As an aviation professional who may be working independently, for a major enterprise, or for various clients of all sizes, you need a way to plan safe flights, collaborate with others, log your flights, and manage your equipment. You also want a complete record of your work to demonstrate your professionalism and experience to potential clients, insurers, and regulators. Regardless of your industry, every professional commercial UAV pilot must perform these essential actions:
With Skyward, you’ll be able to perform these essential functions, fly safely, and get the job done.
Skyward’s Airspace Map shows the different categories of airspace at the altitudes normally allowed for commercial UAV flights. It simplifies airspace rules so you can easily see where you’re clear to fly or whether an operation requires special airspace permission. The tabs to the left of the map explain how to obtain permission. A VFR sectional layer is available for our Business subscribers, which is especially helpful for communicating with airspace regulators. The Skyward Airspace Map updates data every five minutes to ensure that you always have the latest information such as recently published temporary flight restrictions.
Skyward makes it easy for you or a colleague to plan a flight in advance and share the details of an operation to other crew members and clients. An essential part of this collaboration is using the Skyward Airspace Map to make a visual plan of flight jobs.
On the Skyward Airspace Map, search for a job location and use the drawing tools to designate the area of your operation. Use the circle, pencil, rectangle, or polygon depending on the type of site or operation.
Use points of interest to show your crew where to fly, the rally point, and potential staging areas. For example, this wildlife survey entails photographing separate areas, three times per day, over the course of a week.
Mark hazards to avoid. Hazards are anything that could interfere with a flight job, including risks to the UAV, your crew, or any person or property in the area. The Skyward Airspace Map allows you to see and mark hazards in advance of the operation. These may include power lines, high-traffic areas, freeways, pedestrian paths, and playgrounds. Control risks by dealing with the hazards in your operations plan (for example, by blocking pedestrian access).
Then, share the planned flight with your crewmembers.
Flight logs are essential for any pilot regardless of the type of aircraft you fly. While some ground control stations automatically log flights for a specific aircraft, as a pro, you need a complete log that covers all the UAVs you fly. This allows you to:
You can also configure custom fields to help you record essential data or processes. Use the document library to attach any regulatory permits, landowner permissions, pilot licenses, or insurance policies to specific flights.
As you know, regulators can request to inspect your flight logs at any time. For example, in the U.S., commercial UAV operators must submit monthly flight logs, even if they haven’t logged any flights. Flight logs also show insurers that you are actively lowering risks and following safe processes. If you work at a major enterprise, you may also face internal flight logging requirements. With Skyward, you’ll have an accurate log of where, when, and the reason for each of your flights, as well as the aircraft and batteries that you used. You can also use the document library to attach work orders, permits, and land usage agreements to a specific flight job.
General operating manual & checklists
Traditionally, pilots have used checklists to ensure that procedures are properly performed before, during, and after a flight. This helps control errors and ensure safe, consistent processes. UAVs are aircraft and are no different. Many regulators and insurers will evaluate an aviation operator by checking that organization’s or person’s general operating manuals and operational checklists. With the Skyward Document Library, you can attach checklists to each flight to ensure that the same procedures are carried out each time.
Skyward helps you keep your aircraft airworthy whether you have one or a fleet. Manage inventory, maintenance schedules, report incidents, and track firmware updates for both drones and batteries with Skyward. Don’t take disciplined maintenance for granted. It’s one of the things that separates professionals from the rest: If you treat it like a toy, it is a toy.