Roderick

Where to I start???

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I live in the Phoenix area.  I need to know where I can get an overall view of learning the drone business. I thought that the Drone Command would be a good start to get a quick gloss over at least.  It's $299 for 3 days of information. Plus they spend time with people who have never flew a drone in learning to fly or to at least get their feet wet. I am very interested in phasing out my current business and doing something new.  I would welcome any suggestions that you have to offer for a person like me as to where to start my journey.  I'm 62 years of age so getting another degree is not my interest. I need to know where I can get flight training, where to obtain the proper licenses and in what order, and what business segment is demanding drone usage the most?

I'm about as green as they come! :)

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Hey Roderick,

Welcome to the community. Being a drone pilot is going to be a long journey but very well worth it. What I would do first if I were you is to buy an inexpensive toy drone today!  UAV Coach has a great guide for beginner flyers: https://uavcoach.com/how-to-fly-a-quadcopter-guide/

When it comes to buying a drone check out this video: 

 

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Hey @Roderick, thanks for bringing the conversation to the forum and welcome!

People learn and are motivated to move forward in different ways. So while this event might not be for everyone, it might be a great fit for you and what you're looking to learn.

For what it's worth, here's something I found on their website that should give you peace of mind:

What is the MONEY BACK GUARANTEE?
If you attend Drone Command Live and do not feel like it was worth your investment, you can receive a complete REFUND. There is no risk. Register today! (To receive a refund, you must request the refund before you leave the event.)

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On 1/16/2019 at 9:43 PM, Roderick said:

I'm 62 years of age so getting another degree is not my interest. I need to know where I can get flight training, where to obtain the proper licenses and in what order, and what business segment is demanding drone usage the most?

@Roderick if you end up going to the Drone Command Live it would be great if you shared your experience.  That’s not very expensive so there’s not much risk, but I wouldn’t hold out hope it would be really informative either.  

These types of seminars have been around for decades for hyping things like internet sales, how to become an eBay millionaire, how to flip houses, etc..  unfortunately people who aspire to be commercial UAV operators seem to be especially gullible.  

The best way I can think of to determine the right business segment is find something that your already qualified to do or have some understanding of how things are done on the ground and then build a commercial UAV business that would extend the reach of that understating.  

If your only interested in multirotors, there aren’t many “flight schools” because honestly you can learn how to fly a drone on your own in a day and become preficient at flying one in a week or two.  Studying for the Part 107 exam is two weeks and costs $150.  

Once you’ve accomplished that then you can contract with people who can train and work with you to develop a commercial UAV flight program specifically for your needs. 

 

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Thank you for the valuable information.  I am wondering if you guys know or yourselves skilled in all types of Drone skills.  Such as an operator that contracts his/her skills to farmers, construction jobs, real estate etc?  Multi tasked operators.  

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I think your making a common mistake of putting the cart before the horse.  People generally overthink learning how to fly a multirotor. If you take a systematic approach to learning to fly and become proficient at the basics of flying in any orientation then flying a drone for most applications is straight forward and pretty much the same.  There are lots of ways to accomplish this and it doesn’t matter which way you choose to learn, just find a way that makes sense to you and then stick with it.  Consistency is important for muscle memory and developing safe procedures.  Just saying that makes it sound harder than it is.  Once your confident that you can fly manually in any orientation my advice will make a lot more sense and you can then look beyond the basics.  This just takes practice and how long it takes depends on how much contiguous time you can devote to it.  

Once your proficient at flying the drone, then you can answer the second part of your question yourself.  If you already have experience in any of the professions you mentioned then it will become self evident to you the best way to collect data with a multirotor.   For example: if your a realtor or you already provide media production services to realtors then you already know how to produce property videos and architctual photography, two very competitive aspects of adding value to realtors.  That experience enables you to recognize where and how to market the additional value an aerial perspective can provide.  Most drone operators seem to think that the value is in flying the drone but know very little about what it really takes to sell a property, the value is in knowing all of the other aspects of the business.  That’s what I mean by using a UAV to extend the reach of an existing professional.  So if your interested in starting a UAV related business in real estate and you don’t already know how to provide these services you can partner with someone who is already producing in this market who may not want the hassle of learning the aerial application of UAV’s.  Just keep in mind that unless they’re well established they probably aren’t willing to pay very much.  

