How to become a UAV pilot or drone pilot
Want to learn how to become a UAV pilot or drone pilot? Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones have become really popular with the general public. Although these have been in use mostly by military previously, it is only just recently that this technology has been manufactured and made available commercially. Most people operating drones use them to capture aerial pictures and videos currently but many more uses are being investigated. Being a drone pilot is a pretty new and exciting career to consider.
What is a UAV pilot or drone pilot?
UAV pilot or drone pilots have several responsibilities to fulfill. UAV are either remotely operated by a pilot or pre-programmed by an experienced pilot to operate independently. Their responsibility is to collect data, or perform aerial surveys on locations. Therefore being a drone pilot isn’t just about the piloting, they also need to operate digital cameras and digital sensing equipment attached to the drone. Once the data, like aerial imaging, thermal imaging, noise data or videos, is collected it needs to be processed into correct and usable formats. Then it’s given to the client. Drone pilots keep a log of all data gathered and all flights taken with relevant mapping. Appropriate logs or data may be required to be submitted to the government authorities as necessary.
Skills & Interests:
Being a UAV pilot or drone pilot requires technical skills, not just for maintenance of the drone but also the equipment or sensors attached, as well as the actual technology used in piloting. One of the key aspects of the piloting is having good hand-to-eye coordination. Pilots must also be able to read and interpret maps and 3D displays. There are strict government regulations set for UAV’s or drones, which cover not only health and safety regulations but also no-fly zones and privacy issues. Pilot must understand and follow these regulations.
Hours & Conditions:
UAV’s are now being used in applications ranging from firefighting, search and rescue, disaster relief, border patrol, weather monitoring, law enforcement, aerial photography and geotechnical work. There are no standard working hours or conditions for drone pilots so depending on your client or employer, and what field they are in, you may need to travel from one location to another and be away from home overnight. The work is outdoors, and may be in adverse weather conditions and difficult situations.
How to become a UAV pilot or drone pilot: Qualifications
To become a drone or UAV pilot you are required to be trained and obtain a UAV Controller’s Certificate to be given by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). There are options at either private training providers or Registered Training Organisations that run courses which satisfy CASA requirements, including a Certificate III in Aviation (remote pilot).
If you wish to run your own business, you need a UAV Operator’s Certificate, which is also issued by CASA. The minimum age to gain a CASA certificate is 17 years old.
To look at courses that will help you find a role as a UAV pilot or drone pilot check out https://www.careerhq.com.au/careers-database
The UAV industry is thriving due to its popularity, it’s still a developing industry though. Opportunities are likely to develop in two main areas – for dedicated pilots with strong technical skills, particularly in the area of drone delivery systems, and in more traditional industries now being assisted with UAV technology, such as surveying, engineering, cinematography, photography, and agriculture. This opportunity is already expected to double over the next 5 to 10 years.