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Commercial Drone Business Questions
823 11 2017-9-22
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NJ Flying Slow
lvl.4
Flight distance : 765909 ft
United States
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Good Day Folks,

I have a few questions, some of them may seem inappropriate, but would appreciate your inputs.

-What are the best forms of study material to pass the commercial exam, do you reccomend online, books, audio tapes, a combination?

-In general, what is the range for fees charged for things such as events and inspections.  Would could a business person expect to make (generally)?

I know these are very broad and abstract, but I'm looking to get more intel on this as I am interested in pursuing this and this forum has been great at providing valuable insight in the past.

Thank You in advance.
2017-9-22
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Tmygun
First Officer
Flight distance : 2972497 ft
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United States
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There are a lot of good courses out there.......Flyaerodrome.com and Sporty's Pilot Shop to name a couple.
I studied on my own and read twice cover to cover the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.  I also read Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, and Private Pilot.

I have a colleague  that is doing one of the many online courses, and we will see how that goes.

The test is 60 questions and you have to go to an FAA authorized testing center.  They give you 2 hours to complete the test and you are only allowed to use the materials they give you as well as pencils they supply, that you can use to mark on the materials and calculate certain equations.  No cell phones or material you bring in.

70% is a passing score, and if you fail you can retest in 14 days...........of course you have to pay the $150 again which is a bummer.

As far as fees....really depends on the market....I live in a college town with a large population so work for roof inspections, real estate pics/vids, farm/crop surveys is in pretty high demand.

Hope this helps

2017-9-22
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NJ Flying Slow
lvl.4
Flight distance : 765909 ft
United States
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thank you...do you mind me asking approx going rate for real estate and surveys?
2017-9-22
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Ups_Jeff
lvl.4
Flight distance : 434931 ft
United States
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Sporty’s sells a UAS study guide that has test questions in it with explanations for the answers. You also get 4 free online practice tests. I used that book and an online course, and passed with a 97.
2017-9-23
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NJ Flying Slow
lvl.4
Flight distance : 765909 ft
United States
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thank you much
2017-9-23
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Lotuner
lvl.1

Ukraine
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I recommend books, it is always better. Nowadays you can find all necessary free books online when you want.
2-1 07:06
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GeoffG
lvl.4
Flight distance : 810082 ft
United Kingdom
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It may be worth taking a look at the Commercial Pilots Drone Forum - tailor made for these questions
2-13 10:46
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sasmsmith
lvl.3
Flight distance : 59196 ft
United States
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Plenty of suggestions already, but I would give a shout to RemotePilot101. My brother and I went through their course at the same time and both passed the FAA exam with ease. They have both a full course for the first time taking it, and then a recurrent course for renewing your license. They are constantly updating their curriculum according to news from the FAA and feedback from others that have taken the course, so it's always up to date (which is nice).

As far as cash is concerned, I would recommend that you have a fair bit of money yourself before you start the business. Most companies looking for drone work have some pretty serious insurance requirements and the policies can be pricey.

What you can make will depend on the kind of work you're doing, but the best method we have found for pricing our services was the same as any other business and starting from the ground up. Figure out all of your costs (try to think outside the box because there's A LOT), and then add on whatever kind of profit margins you think are reasonable. The only way to really know if your prices are competitive is to bid on work. If your bids aren't getting accepted, you can ask for feedback and you'll find out if you're over or not (though you most likely won't get to know how far over).
2-14 08:45
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RBP
lvl.1
United States
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NJ Flying Slow  Posted at 2017-9-22 06:50
thank you...do you mind me asking approx going rate for real estate and surveys?

There is no money in real estate. Surveying is a different matter, the big construction companies pay very well. If you want to do survey work, talk to drone deploy.
2-19 21:01
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DPOV
Captain
Flight distance : 8277736 ft
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United States
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I also took the RemotePilot101 course and passed the exam on the first try.
2-20 06:32
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FlyinLo
lvl.3
Flight distance : 157093 ft
United States
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NJ Flying Slow  Posted at 2017-9-22 06:50
thank you...do you mind me asking approx going rate for real estate and surveys?

I will be bluntly honest.  If you have purchased an Inspire 2 and you are just now working on getting a part 107, and you are not sure of the going rates, it will be tough, most likely impossible to start a successful drone business.   Anyone just now trying to 'start a drone business' has sort of missed the boat.  

As RBP stated the is ZERO in real estate (for non-established newbies).  So if you have not bought an I2, then don't.  If you are just posting in this forum for info, then get a used P4P and learn on that.  The money is in mapping and survey, but there is a big learning curve, and a big investment in all the needed equipment.  And even after you learn how to do it all, it will be tough to get your foot in the door.  But it can be done.  

If you are just starting out, a good used P4P is what you need unless money is no problem, then get a new one.  If you are loaded and getting an I2 could just be an expensive hobby, then by all means knock yourself out on that too

I hope you don't mind my honesty.  
2-20 07:23
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HyperSpectral
Second Officer
Flight distance : 839160 ft
United States
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The money IS in mapping and surveying, and contracts for larger companies who need work out of state completed *cough* I hire subs for this myself *cough*

As a previous individual stated (on an old thread that shouldn't have been bumped) insurance requirements are quite high for established companies, so consider that. A minimum of $5m umbrella liability and all kinds of supplemental coverage is standard for us.
2-20 11:47
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