Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

UAV's, drivers, builders and the regulations.
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SuperSix1
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Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Fri May 15 2015, 22:45

The Helicopter industry in Aus can dominate the UAV market. After all, the vast majority of UAVs are helicopters. If you have a PPL or higher, all you need is a few hours manufacturer training and you have everything you need to get your CASA issued UAV Controller Certificate. If we helo drivers grab this, we will future-proof ourselves and drive some high standards in the unmanned market about to envelop aviation. Sikorsky are flying their Blackhawks unmanned right now...

In order to help achieve this, I am going to pack my UAV kit into the truck and go for a really big drive. I have called it the Drone Commander Australia Domination Tour, not just because the word 'Domination' will catch the attention of every helo driver :D , but because our industry really can dominate the UAV space. Good for us, good for aviation in Australia.

I have negotiated a significant price cut for us from FPV Australia who own the course. This training is normally $550, but for this tour only, just $350 will get you your manufacturer training completed on the DJI Phantom, the classic drone. Do the obligatory CASA form, bingo, UAV Controller.

I will throw a page up on the http://www.dronecommander.com.au website later today. Here are the dates and places. Gold Coast 19 May, Gold Coast 20 May, Toowoomba 23 May, Roma 24 May, Sunshine Coast 25 May, Brisbane 26 May, Coffs Harbour 27 May, Newcastle 28 May, Sydney 29 May, Canberra 30 May, Wagga Wagga 31 May, Melbourne 2 June, Melbourne 3 June, Sale 6 June, Albury 7 June, Wollongong 8 June, Sydney 13 June, Bathurst 14 June, Tamworth 15 June, Dubbo 20 June, Mildura 21 June, Adelaide 23 June, Adelaide 24 June, Perth 27 June, Perth 28 June, Sydney 07 July, Armidale 08 July, Brisbane 11 July, Rockhampton 12 July, Townsville 13 July, Cairns 14 July, Darwin 15 July. Any of these sessions can be arranged clear of your working hours on that day if you need. If these dates don't quite work for you, flick me and email to dc@dronecommander.com.au and we will sort something for you.
Last edited by SuperSix1 on Sun May 17 2015, 00:27, edited 2 times in total.
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crow
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Re: Drone Commander Australia Domination Tour

Postby crow » Fri May 15 2015, 23:06

Just wondering ... Do you sponsor this site? If so and I haven't seen your banner - sorry, but if you don't can you stop working your our agenda.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia Domination Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Fri May 15 2015, 23:40

There is no 'agenda' crowy, just info many out there are after and a way to get the CASA UAV tick with a minimum of fuss. I train dozens of PPL+ pilots for UAV ops every other week. I just know that when our industry realizes that for just a few hours and a few hundred dollars UAV Controller can be added, we can add 'unmanned' ops to the package helo pilots can deliver. I am living proof mate. It is no different to getting sling/winch/low fly etc etc. Just another thing that as a complete pilot, you should be able to offer. PS, to answer your advertising question, yes, the course owner, FPV Australia, has submitted that request so hopfully we will see it soon. I noticed another UAV trainer has theirs on the page....

Approved! Mod.

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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby crow » Sat May 16 2015, 03:12

I happily stand corrected.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sat May 16 2015, 04:48

No not corrected Crowy, this was never about marketing. We might not realise it but this is a real 'D' Day for the industry. If we front up now and make it normal for the helo industry to be the go-to people for ops that can be done by a UAV, we have a bright future. Heliwest and some others figured this out some time ago. If we loiter about and let other industries have it, the standards of UAV operations will suffer and so will we. If you look at what Sikorsky are doing with 'pilot optional' Blackhawks, I think in the not-so-distant future, a pilot will decide on the day whether you fly the mission from the cockpit or from your ground control station, and we are all going to need both skill sets... The UAV Controller Certificate is the only way into that future... and as somebody once said "time stops for no man"...
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby Heli Bloke » Sat May 16 2015, 07:08

SuperSix1,

How much work is there for a commercial drone operator in a capital city?
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby mdav » Sat May 16 2015, 11:00

I have deleted my original post. You have shown your not one of these dodgy providers that are cashing in on this market, so excuse me.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sat May 16 2015, 12:07

The weight categories in the legislation (CASR 101) are actually 100 grams and less for a micro UAV, greater than 150 Kilograms for a large fixed wing UAV, greater than 100Kg for a large multi-rotor UAV. Large UAV are fundamentally VH aircraft so outside the scope of this discussion. Anything that doesn't fit those categories is defined as a small UAV. So one could argue that CASA should only be certifying all of us for 'small multirotor UAV less than 100Kg'. However, the regulator, wisely, has identified more delineations are needed. So they have taken from the MAAA classes. The classes on issue at present are less than 7kg, which is what you receive if the UAV you do manufacturer training on is less than 7Kg, such as a DJI Phantom. At the next weight class, CASA issue 'Multi-rotor less than 20Kg'. To gain this, a UAV such as the DJI S1000 is the object of manufacturer training. This training costs a little more, but can also be offered.

