How Do You Gauge the Skill Level of a Drone Pilot?

you're listening to the ask a droning podcast you asked we answer your drone questions whether you're here to turn your passion into profit and you simply fly for fun we're a community of wares and teachers who aspire to achieve greatness we are hey everyone and welcome to another awesome episode of ask drone you your name is ball mmm your name is Rob and we're listening to an unknown episode of ask drone you know we're gonna call it a 57 okay sounds like a good number thank you so much for joining us today whether you're listening in the car listening in bed or you're waiting five hours in the bathroom to ask me a question Wow wherever you are don't creep just kidding anyway thank you for being with us you really are the lifeblood of the show so thank you yeah thank you for all the questions and you can do that at Astro neucom whenever your question that comes to mind you do it on phone that's a great thing about nowadays is if you have something that comes to mind you can take care of it right away and we'd love to hear from you so please do so yes please do so today we're gonna be talking about what are we talking about today Rob talking about piloting skills how do you vet a good pilot that's a good question how can you ascertain the flying ability of a drone pilot when even the FAA does not have a practical flying skills assessment all right thank you very much for the question I think it's a good question how can somebody ascertain the piloting skills of a drone pilot I you know I will say just because the FAA hasn't come out with something doesn't mean that that's not possible obviously right they would be trying to do something for the masses and I think and I'm not exactly sure the the context of the question but we could look at it from the perspective of maybe a company who's creating a drone business and they're trying to bring in pilots to do some of the work for them or maybe it's a realtor wants to hire a pilot but how can they tell what a good pilot is so there are various ways to look at this question regardless of what the FAA has or has not done so what are your thoughts on this I'm loving your Navajo wax and I noticed that I did that and I was just gonna let it ring if you didn't know so it's all good no it's funny anyways I was watching this I just kind of flipping around for like 20 minutes last night begging and I came across this Navajo comedian no way it was one of the funniest things he was sitting cross-legged talking about going into some medicine man's presentation I don't forgive me I don't know what it's called but he was just sort of describing the scene and it was hilarious and literally I heard that accent for a while and I think it might be affecting me today all right what are we talking the skills of a pilot ah what were you saying about the FAA what does the FAA have to do with it I think a lot of people would love to see a practical test from the FAA on pilots but yeah right but that's never gonna happen I don't think it's ever gonna happen yeah I think it's actually a very safe presumption to say it's never going to happen I've actually come up with a way that I still am in the middle of patenting right now that I think could solve that problem but I'm just not sure that they are on board for that okay so I mean like let's also look at right the presentation during the flying from Kinji sugahara who talked about writing the new law for the reauthorization and how pretty much anyone if the law passes there is a micro drone rule in there that says if you're flying anything less than four point four pounds you don't need a license so I mean like there I think if it gets a backtrack in all honesty to I've been like I've been secretly filming some jobs and I've been using just a phantom because my eye too has and broken anyway long story short completing every job of the Phantom is so much easier than an inspire but an inspired does get better quality footage there's no doubt about that but when it comes to mapping and just general jobs I mean it's so easy use a phantom a phantom always what before I think it's like four point two thematic is only one point six pounds which means and air is even less than that it'll be interesting to see within that of two ways but it's not going to be much more than that weight battery and propellers included thirteen hundred and eighty eight grams that's less than two kilos so that's $3 to this particular question I'm sure but what this is saying is that you could fly a fan for pro for example and I have to be licensed to do it commercially if the new law yes sorry I know people are I just I'm so afraid of being that like soundbite me like you don't need allies like soundbite but if the new law passes you will not need a license to fly anything below fan could be bad could be good I don't know there's you know there's such a lack of enforcement right now I think this is actually the federal government saying it's almost impossible for us to control this right now and if we rein it back maybe then we can go forward from there and enact new laws and they would they do have you know new tighter restrictions on hobbyists in that law so it would be like if you're a commercial guy you're you're pg but there are certain rules you have to follow this thing yeah I don't even know yeah just you still need your 107 long in the short of it that's right so all right so figuring out if a pilot is a good pilot yes gonna happen alright I feel bad for everyone listed in the show because we're just now finally getting the answer of it it shows why why it's a bad idea to podcast today okay number one is the pilot following the three rules of takeoff and landing if you don't know those rules then you should go to the don't crash course because they're very important and I've literally had people argue with me on those rules and crash drones on set in front of very important people okay where are the rules you can give those rules up I think those rules are no no because if I give it every rule that I'm gonna go over in the next segment we're gonna be here all day long yeah but that's just the three basic rules let's give him something is the drone and the pilot facing the same direction are they taking off into the wind are they immediately taking off and moving away from themselves great questions seems pretty intuitive the pilot do a pre-flight checklist did he check to see what the KP index is that day is he taking off near Ferro magnetically charged materials is he doing a compass calibration here's the biggest one this is how I literally can tell every pilot who's a complete and total newb did they do an IMU calibration before they flew seriously though because the most don't even yeah even the experienced one there were 55 IMU calibrations at the flying 55 because of Peter because of Peter but everyone's like why is my horizon line drifting when was last time you didn't I am you calibration so but they weren't total newb so that's the point no the thing is is that you know what it's really made me think to Robyn and I forgot to bring this up yesterday in my conference call with you from the car I think we should redo drone you here's what you absolutely need no no every class should be broken up into three things absolutely what you need to know and you cannot move forward into another class until you know these things what you should know like the technical details like how an ESC works what are the systems how do they crash what are you know what are typical problems that you could troubleshoot what happens if your drone gets disconnected how do you stop a flyaway all those things right and then you would have the don't need to know yeah so this is like that marketing concept that Tim came up with actually write a little ID to all of drone you yeah it was actually Ted Wilson who came up with the concept this yeah Ted Ted was like this is what you need to know what you should know and what you don't need to know and then Tim at lunch was like that's the new slogan I love it I love it I love it it's just so brilliant and I was like it is brilliant let's go with it my bad tip because we know but it was Tim's idea to continue it as a marking theme marketing theme and it's a important because it really harnesses what our culture is like in aviation and what I've figured out in all government testing what you need to know what you should know and what you don't need to know because most government tests are not very practical they're like this is what we need to ensure that you understand for liability purposes if that I mean that's what it looks like to me yeah we doubt things yeah so long story short so back to it before I grab it whole again we have horrible at this okay three rules of takeoff and landing preflight checks IMU calibrations compass calibrations let's see how are they able to do banking turns do they know how to do an orbit or a turn about a point do they understand turning into the wind and turning out of the wind do they understand emergency procedures if they have a battery failure do they understand emergency procedures for a lost link failure do they come up and communicate a plan to you before they fly to say look we're about to fly if I have any problems I'm going to dump the drone into that tree over there like how and I say this because I guarantee 90% of the people to figure out if a drone is a good vetted pilot won't do those things the question that's why we have this whole drills in exercise course and the new drone you eally if you want to get a training in your area you can get on the drone you obstacle course the same obstacle course that literally was at the drone you fly in and you can learn all these drills and exercises in real life and guess what now you can order a training because they're live on our site so guess what go order a training near you right now yes yeah so you can literally like learn how to be a good vetted pilot by taking one of these courses you can that's that's absolutely true although yeah we're not we're not in the many places we want to be but we're getting there where are we right now we're in Utah we're in Wisconsin we're in Houston Texas we're in Denver Colorado New York City hmm my missing couple here Jase Werth Jayson Jayson DC he's in DC my home hmm homie Jason Jason flakes my homie from my hometown he's such a cool dude couple in Utah yeah here Albuquerque Albuquerque yeah we got New Mexico Colorado Texas Utah Wisconsin probably Vegas soon and probably Hawaii soon too we're probably gonna have to make a visit and train that person in person ourselves I'm just saying double check yeah make sure everything is peachy the FAA doesn't have any way to pennyways yes I need to make a couple phone calls to those people actually so yeah so yeah I kind of is that the answer I think I was just gonna find a pilot and figure out if they're a good pilot or not and you're gonna look at their footage how smooth is it are they actually taking the time to set up their video do you see a lot of aliasing in their video are they filming it too slow of a framerate so their footage looks like crap I mean there are is there shutter speed too fast so they're using nd filters I mean the list goes on and on and on and on and a good pilot is gonna have habits and routines to just do these things without thinking straight up so that answers that question thank you again for the reviews if you haven't left us one I know there are thousands of you who haven't left us one it would really mean the world to me little 30 year old birthday gift belated whatever you want to call it Rob's birthday's coming up give it to him for his birthday August 22nd happy birthday Rob yeah thanks you know it's the same birthday as my sister right you told me that yeah that's cool it's cool the sister that was here yeah oh yeah I thought you met Liz that crazy I have a sister anyway um yeah so guys thank you just so much for listening in please leave us review it does help other people find the show and the more people that we can genuinely educate here the better off we all are and I cannot stress that enough so anyway thank you for listening very much my name is Paul I'm Rob this is ask drone you you

