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ADU 0729: Can you tow someone with a drone?

Can you use your drone to tow someone on a skateboard, snowboard or surfboard? Is that legal? Today, we answer a call from Kevin in New Jersey about towing. He wants to know if towing is allowed by law. Does towing someone on a snowboard violate any of the FAA's Part 107 regulations? Whether or not towing is legal depends on where you plan to do it. Towing, after all, can be pretty dangerous. The drone could crash, someone could get hurt and you could end up with a whole set of problems to...

Duration: 00:18:59

ADU 0728: Do cities have the legal right to enact drone ordinances?

Today, we talk about drone ordinances and city regulations. Drone ordinances are being enacted by cities around the country. However, the FAA is the organization that governs our airspace. Is it legal for cities, therefore, to create and uphold drone laws of their own? Well, no. Given the fact that the FAA is the only organization allowed to govern airspace, cities cannot legally enact a drone ordinance. As long as the pilot is following FAA guidelines, they are legally allowed to fly....

Duration: 00:17:33

ADU 0727: How do I price on-call drone services?

Today, we talk about freelancing. As the cost of benefits goes up and permanent positions become more scarce, many people find themselves working on their own. This can be a great way for drone pilots to make a living, particularly when travel is involved. When working in fields like public safety, however, freelance drone pilots may be required to show up at the drop of a hat. When it comes to emergencies, after all, time is of the essence. How do you price your drone services when...

Duration: 00:23:13

ADU 0726: CES 2018

Today's episode is about CES 2018. CES, of course, is the premiere drone marketplace exhibition. Every year, manufacturers migrate to the expo to show off the latest innovations in drone technology. Drone U Chief Pilot Paul Aitken headed up to Las Vegas to have a look at the newest drone technology that companies like DJI, Yuneec and Sony had to offer. This episode contains a recap of CES 2018 and the products on display as well as some interviews with industry-leading companies. We hope...

Duration: 00:14:57

ADU 0725: Are there lenses made specifically for interior shots?

Today, we discuss camera lenses. While certain lenses work well for exterior shots, you may want to use a special lens to photograph interiors. After all you'll want the widest possible view when shooting interiors like homes and other real estate properties. There are a few great options for drone pilots. The Sony E-Mount, for example, will help you to widen your shots. It does, however, come with a high price tag. At around $800, you may want to consider something a bit cheaper. The...

Duration: 00:07:00

ADU 0724: Do tracking devices interfere with GPS?

Today, we discuss tracking devices. Should you attach one to your drone? Will it interfere with your GPS signal? Whether or not you need (or should use) a tracking device depends on the type of drone you're using. Many new drones come pre-equipped with tracking devices. If you're flying a Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic Pro, for example, you can use DJI Go to track your drone. This applies to a number of DJI's newest models. It even works in the case of a flyaway. If, somehow, you lose the battery,...

Duration: 00:07:47

ADU 0723: What is photo bracketing and should I be doing it?

Today, we talk about bracketing photographs. In case you don't know, bracketing is when you shoot the same photo with multiple exposures and combine them to create a higher quality picture. These photos tend to be more dynamic than those shot in a single exposure. Bracketing photos isn't difficult. However, you will need to learn Adobe Lightroom. Luckily, Vic Moss (everyone's favorite Drone U pilot), teaches a course on Lightroom. With a bit of training, you'll be able to provide your...

Duration: 00:14:38

ADU 0722: Should I deep-cycle batteries when it’s cold out?

Today, we talk about deep-cycling your batteries. It is important, especially during winter, that you do what you can to maintain their lifespan. One of the problems, however, is that it can be hard to deep-cycle batteries when it's cold outside. You may notice that the voltage drops, for example. This can cause problems in their endurance and limit the lifespan of your batteries when it's cold outside. In order to help you keep your batteries alive, we offer some advice on how to...

Duration: 00:08:24

ADU 0721: How do I manage the changing resolution of my maps and models?

Today, we offer some advice on making high-quality maps and models. If you’re starting to make 3D models with your drone, you’ll find this episode helpful. Obviously, we want our models to be high-quality. We want them to have high resolution. However, topographic changes in the landscape often shift the resolution of the image. As your elevation changes, the quality of your image will change as well. Luckily, there are tools designed to help with this. Apps like Maps Made Easy are...

Duration: 00:12:03

ADU 0720: Setting goals, increasing margins and being more productive

Living the drone life isn't always easy. In order to successfully run your drone business, you need to be setting goals and meeting them. Today, we talk about how to achieve your goals in 2018. How do you stay productive? What types of things can you do to stay on track? We offer some advice and discuss a number of books that might help you this year. Fly safe! Check out these books: Law 101 Unshakeable Contagious Grit Undoctored Everybody Lies Start With Why Silent Sales Machine Super...

