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Hey from a Part 61 and 107 Pilot who just lost his job and looking to fly UAVs for a living

The Raven

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Hey all,
Title says it all. I have about 175hrs on UAVs Part 107 and 150hrs part 61 private pilot flying. Hoping to find a way to fly commercially. I don't think like a businessman so not even sure how to make any of this a reality....hence why I am here :)
 
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Phaedrus

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Sorry, missed that before. Using my phone before, tiny letters lead to dumb responses!!
 

dirkclod

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Hey all,
Title says it all. I have about 175hrs on UAVs Part 107 and 150hrs part 61 private pilot flying. Hoping to find a way to fly commercially. I don't think like a businessman so not even sure how to make any of this a reality....hence why I am here :)
Welcome to the forum.
I hope you will find our site helpful and look forward to any input you might post .
Don't be shy and ask anything if you can't find it by searching.0ROJYyg.png
 

R.Perry

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Hey all,
Title says it all. I have about 175hrs on UAVs Part 107 and 150hrs part 61 private pilot flying. Hoping to find a way to fly commercially. I don't think like a businessman so not even sure how to make any of this a reality....hence why I am here :)
Well to get your ATP rating you need 1500 hours. If you got VA benefits they will pay 90% for your instrument, multi-engine, and commercial. The main thing is get your instrument and commercial then you can fly charters. Get your CFI. The best money for low time pilots is crop dusting, it has come a long ways since the early days. You would need to get your chemical license for dusting, but that is easy. Then once you get your 1500 hrs start hitting the airlines and someone will pick you up. Frontier Airlines is a good one for starters, a friend of mine flew for them for years until health issues caused him to lose his medical. There is getting to be a real shortage of airline pilots, us baby boomers are getting too old.
I know it isn't ethical, but I know guys that will add a little time to each flight to get their hours up, I'm not recommending that but it is done.
Once you get hired by one of the majors, you become a computer operator and go along for the ride.

Best of luck to you.
 

R.Perry

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One other thing, now that you have your private, stay away from the folks south of the boarder, they will get you in deep trouble.
 

skiptv

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You're one step ahead of a lot of Drone 107 Pilots because you have an actual Private Pilots license. Here is the brutal truth, there really is 'no job' for just a commercial drone pilot. No I am sure a dozen posters here will shut that statement down, but as a Commercial Drone Pilot in the Cinema Industry, I can tell you that. that job came about because I already had 15 years in TV and Film as a Director/Cameraman and just added my drone(camera) to my "tool box". However I did parley my extensive flight experience, (6 years flying DJI drones weekly) into a training program, which about 3 years ago got picked up by a few colleges and private institutions. So now I teach. What Have I learned while teaching, well most companies are now hiring drone pilots from within. Realtors are learning how to fly and take their own pictures. Power Companies are taking the inspectors they already have and teaching them how to fly drones, Insurance companies are teaching their own adjusters how to fly drones. These companies used to hire freelance drone pilots, problems was they were not getting consistently good pilots, and they were having to educate these freelance pilots about power lines, and building inspections.
there is a however, but you already said you were "no businessman" Build your own drone business and walk the street selling your services, to companies in your area that are too small to have or train their own pilots.
 

The Raven

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Thank's for the insight. I have been leveraging my pilot's license in looking for employment. I figured my many hours flying a real aircraft is a valuable benefit many cannot begin to leverage.

Looking for drone work has been a challenge but it's also one thing I'm working on building. The other is business consulting with a specialty on employee/employer dynamics. Basically teaching employers and employees how not to be jerks, be productive and keep respect.
 

R.Perry

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Raven, I'm curious what do you mean by leveraging your pilots license to gain employment. I don't mean to sound disrespectful but you are a low time private pilot, you don't have enough hours to get a commercial or instrument rating, as long as your current it makes getting the 107 enforcement easy but other than that how is it beneficial? The people I work for could care less about my pilots license and I have a few thousand hours and it doesn't mean a thing in the drone business. Actually I think the guys that have been flying radio control aircraft for some time are one up on maned aircraft pilots.
 
