Hi there –
First off, thanks so much for coming to my site. It really means a lot to me that someone would care enough to click on a Drone Launch link and even read the first sentence. So if you’ve made it this far you have some deep gratitude from me.
I want to kick this site off by telling people who I am, what Drone Launch is, and what you can expect in the future.
A little about me…
My name is David Young. I am a husband, dad, pilot, FAA certified Advanced Ground Instructor, drone enthusiast, CPA, and pizza lover. I spend a lot of my professional time as a forensic accountant working on white-collar crime cases, but the rest of the time (when I’m not hanging out with the fam) is usually spent on Drone Launch.
What is Drone Launch?
Drone Launch is an idea that came up while talking to dozens and dozens of drone company owners, realtors, photographers, and others looking to break into the world of UAVs. I had been helping several individuals and organizations with obtaining their Section 333 exemption from the FAA, and in the process realized the large burdens that all of the back office and administrative side of the business placed on the organizations’ ability to succeed (lets be honest, who gets excited when they hear the words compliance, insurance, or accounting?). A lot of this stuff takes time to dig around, find the right information, figure out what you have to do to get going, and make sure you are covering your all your bases to get your drone in the air without getting in trouble.
The goal of Drone Launch is to launch (see what I did there?) a family of websites all centered around helping drone businesses do more flying and do less of the other stuff.
There are a number painful (but necessary) things when it comes to operating in this field, whether its 333 exemptions/Part 107 waivers, a Remote Pilot Certificate, insurance, accounting, or anything else – we want to make all that OTHER stuff as simple as possible.
Drone Launch Academy is the first endeavor we are tackling. The goal here, first and foremost, is to give drone pilots and operators the education and knowledge they need to safely operate their drone and to pass the FAA knowledge exam required for the Remote Pilot Certificate (the license that will allow you to fly drones commercially). This is going to be the first hurdle for any company or individual looking to use a drone in their business, so we want to make sure we are there to help.
I know that most, of the study content for the knowledge exam will likely be available through the various FAA publications and other official sources, but honestly, most people don’t want to dig through all of that stuff to figure out what they need to know and study for the exam. Our goal is to provide a concise (but thorough), fun, and engaging video study course that will equip drone pilots to pass the FAA exam and operate safely in the National Air Space.
We will likely offer a broader variety of courses in the future, but we are keeping it focused for now. The site is scheduled to be live sometime in the early fall.
What To Expect in the Future
We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves to where we sacrifice quality for quantity of service offerings, but here are a few things we are planning on implementing in the future if all goes well. (And as a note, I’m not planning on doing all of this by myself – that would be close to impossible and the quality would probably be terrible, being spread so thin. Definitely going to build out teams for each one of these.) If you have an idea (other than what is below) for how we could help make your business and/or drone operations easier, please let us know! We love hearing from people.
One of the most common questions I was asked when helping companies with 333 exemptions was “where do I get insurance?” I think its obvious that insurance is going to be a huge part of the market for commercial drone operations. We want to be able to provide businesses as much of a one-stop-shop as possible so we can make their lives a little easier. We are working on setting up some partnerships in this arena, but this option likely won’t be live for several more months.
I am a CPA by trade, so this one comes naturally. Numbers are so important to business success, but are very often left to the end or pushed down the priority list. Some people avoid numbers at all cost, but having an up to date and accurate set of books is critical – or else you are really just driving blind. We plan on offering a cloud-based, integrate accounting solution for our customers so they can see where their business stands at any moment in time. Also, since we are fully immersed in the drone industry in every other aspect, we can understand and appreciate the business challenges and situations that organizations are dealing with.
Essentially the 333 exemption process is being replaced by a “waiver request” process, for UAVs under 55 pounds. So if you are a company and you want to do something not allowed by 14 CFR Part 107 (the regulations that govern commercial drone use) like fly your drone over people, operate your drone from a moving vehicle, fly at night, etc, you will have to ask for special permission from the FAA since these things are currently prohibited in under the standard rules and limitations. This service offering is also likely several months off. We want to see how this process pans out and how the FAA will be handling requests.
That’s all for now…
Keep checking back to read up on the latest developments from Drone Launch.