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USA Dronebase, Skycatch, etc. - anyone willing to share their experience?

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I'm interested in the array of drone pilot dispatching services and whether anyone has any experience working for them as a pilot.

My initial impression is that they offer a coherent product to the customer at a low price, but they push the 333, COA, insurance, etc out to the pilot - who is essentially a subcontractor. Running a business, paying insurance, having a Pilot license, having a UAS, a 333 and COA is a lot of work to give away 10-20% net revenue on these jobs... Not to mention your customer relationship.

But I'm open to people's experiences. How is it working jobs for those companies?
 
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I've been wondering the exact same thing.. Any insight from someone who has done work for any of these guys would be much appreciated!!
 
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Same here promised loads of work by email if signed up - so far over the last 6 months received none
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Yep, about 3 months for me. I started checking into getting my own FAA 333 exemption, kinda pricey and I found out yesterday that you are required to have at least a sport pilots license to even apply... So that's another thing to tack on to the list..
 
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Good afternoon all. I took a look at the website and this is my opinion. They are third party broker with no responsibility or liability in the event of an accident. Remember the FAA will investigate you and your operation. A third party broker would have to be addressed in civil court. It is my guess that the third party broker will make you sign paperwork stating that they are not responsible for any injury, damage or theft during the conduct of the mission. Another thing to think about is will the quote accurately reflect the actual time spent for planning, transportation to, execution of and expenses associated with the mission. That's just me........
 
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When I talked to the POC at Dronebase he said that I was basically a subcontractor and their 333 exemption applied to me as well. Also if I had an accident or crashed on a job that I was doing for them, their insurance covered me as far as liability... but after doing more research I find that hard to believe...especially since you are required to have a pilots license to be eligible for the 333... I have yet to be tasked with anything...going on 9 months now.... I think they just sign people up to make their clients think they have lots of drones across the country but they don't actually hand any work out. My thoughts anyway... like working for a gov't contractor... They like to have a bunch of employees with degrees that cover areas of contracts they can get or that will help them get more contracts or work...
 
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Did they make you sign a non-compete clause. Meaning that you can't fly for another company, or for yourself, during your commitment to them. Some companies do this to protect themselves from poaching and theft of concept.
 
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I have flown 3-4 missions with DroneBase and am happy with their system and approach. They do carry insurance that appears to cover me when operating on one of their contracts, but I've gotten my own anyway.

I like their online dispatching system, mission definition approach, and portal for submitting media back.

I do think that they undercharge (I've averaged about $450 per job, even when I have had to drive 3 hours to/from), and it would be impossible to make $ with them if that were the sole source of work.

It's early, and they're still establishing their total approach. But the early signs are positive.
 
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Did they make you sign a non-compete clause. Meaning that you can't fly for another company, or for yourself, during your commitment to them. Some companies do this to protect themselves from poaching and theft of concept.
No they did not when I signed up. You just have to pass an online test and provide your information to them.
 
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I have flown 3-4 missions with DroneBase and am happy with their system and approach. They do carry insurance that appears to cover me when operating on one of their contracts, but I've gotten my own anyway.

I like their online dispatching system, mission definition approach, and portal for submitting media back.

I do think that they undercharge (I've averaged about $450 per job, even when I have had to drive 3 hours to/from), and it would be impossible to make $ with them if that were the sole source of work.

It's early, and they're still establishing their total approach. But the early signs are positive.
Awesome :) Glad to gear something positive on the subject! :)
 
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I have been a certified Skycatch pilot for a while. They have sent leads but all were a waste of my time. Skycatch sells their backend processing services to us, which are steep. It could pay off if you get several jobs a month but then you have a month with no job and still have to pay them.
 
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I received one tasking from Dronebase via email but I usually don't check my email daily and sometimes weekly if I don't expect anything. I missed the tasking by 9 days because I was out of town and not checking my email. The tasking was sent to someone else I guess after I never responded but this was the first tasking in a one year period with no other contact than an email request. I contacted them and requested phone contact for the next tasking but I haven't heard from them since... it's been 3 months since then and I'm not holding my breath. He said I had to be patient...but one job a year isn't patience, kinda like sitting around waiting to win the lotto in my opinion.
 
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I have been contacted by DroneBase 2 or 3 times. I was not able to do the jobs as they were to close to local airports. One of these days I might get an offer that is flyable for me. They seemed very professional and responded to my questions quickly.
 
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I have been contacted by DroneBase 2 or 3 times. I was not able to do the jobs as they were to close to local airports. One of these days I might get an offer that is flyable for me. They seemed very professional and responded to my questions quickly.
I would agree as well, very professional and quick responses to questions.
 
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Dronebase has sent a fair bit of business our way, particularly to our Portland Or office. Always pretty easy to work with and they pay immidiately after the job is finished. Sometimes asked to bend the rules which we decline but all in all we probably average a couple of shoots a month with them. Pay is based on the job and we negotiate based on regulatory hassle involved/ travel time etc.
 

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