How to Streamline Operations and Efficiently Manage a Drone Fleet
We are hey everyone and welcome to a very interesting episode of ask drone you my name is paul. My name is rob. Thank you for joining us were super excited to be here for another show with you really appreciate you spending a few minutes of your day with us. Go to askdroneyou.com. To get your questions, your comments, your thoughts in wed love to hear from you as uh. This show is all about you. So take a couple minutes. We know you got stuff on your mind and we know other people have that same thing on their mind, so wed love to hear from you and hope to do so soon. Definitely we do. We do hope so uh. That said greatly appreciate you joining us. If you have a question go to askadrony.com, i got an interesting question today regarding starting running a drone program and also better understanding, uh, the registration process, managing information, etc. So uh. Well, i say we just get right into it: yeah, but because todays show kind of talks about some things that we offer through the props program. I thought it was very relevant to say the sponsor for todays show is our props educational platform, whether you are a drone manufacturer, whether you are a drone team or a program. The props educational platform was built for you easily manage multiple pilots, get real time status. Notifications on those pilots and their training, progress know exactly what theyve learned and what they havent know.
Who has retained the information? Who is current but, more importantly, who is proficient manage all of your pilots? All of your equipment, all of your forms in one dashboard, to make it easy and simple to run your drone program because after all, youve got to get it going, but you got to keep it growing thats why? You should check out the props programs just go to props.thedronyou.com, hey paul and rob. This is andrew in winston salem north carolina ive been a listener for a little over a year. Now and i love your guyss content, i work for a large construction company that spans the entire united states for the last five or six months, ive been working on a proposal with a team of people in north carolina to start a drone program. Weve already got a matrice 300 with a p1 on the way weve got processing software picked and we also have an insurance policy drafted in our corporate office. My first question, for you, guys, is registration. When our matrice comes, i plan to register in my name, so we can get in the air immediately. However, i recognize that the paper application that takes a couple weeks to process will allow us to register in the companys name. So should i leave the company it doesnt go with me. The registration that is is there a way that i can register the drone in my name and then, when i submit the paper application for the company, they have it immediately transfer over.
My next question is regarding insurance and my liability as a pilot. Is there anything that you suggest looking out for in our insurance policy to make sure that i, as a pilot dont, get sued if something happens and im working for the company, i want to protect my personal liability while im doing work for the company. My third question is: do you have any recommendations for online inventory management and or checklist software, ideally itd, be something that could manage inventory and pre and post flight checklists, especially if they have ability to do custom checklists? I look forward to hearing your response. Thank you. Thank you very much, andrew really appreciate. It sounds like an exciting time, um, but also a lot of work, starting these drone programs, its a big, its, a very big endeavor, especially for a company like the size of what it sounds, youre working for, which is country wide thats, a thats, a big undertaking. It is a big undertaking and thats also why its so important to be able to manage all data aspects of the program from one given place. You know it really does make it easier. That said, hes got a lot of questions, and so i tried to write some of them down to be able to hit them sequentially um, and i also will say that these problems have been uh. You know, theyve existed for years. There really hasnt been a good solution. This is kind of why we built the props program, because weve seen these issues become rampant, we have seen issues very simple ones: shut programs down and thats.
Actually why we built this props program um and before we get into it, you know hes, like is there anywhere where we can manage all of our equipment and all of our pilot, checklists and resources and documentations in one area. The props program does offer that now. Uh with the public safety program were currently building all the resources into. We call the pilot binder the admin binder and then all of those things kind of talk to each other. In the back end of google docs, we do offer resources in pilot and mapper to help people run their programs, their preflight, checklists, etc, and we have digitized them so that they can speak to each other. But we need to record a video in props to say this is how you copy all of this and make your own secure solution, either through google docs or through adobes system, because some people prefer one or the other, because adobe fill in sign. Doesnt need live. Internet in order to work or cache information like one of the big issues, is youre using any pre flight checklist like in google docs, you fill out half the form. You put your phone in your pocket. Five minutes later, you pull it back out. The page will refresh and all that stuff will will get lost, which is a problem even if you do have offline data mode on. I dont want to hear – and i want to avoid those comments right now – um it doesnt cache the information inside of the box, its very frustrating.
