Americas FAA

Leverage Logged Flight Hours to Prove Your Expertise & Gain Customers


An interesting idea from Skyward, I can already see one fatal flaw. They are going to let people add in their own previous experience.

We know there are already folks openly claiming 10,000 civil RPA flying hours which is pure BS. If you flew an hour a day every day those 10,000 hours would take 27 years to accrue.

I have been logging my RPA hours since 2008 and have not yet reached 500. That includes a 100 hour materials test for one design. The slow attribution of hours is quite simply due to the endurance of my platforms. The only one that can easily stretch its time in the air autonomous soars! I don’t fly my multi’s for longer than 10 minutes and lastly I don’t fly commercially.

I do not log any RC fun flying. Only stuff that I fly for development purposes or wildlife tracking.

Putting another hat on I have had a sailplane certificate since I was 16, have flown hot air balloons commercially and helicopters for fun ever since. I am just over 3000 hours total,its not much. That has taken me 32 years.

I do wonder what logging completely autonomous P4 mapping flights for instance will actually prove? You are logging the time you are watching a platform fly really. Perhaps not the place for this existential type of thinking.

When real pilots came to work for various places that I was in the frame for checking them rapid hours over little time would always be a red flag. Drone drivers are operators, not pilots. Oh here I go again.

Its a nice idea Skyward, personally I would like to just see hours logged since starting with your service.

I am afraid I have seen too many Capt Parker entries in log books over time and you are just creating a Billy Bullshitter section in your product.

Introducing Skyward flight badges, for individuals and organizations

We realized that it should be easy for our customers to share their expertise with the wider world. So we created two badges that Skyward users can embed on their websites and share with the world.

The personal badge aggregates all of the flight hours an individual pilot logs in Skyward across every organization they fly for, including historical flight hours. This is great for freelancers or contractors who may be a member of several different organizations. This badge is available to everyone with a Skyward Basic subscription (it’s free).

The organizational badge aggregates the flight hours logged by every pilot within a particular organization, including historical flight hours. If a pilot is a member of multiple organizations, the organizational badge only shows hours logged for that specific organization. This badge is available to any business with a paid Skyward subscription.

Sharing your flight hours is easy Make sure to enter your historical (pre-Skyward) flight hours in your Skyward account. If you have a Basic subscription, you’ll enter your own hours. If you run a business with multiple pilots, as well as a paid Skyward subscription, add each pilot’s historical flight hours to their individual pilot pages.

Why drone flight hours matter to prospective clients

Your flight hours, whether as an organization or an individual, tell prospective clients whether you have in-depth experience or if you’re still in the early stages of becoming a professional.

Last week, Andrew Dennison, COO of LIFT Technologies, told us that he looks closely at flight hours when he vets pilots for LIFT’s nationwide network of drone operators.

“We look for at least 50 hours of manned flight time and 30 hours of unmanned flight time,” he said. “These aren’t the cheapest pilots, but they’re safest because they know how to communicate within our national airspace.”

Logged flight hours not only show that you’re experienced, they also show prospective clients that you pay attention to detail and that you take regulatory requirements seriously. For most companies in most industries, these are a big deal. Drone service providers who aren’t detail oriented or who don’t care about regulations present too much of a risk for most of the companies and organizations hiring drone pilots today.

Whether you already have hundreds of flight hours or you’re just starting out, posting a flight hours badge to your website will show prospective customers and business partners that you run a transparent business, operate professionally, and have good systems in place.

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