This page was last updated in July 2023.
Please use the Chapter navigation in the Table of Contents on the right to learn more about company policies and training guidelines. After completing each training session, complete the quick link below to let us know training was completed and ensure you are paid on time.
Quick Link: Let us know how your training went!
UAV Coach is an industry-leading sUAS training company that reports on drone industry news to a community of over 80,000 drone enthusiasts around the world each Saturday morning. We track global regulations and product launches, we promote organizations doing remarkable things in the drone industry, and we publish a ton of content for folks looking to fly commercially — whether it’s building their own aerial service company, working for a public safety organization, doing research or being part of an enterprise-level drone program.
Here are some links to a few of our top resources:
Back in 2016 when the Part 107 regulations went into effect, we launched Drone Pilot Ground School, an online test prep course for U.S. commercial drone pilots looking to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test. Since then, more than 55,000 students have used Drone Pilot Ground School to get their FAA Remote Pilot Certificate—from solo drone operators and small teams to police and fire departments and enterprise organizations like Intel, GE, and Tesla. We’re proud of our 3,000+ 5-star reviews and do our best to stay on top of regulations and FAA standards.
In 2018, we started to offer in-person training. We offer 1:1 and small-group training through our network of drone flight instructors — that’s you! We also offer enterprise and custom training. To date, we have trained over 2,200 students.
In June 2023 we launched Drone Pilot Skill Builder, an online course for students looking to gain confidence in drone operation, better understand advanced features, navigate FAA airspace authorizations and so much more. This course is a great option for students who do not live close enough to work with an instructor, but still need help with real world applications.
UAV Coach strives to empower drone pilots every step of the way. Our vision is to be the #1 provider of commercial drone training in the U.S., educating 500,000 drone pilots by 2030 as the industry’s most respected and recognized brand.
We’re happy to have you as part of our team!
[Click here for the slide deck referenced during video]
We stand by the following core values.
Equipment. You will provide your own sUAS and 3 batteries. Aircraft can be similar to a DJI Mini, Mavic, Phantom or Inspire series. If the student brings his or her own sUAS, it is your responsibility to ensure the operation complies with all applicable laws and regulations and will not have a negative impact on safety or on the course of instruction.
Location. Please choose a training location in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. You are responsible for personal travel to and from the training location. Occasionally, a student or larger group might request you to travel to their location — in this case, we’ll work with you and the student(s) on the details of the training location and provide additional compensation for your travel.
Customer Recruiting and Scheduling. We have the primary responsibility for recruiting students and scheduling instructional sessions in consultation with you and as permitted by your availability. After initial scheduling, it is your responsibility to maintain communication with prospective students to address changes or cancellations due to weather or other contingencies.
Course of Instruction. The course of instruction shall be determined by your professional judgment in consultation with the student(s), environmental conditions, aircraft limitation, time constraints, and reference to a recommended outline provided by us. It is your ultimate responsibility to tailor the instruction with safety as the first priority while ensuring that the student is a better and safer pilot at the conclusion of training.
Independent Contractor Relationship. Your relationship with UAV Coach is that of an independent contractor. You have full responsibility for the payment of all federal, state and local taxes and contributions, including penalties and interest, imposed pursuant to unemployment insurance, social security, income tax, workmen’s compensation or any other similar statute or regulation. Here’s a link to the Independent Contractor Agreement.
Liability Insurance. Here’s a link to our $1 million liability insurance policy. It covers both you AND the student, flying your aircraft OR the student’s aircraft. It’s a custom and flexible policy designed to protect both you and the student in the unfortunate event of an incident. No need for you to purchase your own liability insurance coverage for your training classes.
Aircraft Hull Damage. You’ll exercise due care to avoid damage to aircraft involved in flight training. In the event that your aircraft is damaged during a training session, the instructor is required to file an incident report with UAV Coach. UAV Coach will assist in repair and replacement costs pursuant to the following schedule (per occurrence):
Damage to Student Aircraft. If an instructor or student flies the student’s aircraft during training and has an incident causing damage to the student’s aircraft, the instructor is required to file an incident report with UAV Coach. UAV Coach will be responsible for communication with the student after the incident report is received. The instructor will work with UAV Coach to determine an appropriate course of action in response to the incident. We are not financially responsible for any damage to the student’s aircraft.
Getting Paid. Instructors must submit the Training Complete form after each session and will compensated at the rates listed below:
The majority of flight training classes will be 1-3 students. In the event that we have a larger group, we will do our best to set expectations with customers that 1) the larger the group, the less flight time students will get, and 2) that we don’t typically like to train longer than a half-day (4 hours).
Of course, there are exceptions and edge cases, and we will work with you and the student(s) to manage expectations prior to committing to the training session.