How do you determine if a drone pilot is really good at what he does? We suggest various Tips and Tricks that will enable you to make an accurate assessment.

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01:21 – Today’s question is about ascertaining piloting skills
01:40 – How successful is FAA in accurately gauging piloting skills?
03:48 – Discussing the proposed Reauthorization Bill which could render Part 107 obsolete
05:29 – What could be FAA’s motive behind removing Part 107?
06:16 – Rules for takeoff and landing that every drone pilot should follow
07:06 – Should you go for an IMU calibration every time?
07:46 – Some more important things that every drone pilots should know
10:05 – How can Drone U help you improve your piloting skills?
11:45 – How to gauge piloting skills by looking at drone footage
12:10 – If you liked what you heard, please leave us a good review

Please watch: “Enterprise Drones vs. Consumer Drones – Which is a Better Buy, and Why?”


13 comments on “How Do You Gauge the Skill Level of a Drone Pilot?

  1. Dave Everett

    An IMU calibration before every flight is a bit unrealistic. The only scenario I can conceive of is to perform this calibration at home or work before going out into the field as a completely level, flat surface is necessary. The only horizon line issues I've had is with the P4P before DJI corrected this with a firmware update about a year ago. Omitting this calibration as a pre-flight routine doesn't exactly mean one is unprofessional or or irresponsible. Paul, I can't picture you performing a 30-45 minute preflight check before you put your Mavic up. Aircraft inspections and preflight calibrations, when there is one pilot in full awareness of each flight and long term condition of all aircraft means that maintenance is periodic and not daily for all tasks. There are reasonable precautions and excessive ones. In four years of remote piloting I haven't lost a drone, crashed or injured person or damaged property. Very glad that you stress safety when there are a lot of irresponsible operators out there, so thanks for that. We just need to strike a reasonable balance.

  2. phil devore

    I really appreciate your videos but could you please stay on track a little more instead of going off on tangents so much? My time is valuable and I just want to hear the task at hand. Just my opinion.

  3. JRC Aerial

    How do I become an official Drone U trainer in my area for your training courses. I'm sure Vic Moss takes care of Northern Colorado but I'm in Southern Colorado and would like to help out in any way I can in this part of my state.


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