9 Drone Pilot Career Paths

The demand for drone pilots combined with the newly established Part 107 pilot certification has opened up many doors in terms of career opportunities.

So you just got your Part 107 pilot certification, what’s next? How about turning your passion for flying into your next career?

Here are several different drone pilot career paths you can choose from.

1. Aerial Photography & Videography
Are you the creative and artsy type that has a passion for photography? Drone aerial photography gives us a new way of seeing the world from above and capture beautiful sceneries and your unforgettable moments! Because aerial photography is a general scope, you can immerse yourself into a variety of different photography specialties such as sports, travel, weddings, and even more.

2. Real Estate
Are you already a real estate agent? Add drone aerial photography to your real estate to produce optimal marketing and sales tool for real estate agents to showcase their listings to potential clients.

3. Agriculture
Are you an agriculturist or farmer? Aerial imaging and mapping as an efficient way to monitor crops and improve agriculture management. With the captured data, several characteristics of the crops and vegetation can be easily identified in order to improve crop health and development.

4. Archaeology
Do you enjoy digging up evidences from the past and studying historical cultures? By adding drones to archaeological exhibitions, archeologists no longer need to spend their days digging underground. Aerial surveying provides an efficient way to explore and monitor archaeological sites from above.

5. Utility Inspection
Do you have an eye for detail? Many utility companies are using UAVs to quickly and safely inspect various types of infrastructures.

6. Wildlife Management & Conservation
Do you have a love for animals and nature? Join wildlife conservation teams to help protect and manage wildlife from the sky.

7. Public Service Surveillance/ Rescue
Do you have experience in law enforcement, fire fighting, or other public services? Public service agencies can deploy drones to improve their ability to enforce the law, all while saving valuable resources and lives!

8. Education
Is education or teaching a passion of yours? Many colleges and universities are introducing UAS degree programs and opportunities to their curriculum. In addition, flight schools that are already in place that are looking for UAV trainers.

9. Start your own drone business!
By starting your own drone business, you can pick and choose one or even a few of the above to specialize in and incorporate in your company.

Already have or getting your new Commercial Drone Certification (RPIC)? Let us help guide you to building an FAA Part 107 business!

Drones by the Numbers

The number of drones in the air is quickly multiplying day by day!

As the next big thing in technology, drones are becoming more and more popular with each day. The numbers associated with drones are quickly beginning to multiply in the country’s skies. But just how many will there be in the near future?

The Director of the FAA’s drone office, Earl Lawrence, recently made a few statements at the first meeting for the new government-industry drone advisory committee about the numbers of drones and drone pilots in the United States.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Numbers = boring (& even a little scary), and don’t forget about their appalling relationship with math. I totally understand and I’m right there with you, but here are some drone numbers that will blow your mind… In a good way!

• Nine months after the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) created the drone registration system, more than 550,000 UAVs have been registered.

• Lawrence claimed that new registrations are coming in at a rapid rate of 2,000 per day, which is a significant number compared to the 260,165 total manned aircrafts that are currently registered with the FAA.

• The FAA began issuing Part 107 drone pilot licenses less than a month ago. As of September 16th of this year, 13,710 people had applied to take the pilot exam, and out of that number 5,080 had passed it.

• The FAA estimated that there will be 15,000 licensed drone pilots by the end of 2016, but I think that number is too small and that the real figure will go far beyond it.

• The FAA is also forecasting that there will be more than 1.3 million licensed UAV pilots by the year 2020. That is about 85 times the estimate of the 15,000 this year! That is a pretty big leap in only 4 years!

Now, that is a whole lot of drones in the U.S. airspace! And the UAV industry is just going to keep on growing. So join the drone rush, and help continue increasing those numbers!

Already have or getting your new Commercial Drone Certification (RPIC)? Let us help guide you to building an FAA Part 107 business!

How to: Use A Multispectral Camera for Agriculture

Multispectral cameras are a revolutionary technological solution for agricultural remote sensing and imaging. The spectral bands of these cameras are capable of delivering precise information targeted to agricultural applications.

