Drone Pilot Teams, What you need to know about using a spotter or visual observer
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We are so yeah good day, don’t it in as they say in the Czech Republic or Hawaii, which literally means hello and welcome to another episode of ask drone. You, my name is Paul. My name is Rob. Thank you guys for hanging out with us in this episode.
Number 597 hope you have a fantastic day. I think we have another question that will interest a lot of you, maybe not everybody, but I think a lot of you have been curious about this subject and how to make the most of having a helper.
When you’re out flying kind of deal, having a visual observer, I’ll, be at the FAA says they’re, not required, but we’re going to give you some reasons why you probably should have One and is the focus of today’s, question which is brought to you by Sharkey.
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com and search CH AR K. I hey guys this is Chris from New England sky solutions in rocky hill Connecticut passed my 107 exam two weeks ago, super thrilled about that. One of the things I wanted to ask about.
I haven’t been able to find a podcast now. Maybe it happened a little while ago, or maybe I just miss it was about using spotters and B OHS. You know I’m thinking about in particular, doing roof inspections for like condo complex, we’ve, got about 24 acres, pretty flat ground a couple different buildings, something like that.
You know what I need a spotter for it or basically against it as a guide rule, do you have a size of a job where you bring in spotter and then you know how much you usually pay those guys and as their overhead as far as when Do I got to given them a 1099 or you know the different things that come with you working with a spotter or vo? You know I want to make sure I’m flying safe, but I also want to make sure that I can offer a competitive price and you know not have to deal with guys not showing up, or you know, finding reliable help thanks very much.
Flo, the podcast have a good one bye. Thank you very much for the question. Guys don’t forget you have a question. Astro neucom, like you heard today, whatever you’re thinking, somebody else is probably wondering about as well.
So don’t be shy. I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the juicy questions there’s, so many GC quite an example of a juicy quest. I want to hear one in your mind what an easy question C question juicy question: I don’t, know ill cur and I came up with a few on our way back from Colorado.
I was like man I just wish. Someone would ask this question on a podcast, and now I’m totally drawing blank excited. You should have been calling from the car. Oh, I got one of them because for a while, I said on the podcast, the inspire two didn’t have 360 degree rotational control on the app mm-hmm.
It’s, a specific setting and they changed the setting on tilt wheel, speed. It doesn’t, say tilt wheel, speed. It says some other stupid engineering term that no one would think of trying to sound smarter.
It was like tilt pitch something like acceleration. It was just like what so anyway, yeah there’s. Just so much more to that bird, but uh, okay, let’s! Talk about videos! Why should you have a vo here’s? A perfect example and a story from Florida from our good friend copter bill flying his drone with a friend.
In fact, the friend was actually flying copter Bill’s watching and they’re flying pretty far away. Arguably, beyond visual line of sight, but we’re, not here, possibly for argue semantics. Nor do we know how good their site is or how big the drone was something a lot of people.
Don’t ever bring up about beyond visual insight. Anyway, there is an equation by the way for distance brochures, so anyway not going to go there, but anyway, they’re flying along and they’re both looking at you.
No one’s. Looking at the screen, one’s looking at the drone, and then he goes back looking the screen. You guys know how it is anyway, out of nowhere. Ah, this Hawk comes in roben and grab that drone and takes it out of the sky, Wow right and and Bill’s.
Looking at the screen, copter Bill’s, looking to screen other guys looking at the screen and if they would have just had one guy watching the drone, the entire time, not just back and forth, but the entire time they would have saw that Hawk.
Coming up from behind, ah and buzzed right on out of there, if ever there was a case for a spotter, that is it. That is it, you never know, but drones. Do you really don’t know the possibility that oh honey, it’s pretty similar.
I could give you ten reasons why to have a spotter from my personal experience, wait, nine of which we can’t share on the air, and I would think okay, how much do you pay spotters well in regards to our last podcast, when you’re talking about setting up pricing for being on set.
You normally have what’s called the kit rental, which is 10 % of the price of your entire equipment, because productions pay for that, then they pay your rate per day and they normally pay a labor rate.
That labor rate is normally the cost for your vo. So if you’re flying on set, the set will pay the extra additional cost to your vo. If you are a personal production like let’s, take money, personal production and I wanted to hire ill Kerr or if I want to hire someone else.
