The Top 5 sUAS Flight Planning Pains for Pro Drone Pilots
BY Alan Perlman22 June 2016
This is a sponsored article, written by the team over at Flyte. They’re about to launch a drone flight management platform, and they’re looking for Beta users to test out their platform…for free.
Take it away, Kerr!
My team is building Flyte; a flight planning software for professional drone pilots.
Recently, we reached out to just over 100 professional drone pilots to learn the biggest pains when it comes to flight planning.
In this post, I’ll go over the top five recurring answers.
Your thoughts are welcome below this post.
You can also email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing It All (Documents, Pilots, Air Fleet, Clients, Etc.)
Most drone pilots are still using paper records and spreadsheets.
This can create a paper trail nightmare, particularly when it comes to maintaining flight logs and associating flights with clients, aircraft, specific pilots, etc.
We believe this should be easy, automated and never too time consuming.
The more time you spend flying the better!
Note from Alan:
I wholeheartedly agree. Anyone can buy an sUAS and get a couple of small projects from their friends and family. But if you’re serious about building a streamlined business, the sooner you can operationalize your regulatory paperwork, flight management, pre-flight checklist, record-keeping, client delivery, etc., the better off you’ll be.
Juggling Too Many Resources
The pilots in our survey seemed to be juggling too many flight planning resources.
Multiple screens, charts and websites that are duct-taped together and used mostly for reference. There’s little interactivity between each system.
Because of this, drone flight data isn’t manageable, and record keeping becomes a very manual, overly complex and tedious operation.
Further, we frequently hear that there’s a lack of drone specific resources providing drone pilots with all the information needed and the capacity to store it.
Flyte resolves these issues by bringing together all drone-specific information in a clear and easy manner that automatically transfers flight plans into the flight logs.
Proving Yourself to Clients
Your clients, particularly if they’re bigger companies, are caring more and more about your flight planning. Health and safety are top priorities, and using a flight management software can help to establish credibility and trust with your clients as you work with them during the sales process or onboard them in the field.
The level of interest varies from inviting pilots into pre-flight meetings, to digitally sharing a flight plan, to simply receiving an authenticated confirmation that the pilot has taken the necessary steps to fly safely.
Flyte allows you to invite your clients to see your flight plan, to provide input and to give your client the confidence that your flights will be flown safely.
Ultimately, we want to give these organisations confidence that drones are safe and can be easily integrated to meet the requirements of their business in order to speed up their adoption of drone technology.
(Literal) Radio Silence
We’ve all been there; trying to make an important call or to access maps and vital information, only to realise that the phone signal has all but disappeared.
Now, we don’t personally have a solution to allow you to make phone calls, but it is certainly possible for pilots to cache offline maps, flight hazards and plans to guarantee offline access in the field.
Many professionals suggested that offline provision of planning tools and offline storage of flight plans, maps and field notes would resolve this.
This feature will be rolled out in our application very soon!
Getting Customers / Rising Above The Noise
This was considered most crucial for all pilots within this evolving industry that is in it’s infancy.
Irrespective of experience, it was widely agreed that to compete effectively, professionalism must be maintained at every level.
This is hammered home by many pilots suggesting that if they offer a top-rate service first time around, larger blue-chip organisations will repeatedly contract them and will not take the risk on working with someone else.
If you provide a safe, efficient and responsible service you are increasing the market size and potential, encouraging organisations to see drone solutions as a faster, safer and cost-effective alternative to current methods.
At Flyte, our goal is to ensure that pilots are able to do this through streamlined planning, excellent drone-specific resources and well-presented documentation and archiving.
Thanks for reading our first “top five” kind of post- hopefully it provides you with some perspective on the current state of the industry!
We’d LOVE to have you join our free Beta program and to test the Flyte software. Just go to:
Our drone specific, dedicated flight planning platform aims to house all aspects of drone flight planning and logging without the need for any other applications.
We would like to give a massive THANK YOU to all pilots who took the time to talk to us about their experience as a professional drone pilot.
This research and blog post have been compiled by Matt and Kerr over Flyte Technologies.