Increasing your drone knowledge is a good way to get ahead in the field. We'll highlight a few common questions from interested drone pilots before diving into the process of becoming a pilot and discussing important industry regulations. At the most basic and broad level, commercial drone pilots fly drones for companies in a range of industries and for varying purposes. Some companies use drones to take aerial photos and videos for marketing purposes, while other companies use drones for aerial surveillance. There are several uses for drones, and commercial drone pilots execute different drone needs for businesses.
In our research, we found that most companies hire drone pilots on a freelance basis.
Many companies don't have full-time drone pilots, but rather bring people in to fly drones for specific projects. This can require a significant amount of travel to project sites. A UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle. Another common term used in this industry is UAS, which refers to unmanned aircraft systems. Depending on where you're reading about drones, you may see different terminology used. The FAA frequently uses UAV to refer to drones while most mainstream media outlets use the term drone as it's more well known to the average reader. For the most part, those terms are used interchangeably.
A UAS, on the other hand, refers to more than just the aircraft. A UAS includes the whole system, which means the steering system and the pilot are lumped in with this phrase. If you want to get technical, UAVs are more advanced versions of drones. As we mentioned, the FAA uses UAV frequently, and that's the more official term for what commercial drone pilots will use.
The salary of drone pilots varies quite a bit, especially considering that many pilots work on a freelance basis. The hourly rate also varies by project and industry. It's hard to get an exact estimate for how much a drone pilot will make, but the potential to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars annually exists.
Achieving that goal requires taking on a significant number of projects.
If you want to get in on this groundswell and become a commercial drone pilot, you will need three things:. The first step in becoming a drone pilot is obtaining a drone license. The government has mandated that anyone who flies a drone for a commercial, nonrecreational or governmental purpose needs to have a special license to do so. This license is called a Part , named after the rule that governs it. These are often local flying clubs or airports. This test involves plus multiple-choice questions that cover setting up, operating and safely using a drone.
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Applicants must be at least 16 years old and have a government-issued picture ID. Additional requirements from the FAA include the ability to speak, read, write, and understand English as well as being in the physical and mental condition necessary to complete a drone flight. Note : It may take a couple of weeks, depending on your location, while you sit on a waiting list. There are about locations in the United States. A stall occurs when the smooth airflow over the unmanned airplane's wing is disrupted and the lift degenerates rapidly.
This is caused when the wing:. A exceeds the maximum speed. B exceeds the maximum allowable operating weight. C exceeds its critical angle of attack.
Getting started as a new drone pilot | AirShare NZ hub for drones and UAVs
You don't have to go into this test cold, though. The latter offers to pay the fee for your Rule test if you don't pass. Taking practice tests is a good way to increase your knowledge and feel more comfortable when the actual test rolls around. After the test, your score will be uploaded in 48 hours. The TSA will run a background check on you before you can print out a certificate. The FAA summarizes its process to become a drone pilot in six steps , with the first three being the most noteworthy.
After completing those tasks, you receive an email once your background check is completed. You then are mailed your remote pilot certificate, and you should keep that with you when flying your drone. The next thing you will need is professional drone insurance. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service.
You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation. The IMPS will be between four and seven years. The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.
The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities. Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here. If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances.
You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment. The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment. A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.
The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.
Who Employs Drone Pilots?
Required information includes:. Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances. NOTE: The security clearance is critical to an applicants successful progression through the Army training system. If an applicant is unable to obtain the required security clearance in time, they will not be allowed to continue their training and may need to be re-allocated to another employment category. As such, it is strongly recommended that all applicants obtain the required documentation as soon as possible to provide the best opportunity to be employed in their preferred employment category.
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Recruit training is the same for male and female entrants. During the 80 day Army Recruit Course you will be required to take part in physical training, weapon handling and shooting, first aid, drill and field craft. The training is deliberately challenging and has been designed to prepare you to be a soldier in today's Army. Recruits gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence during basic training, and on completion of the course feel justifiably proud of what they have achieved.
Further information is also available at the Army Recruit Training Centre website. During Military Initial Recruit Training and Initial Employment Training, members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.