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The Raven

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Raven, I'm curious what do you mean by leveraging your pilots license to gain employment. I don't mean to sound disrespectful but you are a low time private pilot, you don't have enough hours to get a commercial or instrument rating, as long as your current it makes getting the 107 enforcement easy but other than that how is it beneficial? The people I work for could care less about my pilots license and I have a few thousand hours and it doesn't mean a thing in the drone business. Actually I think the guys that have been flying radio control aircraft for some time are one up on maned aircraft pilots.
Hey R.Perry,
In a lot of my searching, I have found that a number of employers are requiring at least a PPL to fly. I would not say that I am necessarily a low time but not as much as you. I do have enough hours for my IR. I also have SES time and a TW endorsement as I flew TW for most of my flight time. I think it comes down to the fact that a lot of UAS operators lack the knowledge and the experience of flying airspace, directly interacting with ATC and understanding the nuances of aviation life. There is also still a stigma from the rebel UAS operators resistance to regulation that affects the industry. Having the PPL shows my willingness to be a safe and responsible pilot and that is what I guess sets me apart. Honestly, I wish I could find an organization that would hire me so that I could actually get my commercial and fly for real again. Flying these RC toys is not fulfilling my soul I miss being in the air :)
 

R.Perry

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Hey R.Perry,
In a lot of my searching, I have found that a number of employers are requiring at least a PPL to fly. I would not say that I am necessarily a low time but not as much as you. I do have enough hours for my IR. I also have SES time and a TW endorsement as I flew TW for most of my flight time. I think it comes down to the fact that a lot of UAS operators lack the knowledge and the experience of flying airspace, directly interacting with ATC and understanding the nuances of aviation life. There is also still a stigma from the rebel UAS operators resistance to regulation that affects the industry. Having the PPL shows my willingness to be a safe and responsible pilot and that is what I guess sets me apart. Honestly, I wish I could find an organization that would hire me so that I could actually get my commercial and fly for real again. Flying these RC toys is not fulfilling my soul I miss being in the air :)
Please don't think I was saying your PL isn't important, heck it help me get the job I have. If you can find a way to build your hours and get your commercial and Multi engine then you can find some work. I know there is a lot of work in Alaska, also Africa. Find people that want short flights and take them, have them pay for the aircraft, you chip in a dollar and take no wage, and that will help build time for free. Hang out at your local airport and get some advice from people that might be able to help you build some flight time. Yes I've built some hours, but I'm also 70 years old, got my license in the 70s. To me it isn't the hours, it is becoming a professional in the way you fly, keep your situational awareness, obey big brother, and never take chances with weather.

What I see today is piloting skills are becoming a lost art, heck most CFIs don't teach spin recovery any more, or they are afraid to. I always taught by forcing the plane into an accelerated stall then pushed into a spin then handed the controls to the student, that isn't done anymore. We are headed for a antonymous flight world, and to me I'm glad I'm done. Airline pilots don't fly anymore, they enter their flight plan and go along for the ride and to me that just isn't flying. If you live in an agricultural area see if you can find someone to teach you the crop dusting business. I've been out of the loop for a while but see if you can get acquainted with the forestry pilots, that work is seasonal as is crop dusting but it builds time.

Look at our drones, mapping is autonomous and needs to be. You can create a flight plan and the drone will fly it, then return to home once finished. So the skill level required to fly a drone is minimal.

I truly wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
 

R.Perry

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I just checked with CDF They are flying Grumman S2s
Some have been converted to turbo props the still have the 1820 radial engines.
I'm really surprised they want more TT than the airline minimums, that right these guys actually fly the planes.

Here are their requirements
Air Tactical Pilot – minimum PILOT-IN-COMMAND experience:
PIC Flight Hours • Airplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1800
• Airplane-Multi-Engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800
• Of which AME: may include no more than non-centerline thrust . . . . . . . 400
• Mountain (typical terrain) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
• Instrument (total) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
• Instrument (actual) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
• Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
• Make & Model to be flown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
• In Type to be flown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
• One or more of the following:
• Aerial firefighting (PIC or Co-Pilot). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500
• AME>6,000# . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
• AME>12,500# . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
• AME Turbine powered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Physical Requirements/Working Environment • None
 

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