Featured NewsTrending NewsProfessional Drone Pilots Should Be Taken Seriously


02 April 2024

By Draymond Crawford

Where is the commercial drone industry going? 

That is the question that truly needs to be developed and answered. The days of showing up on a job site in a tank top, shorts and flip-flops is long gone and needs to never return.  Over the last ten years, drones have become as common as a hammer on construction sites and the go to tool in the renewable energy industry.

Now that drones are here to stay, what should be the next step to earn our keep as pilots to show the industries that we work in that we should be taken seriously.

[1] To truly be considered a professional in any field, one must have personal qualities and qualifications that speak to their commitment to the industry. At Recoveryonedrone I pride myself on obtaining certifications in several areas.

  • Having your FAA Part 107 is a must.
  • As with any other contractor, having Insurance (liability coverage) minimum.
  • If working in construction, OSHA 10 certification (I carry OSHA 30 status)
  • Make sure you have appropriate PPE gear to meet job site requirements.

[2] The above is a list of the basics, and with any profession one would want to have advance training in the industry that you are working in to show your skillset and knowledge. In my background I have acquired several advanced level certifications that offer to my clients that they are getting a real professional. The below list are the certifications I hold, but do not mean you will need or need to be required to have:

  • CISEC, Certified Inspector Sediment & Erosion Control
  • NPDES, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
  • QSP, Qualified SWPPP Practitioner
  • CAT Level 1 Infrared
  • FEMA Certified

I have over 20 years’ experience in the construction trades and inspection, and I use those years of experience to my advantage. Being able to speak the same language as the site Foreman, Engineers & Developers helps put them at ease with you and builds confidence in you. All too often you are just a small cog in the wheel of a multimillion-dollar project, but without your input so much can be lost in waste, miscalculation of site resources and timely updates of project status.

Your Are Your Own Best Salesperson

Look at your own background and education and see how useful it can be to help boost your worth and build confidence with clients. 

Besides my own Business, Recoveryonedrone, I work for a city that affords me the opportunity to fly projects, work with our engineering staff and other city departments.  I use these opportunities to build my portfolio and gain more flight time/stick time  to keep me sharp. 

This year, 2024, I started a podcast on Youtube under my channel “Recoveryonedrone”, The Last Call. I felt most of the live streams that are out there focus on the hobbyist side of the drone community and there needed to be a place for commercial/ looking to become a commercial pilot to get detailed information on rules and other related events that are taking place in the Part 107 community. The show airs on the last Sunday of each month at 6 pm Pacific Standard Time. 

As I approach retirement from the city within the next few years, I have taken the this time to build my business to a level that I can transition to without missing a step. When many try to start a business after retiring, they encounter unrealized debt of a startup before they are able to see any income.  Drone work is not the magic goose that lays the golden eggs. It's tough and if you don’t have an inside line to get your foot in the door, it can seem like a bad decision and a waste of time. Some have sought to work for a company directly or worked with brokers that farm out work to pilots on their list. 


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