Duration: 00:39:23

ADU 0719: How can I educate a fire department that thinks I’m flying illegally?

As long as you have your Part 107 and you're operating within legal bounds, you shouldn't have any trouble flying your drone, right? Unfortunately, this isn't always true. As our caller, Scott in Hermosa Beach, points out, local fire departments aren't always educated about FAA regulations and may try to prevent you from flying. In order to help those of you who are being hassled by your fire departments, we discuss how to handle a situation in which your being hassled. We talk about...

Duration: 00:13:21

ADU 0718: What type of computer do I need to process maps?

Today, we talk about computers for processing maps. After all, you're going to need a good computer setup if you want to make money as a drone mapper. What type of computer can handle maps and models on Pix4D? How much is it going to cost? Are Pix4D's recommendations antiquated? We recently purchased a computer ourselves. We talk a bit about our setup and the amount of money we spent on it. We also discuss the modifications you might consider and what you can expect to pay. Thanks to Scott...

Duration: 00:12:28

ADU 0717: Should I animate my drone models to market my skills?

Today, we talk about marketing your drone modeling services. Kevin from New Jersey called in with a unique marketing idea and wanted to know if we'd ever seen anyone else do it. Essentially, Kevin has the idea to use After Effects to edit and animate his models. It's a great idea that could be really useful in a demo reel. While we've never seen anyone else do it, we have seen some interesting things done to market drone modeling services. Luckily, Pix4D makes it easy to showcase your...

Duration: 00:08:59

ADU 0716: How should I price my drone services for a horse race?

Today, we talk about pricing your drone services. Specifically, we discuss how to price a job when you've been hired to shoot a horse race. James called in to ask how to determine the cost of his services and if he should charge per race. Although we talk about horse races specifically, this is a great episode for anyone who wants information about pricing. We explain how you can determine the cost of deliverables and make the most amount of money for your time. Good luck James! Fly safe!...

Duration: 00:10:32

ADU 0715: Why didn’t we use the Yuneec H520 to shoot our mapping course?

Those of you who've taken our mapping class will know that we used a Phantom 4 Pro to shoot the course content. Today, we explain why. Both the P4 Pro and the Yuneec H520 have their own benefits. Depending on who you are, the type of work you do and how serious you are about mapping, you may find each drone to hold a different value. Tune in to find out why we used the Phantom 4 Pro and how you can determine which drone is the best for your mapping needs. You can check out the Imus Ranch...

Duration: 00:22:30

ADU 0714: Where can I rent a thermal camera?

Today, we talk about drone rentals. Renting equipment can be a cost-effective alternative to buying one, particularly in cases where you'll only be using it for a few jobs. Kevin from NJ calls in with a question about this very situation. Does it makes sense to purchase a thermal camera if he only has one or two jobs lined up? Considering the cost of a thermal camera, probably not! Luckily, there are a number of drone rental services. Certain companies will allow you to rent drone...

Duration: 00:10:41

BONUS EPISODE: What happened when a drone hit a Blackhawk helicopter?

Today, we have a special episode for you! Bill English took us on a tour of the NTSB research facility in Ashburn, VA to detail the drone-helicopter crash that occurred in New York earlier this year. Was the pilot following the rules? What happened to the helicopter? How did the NTSB find the drone pilot? All this and more in today's episode! Get your questions answered: If you enjoy the show, the #1 thing you can do to help us out is subscribe to it on iTunes. Can...

Duration: 00:11:48

ADU 0713: Is there a more affordable mapping software than Pix4D?

Today, we talk about mapping and modeling software. While many pilots are training to compete in the mapping industry, many find that the software is too expensive of an investment. Luckily, there are other options. PhotoScan, for example, offers many of Pix4D's features at a much cheaper rate. Best of all, the standard-edition licenses costs only $179. Of course, the basic version of PhotoScan doesn't have all of the features of high-end software. However, it is a great way to acclimate...

Duration: 00:12:17

ADU 0712: Do I own the videos I post on SkyPixel?

Today, we talk about SkyPixel and content ownership. Do you own the videos that you post on SkyPixel? Well, no. According to the Terms and Conditions listed on their website: By submitting, posting, or publishing User Content on or through the Service, you grant DJI a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, sub-licensable and transferable right and license to use, copy, host, store, transfer, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, perform, reproduce, modify, prepare derivative...

Duration: 00:07:18

ADU 0711: Which industries are paying for drone models?

Today, we talk about drone modeling. Different from maps, models give their viewer a three-dimensional experience of a location. Without a doubt, modeling is one of the most important skills a drone pilot can have right now. Farmers, construction companies, golf courses and real estate agencies are all hiring drone pilots to make 3D models. In addition to advertising, drone models help companies provide better services to their clients. In order to help you understand the value of drone...

Duration: 00:16:40

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