Before I get into the camera itself, let me tell you a little bit about multispectral imaging for agriculture in general. Multispectral imaging provides information that the human eye is unable to see by capturing image data of different wavelengths of light. Through multispectral imaging, we are able to capture these spectral bands in order to indicate several agricultural characteristics. With the captured data, farmers are able to monitor and manage their crops more efficiently.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to begin using the MicaSense RedEdge® for your very own agricultural applications.

What you will need:

A. A true multispectral camera (not an NDVI filter), like the MicaSense RedEdge®

B. A properly registered small UAS to fly (We use and suggest the DJI Inspire 1 Professional Model)

C. A mounting kit in order to mount the RedEdge® camera to the aircraft. (I recommend Empower UAV’s very own RedEdge® – Inspire Mounting Kit)
Click Here to Preview our RedEdge® – DJI Inspire Mounting Kit

D. Access to MicaSense’s ATLAS Online Computer Processing Program
(Ask, and we can help you with obtaining a Red Edge camera, Kit, and access to Atlas)

E. Know how to safely execute a weight point, auto flight, mapping mission; and,

F. Hold either a Part 107 FAA RPIC certificate with a sUAS rating, have an FAA Section 333 approved petition with a Blanket COA, or some other legal means to operate commercially in US National Airspace.

How to Use Multispectral Cameras for Agriculture in 4 Simple Steps:

1. Understand How the Camera Works
The very first step of using a multispectral camera is to understand how it works. Multispectral cameras work by displaying different wavelengths of light using multiple imagers that each has a special optical filter that allows only a specific set of light wavelengths to be captured at a time.

Once captured and processed, a set of images for that particular wavelength is created. All of the sets are then stitched together to create geographically accurate collages. By precisely combining these layers, vegetation indices are produced that measure different characteristics of a plant.

2. Fly Your Mission
Prior to take off, you should plan and prepare for your flight. Having a pre-flight checklist in place is always a good idea. The actual flying of the mission doesn’t require too much explanation so long as you are a certified and experience pilot as well as always fly legal and fly safe. All you must do is capture imagery over your fields using a drone with the ability to perform grid survey mapping, a flight application to execute, and be in legal compliance to operate. (We use Drone Deploy, Maps Made Easy, and are exploring Pix4D…)

3. Upload & Process the Captured Data
Easy 1-2-3 step process… Once successfully uploaded using MicaSense’s Uploader Application, you’re ready for what seems to be the most difficult aspect of using a multispectral camera: analyzing the information that you collected.

I would say it is safe to assume that most of us don’t have a PhD in agriculture or crop analysis, but fortunately, analyzing the captured data is actually made quite easy for us by the technology of the ATLAS program. The ATLAS program uses your data to create vegetation index and crop health maps for you. So all you need to do is interpret and understand the condition of your field and its crop health.

4. Analyze the Maps
With your process map completed, you can see the crop health through the measurement of chlorophyll content as well as the biomass of your crops.

To view the chlorophyll content use the NDRE measurement, this can be seen by simply checking that box. You can measure the strength and weakness of your crops’ chlorophyll contents using the color-coded NDRE measurements. The optimal measurement of chlorophyll content is measured as 0.80, which is represented by a shade of dark green. With this tool, you are able to see which areas of your fields are flourishing and which are not so healthy.

By viewing the NDVI2 map, you are able to view the biomass of the crops, which is helpful for determining the size of crops. In addition, you are able to lay the NDRE and NDVI2 maps over each other by checking both boxes. By doing so, you will be able to measure how crop size and vigor compare to the chlorophyll content within your fields.

So, once you have collected the data with your sUAS and multispectral camera, all you need to do is let ATLAS take care of the rest, and then use your results to improve your crop harvest yields across your fields!

No need to wait! Purchase your very own MicaSense RedEdge® Multispectral Camera and RedEdge® – Inspire Mounting Kit today!

