So, it’s been a little over a year since I launched UAV Coach, and while I’ve been fortunate enough to communicate with so many of you one-on-one, either over the phone or via email, I still felt like I didn’t really know you. Where you’re from. What you fly. Why you’re all here and what you’re hoping to get out of this community. What you like and don’t like.
In that vain, I sent an email to each of our community members last Saturday. The email linked to this short survey.
Anyone who completed the survey was entered into a raffle to win a free training multicopter.
Congratulations, Gregory Lang. I just sent you an email 🙂
UAV Coach Survey Results
So this is where it gets fun.
Over 700 of you filled out our survey. And, after several cups of coffee (and some rainy day indoor flight training sessions), I pored through Every. Single. One. Of your comments.
In this post, I’ll summarize what I’ve learned from you all.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in our survey.
It means a lot that you took time out of your day to offer feedback, and to tell me more about who you are and why you’re here.
Let’s dive in.
Lesson #1: You’re an international crowd, and you want more international content.
I was absolutely thrilled to see that our audience is so global.
Here’s what I learned:
- While 78% of you are from the United States…
- 5% of you are from Canada, and
- 5% of you are from United Kingdom, and
- 5% of you are from Australia, but
- 7% of you come from 41 other countries, including places like Namibia, Uzbekistan, and Sri Lanka.
And to those 22% of you who aren’t in the United States, you’re vocal! You told me that:
- You’re looking for country-specific rules and regulations.
- You’re looking for country-specific liability insurance providers.
- And you’re looking for country-specific stories, advice, and news.
One of you wrote, “Assign a country representative from different countries, and make a better plan to improve your community globally.”
I hear you! Great idea.
Lesson #2: You’re both a beginner AND an advanced group, (and what you fly represents that).
I received a lot of comments asking for more content.
And when it comes to beginner resources. vs. more advanced tutorials, the feedback was evenly split. I guess the only thing I can do to respond to that is to create more of both!
And boy, do you all fly a lot of different types of drones. Here’s what I saw:
- About half of you are flying what I’d call a training/beginner quadcopter, like the Hubsan X4, UDI 818a HD+, or the Syma X5C.
- The other half of you are flying more advanced systems, like the DJI Phantom 3 (Professional), the DJI Inspire, the Yuneec Typhoon Q500, and the 3DR Solo. There was a strong representation from DJI, but also a good mix of other advanced systems.
- A handful of you fly even more advanced systems than that. I also saw a number of custom-built models.
Lesson #3: You want more (videos and) training on rules/regulations, how to fly, and number of other topics.
When I asked what ONE thing should I do to improve the UAV Coach community, the most frequent response I got was, “more training.”
And many of you went into detail, writing that you wanted to see more videos. A YouTube channel. Webinars. More regular video updates. Video-based training, etc.
When I asked, What THREE topics are most important to you right now?, many of you want a clearer understanding of existing UAV regulations and safety, and many of you want to master basic multirotor orientation and flight patterns.
A number of other topics were also represented:
Lesson #4: You want more advocacy and industry participation.
One of my favorite pieces of feedback:
Become part of the few who are the conduit providing information from owner/operators back to the FAA.
You’re absolutely right.
We’ve got an opportunity to be a powerful cohort and to help influence the UAV industry in the way that we all collectively choose to. Many of you wrote about advocacy and industry participation. You want us to play a stronger role in the broader community, joining the ranks of communities like AMA, AUVSI, etc.
Lesson #5: You want to learn from other people in the industry.
This feedback took a variety of forms, but it became clear to me that you wanted to learn more from people who have found success in the UAV industry, directly from their experiences.
More case studies and interviews and people pulling back the curtain with their own businesses.
Lesson #6: You want a forum / chat board.
There’s overwhelming demand for better communication amongst community members.
Many of you wrote something like this:
There’s free information, links to classes, articles and resources, but there’s no member community or discussion board. Do that.
Noted. GREAT feedback.
Our goal is to have something up for you by the end of the year.
Lesson #7: You want local chapters.
Many of you alluded to a stronger local presence, where you can interact with other local RC pilots, fly together, train together, and chat shop with others in your immediate area.
This is an interesting idea, one we admittedly haven’t had on our radar.
Hopefully, by better connecting community members with each other, this kind of local interaction will happen naturally. Maybe we’ll try to foster this through our forum. TBD.
Lesson #8: Some of you want to make money, while others are more interested in pure recreational flight.
When I asked What best describes you and listed out multiple options, the majority of you selected that you’re recreational pilots who are interested in one-day starting your own commercial aerial services businesses.
I liked this particular piece of feedback, which I think captures many of your sentiments about starting an aerial services business.
Provide more information on how we can set up our own full serviced aerial business and what insurance and licenses that we need.
You also asked more specifically about marketing / sales tips, what other successful companies are doing, and pricing and packaging.
Of course, you’re not all entrepreneurs.
I loved this feedback:
Segment market by sUAS hobbyists versus commercial users, then develop content appropriate to target market you are addressing. In some cases, content may be appropriate for both markets and, in others, segmentation may be appropriate. Thanks for all that you are doing!
Many of you only plan to fly recreationally and simply want to become stronger pilots, know what systems to buy, and to make sure what you’re doing is safe and legal.
We need to to a better job of separating recreational vs. commercial content.
Lesson #9: You want more industry news / emails, with an emphasis on UAV rules and regulations.
Loved seeing this.
We’re doing our best to stay apprised of existing regulations around the world and to communicate those changes to you in a clear, timely manner.
Lesson #10: You like watching ‘dem YouTUbES VIDEOZ.
Not sure what kind of accent I’m going for there.
Anyway, one of the questions I asked in the survey was: What other sources do you turn to for UAV industry news? Please list any websites, YouTube channels, forums, meet-up groups, etc. that you use.
You shared a TON of resources, many of which had already made our top 100 drone news list, but I discovered some new resources as well.
Here’s where you all look for information:
- Other content-heavy communities like Dronelife, sUAS News, and Dronethusiast.
- Forums like RCGroups, DIY Drones, 3DR Pilots, and Phantom Pilots.
- YouTube channels like Painless360, Flite Test, Flyin’ Ryan RC, Roswell Flight Test Crew, and Team BlackSheep.
Many of you turn to YouTube for help.
Looks like it’s time to step up my video game.
Lesson #11: You’re a frank crowd.
I got some pretty funny (and frank) comments.
Here were a few of my favorites:
- Get a damn hair cut and shave!
- Take the ridiculous ****ing share bar off the edge of the survey.
- Stop calling us dronesters!
Keep the feedback coming, folks.
Whether you know it or not, it’s all helpful.
All of it.
Thanks again for participating and know that we’re working hard over here to respond to everything mentioned above.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime.