Drone Design Studios
Drone Service Provider
Design Harmony by Chanel
An ongoing series of informational entries
Our Latest Blog Entry
May 19, 2022
Five Reasons To Insist That Your Drone Service Provider Shows Up With More Than One Drone
From mini drones that are smaller than your phone to larger, beefier quadcopters, different drones have different flight characteristics, and because of their size, some of them might be unsuitable in certain situations. Therefore, drone service providers know having a fleet of multiple drones is the best to get the job done right. The first time.
Reason number one: Accidents happen.
Good drone service providers prepare for the unexpected and anticipate hazards like trees, power lines, birds, air traffic, wind speeds, weather conditions, construction hazards, and the like.
But even the most skilled, experienced, and cautious drone pilots have dealt with simply being human, and human error, in a split second, could cause the well-prepped drone they brought on-site to suddenly not operate.
Or a gust of wind, angry birds (not the cute ones, think sniper seagull or Incredible Hulk Hawk), or even a solar flare can wreak havoc on drone technology. So that’s why it’s always good to have a backup! Just in case.
Reason number two: Technical difficulties happen.
Comparable to the reason stated above, not only are people imperfect so is technology. Firmware updates, corrupted SD cards, a gimbal that decides to suddenly not rotate properly, props that may not cooperate, dust particles or water particles, or for whatever reason a bug, literal or virtual, appears and a trusty drone can just simply decide not to work. So before a drone service provider is tempted to open up their drone and start trying to fix it and thereby void the warranty from the manufacturer and spend precious time trying to troubleshoot, drone pilots can simply use their secondary backup drone instead until they can get their primary drone sent in for repairs by the experts.
Then there's the backup option if you need it in case one is already down for repair.
Reason number three: It’s better to have more footage than you need than not enough.
Picture the scenario: Drone service providers often drive for miles and many hours to a remote shoot location and after the end of a long day once they have returned home realize they’ve missed several crucial pieces of footage the client needed. Or, as was mentioned in the previously listed reasons, the only equipment brought failed so they couldn’t get all the footage that was needed. Either way, it requires another day’s worth of work and more time and expense. This problem could've been solved with two different drones for the same mission.
Reason number four: Kill one bird with two stones.
Not exactly how the saying goes. Also, it's not my favorite expression because I love birds and especially drone “birds”. And I don’t kill birds. Not even then the vengeful ones that dive-bomb and attack friendly drones. But the point is: that the task will be accomplished more efficiently, thoroughly, and faster because your drone service provider arrived with more than enough gear to get the job done. I don’t always say always…but…Always have a backup; always have a backup plan if you run into an issue; and always have a backup cord and so on.
And this brings me to my last reason…
Reason number five: More than one tool for more than one application to get the job done.
Each mission is different. One might require basic listing shots for a realtor’s residential home listing. Another might require mapping and/or surveying of a roof for a commercial building for a 2D ortho map. Or maybe a combination. So these require different applications and different drones that work with those applications. Drone service providers believe in being fully equipped means being ready to get any required job done.
The climate is a factor as well. Because some drones perform better in poorer weather conditions such as light rain, heat, cold, and higher wind speeds.
So, no matter how you slice it, no single drone is the best platform for all occasions, and depending on what we need from them in terms of imagery and operations, having multiple drones allows you to cover more bases as well as have a backup.
Article by Chanel Harmon of dronedesignstudios.com
Image by Pexels.com
Our Second Blog Entry
February 14, 2022
Did You Know? Realtors Can Get Popped! If they are not licensed FAA107 UAS pilots and they collect drone footage for their listings. One realtor in Minnesota was fined $39,700 for multiple flights. “The purpose of flight 7 was to advertise a real estate listing for” XXXXX. " If you dig into the SkyPan cases, the real estate brokerage firm had to respond to subpoenas from the FAA. This caused the brokerage firm time and money to compile and turn over the documents.
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Our First Blog Entry
January 15, 2022
Five Reasons To Insist That Your Drone Service Provider Utilizes Manuals And Documentation For Flight And Aircraft Operations
1. Commercial drone pilots are being stopped while in the field by FAA officials. Often from local FSDOs (flight standards district offices) for spot checks. The officials asked the pilots to show their part 107 certification cards as well as their flight logs and maintenance records. For example, records of how often they change out their rotor blades. Spot checks like this are also called “ramp checks” which are unscheduled checks and/or surveillance made by FAA officials to ensure that flights are being made safely and in compliance with regulations.
2. This is a requirement and responsibility under Part 107 rules. “A remote pilot in command must make available to the FAA upon request the small UAS for inspection or testing and any associated documents/records required to be kept under the rule.” —FAA’s Part 107 rules summary document
3. Although ramp checks may not have happened much in the past for commercial drone pilots, it seems they will be happening more and more. So if you’re wondering whether drone pilots need to keep the items on this list with them while conducting commercial drone operations, the answer is: Yes, they definitely do.
4. Preparation is a major way a drone pilot can avoid the wrath of the FAA!
5. Drone pilots should use a preflight checklist before every flight. Preflight checklists should include identifying info, date/time/location of the flight, drone information, weather forecast check, purpose, check air space/get authorization/LAANC/waivers. Also, an inspection of the drone and components for good working condition, check firmware updates, calibrate if prompted, and set RTH Altitude (setting higher than the highest obstacle). UAS pilots should also keep a good maintenance record. This record shows the regular routine the pilot has for inspecting their drone for mechanical defects. Maintenance activities like calibration of sensors and replacement of parts need to be done periodically to make sure that the drone is always in tip-top condition. Keeping track of these is difficult without writing them down, thus the need to include them in drone flight logs.
When a pilot ensures they have this basic documentation on hand and can show it to the FAA when requested, on-site, it demonstrates to them that the pilot is consciously making an effort to fly safely and properly working within the FAA’s guidelines and laws.
A drone in many ways is like a tiny black box, all the flight data is being recorded and could be accessed by the FAA at any time. If the pilot isn’t considered safe the FAA could not allow them to fly the mission and even fine them.
List of Documents a Commercial Drone Pilot Should Always Have on Hand:
(best if most of this stuff is kept all together in a trusty three-ring binder)
• Part 107 certificate
• driver’s license
• insurance verification form
• aircraft registration number and certificate
• summary of FAA Part 107 Rules
• drone flight log
• flight operations manual
• chart supplements for nearby airports (demonstrates knowledge of airport comm frequencies, traffic patterns, etc.)
• TFRs and NOTAMs at or near mission location
• LAANC authorization number (if applicable for airspace at mission location) Having this shows the FAA the pilot is making every attempt to have a safe and legal flight
• Maintenance log (demonstrates aircraft maintenance practices)
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these and other issues pertaining to the safe, professional, and ethical operation of drones. Please check our website at www.dronedesignstudios.com and watch this space as we expand on the above topics and more in the coming weeks and months.