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Commercial Operators Tool Roundup

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pyrate, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. pyrate

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    So you commercial operators
    I am seeing everything from real crappy logs to cloud subscriptions
    Web Based Maps for airspace and metars all the way paid apps with database subscriptions

    What are you commercial guys using to run operations from Logs to Planning?
    Not too worried about cost, but don't want to break the bank
    I am going to set up an LLC so all this can be business expense
     
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  2. Maxheadspace

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    Most of my planning is done with on-line resources before I depart, although I do use some apps. Here's a rough list of my prep materials.

    SkyVector: Free on-line site. Provides official sectionals I think for all the US. Also provides "DROTAMS", which they define as Drone NOTAMS. I can't live without this.

    FAA NOTAM search site: PilotWeb: Home

    METARs: METAR Reader | Free online METAR services Gives the actual METAR report, then translates it into plain English. Just plug in your local ICAO code.

    For air traffic monitoring, I use a handheld Uniden BC75XLT scanner set to local tower frequency, if needed.

    Insurance: Verifly. Pay by the hour with an iPhone/Android app.

    Apps: Hover - provides weather, but not METARs, includes map with restricted areas shown, no NOTAMs. The log feature of Hover is pretty good, and fills in some of the data automatically, like time, weather and GPS coordinates, but I would like to see a few additional items there for commercial use. B4UFly - the FAA app, I use just to double check I'm not in a restricted fly area. But it's not always reliable, as it will show every little touchdown point for an aircraft, like hospitals, and depict them as restricted airport airspace. (The FAA admitted their app had some issues.) And I'm not sure which app is correct, but the B4UFly app says I cannot fly at my house because I am in airport restricted airspace, but the Hover app says it's OK to fly because I am outside the airport restricted airspace. I live almost exactly five miles from a major international airport, so I understand the confusion, but one of these apps is giving me bad advice. I won't suggest any NOTAM or METAR apps because there seem to be a million of them out there for actual pilots.

    Is that the kind of info you're looking for? The biggest issue for me is restricted airspace. It's everywhere around my location, so I really have to be careful.

    Max
     
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  3. pyrate

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    yes exactly what I was looking for. I am really trying to decide on a logging solution.
    I saw one where you pay 8 bucks a month to have your logs in the cloud and offered planning. Offered individual vehicle logging. Even some Job and customer tracking.
    Lots of the logging apps just don't seem to offer much in the all in one solution.
    Thanks for sharing your info
     
  4. pyrate

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    this is the online log book
    then again, I may just write one in access
    DroneLogbook
     
  5. Maxheadspace

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    Hover is actually pretty good and it's free. Because of all the restricted airspace around me, I really need some fields depicting waivers and authorizations. For some I imagine customer data would be good. Otherwise Hover is pretty decent. And waivers and authorizations I can cover in the notes section, I suppose. Have been able to work around it so far.
     
  6. pyrate

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    I will check it out, most likely I am overthinking the logs
     
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  7. Bret

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    pyrate, this is a very good question as I am now looking for the same solution. Going in real soon for my Part 107 test (actually in two days) and would like to set up LLC also. Have you decided on anything yet as far as logging yet? Not to pry but what are you using for liability insurance, verifly? I appreciate your time! Thanks!
     
  8. David Boulanger

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    I'm using Verifly. Easy and pay as you go. Beats the $5000 a year quote I got to insure my 5 aircraft whether I'm flying or not.
     
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  9. pyrate

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    I have not decided on insurance yet. Need to get a quote from some folks before I decide. I may use verifly until I have enough work to just pay for insurance
    the good part about going with full coverage insurance is it also covers equipment loss
    Which could also be used as a business loss but I have not ran the numbers to know how I am going to structure that.

    As far as logging, I stil have not found anything that works the way I want it to. And since I have written full blown applications in Access I am leaning on writign my own.
    If I do that, I will gladly put it on dropbox somewhere for others to use. I write that stuff in my sleep and if it helps someone along then I will just call it a contribution to the community.
    I have the data structure done already.
    It will track
    Customers
    Jobs
    Locations
    Flight Logs
    Equipment
    Maintenance
    As soon as I clear my 107 I will start writing the UI and if you want I can share on dropbox with a few folks to get it the way we want it
     
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  10. David Boulanger

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    Attached is all I'm using at the moment. I also use mission planner to review a few important thing on how the aircraft is operating. I save the flight log on a USB stick if the FAA ever wants to see it. I'm sure the check list could have more on it. Comments?
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. Bret

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    That's pretty neat, pyrate! I was thinking of doing one in Excel, but the Access idea sounds really good. If you decide to share it, I definitely would like to take a look at it. As far as insurance goes, I was leaning towards Verifly for the time being. Until one gets a little business coming in to help sustain and/or offset the overhead expense, anyways.

    Here is something else I have been wondering out loud. Say you use Verifly for insurance on commercial jobs, would you use it also for flying recreationally or practicing? Or is something else out there for recreational use?
     
  12. David Boulanger

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    If you are a member of the AMA and following their guidelines for recreational flying you would have liability insurance as long as your not doing something stupid.
     
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  13. Bret

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    Thank you for replying. That helps a lot!!
     
  14. fliersguy

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    I've been using Kittyhawk for logging and checklists. It covers everything I need for free. I looked at Dronelogbook but found Kittyhawk to fit all the requirements you need. It has a number of checklist available, some even for Solo. The owners have been very responsive to feedback as well. I had an issue with logging maintenance and emailed support and within a few minutes had the owner fix the issue.
     
  15. pyrate

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    what is kittyhawk
     
  16. Jubalr

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  17. fliersguy

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    For 107 operations the items that a potential FAA inspection will be looking for are maintenance, logging of hours on components (batteries and motors specifically) and checklist compliance. Kittyhawk covers all those bases quite well. I have the app on my phone and tablet and on PC in my office. I syncs across all those platforms. If you want to upload logs and weather information I believe that gets into the paid portion of Kittyhawk.

    For insurance my commercial photography insurance has always been through Hill and Usher. I found them good to deal with and great coverage. I see they now have a commercial drone insurance package as well.

    Aerial Pak Insurance for Professional Remote Control Aerial Photographers from Hill & Usher Insurance & Surety, LLC
     
  18. pyrate

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    looks pretty nice, and I like the cloud sync.
    But I'm sort of tired of paying everyone a subscription.
     
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  19. fliersguy

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    As I mentioned above I use the free version. I feel like you, I pay enough subscriptions.
     
  20. pyrate

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    Thanks
    I may do the free version just for ideas.
    when I signed up for one of the other pay ones, I looked at the functionality and said man I can do better than that
    But im a sponge at the moment