Category Archives for "Drones at Work"

New Bloggers

There are new bloggers on DroneUAV . I am Jo Gillespie (not a girl despite the name), drone pilot and new CAA PfAW holder, currently operating DJI Phantoms under the banner of 10 West Ltd and shortly Wessex Aerial Photography . We will acquire new and more capable kit as we respond to clients’ needs. My partner in these ventures is Jim Mulvaney and he will no doubt tell you about himself in due course.

My background is in mainstream aviation as a commercial airline pilot – I accumulated over 14,000 hours before hanging up the wings. I learned to fly in the RAF but flew for a variety of airlines in the UK before spending 3 years flying DC-10s with Malaysian in KL and then 17 years on a range of Airbus wide-bodies with Emirates in Dubai. I also have a strong background in aviation safety, risk management and accident investigation, and these days I provide consultancy and training services in those fields. You can find me on twitter @safegate and the consultancy at Gates Aviation . A lot of aviation principles translate well into the drone world so we think we are off to a good start.

Jim also has a commercial aviation past and is a qualified engineer so if you have any questions about flying and fixing jets let us know!

In-House Drones For Business

We are seeing an increase in the use of unregulated ‘in-house’ drones for business – that is companies operating their own drones for internal work but without a Permit to Fly for Aerial Work (PFAW) from the CAA.

Our understanding is that the practice is illegal. If you operate a drone for any commercial purpose, even if you are not taking any money for it, you still need the PFAW and a certified remote pilot.

This may sound like sour-grapes from someone on the inside of the drone industry but really it is about promoting the safe and compliant use of drone technology in the commercial environment. It is those who insist on operating outside of the regulations who risk getting us all a bad name!

If you need some drone work and you don’t have a PFAW there are plenty of people who do. Contact  ARPAS-UK for details of your local operators or check out Wessex Aerial Photography .

Something else to consider is that the drones almost certainly aren’t properly insured. Most employer liability and public liability policies simply won’t cover injuries or damage due to drone operations.

So you could lose your £1,000+ machine AND be faced with a substantial damages claim…

Why learn about drones and UAV now?

SteadiDrone Mavrik
SteadiDrone Mavrik

SteadiDrone Mavrik

Some people may be hesitating and asking themselves “Why learn about drones and UAV now?”  For those already involved in the industry the answer will be obvious, but if you’re new to it or if you have two or more career options under consideration then you may need some more convincing.

Take a look at the graph below.  This illustrates the growth in popularity of the search term over time relative to other search terms.  The drone industry is growing rapidly and now is an excellent time to become part of it.  Now is the time to catch the wave.

As the technology develops so do the areas of specialisation.  Stop anyone in the street and ask them what they think drones do and they’ll probably assume that their all fitted with conventional cameras that record still and video images, but UAV are increasingly being used for a variety of other purposes.  The payloads attached to quadcopters, fixed wing UAV, and multirotor craft are also being developed along with the aircraft themselves.

All the businesses and industries associated with UAV, directly or indirectly, should start planning for the opportunities that this growth is creating.  As an individual, you might want to think about the areas in which you might specialise.

For example:

  • Flying drones as a Remote Pilot
  • Software Development
  • UAV design, building, and testing
  • Data Analysis
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Businesses: aerial photography, 3D mapping, thermal inspection etc.

Not everyone will want to run their own business and if you’re looking for employment then make sure your overall knowledge is sound and up to date while specialising in one or more areas.  Keep abreast of the changes and developments by following not just the market leaders but also the up and coming small companies who have something new to offer.

There may be two people working on one product in the drone and UAV sector now who will be household names in five years time.  Could that be you?

Why shouldn’t it be you?  The field is open and the opportunities are there for those willing to take the leap of faith.