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Everything posted by Av8Chuck

  1. If your a pilot, did you receive a separate license for your 107? Its my understanding that its just another endorsement.
  2. Av8Chuck

    Pilots needed

    I was just curious if he had bailed, it he’s been responding here on the thread.
  3. Do you have a part 107 license? I’m a pilot, you get a pilots license for life unless it’s taken away. Just because you have the license doesn’t mean your current to fly. I’d imagine 107 is the same way. i have no idea how you prove your currency? Pilots get a stamp in their logbook.
  4. Av8Chuck

    18 Reasons to Attend InterDrone Next Month

    I'm not sure if any of us are going. We'll make the decision to go so late we'll have to drive..
  5. Av8Chuck

    18 Reasons to Attend InterDrone Next Month

    Its Vegas baby. Just depends on how lucky you are... This isn't a very big show and if there aren't any other big shows going on at the convention center then rooms should be reasonable priced. I can usually go there for three nights, food and a little entertainment for $500. But in Vegas it just kind of depends on what your into.
  6. Av8Chuck

    Inspire 2 package for sale

  7. Av8Chuck

    What are you doing re: illegal drone flights?

    This is always a sticky topic and like it or not this is a symptom of a bigger issue. If your losing business to this sort of thing you should be questioning your business model and the companies your trying to do business with. There will always be idiots who ignore or are ignorant of the law, you cant regulate stupid. But the movie industry and the evolution of the application of drones in that industry might provide some insight to how things are changing. Most studios require a ton of insurance, they would like a 333 exemption, and you have to submit a PSSP (Project Specific Safety Plan) before you can even step onto their location. Does that mean that every production company in the entertainment industry require this? Not hardly. But, the guy that shows up to work for a production company without at least a Part107 isn't really the idiot that should concern legal operators, its the idiot that hires them. The only reason a company would hire someone who doesn't have a certificate of insurance or a 107 is because they don't want to pay. Do you really want to work for that company? Most companies know the value of solving real problems, its up to you to be able to demonstrate your ability to accomplish the required task and charge accordingly. Solve problems that people care about and you should be able to charge $2K plus per mission. Don't and you'll get $200.
  8. Av8Chuck

