Over the summer, we started to notice a trend. Our customers who are sole pilots or who have small businesses told us that their biggest challenges are finding jobs and marketing themselves. Our customers who are bigger businesses and major corporations said that their biggest challenge is finding qualified pilots.
We formed a hypothesis: The issue isn’t one of supply (qualified pilots) or demand (companies that want to hire them), it’s that they didn’t have an easy way to find each other. And Skyward’s Pilot Finder was born.
- Every Skyward user can opt to publish a profile—even those with free Pilot accounts.
- Your profile allows you to showcase your areas of expertise and the services you provide, as much information as you’d like.
- Show your total and historical flight hours.
- Include your qualifications (for example, Part 107 certificate, sport pilot’s license, or an SFOC).
- Also includes: a profile photo, your insurance coverage, business address, and service area (ie, how far you’re willing to travel).
Then, Business and Enterprise subscribers who need pilots for a one-off project or to build a far-flung network of qualified pilots-on-call can use Skyward to search for and contact pilots through Skyward. You can specify location, select desired services, and even filter by drone manufacturer. Skyward will display a list of organizations that meet your criteria so companies can compare drone service providers by flight hours, experience, insurance coverage, and more.
We were delighted when two of our very first Skyward customers, Sergio Montañez and Justin Moore (who kindly provided the image at the top), were also two of the first pilots to publish their profiles. Here’s a bit about what they do and examples of their profiles.
MicroCopter Professional Services, Inc.
Name: Sergio Montañez
Location: Caribbean, Puerto Rico
In business: 2 years
Specializing in: mapping and aerial filming
I’m a little kid for every new feature and application, especially in drone controls and safety. Skyward is a must to keep track of a serious UAV operation. It reduces human error and elevates performance with the tracking and management features that keeps a company’s compliance up to date and organized. Now with the new Pilot Finder we feel great comfort that Skyward has client best interest right on track. — Sergio Montañez
Airborne Aerial Photography
Name: Justin Moore
Location: San Antonio, Texas
In business: Moore Photography & Design has been in business since 1999, and Airborne Aerial Photography is a brand of that photography company.
Specializing in: Drone mapping and photography for construction/architecture firms, using drones to support conservation (mapping, heron rookery monitoring, counting animals), high-end aerial photography/videography to help companies and organizations tell more compelling stories about who they are
I’m excited by the advances in drones themselves (collision avoidance, portability, etc.) and the mind-blowing and increasing number of different ways you can use drones!
Skyward has been an outstanding partner from day one. The web app provides an easy-to-use, attractive design that makes it enjoyable to plan/execute/log our flights. Reviewing Skyward helps us see a summary of our success and flight areas help us have detailed discussions on safety before we ever start a motor on the drone. We’re excited about the new Pilot Finder function since we know that much larger, nationwide drone service providers will be using this feature for contracting drone work with companies like ours in cities across the country. —Justin Moore
The cover photo at the top also comes courtesy of Airborne Aerial.
How Pilot Finder Works
Say you work for a major corporation based in Omaha, Nebraska. Your real-estate division has requested high-quality videos of some luxury properties in, for our purposes, Puerto Rico and San Antonio. It would be expensive to fly your own drone pilots and equipment to the Caribbean and Texas—but you need to get in touch with pilots whom you can trust to not only fly safely and meet corporate standards, but also to provide first-class deliverables.
- In Skyward, click Find Pilot in the main navigation. There, you’ll be able to search for location, as well as services offered and types of aircraft.
- Select your criteria and search to view the results.
For the Puerto Rico project, you can see that MicroCopter Professional Services has 488.4 hours—an impressive amount of logged flight time. Next, you can view MicroCopter’s profile and even send them a message.