Whilst your Controller Certificate will have either < 7Kg or < 20Kg, if you want a type on a UOC, you must have done approved manufacturer training on THAT SPECIFIC AIRCRAFT. This is why Phantom is the best bang-for-buck as it is the most likely to be used.

On my website http://www.javelinsupport.com is my UAV Controller Certificate including my multi-rotor < 20Kg that I got for doing DJI S1000 Manufacturer training. I have also included my initial issue < 7Kg I first got when I did DJI Phantom manufacturer training.

PS, if anyone does find high quality UAV instruction from a true professional (I would expect at least 10 years as a flying instructor) and that instructor has all the UAV ticks/experience/expertise and that instructor will come to you, please use them. And I also wouldn't accept training from a someone who is just a 'certified UAV Operator'. Many of them are in fact the problem in the industry, they haven't the first clue about flying. That is why we helo pilots need to Dominate the UAV industry.
Last edited by SuperSix1 on Mon May 18 2015, 12:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sat May 16 2015, 15:16

He is right in one aspect, and that is the UAV industry is vulnerable to fly-by-nighters at present. I am not aware of any UAV organisations out there throwing out $150 manu training certificates, nor am I going to do so. When you own the BMW dealership you don't look at Great Wall down the road and drop you prices to match them. The courses I run are extremely high quality and I have never had even a single person who wasn't impressed with how much they learned. The Controller Certificate is great, actually knowing how to operate a UAV professionally is better.

When I figured I needed manufacturer training to get the cert so I could do ag work on my own farm, I found the course through FPV Australia. I paid my $550 and drove to Yass expecting little... what was some drone dude going to teach me after 25 years fixed and rotary and 10 years fiddling with drones? It was up there with the most professional aviation courses I have ever done. The $550 was well and truly worth it. I then went on to more serious drones and received the FPV Australia training on them too. By then, the owners had figured out I was a helo instructor. For the last 8 months I have been teaching their basic RPAS course for those without any flying quals. We don't muck about on the course, they learn everything from Regs, Met, TEM, Nav, Tech, and Aerody - they even get practice emergencies. The manufacturer training forms part of that course but can be taken out as a module for those already qualified. Everywhere I go qualified pilots want to catch up for training. Hence the tour. It is that simple. I have something I can give to other pilots that results in CASA issuing a useful qualification in a painless manner. When does that ever happen?

My suggestion is get the qual. Try and get some good training from someone who knows flying, instructing and drones. If you get the piece of paper but never use it, who cares. I bet you still show it off at bars... #UAVcontroller noun: a type of pilot whom does not need to be in the aircraft to fly it...
Last edited by SuperSix1 on Mon May 18 2015, 12:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sun May 17 2015, 01:41

Heli Bloke wrote:SuperSix1,

How much work is there for a commercial drone operator in a capital city?


Hey Hbloke,

heaps. The industry is expanding much faster than there are guys (and girls) to do the UAV work. Once someone uses a drone for a task, it very quickly becomes industry standard to use a drone. Take city building inspectors. I've trained quite a few on the basic RPAS course. Using a drone means avoiding scaffolding, tethering etc that they used to have to do to do multi-story inspections. Now some are doing it, all are needing it to keep up. Surveyors have been another big customer. For them, a drone can do in an hour what used to take a day. Real Estate is a no-brainer, but to be honest, you need to have contacts in that industry otherwise expect 2 years to build a business. Golf courses love UAVs to get the latest 'golf ball eye view' of their course. Security firms love them. Weddings and events. Yachties love them. 3D Mapping - which is what I am getting into for Ag... just built a FW drone runway on my farm (this drone thing can get out of control!). Footy teams for training, in fact any sport. http://www.enduro21.com had a 'gopro ain't enough anymore, you need a drone crew' article recently where they used footage I did with KTM Wrecking Crew. Virtual joy flights - put the oldies on Fatshark FPV goggles and take them for a virtual fly. Local Government tasks like street light serviceability survey. What you might make into a business is limited only by your imagination. Basically, imagery drone operators are making $1k a day, Geospatial operators $3k a day. Next phase is payload delivery, followed by human cargo... not as far away as most think.

