Has PrecisionHawk Got the Series D Doldrums?

Looks like PrecisionHawk could use a mission of mercy from the folks downtown at Mitch & Murray.

Apparently, the closers are underbidding the jobs that ultimately get mismanaged in the field. I spoke with the CEO personally after the story about the last round of layoffs. I offered the you-have-to-bite-the-bullet-and-bring-in-the-hired-guns advice, but I guess that fell on deaf ears, since I was assured that it was all well in hand.

For years, rumors have been hitting the city desk about the PrecisionHawk running aground. Lancaster and LATAS no worky; and sure, that is a given, but I’m going to throw you carpetbagger-show attendees a bone: Any of these high-flying companies that have a yearly reboot-and-pivot party have got no dinero in the black to show for their efforts. If they have money, it is more than likely VC fund mismanagers making bad bets with someone else’s money. There are a few companies who’ve gotten taken, but they aren’t willing to concede being victims to the con just yet.

Celebrity CEO Mike Chasen is rumored to still hold the title of Captain of the Damned. However, it’s held just in name, since the decision-making will be left to a handful of people, including one from the Chapeau Rouge. Not removing said celebrity CEO is also a play, I would imagine, to save the expensive position as Chairperson of the FAA DAC, but that move won’t do much to diminish the warm glow of the dumpster fire.That chairperson position must be cursed since everyone associated with it loses his or her job.

Third prize is “You’re fired.” –

Well, not technically; as of Friday’s happy Labor Day call, “You’re now a ‘temporary’ employee.” Nothing says you’re part of the family like a nice 1099:

  • PrecisionHawk pilot meeting screenshot

This is in no way schadenfreude; I do not believe this is good for the industry, at least in the short term. For the next six months, I’ll be hearing about how everyone was blindsided since PrecisionHawk was the only bright spot in the industry even without having Obama as a golfing buddy. The demise of 3DR and Airware was darn near unbearable, both being failures for those caught flat-footed–as well as those who had to hear about it.

One of my favorite sob stories involved a Chinese 3DR investor. I asked how he felt: “Not so good!” I gave him credit for admitting to the folly, especially since he knew about the factory- in-Mexico idea (aka the Tijuana drone factory). I said, “You’re Chinese, and you should have known better.” He responded, “I know!” At the same venue, I offered Chris Anderson the chance to tell his side of the towering-inferno story, but he quipped, “You’re not fair.” “Well, I said, “there is always the Dronegirl, if you are looking for the nice softball stuff.”

I have a prediction that when the ship goes down, we will see Diana Cooper be graciously offered a policy job at DJI, working under the benevolent Droneflaws, aka Uncle RICO. We wouldn’t want to lose any participants for the Women in/who/and Drones luncheon. Note:

You must have a pass to get into this inclusive event, located in the Amazon Room.

My advice to anyone looking to get into drones is to go all in now, laying down about $20 to $30 million to carry the interest on the $75 million already invested until the AUVSI-forecasted $82 billion Cadillac Eldorado comes in.

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Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).