Category Archives: Q&A

Ask Drone Girl: what to do in college to have a career in drones

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about preparing in college and high school for a career in drones. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

My daughter is 15 and is in a tech class at school where they are flying two drones. She wants to pursue drone technology in college. We’ve visited Embry-Riddle (we live in FL), but didn’t get much information out of the visit. The amount of information out there is mind-numbing and even the ratings are typically confusing (and I’m an airline pilot).

My thoughts are this:
1.) get the license after turning 16
2.) get a drone and work on flying
3.) internship, summer job or summer camp involving technology, drones

 I think her interests are more in the building and flying rather than coding aspects, but I want to help her “find herself” at this critical (and fun) time. Any help you can pass along would be greatly appreciated!

-Woody

Hey Woody!

Thanks for reading, and hello to your daughter! It’s great to hear about more young women interested in STEAM and drones. This is a critical and fun time for her, so I’m glad you two are thinking about her future. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: what to do in college to have a career in drones

GoPro CEO Nick Woodman discusses Karma drone on Reddit

“Don’t call it a drone,” says GoPro CEO Nick Woodman on GoPro’s latest product, Karma. That’s the introduction to an AMA (short for Ask Me Anything on Reddit) that GoPro CEO Nick Woodman hosted on Reddit, where he took questions on a variety of topics, including Karma.

The Q&A reads like a script for a parody surfer bro (should we say ‘brah’?) movie, but it is, in fact, Nick Woodman himself writing. ‘Shredding’, ‘dudes,’ and ‘extremely stoked’ aside, here are some highlights from Woodman’s discussion, which provided insights into the future of Karma and Woodman’s thoughts on the drone manufacturer competition.

Reddit:  Will you bring out software/hardware improvements to Karma?

Nick Woodman: We will introduce updates to Karma to enhance its performance and what you can do with it. Karma already has a lot of hardware features built into it that we’re not exploiting yet, so expect more radness to come. We know everyone is excited to learn more and we promise to share more as soon as we can. Thanks for the stoke.

Get a notification when GoPro Karma is available for purchase from B&H photo at this link.

R: How do you feel the Karma holds up against recent drone industry competitors such as the DJI Mavic and the Yuneec Breeze — especially considering the difference in price point? Continue reading GoPro CEO Nick Woodman discusses Karma drone on Reddit

Ask Drone Girl: how can I fly over people for commercial purposes?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drone photography classes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

If a contractor wants me to take aerial footage of their construction site progress over three years — once a year — what’s the exact FAA rule about flying above people?

Isn’t it forbidden unless they’re part of the video project? Or with a waiver (which can take up to 90 days)? Can the drone be above construction workers? Above moving cars from the streets next to the site? Above people walking in these streets? Even if 90% of the time the drone will be only above the site?

Hey there!

I reached out to my friend and brilliant drone lawyer Loretta Alkalay, to ensure you get an accurate answer to your question.

Here goes:

A commercial operation would require compliance with the new Part 107 regulations, including using a pilot in command who holds a remote pilot certificate.  Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: how can I fly over people for commercial purposes?

Ask Drone Girl: I’m a licensed pilot, so do I need to take the Part 107 test?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about taking the Part 107 test as a manned aircraft pilot. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Dear Drone Girl,

I’m a licensed pilot (stared flying lessons with my father who taught WASPs during WW2 when he was an Army Air Corp Instructor Pilot). I’m still not positive what I need to do in order to get a commercial drone operator’s license.

I spent a number of years doing aerial photography from my Cessna and I now have three Yuneec Q500 4Ks, but am I simply needing to take an online exam to get the commercial drone certificate?  Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: I’m a licensed pilot, so do I need to take the Part 107 test?

Ask Drone Girl: How can I sell my drone photos legally?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about where you can legally fly, and photography for commercial purposes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Dear Drone Girl,

I read about you in the latest issue of “Professional Photographer.” I’m not sure if you’re willing to answer my question, but I thought I would ask anyway.

A few months back, my husband and I purchased a Phantom 4 to play around with aerial photography. When we first bought it, we didn’t think it was a big deal: we knew we had to register it and we knew there were rules to follow. However, we were overwhelmed with what we could and couldn’t do and it seemed that- with so many rules and regulations in place – we were paralyzed and didn’t even know what we could. We weren’t able to get any of our questions answered and we simply didn’t know if we were even doing anything wrong. So, we returned it. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: How can I sell my drone photos legally?

Ask Drone Girl: Studying for Part 107 for less than $20

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drone photography classes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Dear Drone Girl,

Which do you feel is the best under $20 option used to study for Part107 certification?

-Everett

Hey Everett!

Great question. The Part 107 test already costs $150 to take, so I can certainly see why you wouldn’t want to pay more than that to study for it. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: Studying for Part 107 for less than $20

Ask Drone Girl: drone photography classes?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drone photography classes. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

I am photographer who is very interested in learning about drone photography. Do you know of any seminars, workshops, or classes I can take?

best drone photos
Courtesy Dronestagram

-Jody

Hey Jody!

I’ll start by saying that the rules of photography very much apply to drone photography.  Any photography tips, particularly when it comes to landscape photography apply here. That means the classic tips like rule of thirds, geometry and negative space are all worth thinking about.

Since it sounds like you have the photography part nailed down, it seems like a basic introduction to drones class is great for you.  Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: drone photography classes?

What the FAA Part 107 test is actually like (from a drone pilot who passed)

Part 107 tests for commercial drone operators became available for the public to take this week. So what is the FAA Part 107 test actually like?

I have yet to take the test myself (as I still have some studying to do), but I called my friend Abby Speicher, who also happens to be the CEO and co-founder of DARTdrones, a drone training company that provides both in-person and online training for the Part 107 test.

Editor’s note: While Ms. Speicher is the CEO of FAA training course DARTdrones, this is not a sponsored post and this post is not intended to specifically promote or endorse DARTdronesThere are dozens of Part 107 training courses, a few of which are listed hereHowever, DARTdrones is offering a promo code to readers (noted at the end of this post).

abby Speicher dartdrones faa part 107 testHere’s her account of what to expect on the FAA Part 107 test:

Drone Girl: Let’s start by you walking us through what happened when you go there.

Abby Speicher: I went to a local airport, Hanscom Field in Massachusetts, which I had never been to before.  I expected it to be a strict testing center.  It was cool to see the private jets, and everyone at the test center was really nice. I got there at 8 a.m. on Monday, which was interesting because they said the FAA hadn’t sent them any test materials until just then (when the tests were made available) because it was so secretive.

DG: How many other people were there testing?

AS:  No one else was there. They had 5 pilots testing on Monday and 30 all week. They were surprised it was that many!

DG: What was the test process like?

AS: You sign something and your driver’s license signature needs to match. Then you go to the computers. They leave you alone with the FAA testing supplement where they pull all the figures from.

You also get a pen and paper while testing, which I didn’t use, and you can bring a calculator, which I think I just used once.

You have two hours, but I was there for an hour and 10 minutes. You immediately get to see your grade and which questions you got wrong.

DG: And I hear you passed! Congrats! What were the questions like? Continue reading What the FAA Part 107 test is actually like (from a drone pilot who passed)