Comment below or contact me with your success stories and/or for support with any challenges!

5 Reasons to Use MicaSense’s RedEdge® Camera

New technologies for advanced imaging provide agriculturists with precise data of their crops. Multispectral imaging provides information that the human eye is unable to see by capturing image data of different wavelengths of light. Through multispectral imaging, we are able to capture these spectral bands in order to indicate several agricultural characteristics.

In order to do all this, you need the perfect camera. You need the MicaSense RedEdge® camera!

The RedEdge® is not your average camera. It is an advanced multispectral camera specifically designed to provide accurate data for agricultural remote sensing applications with drones.


Here are 5 simple reasons you should invest in the MicaSense RedEdge® camera for your agriculture endeavors.

1. The RedEdge® simultaneously captures five discrete spectral bands that are optimized for gathering data for customizable applications concerning crop status such as identifying differences in crop development and health within an area of the field.

2. By capturing all five bands at the same time, this camera’s fast capture rate allows faster flight speeds, lower flight altitudes and shorter overall flight time, saving quite a bit of time. The global shutters on the lenses provide clear images at fast speeds.

3. During flight, the RedEdge® images can be seen through a web app which you can access via any device with a web browser. Post flight, the geotagged files are available for extraction from the SD card that comes with the sensor. For those who are inclined to integrate the sensor into UAV platforms, the RedEdge® has an open API and has serial and ethernet connectivity.

4. The MicaSense RedEdge® camera is compatible with many UAVs such as the DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 and is also available for manned aircrafts.

5. Ultimately, this one amazing device can take your agriculture to the next level! With the captured data from the RedEdge®, several characteristics about the crops and vegetation can be easily identified in order to improve crop health and development.

No need to wait! Purchase your very own MicaSense RedEdge® today!

Incoming! The New Rules Have Arrived!

The new ruling is out, and it is a whopping 624 pages. So I’m going to break it down for you! But, if you happen to be one of those rare bookworms that I’ve heard about, you can check out the entire lengthy document at the link below.

Click Here for the Complete Part 107 Ruling

On June 21st, the FAA finally released the new regulations – Federal Aviation Regulation (F.A.R.) Part 107 – regarding UAV commercial (non-hobbyist) operations that will take effect on August 29, 2016.

The new rules are designed to safely integrate UAV into the nation’s airspace and as a result allow drones to provide great opportunities for businesses and the government.

From pilot requirements and certification to operating rules, there have been some major changes to the regulation of commercial drone operation. But, change is a good thing. Right?

Here are a few of the BIG changes to the UAV commercial rules:

1. The pilot must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate by passing the FAA administered test, be at least 16 years old, and pass a TSA vetting.

2. The aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds, be registered if over 0.55 pounds, and carry out a pre-flight check to ensure the UAV is in proper condition for safe operation.

3. When operating UAVs, the pilot must:

• Keep the aircraft in their visual line-of-sight

• Fly in class G airspace

• Fly below 400 feet and at or below 100 mph

• Operate during the day

• Yield to all manned aircrafts

• NOT fly over people or from a moving vehicle

• Get air traffic control (ATC) approval to operate in Class B, C, D, and E airspace – Class G airspace operations are allowed without ATC approval

Also, keep in mind that the new rules only pertain to commercial uses of drones weighing less than 55 pounds and they do no affect any recreation rules that are currently in place.

Click Here for an FAA Summary of the Part 107 Ruling

Want to start flying drones for your business? Schedule a private training session with Empower UAV to learn how to legally and safely operate drones!

Click Here to Schedule a Private Training Session!

Drone Alert: Things are about the change in a big way!

New commercial drone federal rules and regulations are at our door step!

Indeed, the FAA is “promulgating” the rules and regulations regarding all “non-recreation or hobby” (referring to commercial and civilian) drone flights in U.S. National Airspace.

The new UAS provisions are said to ready to be published by the Federal Register into law this very month, June 2016, as Federal Aviation Regulation (F.A.R.) Part 107. It is only a few weeks away, so get ready!

