DroneBase, too early I think?


Kirk
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Luke Dillon said:

Hey everyone,

With those of you who have used Drone Base, how do you go about getting a project to work on? I signed up and see many locations that need a drone pilot for a project but how do you go about contacting that location saying you are going to be flying a drone over the building? Or do you just go ahead and do the project without any prior notification?

Thanks,

Luke

As Steve correctly stated, if you stay directly over the public street no notification is required. As for me, I always knock on the door and inform the homeowner I'll be outside and explain what I am doing. So far, seems to work for me. I don't want any hassles created by a resident calling the cops to see what I'm up to. I try to place myself in the resident's shoes and see my operation from her/his perspective. Some of these homes are in pricey communities and they don't take kindly to strangers.

After 32 yrs as a cop, I learned most folks have passive aggressive tendencies, they won't take 5 steps outside to ask you what you are up to, but won't hesitate to call the fuzz and waste their time with this non-sense. Last thing you need is a black & white pulling up and distracting you from your piloting.

Last time a cop car pulled up to me while flying, the cop recognized me, waved, and drove off, sweet... Just my two centavos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Luke Dillon said:

Hey everyone,

With those of you who have used Drone Base, how do you go about getting a project to work on? I signed up and see many locations that need a drone pilot for a project but how do you go about contacting that location saying you are going to be flying a drone over the building? Or do you just go ahead and do the project without any prior notification?

Thanks,

Luke

As Steve correctly stated, if you stay directly over the public street no notification is required. As for me, I always knock on the door and inform the homeowner I'll be outside and explain what I am doing. So far, seems to work for me. I don't want any hassles created by a resident calling the cops to see what I'm up to. I try to place myself in the resident's shoes and see my operation from her/his perspective. Some of these homes are in pricey communities and they don't take kindly to strangers.

After 32 yrs as a cop, I learned most folks have passive aggressive tendencies, they won't take 5 steps outside to ask you what you are up to, but won't hesitate to call the fuzz and waste their time with this non-sense. Last thing you need is a black & white pulling up and distracting you from your piloting.

Last time a cop car pulled up to me while flying, the cop recognized me, waved, and drove off, sweet... Just my two centavos.

-----------------

Now if I could just get a couple of local politicians in my pocket...;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

So here's my first and only experience with Drone Base.  Out of the blue today I received an email from them (I have previously registered with them) with an offer to do a client mission.  The job is to shoot a unit of a national hobby chain that opened about 2 months ago.  The location is 1.5 miles from a commercial airport.  The area is Class E sfc airspace so an FAA Airspace Authorization would be required or so it would seem to most folks.  What I already knew is that 1 day a week there is an opening from sunrise until Noon local time in which it is Class G.  That was the good news.  The client wants shots taken over the large parking lot (with people and moving vehicles) and wants the shots taken from 11a until 2p and the payout is $35.  So, looking at it carefully, there is only one 1 hour window per week in which to shoot.  It must be on that certain day of the week, between 11a and Noon, using Verifly the insurance will cost me $25, for which I will be paid $35--Hmmmmm.  Plus, specific shot details that sound as if they would require a fisheye lens. I understand the idea of building flight hours and gaining experience, but that just doesn't work for me.  They will end up with a non licensed person I expect, with no insurance, but "it ain't me babe."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Ed O'Grady said:

So here's my first and only experience with Drone Base.  Out of the blue today I received an email from them (I have previously registered with them) with an offer to do a client mission.  The job is to shoot a unit of a national hobby chain that opened about 2 months ago.  The location is 1.5 miles from a commercial airport.  The area is Class E sfc airspace so an FAA Airspace Authorization would be required or so it would seem to most folks.  What I already knew is that 1 day a week there is an opening from sunrise until Noon local time in which it is Class G.  That was the good news.  The client wants shots taken over the large parking lot (with people and moving vehicles) and wants the shots taken from 11a until 2p and the payout is $35.  So, looking at it carefully, there is only one 1 hour window per week in which to shoot.  It must be on that certain day of the week, between 11a and Noon, using Verifly the insurance will cost me $25, for which I will be paid $35--Hmmmmm.  Plus, specific shot details that sound as if they would require a fisheye lens. I understand the idea of building flight hours and gaining experience, but that just doesn't work for me.  They will end up with a non licensed person I expect, with no insurance, but "it ain't me babe."