    Naming your drone services

    What's in a name? What's in a website? There's obviously more to a good website than a name and it takes more than a website to drive business. Also, you can't be everything to everyone. Do you want people to go to your site to learn how to do this for themselves? Do you want your site to drive business for you to do? Your site has an identity problem, much of it relates to cameras, drones, how safe they are etc., in a way that makes me think I should get a drone and do it myself. You talk a lot about your passion for drones, no one cares. What they care about is what problem do you solve for them that they're willing to spend money to solve. When your site is full of great examples of how you helped your customer get rich, then people will care about your passion. A lot of people think a website has to answer the question "WHY should anyone CARE about you?" Get over yourself, they don't. What customers care about is what your going to do to help them and keep in mind that they probably aren't in the drone business which begs the question "why are you?" You have some nice examples of aerial shots, probably not enough to base the value of your company but its a place to start. Now, where do you have the most experience so that you when talking to customers they will recognize the intrinsic value in what your offering? If its real-estate, what do you know about helping a broker market properties? If its aerial landscape photography can you convince a gallery owner to do a show with your photographs? They don't care what kind of drone or camera you used. They will only care about the passion for your craft (that's craft in the artistic sense) if it will help sell your art. All we have at the moment is a landing page: http://aerialalchemy.com/ We'll have that until we have enough experience and samples of our work that when people visit our site they will have a clear understanding of what we do, how we do it and when we're finished doing it how that helps them. Regarding the name, we're Aerial Alchemy: Alchemy -- alchemy |ˈalkəmē|noun --the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold. So the idea is that we take data collected using a UAV and convert it into "gold" or save time and money for our customers. There is no mention of "drones" in our name and we only talk about drones in context of how we use them to accomplish a specific task. A good carpenter rarely talks about his hammer in context of their finished work. So here's a demo video of a recent mission where the objective was to autonomously find swimmers in the water, track them, send the location data back to the ship so it can launch another UAV to deliver an EFD to the swimmers. Sounds easy enough but this level of communication integration between the Navy, Homeland Security, local law enforcement is harder than people think and was the point of the exercise. Another thing to keep in mind is how much do you want to charge for your services? Your messaging is one of the biggest determining factors of how much someone is willing to pay you. If you talk about your $1200 toy drone, how passionate you are about flying it, the fact that you have a $150 certificate, your a hobbyist with a license and will be paid accordingly. I don't mean to be a jerk, its just there are a ton of questions like this on this forum where people just aren't willing to dive into what it really means to be a "successful" commercial UAV company. Its that old adage "if it were easy everyone would do it." Well, everyone is doing it and then coming to forums like this trying to figure out why they aren't making as much as they would like. Success can be measured many ways so this isn't an issue of conformity, I'm not trying to talk you into doing what I'm doing, but I am attempting to demonstrate that with some forethought and a little hard work you can develop a value proposition that others will identify with and want to do business with you regardless of price. Once you get to that point then you get to define your success.
  9. We need to be careful not to conflate the issues between hobbyists and commercial operators, they are very different. Having said that there seems to be a tendency for each to throw the other under the bus in this debate. Although they are different most of the so-called coalitions and the FAA are trying combine the issues into one category. As this video points out, the FAA is using false data to consolidate its authority, what UAV operators need to understand about the political process is that it means they don’t actually have the authority and that the purpose of a trade organization is to be a significant part of the process so it can influence all the aspects of UAS commerce, not just the flight regulations. The FAA is prohibited by law from regulating commerce, so under the “catch all” of safety they try to regulate commerce through flight rules. This is why they need the statistics and also why they have lost most, if not all the court cases regarding commerial operations prior to rule107. Most of the discussions on this forum regarding commercial operators are around missions like real estate, NDVI, cell tower inspections, etc and how can a commercial operator make money when all anyone is willing to pay is $200 for example. Do we need a trade organization to protect operators that have no hope of being profitable? Probably not so there’s not much incentive to form one. However, what if commercial missions paid an order of magnitude higher, say $10,000 to $20,000 per mission? Would more people be interested in it then? Would they be willing to pay to join? Would they get involved then? A trade organization shouldn’t exist to protect things the way they are, it should be there to protect the opportunity for what it could be for its members. There’s a growing list of companies who are making that much on every mission. Not only that but they can’t keep up with demand. So they’re too busy to take on this battle. We’re not entitled to be successful UAV entrepreneurs, we have to earn it. If the people who are serious about making some aspect of commercial UAV a career I’d recommend figuring out a way of becoming influential in the development of the industry. That’s not going to happen one $200 roof inspection at a time.
  10. Av8Chuck

    Pilots needed

    Curious, has @Jeff Seyler replied privately to any interest in this thread?
  11. Av8Chuck

    The Challenges of Running A UAS Business

    That sucks. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out stupid. This guy is a liberal idiot who will use any excuse to argue his rights are more important than yours. You handled it great. Unfortunately this is happening more probably not so much becuase your operating a drone, and I’d like to think not because of your race, but because for some reason people in the US seem to feel empowered to tell everyone else how to live their lives. I found the video very aggravating so I didn’t watch the entire exchange but it was clear from all that I watched that you kept your composure and that the police, both on the phone and in person did exactly the right thing. I agree that the frequency of these kinds of encounters are increasing, but hopefully that means law enforcement is also reacting similarly more often as well. Curious, did anyone ever ask to see your 107? It’s also interesting that after informing that idiot over the phone that you weren’t breaking the law they sent a police car to your location and they ran him off. That was for the protection of your rights and safety, not his. So as annoying as that pinhead was this was ultimately a good thing. It’s not going to dawn on that idiot that his safe space doesn’t extend to you, but he’ll go and tell his dad (what a millennial) and his friends how you and the police trampled his right to privacy into the ground and maybe, just maybe, they will clue in that he was wrong, not everyone else. I doubt it but we can hope. Where are you located?
  12. @Isabella | UAV Coach only if the people the trade organization is for make it happen. All the organizations vying to be “the” trade organization are either trying to sell something, stop you from doing something or steal something from UAS operators. While most of the commercial operators are busy debating why DJI postpone their latest product release.
  13. Hi Isabella, Unfortunately, all most drone operators have done so far is talk! Its to late for them to "join" the conversation. There's a process that the FAA must go through to create regulations, if drone operators want to have any chance of influencing the decisions that will effect this industry then they need to stand up for their rights by forming an industry trade organization that can lobby for their interest. Not like The Small UAV Coalition, or the commercial Drone Alliance , ones a bunch of attorneys who are only looking out for the interest of a few large companies and the other a lot of trade show activity. SUC(k) http://www.smalluavcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Industry-Sign-on-Letter-re-Section-336-8.1.18.pdf CDA https://www.commercialdronealliance.org/newsarchive/cda-calls-for-congress-to-repeal-section-336-of-the-modernization-reformation-act-of-2012 I'm not an anarchist that's opposed to common sense regulations, but don't think for a minute that these organizations represent the best interests of the commercial drone industry. They talk a mean game but they say one thing and do another. We need an organization that is willing to hold elected officials and government agencies accountable, not ones that suck up to them by throwing the hobbyists under the bus to gain favor to get what they want. Not sure if you saw the hearing in the house regarding this but the representatives from SUC and CDA started a sentence and the FAA finished it. It was kind of embarrassing.
  14. Av8Chuck


