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Where to Find Quality Drone Training?

Published: 25/09/2019
By: Brandon

I got an interesting notice in my inbox the other day from a drone training company called DARTDrones and I thought it might be useful to pass it along to our community. Drone training is a service I haven’t seen actively promoted (and certainly not as much as the off-shore re-touching services from whom I get at least a half-dozen emails every single day!)

Anyway, I thought I’d pass this resource along as it’s very clear to me that more and more real estate photographers are either examining whether to incorporate aerial photography/video into their suite of services or have already done so and might be interested in additional ongoing training and other educational resources. Please note that I’m not endorsing this company--I was simply intrigued by their ad and I thought I’d pass along a link to their site.

Actually, I’d love to hear from drone operators in our community about what you’re doing for ongoing training and development in this area. Thanks!

6 comments on “Where to Find Quality Drone Training?”

  1. To prepare for my FAA Part 107 license test, I used Remote Pilot 101. For $150, you get a series of video tutorials and practice tests, plus refreshed courses for your renewal tests.

    I learned more than I wanted or needed to know about airport rules and weather report codes and broadcasting tower clearances than I wanted or needed to know, but that's what the pilots who run the FAA want us to be aware of. Unlike us dronesters, they have their own skin in the game. It will be interesting to see if anything's changed when I renew my two-year license this winter.

    As for actual flight training, I dunno. Mostly you go out and crash and burn and learn, I guess.

  2. I used “Online Ground School” at Pilottraining.ca and thought it was horrible. Mostly the weather section. While emphasizing it was important for passing the test so “you should practice” - but failing to provide the instruction in that same category.

  3. "crash and burn" is not the way to learn to become a professional drone pilot. I say "pilot" because that's how the FAA refer's to us. It's a term denoting a responsible profession and you must go about learning in a professional and responsible manner. These days everyone wants "instant knowledge". But can you become a virtuoso in the piano instantly? Everything takes time, commitment, and attention to details. There are great Youtube videos that teach everything from remedial flying maneuvers as well as flying in windy conditions. DroneU has some wonderful flying courses all for around $50/mo. https://www.thedroneu.com/courses/
    So just don't put your "bird" up there without some type of learning plan if you're planning to become a professional and take money for your services. I don't want to be in the "crash and burn" guy's neighborhood.

  4. As I prepared for my FAA part 107 exam last September I went with Drone Pilot Ground School (https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com). At that point I was completely new to drones and flying so I felt pretty intimidated by the process. But once I took the plunge and began I really enjoyed the video lecture series which was very in-depth and teaches everything you need and more with practice tests so I felt completely confident going into my exam. Plus they also offer lifetime access to all the material for refreshers before the renewal exam. Highly recommend!

  5. I received my FAA Certification (only 3 wrong answers out of 60 questions) by studying on my own for about 6 weeks (I used flash cards and extensive notes because you need to memorize a lot of the information and there are many "tricky" questions). There are many free online study guides that are available as well as YouTube videos. When I thought I had enough knowledge to pass the test, I took a practice test and had a terrible score - and realized that you need to dedicate a lot of time (6 weeks for me as I mentioned, studying many hours). Here are some good references: (1) FAA Remote Pilot - Small Unmanned Aircraft systems Study Guide (79 page PDF) (2) Drone Certification Study Guide FAA Pt 107 sUAS Test --- YouTube video by Tony Northrup (3) 51 Drones YouTube Video Faa Pt 107 Test - can you pass without studying? Finally, it costs $150 to take the test so you want to be confident that you can pass the first time!

  6. Flying a drone is easy, navigating it is where it gets hard, learning the tricks of backing up into a small area because the sensors point forward, learning that under a heavy canopy the drone will start search for a satellite (start going up on it's own). You think the drone is stable and look for your next vantage point then oops. I am in Oregon and most of the drone work is areas with tall fir trees. Stay away from them unless you take a trained monkey with you.

    If you are serious about adding drones, buy a backup, or two. I have 3 and have had to resort to drone three by the end of a week. Drone one decided to not couple with the controller. Drone 2 clipped a tree in a arc shot, but I had the footage, So drone 3 was purchased that week because the first time you turn down a job for any reason, that client finds someone new. DJI fixed the coupling problem for free, charged a couple of hundred to swap the clipped Mavic. I use 2 phantom 4's and 1 mavic and sometimes use one to film the other one for promotional shots and videos. Now add $1000 a year for insurance (doesn't cover the drone for that cost).

    As far as schools, I found 3 or 4 online semi tutorials, watched over the weekend and took test on Monday afternoon.

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