After much brainstorming, Sierra Sky Tech is the name I settled on for potentially starting a UAV/drone business here in California. This first post (July 21, 2017) will be the beginning of a journey I hope to take you on from some of my earliest fascinations with aviation, to the process of starting this business, and onwards through the (hopeful!) successful operation of Sierra Sky Tech.
Goals for founding a business
At the moment, there are a few key items I’m working through before I can begin any commercial operation:
- The FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification. There are two ways to obtain this certification: 1) study, pay the FAA $150, take & pass the FAA exam, and receive the certification or 2) obtain a full private pilot’s license and then do a simple add-on to get the Remote Pilot certificate. I’m currently working my way down the second route, and I’m pretty close to getting my pilot’s license. I have all the hours I need, so I just need to schedule a practice checkride, review any areas of improvement with my certified flight instructor (CFI), and take the real checkride. Goal #1 is to do the checkride by the end of August 2017.
- I still have a full time engineering job here in Bakersfield/McKittrick. My company is going through yet another round of layoffs and the culture/workforce isn’t moving in a good direction. I’m quite confident I won’t be laid-off, but I don’t think I’d want to stay anyways. That means I’ll need to save some cash. I’ve estimated the costs required to start up a UAV/drone business and I already have enough capital, but more is always better. Goal #2 is to be fully funded by December 2017.
- The general business aspects that need to be addressed by any new company. These include: forming a LLC, opening business banking accounts, ensuring the web presence is working (email, website, blog, social media, etc.), getting clients, doing quality work, and growing. At least that’s the plan. Goal #3 is to be ready to launch at the beginning of 2018. The stretch goal is November, but an earlier start somewhat conflicts with #2 above.
Click this link to view the second post in the series – From .40 Nitro Engines and 72 MHz to 4 2212s and Taranis.