So how much work you can get has more to do with your experience and relationships you have in the various vertices you hope to contract in.  It’s probably better to excel in one vertical before trying to contract out to others.  It’s that old saying “you can’t be everything to everybody..”  

 

 

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Roderick,  I am a little older than you and have been flying a Mavic Pro for a little over a year now.  As stated above the need to just get out and fly is paramount.  It doesn't need to be a well planned out journey, even an impromptu 20 minutes is good. (and living in Phoenix you can't use weather as an excuse 😃).  This gets you much more comfortable with operating the drone, developing situational awareness, becoming more  familiar with the software interface, and going through the pre-flight checklist and procedures.  As a 31 year Law Enforcement Officer I learned that in shooting, driving, and self defense the repetitive learning is paramount.

Something else I have now started working on you need to learn and fine tune is video and photo basics, especially if you wish to venture into the commercial realm.  Troll the myriad of YouTube videos and learn the need to become familiar with what settings on your drone to use for your videos and photos given the conditions and environment.  I waded through numerous YouTube channels but the two I usually rely on are "Ikopta" from the UK and "51 Drones" they have alot of useful information without a lot of superfluous BS.

Also when it comes time to study, practice and prepare for the Part 107 license you cannot beat the team at UAVCoach.  Their prep course is the best around.

This  may sound like a lot, but to me all this is a fun and exciting hobby/work venture.  Good luck in all you endeavors.  If an Old Dog like me can do this stuff anyone can.

Happy flying.

Edited by Trafcon

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Hey @Roderick, it certainly depends on what you want to do in the drone business. The best advice I can give you is to buy a drone, preferably an inexpensive one to start, and FLY FLY FLY! The more you fly, the more comfortable you will feel and gain confidence. In addition, I am sure there is a community of drone flyers in Arizona. In Colorado where I live, people are more than willing to share experiences and help each other out. I am sure that is the same way in Arizona. I started out 2 years ago and I had no idea what I was doing but I kept flying until I learned more about the drone and talked to people who helped me out. I am nowhere near an expert but I am much more experienced and comfortable now then when I was.

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On 2/1/2019 at 2:10 PM, Luke Dillon said:

Hey @Roderick, it certainly depends on what you want to do in the drone business. The best advice I can give you is to buy a drone, preferably an inexpensive one to start, and FLY FLY FLY! The more you fly, the more comfortable you will feel and gain confidence. In addition, I am sure there is a community of drone flyers in Arizona. In Colorado where I live, people are more than willing to share experiences and help each other out. I am sure that is the same way in Arizona. I started out 2 years ago and I had no idea what I was doing but I kept flying until I learned more about the drone and talked to people who helped me out. I am nowhere near an expert but I am much more experienced and comfortable now then when I was.

Thank you!  I really don't know what I want to do in the drone business.  I do know that I want to do whatever fastest growing use for drones will be.  I am visualizing in perhaps specializing in two different fields and that both of them be rewarding and lucrative.  I just don't know what those 2 specializations would be at this time.  I have been trying to find data on it but have unsuccessful at this point.  I have been looking at a lot of inexpensive drones on Amazon.  Something just to practice with.  I have put about 10 different ones on my wishlist there and I will then reviewing each one to see which one I would like to try out to practice with and get familiar.

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54 minutes ago, Roderick said:

I do know that I want to do whatever fastest growing use for drones will be.  I am visualizing in perhaps specializing in two different fields and that both of them be rewarding and lucrative.  I just don't know what those 2 specializations would be at this time. 

This is not a popular sentiment with people trying to figure out what they want to do in this industry, but you say whatever that is you want it to be rewarding and licrative. Depending on how you define them these two things don’t always go together.

The fasted growing segment is aerial photography, anyone with about $1600 can buy a toy drone at BestBuy get their 107 and hang out a shingle to be in this business.  Generally for beginners this can be very rewarding but unless your using a UAV to extend the reach or capability of an already lucrative business your not going to make much posting videos on YouTube.  

So it comes down to what problem can you solve for people their willing to pay for.  Not many people are willing to pay much for aerial photography. 

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Well... that's the type of information that you provided that I need to know.  I just do not want to play with a drone, I want to make good money and enjoy what I am doing by using a drone to work with. I do know that I do not want to setup a business with employees, I just want to be a one person operation.  That I do know.  And if people are not going to pay much for aerial photography then knowing that would steer me away from that possibility and look into exploring something else using drones. 

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