planemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5696 posts, RR: 34 Posted (10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13822 times:
With all the threads/discussions on A.net about low pilot wages at the regional level, I was really surprised by this article that claims that some UAV pilots are currently getting decent to high wages...
Quote: By contrast, starting salaries for drone pilots range from $50,000 to $120,000 per year, said Tom Kenville, who founded a trade group called Unmanned Applications Institute International. Analysts who process images captured by the vehicles can earn $100,000 per year starting out.
... one of his fellow students at the Traverse City, Mich., school recently landed a job operating unmanned aerial vehicles for a private military contractor overseas. “He got like $200,000 per year,” Bailey said. “And he didn’t even finish his associate’s degree.”
If this is truly the case, one can only imagine what DD (Drone Driver) wages might be like once the FAA approves domestic civil drone use in a couple of years. The demand will far outstrip supply.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
DeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 6541 posts, RR: 51 Reply 1, posted (10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13787 times:
I don't really see drones replacing airline pilots... I mean really, you still need a pilot for a drone anyway. Drones can go in hostile environments and stay aloft a lot longer, but beyond that, what is the point?
The next big thing I think we'll see are single pilot aircraft, but even that will be far down the road I would think. You'd need the airplane to land itself, or perhaps it can be single piloted and also be hooked up so it can also be flown like a drone just in case? That seems like a waste of money honestly.
Reading your post again I see that is not what you are implying, but I figure it'll come up somewhere in this thread
planemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 5696 posts, RR: 34 Reply 3, posted (10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13659 times:
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1): Reading your post again I see that is not what you are implying, but I figure it'll come up somewhere in this thread
It may but the surprising issue are the wages for starting DD's compared to pilots starting at the bottom of the career ladder. Moreover, I was struck by the possibility that the relatively high wages of DD's might contribute to the "pilot shortage"...
Quote: Embry-Riddle recently graduated its first student with a bachelor’s degree, but those who graduated earlier with minors in unmanned aircraft systems have fared well, Mirot said.
“I had a kid who deployed right away and he was making $140,000,” Mirot said. “That’s more than I ever made. Yeah, he’s going into Afghanistan, but he had no previous military experience or security clearance.”
Mirot said many of his students aspire to be airline pilots. But with salaries for commercial airline pilots starting as low as $17,000 in the first year, they plan to start in unmanned systems to pay off their loans, then maybe apply for an airline job, he said.
Gatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 767 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (10 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13497 times:
Quoting planemaker (Reply 4): No cases of bombing children. They are civilian contractors that are doing aerial surveillance. And wages will only go up once the FAA allows UAVs domestically.
These salaries are high based solely on the fact that they are deployed to a hazardous zone. Once the war wraps up in 2014, you can bet a majority of these drone pilots will be unemployed. I am a DoD contractor and when I deployed, my salary basically tripled.
These high wages are not exclusive to drone pilots...
FedEx and freight is one thing. Transporting a human for commerce in a drone or other unmanned vehicle is entirely different. moreso because it's five miles up. I realize aviation has made leaps and bounds in the last hundred years.
I know Amazon uses unmanned robotic vehicles (30 or so at a time) with precision to fetch inventory from warehouse shelf's using GPS grid technology with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
I just can't see the FAA signing off on it in the foreseeable future. In normal succession I would think a manned mission to Mars or further would come first.
Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
Gatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 767 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11757 times:
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 10): Supply and demand. Demand is going to far outstrip supply, forcing the pay up.
I actually don't believe the gap will be that great. The current contract drone pilots in Afghanistan will be perfect candidates to fill these commercial roles. It only takes a year to take a drone pilot so the job openings will fill quickly...
On the face of it, I'd agree. But after a bit more thinking, loosening some of the medical rules might make sense when operating drones, for several reasons.
1. Travel is grueling on the body in general. It just wears you out. Drone operators won't have to deal with loud cheap hotels or bad food in what may be some not so nice locales. It may be easier to stay healthy as a drone operator than as a pilot in the fist place.
2. Although operators would need to be working in accordance with other timezones, drone operators can keep a much more regular schedule. Show up, finish off one flight and then do a long middle portion of another over the course of a shift. Go home when the shift is over and come back for another one the next day. Just because a mission may last 14 hours plus doesn't mean the operator must too.
