Introducing Birdi’s drone pilot network (and how it can capture for you)

Written by
Alex Sutherland
August 9, 2022

Not every organisation has the in-house capabilities or expertise to fly drones themselves. And while you could try sourcing your own external drone pilots to capture your sites or assets, why not leave that to us?

At Birdi, we’ve built a 2,000+ drone pilot network right around Australia, who can help any of our Enterprise customers capture their sites and assets, whenever and wherever they need it. Or, if you have your own in-house pilots but need to subsidise them periodically with external drone pilot captures, we can do that too.

If flying drones isn’t in yours or your team’s wheelhouse, read on to learn a little more about Birdi’s drone pilot network, and how they could help you!

Where is the drone pilot network located?

Our drone operators are based all around Australia and are concentrated in major cities and hubs, and regional areas. They typically travel to nearby areas for drone capture missions, which makes our coverage pretty much everywhere. We’re continually growing and expanding our pilot network too, so if there’s a location that we don’t have pilots physically located in yet, we probably will soon.

What qualifications and experience does the drone pilot network have?

Our network are all qualified pilots, with one or more of the following industry qualifications (via CASA - the Civil Aviation Safety Authority):

  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Operator Accreditation - this accreditation is required for any commercial drone pilot to fly.
  • Remote Pilot Licence  (RePL) -  this qualification is required for all pilots who work for a business that holds a ReOC (see next point).
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator's Certificate (ReOC) - this is required for a drone pilot organisation to operate.

Our network are all experienced drone pilots, who are matched with missions based on their experience, equipment and expertise.

What sort of equipment does the pilot network have?

Our drone operators have a range of equipment that they use to match each capture job. The most popular drone types for our pilots are the Phantom P4 Pro and the Mavick 2, which are used for a range of capture missions for our Enterprise customers.

What types of capture missions does the network complete?

Our pilot network can complete any capture mission you have, with any specific requirements and objectives.

Missions typically fall into 3 flight categories: mapping and surveying, asset inspection, and marketing and media.

Mapping and surveying:

This is a planned flight within a set boundary line. The boundary line can be either drawn and exported inside the Birdi platform using our annotation tools (and exported as a KML file), or a KML file can be produced using an external platform. A drone pilot will set the drone to fly within the boundary requirements using a flight app. 

A mapping and surveying flight enables the entire area to be photographed and then stitched together to form what is known as an orthographic image (or orthophoto) - which is like a top-down model of the area. Orthophotos can then be used for a range of purposes such as data analysis, mine site volumetric reporting, construction progress, where to plant trees or backburn in forestry, and more.

Asset inspections:

This flight category is used when you have a specific asset, structure or site to be captured, typically to assess structural integrity or issues. You would provide detailed instructions of the capture requirements within the capture request form, to ensure the pilot captures all the relevant elements and considerations such as angles, distance and quantity of photos.

Marketing and media:

This is more your “point and shoot” style of data capture - where a pilot is briefed on the site, structure or asset that requires capturing and the types of photos and/or footage required. This category is typically used for real estate photos or marketing needs.

How frequently can the drone pilot network fly?

Whatever you need! Our network can fly occasionally or frequently, and at the cadence you require. Some of our customers need monthly captures, others quarterly, others every 6 months. We can match whatever your capture requirements are.

If our Birdi pilot network is something you’d be interested in exploring further, head on over here to book a demo with our team. They’ll be able to show you the platform, chat more about your use case and how the pilot network could help with your capture!

Alex Sutherland
Alex is Birdi's drone pilot network extraordinaire. He coordinates all of the network's flights and ensures they are scheduled and flown to match the capture request requirements.

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