Drone Driver

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Drone Driver last won the day on March 7

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  1. Drone Driver

    Herbicide spraying using drones in the US

    RW, You have obviously done your home work on this topic. I know of only 2 Part 137 drone operations at this point, and most recently (last week) it was awarded to a guy servicing the mosquito control application. The initial 137 certificate was a part of the FAA IPP program and was awarded to Lee County Florida mosquito control operations who will fly a fixed wing drone. But you are already a State certified applicator so the main certificate remaining is Part 137. This certificate includes an onsite inspection of your operation. Since these regulations are on the books for manned aircraft it depends on your relationship with the local FAA as to how interested they are to buckle down and assist you with granting your certificate for drone use by having to interpret the existing law and apply it to drone use. For instance the law stipulates the aircraft to carry a certain level of fire extinguisher. So getting a bureaucrat to think outside of the box might be an obstacle. My suggestion for you is to look at the several YouTube videos that demonstrate the use of the DJI Agras system. It has been on the market for over a year now. It does an adequate job but is very limited in terms of automated flight programming as it requires you to actually input the perimeter of your field and or delineation of obstacle areas to avoid. This is done by either bringing the actual remote control around your perimeter and clicking the input of a waypoint until you have the entire area input. Or if you choose the RTK option it will still require you to specify the individual waypoint but using a base station and rover instead of the remote control. There are a couple of other non DJI machines available so perform some internet searches too for drone crop dusters or similar. If you have a large DJI reseller near by that actually could provide service if needed then you would be far ahead. Once you focus on the machine you will begin to notice some limiting factors, the most apparent is flight time and cost of additional batteries. It is ideal for spot applications of herbicides versus large acreage needs. I have seen demo flights of the system and if you are in hilly locations, the latest version of the Agras will also provide terrain contour automation for altitude control. If you currently fly a DJI aircraft then you will not be impressed with the flight pattern input, but once you go through the field setup you will be able to save these flights for future missions. Some of the spray nozzle choices might be an issue but I think there is some commonality for adding industry standard alternates depending on your products used and or surfactant added etc. Again your current expertise will be helpful in addressing this issue.
  2. Drone Driver

    H520 for mapping better than P4P?

    Be sure to read the comments section as there are many clarifications contained.
  3. Drone Driver

    H520 for mapping better than P4P?

    All pilots that are considering using the H520 for mapping should watch this detailed analysis to determine if the rolling shutter implementation of the Yuneec E90 camera will provide you the accuracy that your customers require.
  4. Drone Driver

    Roof inspections

    Most current roof inspections by drone are performed as a result of extensive damage in a large area which has recently been hammered by severe weather. This provides those commercial drone pilots who are affiliated with insurance companies the opportunity to rack up as many in one day as possible. I have heard that these cluster inspections generally pay around $50 each and take about 1 P4P battery per inspection or somewhat less. Would love to hear from pilots who have actually worked these types of scenarios to confirm rates and perhaps share wit us how to become affiliated with these insurance companies.
  5. Here is what some of our elder pilots (me inclusive) might consider a GREAT product to have for summer flying, affordable safety rated sunglasses with reading lens inserts! https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=2+Pairs+Bifocal+Safety+Driving+Sunglasses+with+Reading+Corner+-+Rubber+Grip+Arms+(Diopter+%2B2.00) I thought that I died and went to heaven yesterday when I attended one of our local hardware stores and found similar items for around $10 on the rack. Well I immediately bought a pair as I was becoming used to placing a set of safety glasses on and in front of my prescription glasses. I bought a smoke colored pair off the rack to see if I would be able to read my display in sunlight and yes I could. We all know that some polarized sunglasses can make a display appear irridescent, but the first pair did not, so I bought thes off of Amazon to see if they also would allow for clear reading of my displays. I currently own a CS Ultra Bright, ASUS S3 10in, and an iPAD 6th gen 9.7 model 1954. My testing has begun and I will be sharing additional read ability opinions on these glasses and screen read ability going forward.
  6. Drone Driver

    Cell tower inspections?

    @airone is 100% accurate in his financial assessment of this opportunity EXCEPT that there is more than one drone pilot network supplier to Talon and not all are staffed equally. I just finished a training course for this exact opportunity and it was the most professional group of experienced commercial drone pilots that I could have hoped for training me. The course was most beneficial in that just as @Av8Chuck stated above, the flying does require extreme attention to your orientation, winds aloft will try to push you into or away from your tower creating an oblong orbit which might affect a fixed focal length enough to invalidate your data quality...... But the fact of the matter is this - if you fly X number of towers you will by default become a much better pilot. And this will help you forever in your professional flying future. And the entire comm tower drone industry is becoming a race to the bottom for pay per flight rates. So it might behoove some of you to consider getting this training and experience under your belt because it will help you grow your expertise with all things concerned flying drones professionally. For example how many of you have flown 5 different missions in one day with only 3 sets of batteries, or only one fully charged controller, then woke up and did it again for a couple of weeks? A result of this experience is a "sink or swim" result, you will either rise to the challenge and benefit from the experience of this hardwork or fail. Even if you do not become profitable cash wise, you will reap benefits from perfecting your self sufficient road kit needs and battery management skills. On top of that you will get paid to learn how to control your aircraft in very challenging conditions, all the while surviving in Summer heat conditions, flights between 9:00 am and late afternoon (light conditions). So "caveat emptor" for sure! And in English, "watch what you ask for you just might get it". Regards - Michael
  7. Drone Driver

    Anyone using Titan Cyclone or Atlas antennas?

