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The complete guide to become a drone pilot

In: Business

Being a pilot is a dream for every child. Some children work hard day in and day out to make this dream a reality. On the flip side, others find their careers in different fields apart from the aviation industry.

While the craze for aircraft and pilots still remains, the new and attractive industry currently is that of drones. The unmanned aircraft system is entering various fields. Industries like agriculture, real estate, photography, and many more related fields are benefiting immensely from the introduction of drones. 

As a result, the up and trending career opportunity today is that of being a drone pilot. Drone photographers are building a successful career. Having said that, the question here is, what does it take to be a drone pilot?

Steps to be a drone pilot:

In order to become a drone pilot, one has to go through a proper process. You must be a certified drone pilot to enter the various fields of drones. So, let us take a look at the steps to becoming a professional drone pilot:

Step 1 –

 Firstly, ensure that you are eligible to become a drone pilot. The eligibility criteria for the same is to be 16 years old or above. You must be capable of reading, speaking, writing and understanding English. Additionally, your mental and physical condition must enable you to be a safe drone pilot. Lastly, you must clear the Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) exam and possess initial aeronautical knowledge.

Step 2 – 

Ensure you are aware of the requirements for holding a remote pilot certificate. In order to maintain recency of aeronautical knowledge, one has to mandatorily complete online recurring training every 24 months.

Step 3 – 

Once you know about the eligibility and requirements to hold a drone pilot certificate, only then you can navigate through the process of obtaining the certificate. Begin with obtaining an FAA tracking number (FTN). For the same, you must create an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile. Make sure you complete the profile creation before registering for the knowledge test.

Step 4 – 

Next, make an appointment at the FAA-approved knowledge test centre. Take your government identity card along with you at the appointment date.

Step 5 –

 Clearing the knowledge test is the key step. This test takes place to evaluate the basic aeronautical knowledge such as crew resource management, emergency procedures, and many more necessary topics.

Step 6 –

 Now you must complete your FAA form 8710-13 in order to get a remote pilot certificate. The form completion is an easy process once you log in to your profile. 

Step 7 – 

Then you will receive a confirmation email after completion of the TSA security background check. The email informs you about the steps to get a print of the certificate. This certificate is a temporary remote pilot certificate.

Step 8 –

 Finally, the permanent certificate is sent via mail, once the internal process is complete.

Step 9 –

 You must carry your remote pilot certificate every time you fly an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Career prospects for drone pilot:

Now that you have received your drone pilot certificate, you must be keen to utilize it to the fullest. Being a drone pilot opens doors to many industries. To know about the opportunities you can surf the internet. Try searching ‘how much do real estate drone photographers make’, or ‘career options for drone pilots’ and other related searches.

Drone pilots are capable of providing their services to commercial, educational and governmental institutions. Following are the major fields in which drone pilots are building a flourishing career:

  1. Mapping and Modeling – 

The field of mapping and modelling is witnessing a major development phase. All thanks to the many possibilities arising due to the usage of drones in this field. Drone pilots help in capturing a detailed view of a particular location. Consequently, an accurate map building takes place using the same drone captures. The drone pilots are of great help in building a 3D view of any location.

  1. Thermal Imaging – 

When it comes to vigilance and maintaining law and order at any place, drone pilots are playing a significant role. With the thermal drone imaging technology, drone pilots are helping police officers in solving even the most complex cases.

  1. Real Estate Photography and Videography – 

Real estate is a highly competitive field. In order to create attractive marketing materials, the professionals working in real estate are using drone technologies. Because of drone photography, the property buyers are able to have a 3D view of the location without actually visiting the property in person.

  1. Movies and Television – 

The filmmakers are saving thousands of dollars by switching to drones for movie making. All the amazing shots were earlier taken by helicopter and are now shot with the help of drones. In fact, the audiences are all praised drones for filmmaking.

Conclusion:

Becoming a drone pilot gives you the flexibility of working either full-time or part-time in the drone industry. Drone pilots are all about practical skills. Establishing a career in this field does not demand reading thousands of books. Rather, it is about practice and knowing all the nitty gritty of this industry.

So, if you are intrigued by the massive opportunity this field possesses then why not think of becoming a drone pilot. To be honest, drone pilots are professionals who enjoy their work, unlike many corporate individuals.

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