PILOT FAQ

We are constantly updating our FAQ. Thank you for all the feedback.

Most Frequently Asked Questions
***Mavic + Phantom 4 Pro owners please make sure to take extra rows of images for your 360 Pano (0-30-60-80-90 degrees) due to the smaller field of view compared to the Phantom series.***
***You can submit a Pano mission when images are "in process". Just make sure the status of the images are fully uploaded***


Can you explain how a Pano Mission works? 

  • A Pano mission has a very simple shot list and we will attempt to sell the assets to the customer (broker/agent) that is assigned to the property or asset. A Pano Mission does not have a guaranteed payout. The shot list includes a 360 Panorama and Beauty Shots. See example demo video here. Pilots will not know how much they are getting paid for a Pano Mission. Pano Missions were designed to only take about 10-15 minutes in the air based on over hundreds of comments + feedback from pilots in the original beta. Our platform does the auto image stitching. Click Here To Watch Training Video. Additional Trouble Shooting here.
  •  
  • You do not need to shoot from the property. We advise that you take off from a safe, public area. We view this as equivalent to taking a picture from the sidewalk or a Google Street Car taking images to make Google Street View.
     
  • If a Pano is sold, pilot will receive 50% of the commission. We pull these properties that are being sold/leased from a variety of public and private sources.
     
  • We suggest shooting on a day + time with optimal sunlight and reduced shadow to showcase the property, its features, and the surrounding area.
     
  • If you come across a property that is already sold or off the market, please let DroneBase know so we can update our records to pilots@dronebase.com

How do I upload and why is my Pano stuck in review/processing?


  • You can upload the images (jpg format) and videos (mp4 or mov) into the DroneBase dashboard. Once all assets are processed, there should be a visual thumbnail signaling that the assets are processed. Once you submit, our processor will auto-stitch the Pano. It is vital that you follow the image capture directions. We review + approve Panos within 1-2 business days; however for Panos that break or come out strange, the review process takes much longer as we try and salvage + fix it before rejecting. This is a very manual process on our end. Please be patient.

How is the likelihood of a payout for Pano missions determined?

  • It is a probability a Pano Mission will generate revenue once completed (sold to a customer). We are building an algorithm around this based on a variety of factors such as price point, days listed, etc. This will over time become more accurate with the more info.

What is a Client Mission (how is it different than a Pano Mission)? 

  • A Client Mission is requested by a customer and has a guaranteed payout as long as the mission requirements are fulfilled. There is more of a complex shot list; but most jobs take about 1 hr on site. You do not need to do any post production. These are only visible on the pilot dashboard if you receive a specific notification. Pilots will receive notifications when Client Missions are requested by customers in their area with all the information necessary including the payout amount + location. Client Missions can range from real estate shoots, construction updates, roof inspections, etc. 

Do I need a 333 or to pass my Part 107 test to fly on DroneBase in the US?

  • To get paid in the USA, you will need to input your information within your pilot profile. You can read more about FAA regulations here. If based outside of the United States, input your respective permit/license during sign up. For pins that are near Airports, please follow all rules and regulations. 
 

What type of drone do I need?

  • You must own and operate a Mavic, DJI Phantom 3, Inspire 1 or an equivalent/better drone. Your drone must be able to take geo-referenced, 12MP images that have accurate latitude/longitude and altitude recordings. No-fish eye distortion. 4k preferred. Make sure your gimbal is set + level (no slants). 

 

Basic Signup + Equipment + Dress Code Requirements

How old do I need to be?
  • You must be 18 years of age or older and able to present a valid government-issued ID to fly on our platform.


How much flight time should I have?
  • Since you’ll be flying for customers, you’ll need to beyond beginner level of flying.

Do I need a drone? What type of drone do I need?
  • ​You must own and operate a DJI Phantom 3, Inspire 1 or an equivalent/better drone.
     
  • ​Your drone must be able to take geo-referenced images that have accurate latitude/longitude and altitude recordings.

Do I need to register my drone?
  • If you are in the US, you are required to register your drone for commercial purposes if above 0.55 lbs. See link here.
     
  • If international, please follow your respective regulations.

What are the drone camera settings?
  • Your drone’s camera must be able to take at a minimum 12MP images and 2.7k video or higher. 4k Preferred. No fish-eye distortion. Gimbal must be operating correctly to maintain flat horizons.
     
  • If you have a hand-held camera, DSLR quality is also preferred (15MP and up). Ground and exterior photos are sometimes requested.