If you work with a student who requested help setting up their drone (as in, directly from the box) prior to or following a scheduled training session, please let Judy know by adding comments in the notes field of the Training Complete form so you can be compensated accordingly.
Inclement Weather. Instructors are responsible for checking local weather forecasts 72 hours, 48 hours and 24 hours prior to the scheduled date and messaging the student to reschedule the class if required. Use good judgment here. If the winds are going to be greater than 15-20 mph, we’d recommend rescheduling. If there’s more than a 50% chance of precipitation forecasted 1-2 days before your training, we’d also recommend rescheduling. More info on the rescheduling process below.
Advice Regarding Laws and Regulations: UAV Coach and its instructors do not provide legal advice. Our training material related to laws and regulations has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal advice. You should consult your own legal advisor with any legal questions.
Clothing: Instructors should wear a UAV Coach polo shirt (that we provide) or clothing suitable for spending several hours outside in an unprotected environment, closed-toe shoes and the UAV Coach lanyard we provide.
Late Policy: If the student is more than 15 minutes late and not responding to your texts / calls, we ask that you head home. Please let us know immediately so that we can 1) compensate you for your lost time; and 2) reach out to the student to find out what happened.
If you are confronted by a law enforcement officer, park official or other security personnel during the training class, it is important to maintain a professional and positive demeanor. We ask that you notify us ASAP over phone or email and provide the details of the encounter.
In the event of an accident involving your or your student’s sUAS, it is crucial to handle the situation responsibility. Please fill out the Incident Report with as much detail as possible, ensuring to include information about the circumstances leading to the accident, any damages incurred, and any involved parties. Incident Reports need to be submitted within 24 hours of the event.
Students learn about our flight training program on our primary sales page. We have implemented Calendly as our booking software to ensure a streamlined and convenient experience for our students. When students are ready to schedule training, they can easily navigate through Calendly to their preferred date, time and location from available slots on your calendar.
Here’s a 10-minute screencast that walks through how to set up and manage your availability in Calendly:
When a student books time with you, you’ll be sent an email from Calendly that looks like this.
You’ll also be sent a calendar invite that looks like this:
The student will receive an email and calendar invite as well.
48 hours before the class, the student receives a text message that looks like this:
And 24 hours before the class, the student gets an email reminder that looks like this:
As an instructor, you’ll just get the initial email and calendar invite.
At any time, you’re able to log into your Calendly account to get a list of your upcoming training classes.
We ask that you be responsible for making a go or no-go decision due to inclement weather. More on that in the next section!
Here’s a video that walks through the rescheduling or cancellation process, either on your end or on the student’s end:
One thing not mentioned in the video — both the Reschedule and Cancel links are unique to that particular training session. So you’ll need to go directly into the calendar invite for the session you’re trying to find those links for.
Here are a few instances in which classes might be booked outside of the more streamlined and automated Calendly system:
If any of these apply, the student will contact Judy via phone or email to coordinate the details. Specifically, with large group or on-location training requests, Judy will reach out to you directly to inquire about your level of comfort with the proposed training. It’s okay to say no! We know that we cannot be everything to everyone.
Once the training session is coordinated and payment has been made, Judy will send a confirmation email to both you and the student(s) to include contact information, details about the training session, and our terms and conditions.
After a student books a class (either through Judy or Calendly), it’s a great idea to connect with the student for a quick introduction, thank them for booking and let them know what happens next. It’s also a nice time to clarify any questions you had after viewing the student’s intake form, such as expanding on their class goals or verifying their equipment. As a best practice, we do not provide your contact information to anyone until after a student has booked a flight training session.
Should a student become unresponsive, please let us know.
Should you need to brush up on a particular model prior to a training session, check out the resource links below.
We have included some of our own YouTube videos when available and have removed models that are no longer in production like the Mavic 1 Pro or Phantom 3 series — it’s rare that students would show up to a training class with one of these models, but if you need guidance on any of those systems, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom
Mavic 2 Enterprise
Phantom 4 Advanced
Phantom 4 Pro
Phantom 4 Pro v2.0
Phantom 4 RTK
Due to the more complicated nature of setting up a Matrice, we only allow instructors who have had prior experience and expertise with the Matrice to help the student get set up with this model. Be sure to let Judy know if you are willing to train on a Matrice, as corporate customers are often willing to travel in order to receive training.
We have not publicized training on the FPV drone but have received inquiries. At this time we are not rolling out FPV training as part of our standard curriculum. As an instructor, if a student brings along an FPV drone to training, please proceed to your comfort level. Let Judy know if you are willing to train more in-depth on FPV, as students seem willing to travel in order to receive training.
In advance of your training class:
Here’s a 1-page checklist you can use as an instructor, also including a sample class outline.
