HIRING A DRONE PILOT — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The drone industry is experiencing an exponential increase since the past few years. Drones are being opted as convenient solutions to tedious tasks in agriculture, security, construction, survey, cinematography and more. If you are looking for a drone pilot for your business this article will guide you on how to hire the right person for the job.

Here are the guidelines you must follow when hiring a drone pilot:
1. Certification- make sure the pilot is certified or licensed to operate the required UAV by a recognized training institute. Commercial UAV pilots have to pass theoretical as well as flying test. Properly trained pilots are well aware of the rules and restrictions laid down by the government hence you won’t be on the risk of breaking laws.

2. Previous experience- it is recommended to have a look at the previous projects the pilot had undertaken. As it is always better if the pilot had done similar projects. Your pilot must have an idea of the kind of work to be done and should take the required information beforehand. For example, he must ask you about your area of interest, the height of operation, required overlap, ground sampling distance, etc.

3. The alertness of weather and situations- a good pilot will always take care of the wind and weather in advance of the flying day. Rains and gusts can damage your drone, hinder flying and delay work. The pilot must be able to guide you while planning the flying days.

4. Knowledge of pre-flight checks- this is an indispensable skill for every pilot. No drone should take off before performing pre-flight checks, as you won’t like your drone on fire in mid-air. Ask the pilot if he carries a pre-flight checklist when going to fly. If not, then you know he is not the right one.

5. Dress- the pilot must be dressed rightly when on the ground. He must-have jackets and helmets on and no loose clothing.

6. Knowledge of safety measures- ask the pilot what safety precautions he takes on the ground. It is important to have a medical kit, fire extinguisher and water and the pilot must be able to perform safe operations if required.

7. Technical knowledge- the drone operator should know his aircraft properly and be proficient in visual system inspection, i.e. be able to look for any abnormalities, make sure that gimbal clamp and lens are removed before an operation, be able to change batteries, attach propellers, insert SD card, etc. He should also be capable of handling minor technical issues.

8. Awareness of operating restrictions- operator must be aware of the operating restrictions like drones are allowed to fly during the day only and within the “visual line of sight”. There are regulations in areas like airports, certain prohibited areas and places where military activities take place. Also, they can’t be operated from moving vehicles like cars, ships, and aircraft.

9. Handling emergency situations– there is always a risk associated with flying drones. The risk is not only for the drone and the operator but also for the people and animals nearby. It is not very rare to have lost signals and lose control over your drone or some obstacles like wires or any kind of human or animal intervention. The pilot must not panic in this situation and know what to do. He must be calm and collected while handling stressful situations.

10. Communication- It is recommended that the pilot must be able to communicate well with the people of the place he is going to fly. For example, if you have a project in Kerala, the pilot must know Malayalam so that he can communicate with the locals when needed.

11. Ability to handle flight fatigue- this is a real problem when flying for long periods of time or when the pilot is sleep deprived. Many times drone pilots have to fly in the summer heat as well, not everyone can handle sun for long. This means a greater risk of crashes and errors. Pilot must be physically and mentally fit. Ask him if he has any such problems and what precautions is he going to take to avoid them.

12. Soft skills- these are the core characteristics that make a pilot a good pilot. Pilots are not just trained for their flying skills but also for a change in attitude. The pilot must be confident and good decision-maker. He should have the ability to manage complex tasks and manage time effectively. He should be punctual, humble and disciplined. He must also have excellent leadership qualities, he should be able to guide other members involved with the project in order to successfully complete it.

13. Adaptability- Due to their nature of job involving frequent travels and varied weather conditions they must possess adaptability towards changing situations.

So next time you are hiring a Drone Pilot, you know what skills to look for in him.

Content By:

Palak Kumar

Content Writer- Better Drones