    @AvatarAir Interesting post, under what particular circumstance are you referring to? Increased control connectivity would seem to me to be a positive aspect of these devices. And these systems do not exceed FCC power emission regulations. The fact that these boosted antennas provide increased control & video signals at extended ranges beyond VLOS is no different than flying beyond VLOS with the factory RC. Please explain the context of your comment for clarification of what the "no no" situation is that you refer to. Thanks
  8. Drone Driver

    Falcon 8 - Asctech (Anyone currently using)

    These guys use them..... http://www.huvrdata.com/#about
  9. Drone Driver

    live high voltage power line inspection

    That is a good question! And here is a video of the mission.
  10. Drone Driver

    Drones with up to 2 hours of flight wo a charge

    I wish you the Best Of Luck with your project!
  11. Drone Driver

    Radio Tower Modelling

    Back to profitability statement again. This is my concern as for some customers the stills and or video product is satisfactory. But for others the 3D point cloud is a requirement. So my question then becomes who pays for the significant difference in time and fees for post processing software and or computer time to create the 3D point cloud? Pix4D has the option of either local processing if you have enough computer to accomplish or cloud processing. Either is time consuming and adds a cost premium to the data acquisition equation. Can a pilot who gets paid for collecting the images also charge the added costs for providing a 3D point cloud with photogrammetric precision to the customer? Again I suspect that Av8Chuck would correctly state in a reply - that is a customers choice or preference. Then I would ask if his company has a Bentely Systems (or Pix4D) license plus the expertise to digitally edit and or align these images for premier accuracy output, then process the images into a deliverable 3D point cloud? The bottom line to me is that I wish to know what is the potential for adding profit to a set of images which you collect as the drone pilot if you produce the 3D point cloud? I have some initial budget estimates put together for a fast deskside computer and costs of software applications as well as cloud computing license costs, it is difficult for me to make this comparison.
  12. First of all please be aware that the Drone Ground School has an excellent overview guideline article on Tower Inspection mission planning and execution! https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/tower-surveying/ I will be attending a class in Ft. Collins, Co Mar 22 & 23, that provides training on using drones on cell tower inspection missions. Some of what Steve Fleming offers in this course includes drone flight simulator time and actual hands on flight time taking inspection pictures and video of his own 100 foot tower which has numerous different antenna and equipment installed. Digital copies of all your images and videos taken are provided for you use as marketing material as you pursue future paid inspection jobs. Steve is a member of the National Association of Tower Erectors and also a committee member working to establish industry guidelines for drone tower inspection training and safety concerns. He has over 30 years experience as a tower climber and installation worker plus he has developed techniques and is a certified tower emergency rescue expert and also trains others in this skill. He is also a licensed aircraft pilot as well as part 107 pilot. The 16 hour training course offers students, who successfully pass, both an OSHA – ANSI – NATE compliant certification training on “Authorized Tower Person or Climber” AND “Tower Inspection Drone Pilot” certifications with ID cards. http://technicalrescuesystems.net/tower-structure-inspection-osha-authorized-climber/ Of additional interest is that he is working with a tower inspection company that is developing applications for automated drone flight missions that are targeted for both wind farm and communications flight missions. One of their primary features is to include collision avoidance capabilities in their drone flight applications. The company is Red Mountain Scientific and additional information on their products can be found here. https://redmountainscientific.com/ I expect that this training will provide me a better chance of getting my start in the field of providing aerial communication tower inspection services and getting paid too. Here is a link to the recently completed NATE guidelines for using drones to complete safe communication tower inspections. https://natehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UAS-Operations-Document-2nd-Edition-Jan-2017-E-FILE.pdf
  13. Drone Driver

    Part 107 Renewals

    This my only FAA license, so I was thinking that I would have to re-take the exact same test again.
  14. Any Inspire 2 pilots experiencing dropped video or control links? Not at all or never? Sometimes high interference encountered when in high use 2.4GHz areas can become a problem. Most often the best use of the 2.4 or 5.8 freq and band settings capability of the I2 + Go 4 app for tuning your optimum connectivity as shown in this video will help cure the problem. https://youtu.be/wdhkNbIx6c8 However if you want the very best in connectivity and absolutely no flying within VLOS autonomously initiated RTH scenarios, then these boosted antennas, the Cyclone or Atlas, from Titan Drones Inc. are providing excellent results on DJI drones. Just wondering if anyone has some time spent using these with the Inspire 2? I'm considering getting one of these antennas and will keep you all posted if/when I do this controller upgrade.
  15. Drone Driver

    Inspire 2 Propellers

    Still shots are far safer to take with much less risk involved.