How many batteries do I need?
  • At a minimum, you should carry 3-4 batteries per drone. Flight times may vary depending on scope of a mission.

Are there any dress code requirements while on site?
  • Pilots are requested to be professional and courteous.
     
  • Since pilots may potentially meet customers on site, we recommend that pilots wear closed toed shoes, pants, and a collared shirt. Do not wear flip flops, t-shirts or shorts. Do not have heavy logos on your clothing or self-branding. All jobs are done under the DroneBase brand.

Where are you located? Do you operate in my state or country?
  • We are headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
     
  • We operate across the US and internationally and have a network of pilots across the world.

I’m trying to signup but the submit button isn’t working.
  • You must submit a valid address recognized by Google Maps.

Do you recommend any flight apps to help me fly?
  • There are currently some really great 3rd party apps available; however we are currently not recommending any of them. We recommend that you use the manufacturer’s primary flight app.

Do I need to sign a contract?
  • By signing up with us, you are accepting the DroneBase Terms & Conditions. 
     
 

Commercial Drone Licenses/Permits + Insurance

Do I need a 333 or to pass my Part 107 test to fly on DroneBase?

  • We recommend that you review your local/national drone regulations and commit to following your requirements for commercial drone flights.
     
  • You can still sign up without a valid permit/license and fly with us without being paid.
     
  • To get paid in the USA, you will need to input your information within your pilot profile. You can read more about FAA regulations here. If based outside of the United States, input your respective permit/license during sign up. For pins that are near Airports, please follow all rules and regulations. 


Do I need to have my own insurance?

  • It is recommended that you provide your own insurance. Typical minimums include $1 Million in General Liability. We may ask for your Certificate of Insurance. 


 


 

Photo + Video Setting Standards
 

What format of photos should I capture?
  • JPG format, 12MP standard, 4:3 ratio, geo-referenced (lat/long/altitude).
     
  • We find that auto-exposure has too many issues in Panos.
     
    • You may need to use manual exposure and set your white balance depending on the day light (sun or clouds). Set it based on the brightest point. Auto-exposure tends to change the exposure of each image tile, thus you will have multiple tiles with different exposures. 

What format of videos should I capture?
  • MP4 or MOV format, 2.7k and up, 30 frames per second. Preferably 4k.

What is the best time of day to shoot for DroneBase?
  • We recommend to shoot when the sun is high to showcase the surrounding area. In general, around 11am - 1pm.
     
  • Try to avoid heavy overcast or large shadow effects coming from clouds; however customers may request certain days and times.
  • Additionally, try to avoid heavy shadows on the front of the property.
 

Ownership of content + self promotion

Can I self promote what I take for Dronebase missions?

  • Unfortunately no. All content created via a DroneBase mission, collectively called the “Work Product” becomes the property of DroneBase and DroneBase’s customer. See DroneBase terms when you signed up.
     
    •  We also operate more as a service from a customer standpoint versus an open marketplace (ex. Craigslist or AirBnB).
      • If you are assigned a Client Mission, you will be introduced as a DroneBase pilot. We ask that you do not self-promote your own brand at this point.
      • Do not provide your own self-branding or personal company branding.

         

 

 

Travel, Safety, No Fly Zones, and Permission

Do I need my own car to travel to locations?

  • You will need your own mode of transportation.
     

How far do I have to travel?

  • We will only alert you of Client missions within your specified radius.
     

Do I get paid for travel expenses?

  • You will be responsible for all expenses incurred when traveling for missions.
     

What if conditions are unsafe or in a no fly zone?

  • Safety is our number one priority. If conditions are unsafe, please adjust flight plan or do not fly, then immediately contact DroneBase.
     
  • Observe the “rules of the air” and follow all standards set by your respective country/region.
     

Do I have permission to fly a location?

  • You will have permission to fly a specific location for Client missions.
     
  • For Pano missions, fly in front of property boundaries over the public area. We liken this to Google Street View or taking an image of a location via your smartphone.


What if there is an obstruction to where I can’t see the property in frame at the required height limit? (e.g. Tree or Power Line)

  • We recommend that you adjust your drone height and distance from the property or asset so that it can be captured in frame. It is important to remember that the purpose of these images is to showcase the property in its best light.
     

If I crash my drone on a Dronebase mission, will you reimburse me?

  • We are not liable for any damages to your drone system. Please ensure that you are flying within visual line of sight. Adjust shot list or flight path as needed.


What if security or police stop me?