It is yeah yeah, so um, but we do have these resources in the props program. And so i will just say if you are looking to aggregate all of your um preflight, checklists and whatnot, you can even customize them and theyre still all going to feed into one location. In addition to that, the props program also has equipment management built in. So you can see all the drones that are in there all the batteries that are in there the procurement process. So if your government or an uh a government agency um, you can see how those were paid for et cetera what fun funding sources were used uh. So it was really built to provide as much information uh as possible into again one particular uh dashboard, but lets uh lets go sequentially through his question, so he talks about. He wants to register uh the drone in his name, so he can get up and running faster im, not sure i fault. I track that line of thinking instead of registering the drone in the businesss name, and he said that he wants to go through the the paper application. So for any of you who are newer, drone pilots, what does he mean by the paper application hes talking about? Actually, physically applying for an n number, which is a traditional aircraft number uh now there are actually not enough n numbers to go around for all the drone pilots thats why the faa came up with a separate registration system for drone pilots as a whole.
We got part 47 part 48 um. Now that said, there is still one benefit of having that n number over part, 47 and 48.. Do you know what it is its about flying in certain places im talking about internationally um, so the faa says youre good to go on flying internationally, because the end number system is recognized everywhere. But i actually start to question that rob, because so many countries are coming up with their own drone registration systems youre like okay, does it does it really transcribe to these other places or not? Do they really even care most times? No, so im not really sure why he would use the paper process. I mean we had classes on that. What eight years ago, uh – and you know we had the n number on one of our old inspires, and now i just use the the digital system, because i really dont see the benefit or see. Why take up someones time in oak city to register a drone in that way um? So that said, you know he mentioned going back and forth on registering the drone in his name versus the company name right, quick aside on this um. I know that there are faa, specific rules about the drones registered to a pilot or whatever, but in todays day and age, with data mismanagement and in todays day and age, where someone can go online and look up my information and show up in my office or My house, with nefarious intentions – i have even you know in in, like buying a house, i want to buy a house under a company name.
I dont want my personal information tied anywhere uh out there and when you buy a house that information is going to mls, that information is going to all these county registries. These state information boards and your information gets sold three or four x over well. The number one place is the credit bureaus and they sell it to everybody and their dog uh point taken, yeah and so and thats. My thing is, like you know what i honestly kind of dont care about what certain people say about register under a name or register under a company its like well until a bunch of people can prove that a they can actually manage my data and it not Get lost which, by the way, experian got hacked. I was a part of that um and i hate that we have a credit system that oh yeah, we can just lose all your data and whatever, and it affects your credit score and sorry. You know its like. Well, f, you you know like like uh. No, you know im gon na go out of my way, so i dont have to use a credit system, because this is broken. This doesnt actually work for people, and so when it comes to personal information, my personal opinion on putting personal information is, i would say no, i would say, register it under a company name anyway, like even if it said first and last name, i would put drone And then last name you, you know i do that often actually really yeah.
So i obviously do a lot of things for the company and i put that 90 of the time depends on what it is but yeah and then, if it says, thats not a valid. Last name then ill say drone you company, or something or anchor yeah yeah. I, like that. I know the faa has particular rules and regulations regarding whether it should be uh, you know registered under a person or a company or whatever im, not sure this. This is a hill theyre gon na die on frankly, um and honestly, i would say, register under the company name, no matter where which way you go. I would also recommend you just register the drone online through the faas website, um its five bucks and youre done its right there, so you can do that under a company name. I think so. I i honestly dont, remember um, but that said personally speaking and this kind of may or may not defy what regulations say, i would say, put it under a company name um, so insurance he said. Is there any other questions that i should be asking about? My insurance coverage rob, i know, youve been deep into the rabbit hole of insurance lately and i actually want to do a show. Im tr, i cant say the name of the production company but im trying to see if i can get jim uh on from a huge production company to come on and talk to pilots about like hey.