But your keyword is actually 'capital city'. To be able to operate over a 'populous area' you are going to need the correct certification and permissions. Without a Controller Cert you can't even start the process... cheers.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby Hello Pilots » Sun May 17 2015, 04:05

"If you get the piece of paper but never use it, who cares. I bet you still show it off at bars"

"oh dude you should have seen that smoking hot chick I scored last night after showing her my model helicopter licence".......
-Nobody
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sun May 17 2015, 04:17

Hello Pilots, why don't you come and get your model helicopter licence then? I thought they were toys too until I had a run-in with one... 42 stitches and 2 compound fractures later... yeh... toys... not so much anymore :?

And wait until you see these things cruising around semi-autonomous. There isn't a manned aircraft in the world that gets even close to what drones can do. That is why I know that our days sitting up front are numbered... we my friend have become... irrequired.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby flighttech » Sun May 17 2015, 08:10

Supersix1 is one of the best instructors I've had the privilege of working with. Fpv Australia's course and his teaching is a match made in heaven.

Now as for work. In brissy we were clearing 5k/ month with very little effort.

Back in nz now and doing the same and even had to employ 2 staff. And yes we are helo pilots who have seen in certain sectors the UAV has taken over from the helicopter. It has been a great way to bolster up the bank account where the margin in helicopters is what 4% to covering it with a UAV some 85% profit
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby Hello Pilots » Sun May 17 2015, 08:45

Until the military start using unmanned aircraft for moving troops, Im pretty confident that I will still have a job for a fair few years to come.
But, until that day I will happily fly a real machine......
Thanks for your pep talk and product push but my real licence has more of a guarantee at the bar than a remote controllers.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby Jamie » Sun May 17 2015, 08:59

Take city building inspectors. I've trained quite a few on the basic RPAS course.


Just out of curiosity SuperSix1, which cities do these building inspectors fly their commercial drones in? Are they flying them in or close to the CBD being that they are flying next to 'multi storey' buildings?
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sun May 17 2015, 09:28

Jamie, I have trained building inspection guys all over, so you can be confident it is widespread. Some do industrial infrastructure like sugar mills, whilst others are into multi-story residential structures. Of course they have to do it under a UOC or with CASA approvals that allow ops in populous areas and within 30m of property.

On my course you learn how to conduct these types of tasks legally, safely and effectively.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sun May 17 2015, 10:17

Hello Pilots wrote:Until the military start using unmanned aircraft for moving troops, Im pretty confident that I will still have a job for a fair few years to come.
But, until that day I will happily fly a real machine......
Thanks for your pep talk and product push but my real licence has more of a guarantee at the bar than a remote controllers.

Umm.. H Pilots... pilotless Blackhawks.. you don't need to be Einstein to figure out what comes next. You might roll through to the end of your career but I sure wouldn't leave my son to hang out to dry by letting him think there is manned flying deep into the future. He is doing his CPL (H) but he got his UAV Controller first. And a gig wuth Red Bull with his drones.

And as for picking up in bars... we know we are all a bit suspect in a one-piece flying suit, we are deaf, stink of Avtur and are never home. Not too many ladies would get picked up by us whatever we happen to be flying...
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby Jamie » Sun May 17 2015, 10:33

Can you explain how a Buidling Suveyor can get a 'pop up' approval from Casa? Being that almost all of the CBD's within Australia have a helipad (hospital, media, private pad etc) within 3nm, they need an area approval or airspace excemption.
It costs over $500, proven aviation experience with knowledge of approach / departure paths, radio operator's certificate, detailed job specific risk assessment and 4 weeks per approval and you say you
have trained building surveyors?
The biggest problem with this new industry is the people who make the most money are the trainers. You failed to mention that the average insurance is between 5 - 10k per year for an operator. It takes a lot of $350 real estate photos to make that back.
The fact is that you can not operate within 3nm of any helipad, aerodrome and that includes ANY helipad including private helipads.
The amount of controllers who fly illegally within 3nm of the Melbourne CBD for instance is huge. There is the Alfred , Royal Melbourne, pier35, yarra Bank, Docklands etc means that no certified controller without the previously mentioned airspace excemption can legally fly within 5.5km of the city. According to CASA there are only 2 controllers (both experienced multi-thousand hour) pilots that have this approval in Melbourne.
Forgive me for me being skeptical on your sales pitch but the industry in not as big as you make it out to be.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby SuperSix1 » Sun May 17 2015, 11:31

