Three Considerations for Selecting a Drone Vendor

Based in Upstate New York, but flying missions across the United States, Grey Goose Graphics offers clients safe and effective video and photography services utilizing state of the art Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s). UAVs are commonly referred to as drones. We provide a wide array of drone services well beyond marketing and promotional activities.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) enable us to collect aerial data easily, much faster and less expensive than utilizing traditional fixed wing plane or helicopter.   Due to their size, they also offer the ability to get to places that were too costly or physically prohibitive in the past.

With multiple imaging capabilities, such as HD photography, HD video, infrared and thermal, our use of our Unmanned Aircraft Systems enables us to rapidly collect a vast array of aerial data. This data helps our clients meet regulatory requirements, make better decisions, save time and cost, and keep workers safe.

Over the last several months the use of UAS has been featured in news stories and presentations at a variety of tradeshows in numerous business sectors.  Unfortunately, many decision makers who may benefit from the use of this technology do not understand even the most basic considerations when contemplating the integration of UAS in their organizations.

We believe at a minimum three items should be considered and evaluated before you integrate a UAS into your project or program.

Risk

Any activity has a basic associated risk.  With walking, there is a risk of tripping or falling. With Driving comes the risk of a crash. Flying has a risk of a crash, but often has a more drastic outcome.  If you are considering the use of an UAS it’s safe to assume that you need an aerial acquisition of photometry, video, or other data which cannot be gathered by ground.  The use of the right UAS, in the right location, in the right flight conditions will significantly reduce the risk (and cost) of executing a similar mission utilizing traditional aircraft.  It is very important to understand that while risk is reduced, it is never eliminated and any actions or deliberate decisions should be made to reduce risk as much as possible while still obtaining the desired results.

Regulatory Compliance

One way to significantly reduce risk is to make sure your mission is compliant with regulatory requirements.  While some vendors, pilots and clients view UAS regulations as restrictive or excessive, they are in place to ensure a basic level of compliance with industry standards, safety regulations, and more.  Whether you own and operate your own aircraft or depend on a vendor to provide you with these services, it’s essential the aircraft and pilot trained and operating in compliance with FAA, regional and/or local regulations.  Should a mission go bad, (and they do…) you want to make sure everything was done correctly to prevent a possible bad outcome from getting much worse.  A pilot in command should welcome the request to produce proof of formal training, registration of an aircraft and certification to fly before they fly.  If they can’t… you should consider if they are putting you at additional risk by being out of compliance.

Vendor Experience

If you are the decision maker contemplating the use of a UAS, chances are you worked hard to get to where you are.  The last thing you want to is jeopardize your standing by making a bad decision.  If you had a brand-new car needing repair, you probably wouldn’t go to the guy who’s only automotive experience is reading a monthly magazine.  If you were having crushing chest pain you probably would not visit your local drug store for help, you would go to the hospital or cardiologist.  Why would you consider hiring the guy or girl flying a drone purchased from a local toy or hobby shop and flies around the neighborhood bothering the neighbor’s dogs?  A successful mission relies on so much more than flying… Project scoping, pre-flight planning, aircraft maintenance and readiness, weather analysis, ATC clearance, etc. are all part of the process.

Selecting the right vendor and integrating a UAS is directly related to the success of your mission.  While the use of UAS can provide you with an exceptional product, it’s not something that should be implemented without some consideration. If you are considering the use of a drone for your business, phone us today and talk with one of our experienced, FAA compliant pilots for a no obligation consultation.