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7 Things Companies Ask Before Hiring You as a Drone Operator

The use of drones has skyrocketed from being a new technology reserved for science lab research, to being an affordable equipment to many. This has allowed significant growth of drone solutions within different industries such as Agriculture, Construction, Media, Public Safety and Telecommunications.

As a result, there is an attractive new career path for qualified drone pilots.

Companies who conducts drone projects such as aerial data gathering would be looking for drone pilots to fulfill the jobs. The first thing the company would do is to evaluate whether you are right for the job. Of course, they would have various methods and questions for evaluation, here are some questions they might ask to decide which drone pilot operator they should hire:

1. What certification do you have that permits you to operate a drone commercially?

Why do companies ask this question? In other countries, you need to be certified to fly a drone, but this is not the case in Malaysia yet. However, as responsible drone pilots, you would need to ensure you use your drone correctly and responsibly. You would also need to understand and adhere to Malaysian regulations regarding drone restrictions as well as permits that you need to apply for specific jobs.

As there is no certification and permits in Malaysia, companies would look for Equipment Certification of the product that they have purchased to provide peace of mind. As DJI has more 90% market share in the Commercial Drones market in Malaysia, companies would be more confident if the drone pilot they engaged are certified to use DJI products.

We highly recommend you have sound knowledge of restrictions in Malaysia, as your response will help the company gauge if you are a professional suitable to conduct drone projects.

2. What previous experience as a drone operator qualifies you for this project?

When using drones to carry out aerial work in any project, it is important that the company make the right hire so that the project is successful and carried out safely. That is why you need to make sure you can meet the company’s specific project requirement. Showcase some excellent examples of previous work, if possible provide previous customer reviews or references.

3. Do you carry out flight safety risk assessments?

Prior to any commercial drone flight, it is important that a drone pilot prepares in advance in order to mitigate any potential risk. It is essential that this is done before flying in order to provide assurance that drone flight will be safe. Prepare example of an assessment carried out for any previous work or flight. A qualified drone pilot would be able to do a risk check and assess risks from a drone operators point of view.

4. Is it really safe?

You cannot underestimate the importance of this question, due diligence is essential when flying in any populated area, areas with a large amount of general public footfall or any type of restricted or controlled airspace so it is wise to double check everything in case you overlook something.

The company about to hire a drone pilot will expect you to answer a simple check such as if the project is in a restricted or controlled airspace zone. If it is within any kind of controlled airspace make sure you know how to acquire the necessary permission to fly and provide documented proof of “permission granted” before the date of the flight. A professional drone pilot would know what are the permissions required to fly.

5. What kind of equipment do you use / is familiar with?

The main reason companies ask this question is to ensure that you are familiar with the company’s equipment or if you have your own equipment to deliver results require for projects.

For example, if the project requires aerial mapping, do you have aerial mapping equipment required to deliver to the company’s specific requirement? These days it’s not just cartographers who need to produce maps. Civil engineers, farmers, miners, land agents and many others use aerial maps generated by drones to improve business productivity and efficiency.

You would need to be well-versed on various drone sensors and drone sensing technology equipment as you would need to advice the client on equipment needed to deliver the results they need.

6. Can we have a contract?

Designed to protect both parties in the business transaction, a contract could turn out to be really important to you, the company and the aerial imagery or data gathering project. No one likes to involve more paperwork but having a contract could be essential if something goes wrong and a dispute arises or if the delivered results are below expectation. It is surprising how many drone pilots and companies carry out work without contracts. To avoid unforeseen litigation, it’s also very important that any parties required to give permission for property fly-overs are listed in the contract and that their signature is obtained. Putting this information in writing helps to protect both the company and the you from liability.

When you get around to thinking about all of the potential risks and rules of law it seems obvious that everything should be in writing prior to any flying taking place.

7. When do we start?

A simple and obvious question. Essentially, they are asking you how busy are you? And can you fit them in? Companies would like to know this in advance so that any preparatory work can be undertaken in advance. Confirming a booking for the duration of the project will be beneficial for you and the company.

Drone Academy Asia is supported by DJI – the world leader in drone technology. The academy leads the drone revolution in Malaysia through the delivery of world-class drone education and innovation to a wide spectrum of industries.

Contact us today to acquire the skills and knowledge required to kick start a career doing commercial drone projects!


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