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Hello From Little Rock AR

HerrkDriver

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Hello-

I am a C-130 pilot in the Air Force who is approaching retirement from the military in a little over a year (haven't set a date yet). I have 4500+ hours of multi-engine fixed wing time. Not sure what planted the seed but I have recently become very interested in getting my Part 107 license and possibly doing some drone flying for hire to augment my military retirement. I am thinking of doing it on the side at first, while I take up a contractor job, and see where it goes. I have read some of the other posts and some good people have posted great information and advice to potential newbies like myself. I am looking for any advice anyone can provide. Below are some particular areas I am looking for information as I continue to scratch the surface in gathering information and ideas:

1. I have read that a fixed wing pilot can get their Part 107 by going to the FAA's website and completing an online computer based training module then visiting the local FSDO to get the license. What I read said there was no training (other than the FAA computer training) or test required. Is there anyone who is a licensed fix wing pilot that has gotten their Part 107 this way and would be willing to share how the process goes?

2. Can anyone offer insight on how the market is in Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, and Oklahoma? There is a lot of business for crop dusters here and I am curious how drones might be impacting that industry in this part of the country, but I am in no way informed enough to start thinking what I would want to specialize in. Also, I am not looking to move out of Little Rock but I understand travel will be required at times.

3. Any other general information. business plan ideas, how to get started, where to get insurance and how much, you're crazy don't do it, etc.

If you are reading this I thank you for getting this far down my post. I look forward to hearing your ideas if you feel inclined to reply. Have a great day!
 

Mavikhan

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Welcome aboard!👍
I can give you my perspective on the market in northeast Arkansas. I was considering the Part 107 until I approached several real estate agents and farmers. I could not find one single person who was willing to pay even a dollar for any drone services. I finally told two real estate agents that I would showcase a listing for free, and they still ran like rabbits. I am so glad I checked into it before taking the 107.
 
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DroneOutlook

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Welcome. As a former Army Paratrooper I've spent quite a bit of time in the back of C-130 aircraft.

It is a straight forward process for pilots who already have their manned flight certificate through 14 CFR part 61. I'm guessing you've found this page that explains the eligibility requirements and steps required to get your remote pilot certificate.

I'm working on an in-depth article about choosing drone business insurance that should be published within a week or so, but if you have specific questions feel free to send me a direct message and I'll share what I've learned so far.
 

R.Perry

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From one pud knocker to another welcome to the forum. As long as your current getting your 107 is easy, and you are correct there is no performance evaluation so you don't even need to know how to fly a drone to get a 107. To me meaning the 107 has very little meaning as far as qualifications to do commercial work.
Your flight experience has very little meaning in the drone aviation world other than a decent understanding of what makes something fly. Actually the RC hobby pilots have one up on us.
Automation as in aviation is becoming a reality in the drone community as well.
Want to be a crop duster, come on out to California and I'll get you started, I have a Cessna 188, I used up eight of my nine lives dusting for several years. Got to get the chemical training, there is a great school in Nevada or you can do it on your own.
I'm just trying to figure out how to make the Cessna a drone, need to work on that one, LOL, but I see the AF has turned a F16 into a drone.
Best of luck to you.
 

dirkclod

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Welcome to CDP .
Look around and find what your interest is and let it rip . Have any question's feel free to ask any staff
in a message concerning the forum and glad you have joined .
Enjoy and be safe .
0rojyyg-png.363
 
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MapMaker53

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First and foremost, thanks for your service. It takes a special person.

I fly for an environmental company, so I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to establishing a private drone business. However, considering the areas of the country you listed, the first thing that came to mind was tornadoes and the damage they cause. My understanding is that insurance companies are beginning to use drones to quickly assess wide-spread damage caused by tornadoes and hurricanes. You might consider possibly providing photos and video for insurance company claims offices. Just an idea.
 
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Mavikhan

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@MapMaker63 That is a great idea. Since I also live in tornado alley, I may look into that. 🤔
Thanks.
 

HerrkDriver

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Welcome aboard!👍
I can give you my perspective on the market in northeast Arkansas. I was considering the Part 107 until I approached several real estate agents and farmers. I could not find one single person who was willing to pay even a dollar for any drone services. I finally told two real estate agents that I would showcase a listing for free, and they still ran like rabbits. I am so glad I checked into it before taking the 107.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I know a few real estate agents and will bounce some ideas off of them and see where that leads to. Just gathering info at this time. I appreciate your response.
 

HerrkDriver

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First and foremost, thanks for your service. It takes a special person.

I fly for an environmental company, so I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to establishing a private drone business. However, considering the areas of the country you listed, the first thing that came to mind was tornadoes and the damage they cause. My understanding is that insurance companies are beginning to use drones to quickly assess wide-spread damage caused by tornadoes and hurricanes. You might consider possibly providing photos and video for insurance company claims offices. Just an idea.
MapMaker53-

Thank you for your suggestions. Yeah there is quite a bit of tornado activity in this area. Especially in the Spring. I had not thought about that. I will check into that as I continue to gather information.

Cheers!
 

HerrkDriver

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Welcome. As a former Army Paratrooper I've spent quite a bit of time in the back of C-130 aircraft.

It is a straight forward process for pilots who already have their manned flight certificate through 14 CFR part 61. I'm guessing you've found this page that explains the eligibility requirements and steps required to get your remote pilot certificate.

I'm working on an in-depth article about choosing drone business insurance that should be published within a week or so, but if you have specific questions feel free to send me a direct message and I'll share what I've learned so far.
DroneOutlook-

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Since I posted I found out there is guy I work with who can get me all set up pretty quickly. I am in the process of getting re-current to instruct in the C-130 (6 flights). Once I am done with that I will get the Part 107 knocked out.

Have a good one!
 

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