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7 hours ago, Isabella | UAV Coach said:

There is no regulation or requirement currently for training unmanned/remote pilots

One thing that I would suggest, of course I'm the only person on the planet who thinks this, pilots operate an aircraft from within the aircraft and are Part 61.

Unmanned part 107 are operators, not pilots.  If you take a part 61 certified pilot and hand them a UAV there's a good chance they could fly it.  If you put a part 107 operator in a plane and told them to fly it, there's a good chance they will die.

Kind of a stark difference.  

Ones not better than the other but they are profoundly different.  I can't speak for Stephanie, but I think what these activities have in common is a passion for aviation.  I couldn't care less what I fly as long as I can fly.  Even if I'm not piloting the UAV its still a thrill to capture the aerial perspective.   

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That's a very good point. I don't have any experience with drones but am interested in the idea that they can go places and do things that planes cannot. The plane crash in Alaska that ended in killing everyone aboard by crashing into the side of  a glacier is one place that comes to mind. I plan to take a 90 minute intro course before thinking of purchasing my first drone or making any real plans for what I would do with it. Does anyone have any other ideas fr learning more? Thanks!

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Hi Stephanie, where are you located?  How far along are you with your PPL?

UAV's, especially multirotors are not terribly complicated to fly.  Depending on where and how much the intro course is I'd recommend forgoing that in favor of investing the money in purchasing your first drone.  

Obviously the first drone you purchase is not going to meet your requirements.  However, it will bring you into the whole drone eco system providing you the opportunity to engage with other like minded people that should help lead you to the right drone for what you want to do. 

There are a lot of good used drones and some inexpensive drones available.  Expense is relative.  

If you ask people what they recommend you'll start a religious debate about everyone's favorite drone.  What always confuses me is that the same people who advocate for one manufacturer in one forum will be on a different forum complaining about how unreliable, how often you have to upgrade the firmware, and bad support is on the very same drone they recommended.   

Its really odd.  Misery loves company I guess. 


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On 10/12/2018 at 2:18 AM, Av8Chuck said:

Unmanned part 107 are operators, not pilots.  If you take a part 61 certified pilot and hand them a UAV there's a good chance they could fly it.

I hold both Part 61(private fixed-wing pilot) and Part 107 (commercial sUAS) pilot certificates, and I fly fixed-wing, multi-rotor and helicopter RC aircraft. I disagree with both of the above quoted statements. In my opinion, pilots plan flights and operate manned or unmanned aircraft (within the rules) safely.  

Having learned the fundamentals of flight while getting my Part 61 certificate helps me to fly fixed-wing RC aircraft, but that knowledge doesn't apply as intuitively to RC helicopters and multi-rotors. In any case, flying RC aircraft requires additional skills a Part 61 pilot has to learn like everyone else.

While flying for recreation under the so called Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336), I have crashed plenty of RC aircraft in spite of being a Part 61 pilot, and have had fun doing it (so far, no major damage). It would not be a good day if I were to crash during a commercial sUAS mission.

Finally, taking off and just flying most inherently stable, large or small aircraft isn't that difficult. Flying and landing them safely can be challenging.

Edited by Earthman
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So the only difference between manned flight and flying RC is in how you plan for it?  

 Being a pilot isn’t simply about your skill set, I’m a helicopter pilot but I can’t fly an RC helicopter to save my life. 

12 minutes ago, Earthman said:

flying RC aircraft requires additional skills a Part 61 pilot has to learn like everyone else. I have crashed plenty of RC aircraft in spite of being a Part 61 pilot, and have had fun doing it.

The difference between a pilot and an operator is that a pilot doesn’t have “fun” crashing.  

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That’s fine, but if you look at my previous thread you’ll notice I’m focused on helping @Stephanie Preston.  

Stephanie is a student pilot who is interested in using UAVs to solve a problem.  Clearly she’s a person who’s passionate about sharing the Aerial perspective with groundlings and is in on the path to becoming an aviator. 

To be successful it’s actually good to understand the difference between an operator and a pilot.  In fact, if someone applies for a job at my company with a 107 certificate and thinks that makes them a pilot, I won’t hire them.  I had one 107 operator who fancied themselves a pilot total a $30K UAV and camera and all that person did was blame the accident on the failure of a component on the UAV.  He was incapable of understanding that the accident was caused by something they did two months earlier and the crash was the result of a chain of bad decisions. 

So I stand by my advice, @Stephanie Preston Purchase whatever you can afford to abuse, learn how to fly it yourself, have fun, I guarantee that it will only increase your excitement for aviation, and complete your PPL.  When you’ve completed that, you will have the experience to know which UAV is right for your needs and hopefully your videos will be inspiring others to do the same.  

Then you’ll be a pilot that flys UAV’s and if you were looking to make a career of that in California I’d love to talk to you. 

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Thank you for the discussion. Chuck that sounds like very good advice to buy a drone and play with it. I grew up in So. Cal and my dad still lives out there so it would be cool to visit sometime! I'm currently in KY. As far as buying what I can afford, would you recommend a camera or low level thermography or what type of "practice" beyond flying would you suggest? If you want to email me at I could give you my cell to chat for a minute? Thanks so much!

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