Under the current Section 333 exemptions, Commercial UAV Operators must have an FAA certified pilot as their Pilot in Charge (PIC) and meet all other conditions of their approved FAA 333 Exemption and operate under the authority of a Civil Certificate of Authority (COA). Both the 333 and the COA list numerous conditions, restrictions, and reporting requirements to operate legally as a non-recreational civilian drone operator.

This makes it quite difficult to follow the legal path. But wait… this is good news, or is it?

With the new rule, recreational rules are not affected and the complicated process of the FAA 333 Exemptions go away. Even the current UAS “Blanket” UAS COA will most likely be replaced by Part 107. However, air space around airports will assuredly still be heavily regulated for safety.

With the proposed rule, the limitations for drone operators are not as complex. Here are a few of the important operator requirements in the proposed rule:

1. Operators must be at least 17 years old and must be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.

2. Operators are required to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA approved knowledge testing center as well as pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.

3. Operators must also obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a UAS rating. [But there is a catch! What exactly are those ratings and how will a UAS operator obtain and advance to the more advanced “ratings” as they develop their UAS Commercial Operator career? So it seems the FAA still has quite a bit to figure out even after the new rule is proposed!]

Click Here for the Complete FAA Proposed Rule

Look for the new rules at the end of the month, and check out No Crash Ash’s blog the first Wednesday of every month for more drone news and updates!

Learn more about flying legal and safe by attending an Empower UAV Training Course!

Click Here to Schedule a Private Training Session

4 Ways Drones Can Improve Agriculture

Drones down on the farm are cultivating the agriculture industry!

The advanced imaging and mapping capabilities of drones are giving farmers new and improved ways to run their farms. Drones are ideal tools for collecting information to monitor crops in agriculture.

Using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a remote sensing measurement for agriculture, drone images can indicate the vegetation in certain areas, differentiate between crop stages, and even determine crop health.

There are several significant ways that drone data capture can benefit and better the agriculture industry.

4 Ways Drones Can Improve Agriculture

1. Drone data capture can increase crop production and yields.
Drone aerial imaging and mapping is an efficient way to increase productivity in agriculture. The amount of detailed data that drone and NDVI images can provide farmers allows them to increase their crop production produce greater yields.

2. Implementing drones to agriculture is a simple way to save time.
Drones can gather a large amount of data from sizeable farms in a short period of time. Once collected, the information can be accessed immediately and even discover any problems early on in order to address them before they spread.

3. Drone data capture provides several environmental benefits.
Drones with thermal cameras can detect the areas in the fields that are being under watered or over watered as well what areas need to be applied with more or less pesticides and/or fertilizers. With this information, farmers are able to increase water efficiency and reduce excess pesticide and fertilizer use.

4. The data collected from drones allows farmers to make decisions to produce healthier crops and increase their business.
Ultimately, the data capture from drones provides farmers with information that can improve their crops. Better crops can increase revenue by satisfying the customers, and happier customers make for better business.

Learn more about capturing aerial data images for agriculture with Empower UAV at our Drone Port!

Click Here to Sign Up for Our 1-Day Drone Excursion


3 Ways Drone Mapping Can Benefit Your Business

This Looks Like a Job for Drones!

What if you could get accurate and detailed data of your land right at our fingertips! Imagine how that could transform your agriculture, archaeology, real estate, or even construction business!

From mapping out property to build your dream home on to surveying land for the best spot for your vineyard, drones have once again proven to be the perfect tool for your business!

3 Ways Drone Mapping Can Benefit Your Business

1. Drones provide an accurate mapping platform.
UAV images can be stitched together to construct high quality, detailed maps. Drone footage can produce topographic maps and 3D models to show all the features of the land and area surveyed.

2. Drones are an inexpensive mapping and surveying tool!
UAVs are a less expensive alternative to the traditional method of manned aviation. By turning to drones for your mapping and surveying needs, you will reduce costs as well as increase productivity due to the versatility of drones and the simplicity of the aerial data capture operation.