  • For Client Missions, you have permission to fly from the owner/agent of the property or asset. State what you are doing (ex. Making a marketing video for the owner).
     
  • If security/police are insistent on you stopping, certainly oblige and contact us immediately: pilots@dronebase.com or call the specific DroneBase employee overseeing the mission.
     
  • Do not escalate the situation. At times, many local jurisdiction are unaware of federal drone regulations even though you are a qualified pilot.


     

 

 

Pilot Dashboard

Can I search for Client Missions that have guaranteed payment or only the possibility of being paid if a photos/panos sell?
  • Currently, there is no way to search for Client Missions. You will be notified about potential Client Missions directly.

     

 

 

 

Client Missions & Pano Missions
 

What are the differences between a Client and Pano mission?

  • A Client Mission is requested by a customer and has a guaranteed payout as long as the mission requirements are fulfilled. There is more of a complex shot list; but most jobs take about 1 hr on site.
     
    • Pilots will know how much they are getting paid for a Client Mission.
       
    • Can I search for a Client Mission?
      • We will assign the job to you. These are not searchable.
         
  • A Pano mission has a very simple shot list and we will attempt to sell the assets to the customer that is assigned to the property or asset. A Pano Mission does not have a guaranteed payout. The shot list includes a 360 Panorama and Beauty Shots. See example demo video here.
     
    • Pilots will not know how much they are getting paid for a Pano Mission. Pano Missions were designed to only take about 10 minutes in the air.  If a Pano is sold, pilot will receive 50% of the commission. Customer pricing will vary.
       
    • Am I allowed to shoot this? Do I need permission?
      • You do not need to shoot from the property. We advise that you take off from a safe, public area. We view this as equivalent to taking a picture from the sidewalk or a Google Street Car taking images to make Google Street View.
         
  • Where do you pull these leads from?
     
    • We pull these leads from a variety of sources that are publicly or privately available. These are for real estate transactions.
       
  • What is “likelihood for payout” and how is it calculated?
     
    • It is a probability a Pano Mission will generate revenue once completed (sold to a customer). We are building an algorithm around this.
       
    • If there is a location that seems off, please email pilots@dronebase.com with the Mission ID and Address.
 

Pilot Payments, Tax Forms + Volume of Work


How much do I get paid?

  • Payment will vary depending on the type of mission.
     
  • For Client Missions, you will know how much you will get paid ahead of time.
     
  • For Pano Missions, you will receive 50% of what the customer pays. Customer pricing will vary and a Pano Mission is not guaranteed to sell.
     

When will I get paid?

  • For Client missions, we pay you two business days after we receive and review the video/images.
     
  • For a Pano mission, we pay after a customer purchases the assets.
     

How do I get paid?

  • We pay via a service called Qwil via direct deposit for US domestic pilots.
     
  • We pay via Paypal for International pilots
     
  • If your country does not accept PayPal, we will work with you directly
     

How many jobs will I get?

  • Demand for Client mission in your area may vary depending on the needs of our customers and supply of qualified pilots.
     
  • Supply of Pano missions should be available in your pilot dashboard.
     

Do I receive a 1099 end of year?

  • If you are US based, we are required to provide you a end of year 1099 tax form if you have received $600 USD or more in a single calendar year. You will be able to input your W9 information via our payment platform.
     
  • To read more about the 1099-MISC form, see IRS link here.
     
 

DroneBase 360 Panoramas
 

What is a DroneBase 360 Panorama?

 

  • We take the aerial images and stitch them together to make an interactive Panoramic image.
     
Why does DroneBase want these Panoramas?
  • We have created technology for you to upload images that will create beautiful Panoramas, taking away the pain and hassle of manually stitching images together.
     
  • The Panoramas can then be used by potential customers to showcase a property.
     

How do I make a Pano for DroneBase?

  • Images must be in 4:3 ratio & jpg format.
     
  • There are 4 steps:
    1. You may need to use manual exposure and set your white balance depending on the day light (sun or clouds) if your auto-exposure is not correcting properly. Auto-exposure tends to change the exposure of each image tile, thus you will have multiple tiles with different exposures.
       
    2. In front of a property or worksite, rise to 100ft and back away so property is in view. Take a picture looking straight down.
       
    3. Angle the camera to 45 degrees downward and do a 360 spin while taking 12 images. The images must overlap. Rotate slowly. In essence, you’ll rotate, take a picture, rotate, take a picture, rotate….
       