Thanks for breaking it down, @Ed O'Grady. I'd like to think your time is worth a bit more than that. I mean, at least selfishly, I'd much rather have you on the forums for an hour than you netting $10 for your time and travel and equipment amortization :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Alan for that comment/compliment.  Means a lot coming from you.  But you know personally some of the time you and I spent on the phone alone prepping for the test.  You know, I love the folks at Costco.  Without question they are the best in the wholesale store arena.  6 years ago I can tell you that after 4.5 years, cashiers were making $28/hr with good benefits.  I'm almost inclined to take the job and see what some 20 something kid says about the shots (nothing wrong with 20 somethings - I was one a LONG time ago). Not gonna do it ( I picture Dana Carvey imitating George Bush Sr. saying those words!).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its hard to believe companies recruit drone owner/operators to do anything commercially for that amount of money.  This isn't just about the money.  If you damage someone else's property or injure someone while flying commercially and your business is not setup correctly, Verifly isn't going to be able to protect all of your assets.

There's no way that anyone with a real commercial drone business would consider this type of assignment and you have to wonder what risk is there for this sort of bottom feeding pond scum "employment" agency?

Maybe its too bad that the FAA didn't require a private pilots license to fly drones commercially.  When you die/fly with a plane you tend to take mitigating risk a bit more seriously.  

I have nothing against operators trying to gain experience, but at $35 you're better off providing your services for free as a hobbyist.  At least then you might be able to claim ignorance if something bad happens.  I'm just appalled  at companies like Drone Base.       

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have flown about 50 pano missions for DroneBase, and have had, for the most part, a positive experience. All of my missions have been accepted, and about half have actually paid, usually within a few days. While it is not serious money, it gives me some flight time and a bit of income. If you are having trouble getting missions accepted, try using manual exposure for all the pano images. Auto exposure will change settings as the drone rotates and make it difficult for the software to stitch the images together. For the panos, I shoot 8 images, rotating the drone manually at 0 degrees, 8 at 45 degrees at 2 at 90 degrees. I use PTGUI software to check to make sure a pano can be made, and then upload the images. I have had about three times when their software was unable to create the pano, and on each occasion, I just deleted the images from their server and uploaded the same ones again. Each time that worked. I have used a Phantom 4 professional, and an Autel X-Star Premium and have had good results with each system. Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've flown over 800 missions year to date like this (about half with dronebase)  and have had one negative nancy, and dozens of positive interest and accolades. 

I attribute this to being proactive - stick a contact card in their hand and be friendly. Also looking the part. I wear a high visibility vest, credentials around my neck. Been stopped by lots of property owners and police and never and problem. Like I said most are overwhelmingly positive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, David Kraft said:

My 107 license,  drone registration, and ama/uvuas membership. Just for quick access or reference in conversation. Police have seen me on several locations and just asked what I was doing, and a security patrol looking for a car and they knew I frequent the area. never a nuisance call.

Well done, I also carry my 107 license and my driver's license on either side of the lanyard pocket. If the cops are going to interact with you, the first thing they want to see is a photo ID so they can run you for warrants; that's what I'd do. I still do not understand why the FAA does not issue certificate with a photo...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

@LEONARD - no I haven't, have you?

So I have a bit more info. I went out the other weekend, captured about 8-9 properties and got paid on all of them. Took about 2 hours to drive around, fly and submit photos. Got paid on 90% of the jobs. 

A couple of jobs didn't submit and were rejected. I took the advice of someone else in this thread (or another one) and tried to create a photo-sphere (PS) using PT-GUI ( https://www.ptgui.com/ ). It was able to stitch one just fine using the same number of images I submitted to drone base. It turned out, I was submitting too many images to drone base. I think I had sent about 30 for the PS, so I resubmitted with just enough to cover NSEW and one in-between each of the cardinal directions. It worked after doing that.

I also had to use photoshop on a couple images to remove blade props and halo artifacts from the sun using the Clone Stamp Tool (rubber stamp icon). It cleaned the image up nicely and allowed me to submit the job and get paid without going back out to re-shoot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I wonder off anyone has up-to-date experiences to share about Dronebase. After Alan's mailer on 6/2, I signed up with Dronebase to try it out and have had nothing but frustration. I used the Ap from the Apple store, and never got a single notice of or job to do; even in the midst and following severe hail storms here in Colorado shortly after I signed up. I then received, a few weeks later, a request to update my profile, which I did, but again, no job requests. I subsequently logged in using my Mac, and saw that the aircraft I had listed (an Inspire 1 Raw, wasn't compatible with the Zenmuse X5R camera/gimbal (strange), and my profile was left in limbo. I reached out to Dronebase support who told me I needed to use a Chrome browser to avoid issues with their website, but that the IOS app should work just fine. I was told they would approve my profile, and I could look forward to getting job notices. After 10 days, still no notices, and while there are no indications of any issues on the IOS app, I can still see the issue remains when reviewing through their website. I've expressed my frustration with them to their support team, and have really gotten no corrective action or any job notifications after 6 weeks. I'm totally frustrated over the entire experience and have absolutely nothing good to say about their product or their service based on my results to date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share