Jamie wrote:Can you explain how a Buidling Suveyor can get a 'pop up' approval from Casa? Being that almost all of the CBD's within Australia have a helipad (hospital, media, private pad etc) within 3nm, they need an area approval or airspace excemption.
It costs over $500, proven aviation experience with knowledge of approach / departure paths, radio operator's certificate, detailed job specific risk assessment and 4 weeks per approval and you say you
have trained building surveyors?
The biggest problem with this new industry is the people who make the most money are the trainers. You failed to mention that the average insurance is between 5 - 10k per year for an operator. It takes a lot of $350 real estate photos to make that back.
The fact is that you can not operate within 3nm of any helipad, aerodrome and that includes ANY helipad including private helipads.
The amount of controllers who fly illegally within 3nm of the Melbourne CBD for instance is huge. There is the Alfred , Royal Melbourne, pier35, yarra Bank, Docklands etc means that no certified controller without the previously mentioned airspace excemption can legally fly within 5.5km of the city. According to CASA there are only 2 controllers (both experienced multi-thousand hour) pilots that have this approval in Melbourne.
Forgive me for me being skeptical on your sales pitch but the industry in not as big as you make it out to be.


Oh great, another angry old man with about 10% of the facts having a crack.. OK:

1. Approvals for operations that exist outside of the 'standard' UAV conditions (<400',>30m from people or prop, not over populous, by day VLOS, >3Nm from registered aerodrome, not for commercial without UOC) are granted by CASA under an area approval. CASR 101 describes this process. Please read this before you gob off, you sound like a fool.

Here is an actual area approval that if you ever read you NOTAMs you would have seen

"MELBOURNE FIR (YMMM)

MULTIROTOR UAS OPS WILL TAKE PLACE IN AN AREA BOUNDED BY THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS
(REMAINING OUTSIDE 3NM FM SYDNEY AD AND BANKSTOWN AD)
SOUTH HEAD S33 49.9 E151 16.9
NORTH BONDI HEADLAND S33 53.5 E151 17.2
CAPE BANKS S34 00.1 E151 15.1
JIBBON POINT S34 04.9 E151 10.3
LUCAS HEIGHTS S34 03.5 E150 59.5
REVESBY S33 57.1 E151 01.1
RYDE BRIDGE S33 49.3 E151 05.3
FOR FURTHER INFO CTC: 0416 521 588
SFC TO 400FT AGL
FROM 04 232343 TO 07 240000 EST"

2. Yes, I have trained many non-pilots on CASA Approved RPAS courses that result in the issue of a controller certificate. They learn all the aviation specifics and can do AROC if they intend to operate in areas where and iComm is needed. My trainees know the rules and how to operate safely, I make damn sure of that. And BTW, the average area approval costs about $300

3. There are many ways UAV Operators are making money. I make most out of Ag work as that is my specialty. I chose the next two months for this course as we have finished survey of summer crops (they are all harvested), and winter crops are just going in so no crop survey needed for a couple of months yet. Insurance including the UAVs and $20M public liability is $1800 per year. My UAV ops come under my farm business insurance, on and off farm.

4. You can operate below 400ft within 3Nm of all aerodromes and helipads under CASR 101. We include agreement in our ops manuals not to operate within 3Nm of REGISTERED aerodromes and helipads without area approval from CASA. So the professionals aren't, but the hobbyists still can. If it is not a registered aerodrome or helipad, you'd never guess, but we apply AIRMANSHIP to the situation. Ever heard of that?

5. I agree with your last point, there are HEAPS of people out there just being gangster with drones, but not people with a Controller Certificate to protect. Why do you think I am giving up my time to get people who know what they should do, to dominate the space. I fly EMS out of Westmead. I get it mate. We have some good operators that ring us up and let us know they are going to have a UAV in the air, and we have some tossers who go air2air on us on approach.

You my good friend Jamie, are EXACTLY the sort of pilot who needs to do the course. You keep telling yourself the industry is not that big, and in the same breath wail about the ridiculous number of drones in your airspace. All the while the biggest drone manufacturer, DJI, has market capitalisation rapidly approaching 100 Billion, and Frank Wang is laughing at you mate, all the way to his Shenzen Bank. It is the next mobile phone and internet. You are living in a land of yesterday that you are desperately hoping to still exist. It is gone mate, I suggest you adopt the wiser strategy of 'know your enemy'. I'll see you on one of the Melbourne courses. Don't miss it, I will come looking friend.
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Re: Drone Commander Australia DomiNation Tour

Postby chopperjock » Sun May 17 2015, 14:21

Its definitely the way of the future, I'm an expat currently flying/working in SE Asia in a VVIP corporate role with good long term prospects, however I think its a good 'plan B' and wanted to know if you can offer this course via correspondence. If its not viable I'll just head back to catch a course somewhere. Thanks for posting the information, very interesting and informative.

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