Whether you want to be a hobbyist or a professional, the road to starting out as a drone pilot is paved with more questions than answers. Choosing the right gear, keeping up to speed with ever-changing regulations and making the most of every second in the sky are all challenges new pilots have to overcome.
We’ve put together a list of useful resources from around the web that get to the bottom of important topics and answer the burning questions many new drone pilots have.
Which drone should I buy?
Quite rightly, this is one of the single biggest questions drone pilots want to know the answer to.
New hardware is being released every year by the industry’s major manufacturers. And as we have seen, some are closer to the cutting edge of what is possible than others. Several have fallen short of expectations.
So we know one thing for sure: it pays to choose wisely.
Back at the end of 2017, we put together a list of the best drones on the market. But things move quickly in this business and a lot has changed since then. A more recent spin on that article can be found here with The Best Drones to Take Your Pilot Career to the Next Level.
The majority of commercial pilots in the US fly with DJI aircraft for a reason. To help see the features and benefits of each drone, we’d recommend checking out the manufacturer’s comparison tool.
What is Part 107?
Since the FAA’s Part 107 Ruling came into place in August 2016, commercial drone pilots have had to operate under a set of guidelines that lay out a framework for commercial operations. Among other things, it introduced the requirement for drone operators to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating.
You can read more about that in our Part 107 Guide, a must-read for any pilot that wants to fly with DroneBase.
What’s going on in the drone industry?
The DroneBase blog is a great place to start for industry analysis, regulatory news, predictions, inspiration and advice. But there are plenty of other sources out there to keep you up to speed with what’s going on in the world of drones.
Last year we put together a comprehensive list of drone industry accounts to follow. Included is the excellent Commercial Drones FM podcast, industry resource hub, UAV Coach, and drone news platforms DroneLife and Commercial UAV News.
What’s possible with drone technology?
Inspirational drone content is right at your fingertips. Whether you want to explore the potential of drone technology or reassure friends and family that there’s more to this business than interrupting airports, here are a few places you can visit.
First up is DJI Stories, a section of the manufacturer’s YouTube channel dedicated to inspiring stories told through slick drone documentaries. Our favorite delves into a life-saving search and rescue mission in Iceland.
Another great website to add to your bookmarks is Dronestagram, the Instagram for drone pilots. It’s packed with incredible stills and videos that basically make it one endless advert for why you should start flying. The platform also runs regular aerial photography competitions, so you can test your creativity against the best in the business.
That doesn’t mean you should skip Instagram completely though. Did you know that almost 10 million images have been tagged with #Drone?
Where can I master the art of being a drone pilot?
Since the Part 107 rule came into force, starting up as a professional drone pilot has become a little more complicated.
UAV Coach’s Drone Pilot Ground School is an online preparation course for commercial drone pilots looking to pass the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test and gain a Remote Pilot Certificate.
The platform’s video lectures, practice tests and flight proficiency training have been successfully used by almost 14,000 drone pilots to date.
Last year we partnered with Drone Pilot Ground School to make the course available at a discounted rate for our community. If you decide to enroll, use the code DRONEBASE50 to get $50 off the $299 enrollment cost.
Another way to improve your skills behind the controls is to watch online tutorials and get out there and practice. DJI has its own tutorials channel with more than 200 videos. This guide from Canva is also worth reading.
All of the above resources should provide everything you need to get started in the industry, keep up with what’s going on and improve as a pilot. For more information to help your drone industry career take off, read our blog: 5 steps to become a drone pilot.