance. Not bad features for a machine that cost under $1000 in my opinion.

When I am out flying in my practice areas, I often get questioned by on-lookers about my drone and what my intentions are with it. Sometimes I get frowned upon, other times people simply smirk, but most of the time people are simply curious about what it can and can not do. I have found that with most people if you simply take the time to answer a few questions and maybe even provide a brief demo, that their curiosity often turns into excitement and some people have even gone to buy their own after observing mine. Perhaps I should be in the drone demo/selling business instead but who knows what the future holds for me lol.

Where am I going with all of this? Honestly, I am just taking it one word at a time. I have had several friends recently tell me that I should write about drones and my experiences with them. Maybe share some insight and advice regarding various aspects along the way. I am hopeful that this will turn into an ongoing and informative source for other drone enthusiasts in the future, but for now, I thought this might be a good start. So, slip in the battery and tighten up the props and let’s begin this journey together!!

I hope that you have enjoyed what you have read so far. I will say that when I refer to specific things in each post such as the remote pilot certificate and the FAA, I will do my best to include links at the end of each of the posts so that information regarding the topics can be easily found and researched. Thanks for reading and there will be more soon!