    Welcome tp the forum. I'm sure people who can help will jump in to answer and questions you ask. Just get involved and start talking to people.
  15. Av8Chuck

    Yuneec Mantis Q

    Sure, would that be in the same way the SOLO was a Phantom slayer?..
  16. Av8Chuck

    2018 Predictions for the Drone Industry

    "The largest issue facing the adoption of parachute recovery systems is the notion by the large drone manufacturers that their drones don’t need a parachute at all. But the F.A.A. doesn’t feel the same way, and many are bracing for a requirement that drones that fly over people must have a certified parachute recovery system. " This is a false narrative. Most commercial drone manufacturers don't think that at all! The issue is that there are no parachutes that can be certified. There is no one sized fits all, no trustworthy way to deploy them that works for all drone plus most of them are weight and cost prohibitive. A parachute system for a Phantom is generally a small canopy deployed from a tube with a spring. For a drone large enough to carry a five pound payload (in addition to the weight of the parachute system) the canopy has to be sufficiently large enough that it has to be deployed with a gas canister adding weight and complexity. Plus there's the issue of the electronics. Its not that parachute systems don't work, if the FAA requires them to work for that application then they have to work on all drones 100 percent of the time to be certified. The technology to accomplish that is still a ways off.
  17. Most people think you buy a drone and it just works for whatever your trying to do. What most of them find out is that just isn't the case. They generally need 45 minutes of fidgeting to get the NFZ unlocked, recalibrate the compass, reset the IMU, etc.. If you can show examples of your drone being taken out of the case in an emergency and in the air in less than three minutes providing information the first responders can trust, well that's better than 90% of your competitors. Do you have to upgrade the firmware every time you take it out of the case? No. That's better than 90% of your competitors. Can you get a thermal/visible camera that works? If so, your better than 90% of your competitors. Is your drone reliable? If so, your better than 90% of your competitors. Can you easily reconfigure your drone for a variety of different kinds of missions? If it works, sell that. If your solution is based on a DJI then your just like 90% of your competitors. If its not, sell that.
  18. Av8Chuck

    Yuneec Mantis Q

    I guess they didn't learn the lessons of 3DR R R, how you can't compete with DJI I I, in the consumer market T T T, with a catchy song, No No No.
  19. Curios about the problem your trying to define with this questionnaire, do you have a drone or are you trying to define the requirements for an emergency response drone.
  20. Av8Chuck