    4. To complete the pano, angle the camera to 0 degrees (straight out/horizontal) and do another 360 spin while taking 12 images. The images must overlap. Rotate slowly. Do not angle the camera upward. It should look straight out and capture the horizon in mid-frame. ***Mavic owners please make sure to take extra rows of images for your 360 Pano (0-30-60-80-90 degrees) due to the smaller field of view compared to the Phantom series.***

                    We DO NOT need images of just the sky like the example below.
 

  • If you intend to make a few panoramas of different locations, we find that pilots tend to get the image tiles confused which images go to what location.
     
    • One trick is to take the image tiles, and then do a 1-2 second video clip. Then, at the next location, take the images. Then, take another 1-2 second video clip. That way, when you pull the images off the SD card, you’ll be able to sort which images belong to which tile due to the video clips being the separator between locations.
       
  • Upload to our Dashboard. Our technology will auto-stitch the images into a 360 Panorama. Someone from our team will review the Panorama within a few business days and either approve or reject.
     

What if there is an obstruction to where I can’t see the property in frame at the required height limit? (e.g. Tree or Power Line)

  • We recommend that you adjust your drone’s height and distance from the property or asset so that it can be captured in frame. It is important to remember that the purpose of these images is to showcase the property in its best light.
     

What makes a pano better than others?

  • Ensuring that there is sufficient overlap can greatly increase the chance of your panorama not missing any sections.
     
  • If the drone shifts locations, this can cause the DroneBase processor to have errors since the field of view has changed.
     
  • Since we are taking multiple images to process a single pano, if the exposure or image settings change during the panorama capture, our processor can have an issue stitching the individual images together.
     
  • Example Panos:
 

Asset Uploading + Editing/Production + Review Before Payment
 

How do I upload the images + video that I take for DroneBase?

  • You can log into your DroneBase account and go into the specific mission that they were assigned to.
     
  • Within the mission, there are upload instructions.
     
  • Images must be in .jpg format, and videos must be in either .mov or .mp4 format.
     
  • Our dashboard does not accept DNG file format.
     

How long does it take for DroneBase to review my assets?

  • It usually takes us 1-2 business days to review Mission assets
     

What does DroneBase look for in reviewing what I upload?

  • We set a high standard in terms of quality. All images must have the correct auto-exposure and 4:3 ratio in jpg format without any fish-eye distortion.
     
  • Images should not be under-exposed or have extreme whitewash. Horizons should be level. Issues with the drone gimbal can cause images to be slanted.
     
  • We prefer that images and video are taken during peak sunlight so as to expose what is around the property as well.
     
  • Video should be shot in 2.7k or up, preferably in 4k 30fps. Adjust exposure.
     

Do I need to do production on the assets?

  • We do the in-house production of video. We expect that the unedited assets still meet a minimum standard that do not involve heavy editing to “perfect” or “cleanup” assets.
     
  • We expect you to touch up images if needed (e.g. Horizons are completely slanted, or the images are too dark or over-exposed).
     

What happens if DroneBase needs me to re-shoot?

  • We provide a shot list for you to complete. You can then upload to those requested shots. If you cannot complete a certain shot, you can adjust. This occurs when there are obstructions such as telephone wires, trees, etc. You can leave comments as to why a shot was not possible. If a re-shoot is absolutely necessary, we will let you know.
     
  • We work hard to provide you with as much information as possible to ensure a high rate of success. 

     

DJI Investment + Partnership
 

Since DJI invested in DroneBase, can I get discounts to their products?

  • We work with DJI to provide discounts on their products from time to time. These discounts are not always available. By signing up, you may receive email notifications about potential discount offers.
     

Do you provide customer support for any DJI product related questions?

  • We do not. Please reach out to a customer support representative at DJI.
     

What type of DJI drone do you recommend for DroneBase jobs?

  • Phantom 3 Pro, equivalent or better. We require 12MP images (no fish eye distortion) and 2.7k video. 4k 30fps is preferred for video settings.

     

iOS DroneBase Pilot Mobile App

The DroneBase Pilot App is currently only available for iOS.

  • The App allows you to sign up or login as a pilot to see available Pano and Client Missions as well as update your profile. Like the desktop DroneBase Dashboard, we will be adding more activities.
     

TBD for the Android Version. Please let us know if you’d like an Android App by emailing pilots@dronebase.com


How do I upload images and video in the iOS app?

  • At the moment, you’ll need to log into your dashboard via your desktop browser to upload all of the assets. We recommend using Google Chrome.