Despite the rapid rise of drones in across multiple professional sectors. Many still have the perception that flying a drone is like “flying a toy”.
There are many ramifications to this mindset, one it can make people not want to pay for your services or not pay much for your services (“Why pay you x amount when I can conscript my millennial child to do it?”). However, this can be remedied by appearing to your drone job in professional attire.
But what is drone professional attire?
As you could imagine drone pilots are not going to show up for a job in a suit and tie, nor should they show up in basketball shorts.
Below are a couple of worksite recommendations you can do to make yourself appear more professional.
Part 107 Lanyard
This is a simple tool to display your value and professionalism. By having your part 107 visibly show around your neck it clearly shows that you are a licensed drone pilot and shows that you are a professional and you take your trade seriously.
I think a safety vest is a great tool for many reasons. For one it projects professionalism and importance. Even though most prosumer drones are under 15 pounds, a drone that size falling hundreds of feet from the sky is a massive safety hazard, so in essence, you are operating heavy equipment.
In addition, wearing a safety vest is great for the drone operators safety. When flying a drone often times an operator has to move around to keep the drone in their line of sight or to gain a better angle when flying in close conditions. A highlighted safety makes the operator to identify drivers and moving objects. In addition, it keeps most people at bay from barraging you with questions.
Khaki Pants or Cargo Shorts
Because the majority of drone work is done outside, khaki pants or cargo shorts provide both utility and professionalism.
Hard Case or a Case with a Strap
Let me start by preferencing that I do not recommend bringing your drone to a job site in a backpack, it just screams unprofessional. By arriving with a professional case you display that your work and equipment mean something to you. Drones like DJI’s Inspire Series comes with a professional hard case. But drones such as the DJI Mavic and Phantom series come without a box or the box is styrofoam. Whatever the case is (no pun intended), I would suggest getting a case with a handle or a strap that goes around one shoulder.
Insurance Policy Bounded
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but when working with a client for the first time it is best to have and show a printed copy of your insurance policy. This little tactic will show your client that, while you may love flying drones, you are a professional who seeks to protect both parties from potentially damaging liabilities.
If you plan on drone missions for a real estate or taking off on private property I highly recommend getting a property release. Clients will take you more seriously when you have them sign a property release.
More importantly, it gives you a legal cover, being that I am not a lawyer, I can still suggest that it is better to have a signed property release than not.
The app Legal Flyer is a great solution for property releases.
Attire for Industrial Grade Projects
The goal of many drone pilot is to work on industrial projects such as land surveying, engineering, construction, etc. (they pay well and offer more reoccurring work possibilities).
However, these worksites will not let you step foot on the site without proper safety attire, this includes a hard hat, steel toe boots, the aforementioned safety vest, and sometimes safety goggles.
On-Site Professional Mannerisms.
Before flying your drone at a new site, ALWAYS get in contact with the person in charge. This shows respect to your client and makes sure that you do not startle the people you are supposed to be working with.
Also, try not to fly erratically. If you fly in a way that makes people feel uncomfortable and unsafe, there’s a good chance that they will not call you back or refer you to their friends.