Tag Archives: featured

Do you need to take the Part 107 test if you have a pilot’s license?

Next up in our “Ask The Drone Girl” series is about taking the Part 107 commercial drone operator test when you have a pilot’s license. Got a question for The Drone Girl? Submit it here.

Do I have to take FAA Part 107 test if I am already licensed as a commercial airplane pilot to fly a drone for hire?

Great question!

For the uninitiated, under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107, anyone wanting to operate a drone commercially needs to obtain a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

People who do not currently have an existing manned pilot’s license will need to pass an in-person written exam.

But since you are already a licensed airplane pilot, it will be significantly easier for you to get a remote pilot certificate so you can operate drones for profit. You simply need to complete the FAA’s online course, which will take you about two hours to complete.

The course is free, and anyone can access it, even if they do not have an existing pilot’s license. The course covers topics that manned pilots wouldn’t necessarily know, such as recommended drone maintenance procedures, effects of weather on drones and emergency procedures. Continue reading Do you need to take the Part 107 test if you have a pilot’s license?

The best drone for commercial purposes like construction, surveying, inspections or fire fighting

The latest post in our Ask The Drone Girl series is about buying the right drone for commercial purposes. Got a question for Drone Girl? Contact her here.

We are getting into the commercial side of UAS (oil and gas, insurance, construction, wind power, engineering, surveying and possibly fire fighting). What drone would you recommend? I thought maybe the DJI Matrice 210.

The Matrice 210 is a great drone, designed for commercial purposes. It can carry 2 kg of payload (4.4 pounds), fly for 38 minutes and operate as far as 7 km from the pilot. It has a power system for automatically heating batteries when flying in sub-zero temperatures AND is water resistant. It has been used in a variety of use-cases, from wind turbine inspections, to firefighting to search and rescue machines.

However, a word of caution before you make the massive investment in a Matrice 210: Nail down your business model before you nail down what drone you want to use.

Rather than market yourself as an all-in-one drone business, some of the most successful drone service businesses focus on just one niche. Dyan Gibbens’ company, Trumbull Unmanned, focuses on using drones to supply critical data to the energy sector, primarily supporting oil and gas and environmental efforts. Taylor Mitcham’s company, SkyNinja, focuses on the construction industry. Continue reading The best drone for commercial purposes like construction, surveying, inspections or fire fighting

DJI Goggles just got a big upgrade that should make drone racers pretty happy

DJI Goggles just got a new look — designed with FPV drone racers in mind.

DJI this week launched a new version of its DJI Goggles called the DJI Goggles RE (Racing Edition). The new redesign includes a metallic matte black visor and headband with red leather padding.

The DJI Goggles are designed to integrate with DJI’s OcuSync video transmission module and a high-performance camera module, which can transmit digital video signal from up to 7 km away with latency as low as 50 ms, in addition to analog signal.

The primary difference between the DJI Goggles RE and the original DJI Goggles (other than the new aesthetic) comes down to analog transmitter signals. Where the former DJI Goggles worked with OccuSync, the DJI Goggles RE comes with the ability to receive signals from analog transmitters — something essential to most drone racers. Continue reading DJI Goggles just got a big upgrade that should make drone racers pretty happy

Black Friday drone deals: your ultimate guide to deals at DJI, B&H and more

Is a drone on your Christmas list this year? Black Friday is offering LOADS of drone deals this year through stores including DJI and B&H Photo Video. You’ll save $100 on the wildly popular DJI Spark, more than $100 on my favorite pick, the DJI Mavic Pro, and you could even walk away with free extras like batteries, memory cards, landing pads and more.

Here are some of the deals you need to know about, sorted by drone, and then broken down by where to buy it:

DJI Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which is better?

Black Friday drone deals: DJI Spark

The DJI Spark is DJI’s smallest drone and perhaps its smartest, able to lift off from the palm of your hand and make a decision of where to fly based on your body movements. The drone is so wildly popular, it was even named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2017. The drone typically retails for $499, but it’s way cheaper if you buy it on Black Friday. Continue reading Black Friday drone deals: your ultimate guide to deals at DJI, B&H and more

The one quality every successful drone delivery service must have

The key to a successful drone delivery service isn’t necessarily using the fanciest, most expensive drone. It’s not necessarily the ability to fly hundreds of miles on a single battery. It’s also not necessarily the ability to carry tons of weight.

The key to a successful drone delivery service is mastering the process.

“The process is more important than the technology,” said Patrick Meier, co-founder of humanitarian drone group WeRobotics. “The workflows and standard operating procedures, preventative maintenance strategies are so key.”

WeRobotics, which has been testing delivery drones for humanitarian aid in Peru, today released a highly detailed report on cargo drones, which they are making free to the public — something rare for the highly secretive drone delivery business. Continue reading The one quality every successful drone delivery service must have

Drone community to Donald Trump: give more power to local governments to develop drone operation policies

The drone community (well, some key members at least)  has a message for President Donald Trump: give more power to state and local governments to experiment with ways of integrating drones, but don’t compromise the FAA’s sovereignty of the national airspace.

More than two dozen drone-related companies and organizations signed a controversial letter addressed to Trump this week calling for a pilot program to get input from states and municipalities to develop policy on UAS operations.

The letter was signed by delivery stakeholders such as Amazon, Fedex and UPS, manufacturers such as GoPro and DJI, and other organizations including AOPA and AUVSI.

“A pilot program would allow for a data-driven process, within a controlled operational environment, to explore the best options for states and municipalities to address their needs, as it relates to different types of UAS operations,” according to the letter. Continue reading Drone community to Donald Trump: give more power to local governments to develop drone operation policies

DJI Zenmuse X7: this is the 6k camera all filmmakers need

DJI’s newest camera, the DJI Zenmuse X7, is blowing all other camera drones out of the water.

The Chinese dronemaker, which sprung to fame for its ready to fly, GoPro-carrying drone, the Phantom, today announced the DJI Zenmuse X7.

It’s a Super 35 digital film camera optimized for professional aerial cinematography, designed to work with the DJI Inspire 2 drone.

The Drone Girl hinted at the Zenmuse X7’s launch last month when we interviewed Hollywood filmmaker Phil Pastuhov, but it’s finally here. Continue reading DJI Zenmuse X7: this is the 6k camera all filmmakers need