3. Drone mapping is an ideal application for various industrial and commercial businesses!
Drone maps provide a significant perspective to industries like agriculture, archaeology, real estate, or even construction for gathering valuable data of areas that need to be examined in more depth. With drones, businesses like these are able to frequently monitor their lands.

Click Here to Hire Empower UAV for Your Drone Needs

So what does this mean for you as a businessperson?

It means that your business can evolve to new professional levels, entertain more business without more overhead, and have a digital record easily cataloged to evidence your work. As a result, we all make more money and have more time to enjoy family, friends, vacations, and feel accomplished professionally!

Learn more about capturing aerial data images for mapping and surveying with Empower UAV at our Drone Port!

Click Here to Sign Up for Our 1-Day Drone Excursion


Reaching New Heights in Real Estate

3 Reasons Realtors Should Use Drones

Aerial shots from drones have introduced a new meaning to the art of Photography, Video, Contour Mapping, and even 3D Property Models!

Drone (UAV / Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) aerial photography gives us a new way of seeing the world from above.

Drone photography has also created a new way to market real estate.

Savvy Real Estate agents are partnering with FAA approved 333 commercial drone (UAV) operators for aerial photography in order to showcase properties to potential buyers and boost sales.

Not only is it a beneficial marketing tool for real estate agents, but it also is a great tool for the buyers.

3 Reasons Realtors Should Use Drones for Aerial Photography:

1. Drones offer an Affordable, Available, and a Wow Factor Marketing Tool!
By combining high-quality footage with an awesome aerial view, real estate agents are able to produce unique marketing pieces to showcase their listings to potential clients.

2. Drones offer you a Competitive Advantage because there is a limited number of UAV people operating legally!
Realtors have an opportunity to stand out and differentiate themselves from their competitors with drone aerial photography as their marketing tool.

3. New Perspective for Buyers – fresh & new draws more traffic, which means more sales!
Aerial photographs and videos allow real estate clients to get a whole new prospective and see aspects of the properties of interest that they may not be able to see from a simple tour of the house. Ultimately, with drones you are able to see a virtual aerial tour of large properties, like Empower’s very own Drone Port at the Lazy W Ranch.

Learn more about capturing stunning aerial photos with Empower UAV at our Drone Port!

Click Here to Sign Up for Our 1-Day Drone Excursion

We are running March SPECIAL DISCOUNTS NOW!

The Drone Biz is Ready For You!

The question is, do you have what it takes?

As the next big thing in technology, UAVs are a tool that can be utilized for a variety of commercial applications in the business world. Commercial UAV operation is commonly described as operating in the scope of business and earning compensation.

Drones have navigated their way into countless fields and industries. The most obvious application is aerial image capture for commercial photography / videography and even filmmaking.

But the use of drones goes beyond that. UAVs can survey, map, and monitor archaeological and agricultural lands as well as capture stunning pictures to market properties for real estate firms.

Click Here For Additional Commercial Applications

If you are interested in adopting drones for your business or even starting your own drone biz, you must have what it takes. And that is what we call the golden ticket!

Golden Ticket
1. You must have an FAA 333 Approved Petition and Civil COA.

2. You must operate under all 333 and COA conditions & restrictions.

3. You must have an FAA Certified Pilot [Sport, Recreation, Private, Commercial, or Airline Transport].

4. The pilot must have a Current Airman Medical corresponding to license.

5. The pilot must also be current on the equipment they are certified for.

6. The pilot must demonstrate the UAV flight maneuvers required for the mission, on the platform they will fly, and demonstrate emergency/evasive procedures.

7. Finally, the pilot must be able to produce a UAV log of hours to support the necessary experience to safely perform the mission for hire.

Once you hold the golden ticket and know your application(s) of focus, you’re drone business is ready to take off!

Click Here to Sign Up for Our Upcoming Webinar