You know everyone online and youtube says that you need aviation insurance to fly on set thats, not true. You need this, and this and this and this in order to actually get hired, interesting, uh, and that might be a members only show because, frankly uh. I think that people who want to do things right deserve that information, yeah, um and well i mean the bottom line is hes asking. How do i protect myself right, and so a couple of questions that come up in that come to mind are: does the insurance cover you if youre technically flying indoors, what about training um? Does the insurance policy also specify that youre constantly following faa guidelines? Most of them do, which is uh again back to brendan shulmans comment on his exit interview that you know make sure the drones that you buy youre, not just listening to the marketing and the hype. You have to actually be able to fully control these drones at any given time in order for them to comply with faa guidelines, and there are drones out there and theyre blue uh. That dont do that. So i mean, i would say uh i would say you know well, no i mean like. I think this is like the epitome of the issue right, because you get a company that has a drone program. Theyre trusting this guy to know the faa guidelines. He gets insurance lets, say hes flying that drone. He has a mishap and the claims adjuster says well, were you following all faa guidelines? Could you do this? Could you do that? Could you do this? Could you do that and frankly uh, you know if you were like well, no, i couldnt control the drone over everything else.
The autonomy was in control, then hes technically, not following faa guidelines and the insurance company could say no were not covering this and what? If there was hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage? You know. I know that the propensity of that happening is rare, but it is possible, and so now this guy ruins his whole career all because theres not transparent information out there. I mean thats kind of why i mean this exact example is kind of why ive been so stalwart on that that issue so um, but i think its an important question to ask um. That said, another thing i think that you should look at is: are there any protocols on pilot maintenance like how often they should be practicing, how often they should be flying their currency, uh, etc? And then you know rob his last point was: where can i find a place for data management, pre flight management equipment management? We kind of already hit that in the beginning of the show, we recommend the the props program we now even have data integrations with things like air data. If you want more information, so i obviously am going to recommend that product, because we looked at a lot of stuff that was out there and built what we have based off of where we saw areas of opportunity well, including and perhaps most importantly, how up to Date, the training is for your for your group of pilots.
Uh right, i mean thats, obviously, the the main thing behind props but thats, actually a really important point. We shouldnt just kind of glaze over that because one of our very you know what dude one of our clients in insurance remember what they said. We have to do training recency every single year, theyve got to be going through a program every single year yeah and they insure drones, and so that makes me think huh thats. A really good question is: how often do they have to prove proficiency through an in person, training or an online training? You know when you ask that how often youre talking about the particular companys program, what what is their protocol for that yeah yeah thats, definitely something that um. You all need to be thinking about, andrew and im sure you are but thats. Another thing that props can do is help with that, but you know in terms of the insurance, i think you bring up a lot of good points. I just dont want to leave andrew with more worry than than um anything else coming out of this. Okay and the reality is particularly with a company as big as youre working for it sounds like essentially, if youre working for the company, the laws of insurance, the rules of insurance state that the company is responsible for any accidents that you have and thats kind of. Just the nature of how it works, which is interesting when you consider that the faa says that the pilot is ultimately responsible right yeah, you know yeah thats, thats, true the tail wagged, the dog or the dog wagging the tail.
I mean thats. Why weve said for years right who really controls the drone industry and weve said for years its? Not the faa right? It is the insurance companies. You know, and i mean ted was the the person who taught us that and hes right. You know if insurance says: hey you, cant fly and youve got a triple seven loaded with people on the runway. You think united is gon na. Let you take off hell, no yeah. You know the other thing andrew in your position and were speaking specifically to somebody like you working for a company like this. You probably have at least one person, if not more than that thats a big part of their responsibility is making sure the insurance is, is solid for this company yeah. So talk to them. So, okay, i have a question uh for you uh. So, in regards weve been really talking about aviation insurance. Do you recommend that his program have any type of gl insurance or thats my point for a company like this? It is going to have the liability insurance that a company like this is going to carry is going to be so robust. I mean imagine that the equipment they have all over the country doing all sorts of different things on any given day insurance. I assure you is one of their most high priorities as a company – oh yeah, so youre just essentially plugging into that, but have a conversation with them.
Im sure theyll be able to tell you why youre, okay but im sure youre. Okay, you know i just had a crazy little daydream sitting here next to you, but how far away are we from the flows of the progressive world? Saying well: fly drones over your construction site and do a safety audit right there and lower your insurance premiums, because we can see youre doing everything right well, the one client we have theyre – probably very close to doing that already. That was a very good point. I didnt even think about that probably part of why theyre doing it yeah thats a very powerful point: anyways yeah client, who shall go unnamed, good stuff, andrew its very excited for you and for your company. Its uh makes a lot of sense. It sure does and uh thanks for the question. We really do appreciate it. If you have a question audience ask droneyou.com really want to hear those business questions uh the mapping world is evolving at such an insane pace and the the phantom 4 pro remains.