3. Operators can be replaced relatively easily. If one is feeling sick or happens to have a heart attack or something it doesn't necessarily put the drone in danger. Just get another operator to continue. Pilots don't have the same luxury.
[Edited 2013-02-02 19:29:32]
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
huxrules From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 113 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (10 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 10776 times:
Can you imagine fedex delivery of an object in the same day? Drones will allow that. 1 Md-11 out of AUS a day will be replaced by 10 drones. I can see getting your parcel to fedex by noon and it showing up across the country by 8pm. Crazy. So yes there will be a need for drone pilots- 200k a year is pushing it however.
Drones don't drop out of the sky if the pilot loses consciousness. Even do-it-yourself drones costing a few hundred bucks now have autopilots with a homing function, basically if radio contact is lost they come back by themselves.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
I disagree. FedEx and UPS aircraft fly over my house out of OAK all day every day. You bet I want two human pilots aboard.
Look, if a drone crashes into the house, it'll damage the house but probably not kill me. They're usually pretty small and light.
If an MD-11-F crashes into the house, it'll take out two blocks and anyone in those two blocks. Anything that big needs to have humans aboard who are capable of making human judgements even if they know that they are about to die.
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7890 posts, RR: 27 Reply 23, posted (10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9425 times:
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22): If an MD-11-F crashes into the house, it'll take out two blocks and anyone in those two blocks. Anything that big needs to have humans aboard who are capable of making human judgements even if they know that they are about to die.
To be fair, the last two times airliners came down in California neighborhoods, the culprit was human error.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6810 posts, RR: 29 Reply 26, posted (10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8298 times:
Quoting Aesma (Reply 2): Aren't these wages related to the military nature of the jobs,
See this reply
Quoting Gatorman96 (Reply 6): I am a DoD contractor and when I deployed, my salary basically tripled.
When a person is deployed into a hazardous zone - the military gets a small extra pay, but the big benefit is that their wages are tax free.
I'm not sure it applies to civilian contractos - but if it does that is also a huge incentive.
Quoting planemaker (Reply 4): And wages will only go up once the FAA allows UAVs domestically.
I'm hearin that the wages of civilian drone drivers in the US run in the 25-30K range right now, and are trending down as the market is getting more kids qualified for the positions than there are jobs.
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 10): Supply and demand. Demand is going to far outstrip supply, forcing the pay up.
I doubt it. There are hundreds of kids in the pipeline. It is the greatest opportunity for people who can't pass a Class A medical.
EagleBoy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1703 posts, RR: 2 Reply 27, posted (10 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8229 times:
Quoting planemaker (Thread starter): With all the threads/discussions on A.net about low pilot wages at the regional level, I was really surprised by this article that claims that some UAV pilots are currently getting decent to high wages...
Quoting planemaker (Thread starter): one of his fellow students at the Traverse City, Mich., school recently landed a job operating unmanned aerial vehicles for a private military contractor overseas. “He got like $200,000 per year,
I think the OP missed the reference to 'private military contractor overseas".......
......there's the reason for the massive salary. You can bet that any actual drone pilot on a salaried scale in a civilian market would earn far less. Compare the wages of a US serviceman or SF member to that of the PMC personnel in a combat zone.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6810 posts, RR: 29 Reply 29, posted (10 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8128 times:
Quoting Gatorman96 (Reply 28): Rfields, I am unsure how the military works, but DoD contractor's income is tax free if they stay OCONUS for a year straight.
Okay, I haven't been in a combat zone since 1983 - but the DOD process/ rule was that each month is treated individually.
i.e. If I deployed for one day in August, all September and one day in Oct - I'd get 3 months tax free. But if I arrived on 1 Sept and left 30 Sept - I get one month tax free.
It appears to still be the same based on some quick research on the DFAS My Pay web site.
The President has to designate the region as qualifying for the tax exemption - federal income tax only - social security, medicare and state income taxes if the state does not exempt pay in combat zones still have to be paid.
woodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 933 posts, RR: 7 Reply 30, posted (10 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8097 times:
Still that way. there was a line on the chart the ship had to cross. Tweaked the track the nav had set for the ship to cross the line into fifth fleet aor at 2355 on jul 31. Bling. Tax free, combat exclusion, hostile fire all the associated extra stuff for the entire month of July even though we only spent a whole 5 mins of the month in the combat zone. Crossed back out of the combat zone 5 minutes later to meet up with the oiler later that day.
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from surviving bad judgement.