The spread of coronavirus probably means that you’re now more likely to stay at home. But for drone pilots, the stay at home movement doesn’t have to be synonymous with boredom.
In fact, quite the opposite. Now, more than ever, there’s tons of free drone content online that’s likely to keep you busy and entertained for a long time to come.
If you’re like me, then you probably always want to feel busy and productive. The stay at home movement has been a great time to relax in a lot of ways as my “normal life” has been on pause. But I’m not any less productive — in fact, I feel more productive! That’s all thanks to new content I’ve discovered online. I’m learning new skills, gaining new insights and trying new stuff! And best of all, most of it is free. For drone pilots, now is the best time to broaden your skillset — it’ll likely earn you more money or make you more marketable in the future job market anyway.
So if you’ve made the pledge to stay at home in the wake of coronavirus, here’s the best free drone content online to keep you active and entertained.
Learn how you can use your drone to make money in the roofing industry through a free course:
The team at Drone Launch Academy, which created an online training program called Aerial Roof Inspection Pro, is now offering a condensed version of the course for free. The new, 70-minute training teaches you how drones are shaping the roofing and solar industries — and how you can profit from it.
For those of you who decide you want to explore beyond the 70-minute video session, Drone Launch Academy is offering the full version of the course at a huge discount.
Purchase by Tuesday, and you’ll save $150, plus they’ll throw in a free t-shirt and a free, printed and spiral-bound copy of the Aerial Roof Inspection Pro Workbook.
Watch past Interdrone keynotes and sessions
Attending a drone conference can be expensive. But Interdrone just released a bunch of videos recorded during past conferences online, and many of the best are free (though others are behind a paywall). Interdrone’s “Launchpad” site has dozens of free sessions to watch, including the 2019 keynote from Hover UAV Founder Jackie Dujmovic, and a 2018 talk from Judith Sherman, the Chief of HIV and AIDS at UNICEF Malawi, about how she built out the first ever drone corridor in Malawi to transport lab samples for early infant diagnosis of HIV.
“All public safety sessions will always remain free, as Interdrone adheres to the philosophy that ‘safety can’t be proprietary,’ an Interdrone spokesperson said.”
On that note, Interdrone 2020 is still on for this year, scheduled for August 18-20 in Dallas, Texas.
Learn something to augment your drone skillset
Wish you knew more about computer programming? How about entrepreneurship? Robotics?
Dhawal Shah, founder of the online course aggregator Class Central, compiled a list of more than 400 classes that are free, online. And these aren’t just any classes. These are offered by the eight Ivy Leagues.
Drone people might be especially interested in these ones:
- Robotics: Aerial Robotics from University of Pennsylvania
- Introduction to Engineering and Design from Brown University
- Introduction to Computer Science from Harvard University
- Exposing Digital Photography from Harvard University
- Entrepreneurship: Launching your Start-Up from University of Pennsylvania
Watch any of the FAA’s free drone webinars
Last spring, the Federal Aviation Administration launched a free webinar series. It was originally held live, allowing viewers to submit questions in real-time.
But the FAA has made those webinars free to watch online through their YouTube page. Most of the webinars run from 30-60 minutes in length, covering topics including:
- Deconstructing NOTAMs: How do they Affect Drone Operations?
- Where am I? How to Identify what Airspace you are Operating in
- What is Class E Airspace and how do I Operate in it?
- Drone Operations over People
They’re also a great way to learn answers to tricky questions in the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate exam, as many of the topics addressed in the webinar relate to questions on the test (passing the Part 107 test is a requirement to be able to operate a drone commercially in the U.S.).
Watch the FAA’s trove of free drone webinars here.
Get lost in another world with hours of drone footage
Drones have the magical ability to transport you to other places, whether it’s a beautiful beach or maybe even a deserted Disneyland.
But some drones can take you to places that might actually be magical. Drone video sharing site and online community AirVuz has rounded up aerial videos of places that have also served as the sets of famous movies and TV shows. For example, wondering where Daenerys married Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones? It’s actually Malta’s Azure Window — and AirVuz can take you on a virtual aerial tour of that spot, and hundreds of other fantasy worlds like the Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible filming locations.
To explore more, visit the AirVuz site and click the drop down labelled “Collections.”
Join a new drone community (or make a new virtual friend!)
While you should always read Drone Girl, there’s always time to read some of my friendly competitors (now, more than ever there’s time!). I love to read DroneLife. Women should consider joining the Amelia Dronehart Facebook group (sorry guys, it’s ladies only!).
I also have a list of some of my favorite individual drone experts to follow on social media in 2020, whom I’m sure would love to hear from you. And yes, please follow me too via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
How are you spending time as you stay at home to help stop coronavirus? Leave a comment!
Take a free course in real estate and/or mapping with drones
The Drone Trainer, an online drone training course, has made two of their courses — Real Estate Drone Training and Drone Mapping 101 — free for one week between now and Thursday, April 30.
The courses typically go for $199 each.
As long as you sign up by April 30, you’ll receive one week of free access. There’s no cards or any kind of trial payment required to signup.