You know we normally pay camera people anywhere from 250 to 500 a day on projects, but for a vo I would probably pay like 250 a day just because you know they’re there. They’re, helping you they’re, assisting they’re, communicating that’s on a pretty big job in which you’re, probably charging them, and I’m out there all day.
You’re out there all day and you’re, probably charging five grand a day. No. I ran today by like two grand a day two to three okay yeah, so it depends. You know, I know I forget what Vic pays Tom. His vo guy, they’ve, been working together for a very long time, but it really just depends on your relationship and what services they provide, because what? If, for example, ill Kerr and I are out filming – and he’s being vo and he’s, helping me get set up and then all of a sudden he’s, shooting something for the vlog, yeah sure yeah.
So then, you’re, adding different layers on to what they’re, being paid, probably also their ability to fly, because sometimes I would imagine they have their own controller well nothin, so you got a differentiate from a camera op in a Vo because your vo bro have his hands on any sticks, it’s, going to be a vo.
The only thing he should have in his hands is maybe a pair of binoculars as a point of extra safety. Now the FAA says that your vo is supposed to have unaided vision, but let’s, be honest. It’s, not going to hurt to have binoculars there.
So don’t fall back on having binoculars meaning fly so far away. You can’t see the drone without the binoculars. I’m, saying that you should just have binoculars as a backup, so you can see the hot coming.
Yes, okay, so is there any significant if any distinction between a vo and a spotter? Are they effective that’s? Anonymous visual observer and spotter right, we can have an Ebonics class, really quick, let’s.
Do it uh? No, I don’t think we should no. I just dunno. They don’t play those on the radio anymore, and then you see so fun wonder why women huh they’re funny: okay! Well your men, which I think it’s, a matter of funny or not funny.
I see it as making fun of both sides of the aisle, so that’s, why? I think it’s funny anyway. Alright, so you call it a spotter and I’m, going to call it a visual observer. Okay observer, that’s. Your internet order observe a little George Bush.
Ask that accent emotionally I’ll, be a philosophize err here up, okay or a Hippocratic sizer you don’t want to be that either. So give me a couple of examples of when you use a spotter using the bathroom in the morning who pourcel fu wants fly scratching their head right now.
Listen to this, I don’t know what they’re doing. I me hitting the stop button shaking their head um. I try to use a visual observer now more so than not because I used to be all about the single man operation and I think the FAA was even cognizant of that when they wrote the rules because having a vo is not required right.
But I do recommend it, especially in urban environments, especially with a lot of people involved, and if you’re filming events, don’t go anywhere without one or two spotters. It may even be good to have a visual observer and, like an assistant, hmm, okay, so yeah just remember guys.
You’ve got to train your spotters. You guys have got to talk about communication, so go out to the field and train go out and say you know one of the drills that I do with a lot of the students is. I have them fly out to the middle of field and I say: okay face the drone towards us.
Drone left right now go drone left, okay pilot right. You have to be able to distinguish right there, which way am i, which way? Am i moving the drone? What is my perception subject, meaning am i perceiving from myself or am i perceiving from the drone mm-hmm, so you have to set up these baseline communication factors with your video right away because you know like oh who is it? I think it says.
Oh, I’m, forgetting it was, I want to say it was Carrie, but it wasn’t Carrie. It was someone in Colorado who said you know what I do is are vos. They tell us three to one and at one we have to stop that.
We won’t hit the tree, but we just have to let off the sticks that may work for photographers who are always flying in GPS, but for videographers and cinematographers. That’s, not going to work yeah. I I can imagine, because you’re an attitude mode and that thing will just keep going right, keep going, yeah makes and oh so they do you care if they can fly.
I guess I’m kind of what you just described in some of that testing and training that you’re. Doing, I probably have better do a pretty good job on the sticks themselves. I would like them to have some familiarity, but it’s, not critical yeah.
If anyone who’s willing to learn is the perfect subject to learn anything sure make sense. I think, on that bombshell, that’s, going to do it for us today. If you have a question, go to ask Drona, calm, upload that question: if you haven’t become a member.
Why not do you not like having fun? I’m gonna leave you with that. My name is Paul. My name is Rob you’re, going to go to the drone.