FAA Drone Pilot CertificateAndrew Osburn discusses his occupation as a professional drone pilot

September 11, 2021by helo-10

Thomas R. Oldt

Among the more unusual professions to be found in this area is the vocation practiced by Andrew Osburn.

The lanky 50-year-old entrepreneur and Army veteran’s eclectic background – recording studio engineer, website designer, utility field worker, French horn player, videographer, remodeler – led to his uncommon occupation as a professional drone pilot.

Born in Indiana and educated in the arcane science of geographic information systems, Osburn owns and operates Polk Drones LLC.

Q. What is the essence of your business?

A. Using drones, I produce and provide data for crop insurance companies. The USDA approves certain crop insurance providers. There are 14, including four or five large companies. They are beginning to see how drones make their lives much more productive when they don’t have to go into the groves, up and down every row with a clicker counting trees – which is how some still do it.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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