Before you leave, make sure that you’ve packed:
Regulations & Airspace
Here’s an outline of core training topics and guidelines:
When teaching the flight app, start from the top left and work clockwise around the screen discussing the various icons.
General settings menu, Photo / Video settings, Map and Telemetry data shown on the screen, Automated and Manual takeoff, How to activate Return to Home and How to select the Intelligent or Advanced flight modes.
Other Top Icons
Time Remaining / Battery Bar
Photo / Video Settings
SD Card — the format you’re shooting in, and the remaining capacity
AF/MF and the Auto Exposure Lock — turn this on if you don’t want your exposure to change mid-shot
Map & Telemetry Data
While there’s no one catch-all pre-flight checklist that’ll work for every pilot and every sUAS model, hopefully this pre-flight checklist will help your student begin to build good flying habits. Feel free to print this prior to class to share with your student during training.
This is the crux of the training! Actually getting up in the air and flying. Use good judgment when it comes to assessing the comfort level and skill of the student, and try to strike a balance between being safe / conservative and pushing the student outside his or her comfort zone.
Here are some sound bites that we’ve heard from our coaches:
And here’s a list of flight patterns and challenges you can do with the student, from the most basic to the more advanced:
You can also check out our YouTube video for more ideas:
In addition, for more advanced training (or your own practice), you can learn more about NIST buckets and how you can hone your skills in a new way.
After your class, please fill out this short Training Complete Form.
Completing this form accomplishes a few things:
Best practice is that you fill out this form the same day you do the training.
You’re welcome to follow up directly with your student following a training session, especially if you spoke to specific apps or links during the training. Or you can let the student know they’ll receive the following email from UAV Coach.
We couldn’t run our flight training program without you! Although our network of flight instructors are throughout the U.S., we make every effort to keep you connected.
We encourage our instructors to take photos and videos from each of your training classes!
You can upload any media to this Google Drive folder or send as attachments to email@example.com.
We host meetings (via Zoom) with our instructors on a quarterly basis to discuss a variety of topics and general team building. Attendance at these meetings is not mandatory, as we understand that you have obligations outside of UAV Coach. We’ll always provide a link to view the recorded meeting so you can keep up-to-date with content.
Information about the quarterly meetings will be published within the monthly newsletter.
The first week of each month, an email newsletter is sent to you containing items such as upcoming events (like a quarterly meeting), photos from previous training sessions, pro tips, feedback from students and statistics on flight training students and classes.
If you come up with topics you’d like to share/highlight in an upcoming newsletter, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer a mentorship program to help support new flight instructors as they begin training with UAV Coach. As part of the onboarding process, a mentor (current flight instructor) will be made available to you to provide assistance and guidance. A mentor would be available to walk through the training outline prior to your early training sessions, debrief after a training session or just provide a few pro tips along the way.
The mentorship is intended to last your first 90 days as a flight instructor, or after you’ve trained your first 3 students, whatever happens later.
Reach out to Judy for more information on how you can volunteer as a mentor with this program.
If you’re traveling within the U.S. and would like to connect with another instructor, or just inquire about their favorite places to fly, here’s a list of our current instructors by location. If you’d like specific contact information, just let Judy know!
Mobile, AL – John D.
Phoenix, AZ – Robert
Tucson, AZ – Joey
Jonesboro, AR – Mike
Los Angeles (Glendale), CA – Jim B.
Los Angeles (Inland Empire), CA – Jim G.
Sacramento, CA – James C.
San Diego, CA – Steve
San Francisco (Oakland), CA – Roger
Denver, CO – Zac (north side), Coming Soon! (south side)
Newark, DE – Seth
Miami Beach, FL – Andy
Cape Coral, FL – Terry
Orlando/Palm Bay/Port St Lucie, FL – Leo
Atlanta, GA – Martin (northwest side), Chuck (south side)
Chicago, IL – Erik
Minonk, IL – Jeff
New Orleans, LA – Coming Soon!
Baltimore, MD – Seth
Dudley/Shrewsbury, MA – Brad
Minneapolis, MN – Coming Soon!
Long Island (Hempstead), NY – Christian
Central Jersey/Sayreville, NJ – Jason M.
NYC Metro/Demarest, NJ – Shac
Asheville/Charlotte, NC – Pete
Wilmington, NC – Phil W.
Portland, OR – Adam
Philadelphia, PA – John M.
Nashville, TN – Matt
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – George
Houston (The Woodlands), TX – Michael
San Marcos/Houston, TX – Tom
St George, UT – Ken
Northern Virginia/Gainesville VA – James N.
As mentioned, we handle the marketing efforts and student recruitment for our flight training program. However, if you are interested in doing more to promote your training sessions, here are some tips to better market yourself (and the program)!
If you are interested in creating long-form content for YouTube or short-form content for Reels on Instagram, please reach out to Liz at email@example.com.