Now that we have reached over 150,000 Part 107 Certified Commercial Drone Pilots in the United States, others are starting to realize how ripe the drone industry is for innovation and profitable businesses through flying drones. What may have started out as a hobby is rapidly becoming a viable career earning upwards of $80,000 - $120,000/year on average, flying drones for a wide variety of important commercial applications.
At Altitude, we believe that anyone can make a great drone pilot with the proper training and operating guidelines, but there are a few characteristics that are extremely important as a commercial drone pilot:
Flying a drone is a stressful and risky job. This means that there will be many times where unexpected events happen, and any pilot that can handle the situation calmly, and quickly find a solution will be far more successful in the long run.
In addition, drones can captivate a lot of attention from bystanders or employees. This will attract a wide variety of personality types approaching you while you are flying; which can add to the stress but can also be very detrimental to your operation if you handle the situation the wrong way.
Although these are in no particular order, being detailed oriented is a MUST as a drone pilot. Far too often we see pilots conducting flights without any safety procedures or pre, during, or post-flight checklists. Most often or not these are the pilots that make the mistakes and quickly lose their trust from local clients. Make sure to be very meticulous in your flight routine, and do not be afraid to sacrifice a few extra minutes on-site for the safety of others around you.
Good commercial pilots always make sure their operation is organized. More often than not, jobs will be quite a bit of traveling from where you reside. Being organized with your flight tracking and especially equipment with save you hours and hours of worrying and delaying in comparison to a pilot that is not organized with their equipment and may have to travel back to grab an extra battery or charge their phone mid-flight.
Moral of the story, organization is a lifesaver in the commercial piloting world.
If you are not decisive as a pilot, you could cause much more harm in the event of an accident or any other sort of turbulence while conducting drone flights. More often than not your first instincts are the right instincts, so trust them and take the best action to keep yourself, others, and the equipment around you safe and in-tact.
We discussed being prepared/organized with your equipment above, but it is also essential as a pilot to be prepared when it comes to laws and regulations surrounding piloting drones.
There are many regulations that you should be aware of as a pilot; the most important being to make sure that your drone is registered, and that your have passed your FAA Part 107 Exam and have received your Drone License.
Keep both your registration and license with you at all times when flying to avoid large fines implemented by your local governments or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Here are two great resources to further your knowledge on what it takes to become a commercial drone pilot:
Until August 29, 2016 the rules and regulations in the U.S. were mostly unstructured in terms of the legality of flying UAV’s. Since then, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made many strides in making flying drones legal and far safer.
The Altitude University Online Part 107 Course is a test prep course aimed to help drone enthusiasts pass the exam and acquire their FAA Remote Pilot's Certificate (better known as Part 107 License) that will allow you to legally make money flying drones.
The program has been created by Brandon Trentalange who is one of the most popular entrepreneurs in the drone industry. He has over 6+ years of experience flying drones as a professional drone pilot, has consulted top corporations like NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Syngenta, and helped over 2,000+ drone operators start a career in the industry.