    New to UAV Coach

    Depends on how serious you are about flying long distances. There’s no real magic to flying long distances, however there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First is the obvious fact that flying beyond line of sight is illegal. I’m not an FAA official but I also don’t want to be accused of encouraging anyone to break the law. It’s quite easy to extend the range of the electronics, video downlink, primary flight telemetry and data (up to 26Mb/s) to about 25km for about $1000. There’s some latency with the video but not much more than there is on a MAVIC but enough that it’s not a good idea to be flying FPV. Also, the P4 is not self aware. The standoff distance for obstacle avoidance is measure in feet, fine if you your flying slowly — which is why it doesn’t work in sport mode, and you don’t want to run into a mountain but not something you should trust to detect powerlines or other moving objetcts. There is no redundancy for primary flight, video downlink, or telemetry. If you have a problem with a motor a quad crashes and there’s nothing you can do about it. Same is true if your flying line of sight but at least there you can see what it hits walk over and pick it up. Things get rather exciting when your beyond line of sight and you lose your video feed. All you can do then is hit the RTH button and wait to reaquire the video signal or until you can hear the drone and find where it is visually. Working with the Navy, on a test range over the ocean we can fly up to 10 miles, but there’s a lot more to it than extending the range of the avionics to be able to fly those distances safely. As a science project to collect empirical data it’s interesting but we don’t see much of a need for it in the near future to make the development of it worth doing. Something else to consider is that DJI’s implementation of GEO Fencing is buggy, often times you can be flying in an area where there is no restriction and it thinks there is. If your flying long distances across or near NFZ boundaries what’s the P4 going to do? It’s not uncommon for it to stop, hover in place (waiting to be told what to do?) and if your signal strength is low because of the distance you might not be able to control it and you won’t know where it’s going to land when gravity takes over.
  21. Av8Chuck

    No use of drones in National Parks

    Yeah, drones are the problem!! Besides the idiot with the bison, not a ton of traffic or anything...
  22. Av8Chuck

    New to UAV Coach

    Hi @Studio 63 and welcome to the forum. Here's some thoughts regarding your pending transition from terrestrial to aerial photographer. Like any business you have several choices where your going to hang your hat - what's your value proposition. Some photographers focus on creating a look and a style they can charge more money for, some are more efficient and charge less but offer more. Generally speaking you can do one but not both. The first is high touch, high quality low volume which is antithetical to the second. It appears from your photography that you've chosen to create a style your clients would appreciate. I'd go as far as to say that, and I do this just for my own amusement, your using some pretty nice full frame 50Mp Canon 5DSR or Sony A7RIII hardware. My point is your not using a GoPro. From a photographers perspective a MAVIC of any flavor is less than a GoPro. Everything is infinity, crappy 8bit compression which although they claim some outlandish dynamic range by the time you clean it up to add to something that's shot with a real camera there's just nothing left. People will offer up all kinds of "great" video shot with a MAVIC, sure looks good if the only place your going to look at it is Youtube but anywhere else - not so much. I realize this sounds like a downer but keep in mind that when you buy that MAVIC and you want to compete for real estate gigs and weddings that your potentially opening your already existing business up to everyone with a MAVIC and a 107. Not sure how you use any drone for a wedding shoot, but with DJI it doesn't start to get interesting until the X5 with interchangeable lenses but you need an Inspire and if your going there you might as well use an Inspire2 with an X7 but then your pushing $15K. At least some 15 year old pinhead won't show up to steal your clientele.
  23. It seems that people come out of the woodwork to score free stuff. I get it, that’s cool. However, you don’t need to score free tickets to a trade show to interact with some of the most knowledgable industry professionals. Just post questions and replies right here on this forum and start a meaningful discussion. There are people on this forum who actually started drone companies that employ people, that provide a full time living etc., and are willing to share their experiences right here. They may not always tell you what you want to hear but at least you can engage with them, ask as many questions as you like, get a variety of opinions over a period of time and decide for yourself whether the person your interacting with is worth listening too. Best of all it’s FREE! Everyday. Granted, on a forum you have to filter people’s biases and experience. Anyone who has read my advice knows I’m no fan of DJI, but I’m upfront about it and try to provide as brand agnostic advice as I can. At a trade show people are rarely agnostic or transparent, they have an agenda and all they want to do is sell or tell you what you want to hear. For the lucky two people who get the free tickets, go have a great time in Vegas, how about for the rest of you who don’t have the opportunity to go to the show you ask the questions here and get to know the people who try to answer them.
  24. Thanks for connecting the dots between the blog and forum. I’m curious how many people have participated with any FAA webinars and did you find them helpful? Is there a link to previous webinars?