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Must Have Apps for Drone Pilots

My Must Haves Apps for Part 107 Drone Pilots

Here are some of my picks for “must have” apps to operate as a Part 107 Remote Pilot. There are a lot of apps out there that are geared towards specific use cases such as construction, line inspection, maintenance, etc, that I won’t cover on this list. These apps will pretty much get you up and flying “legally” as a Part 107 Pilot. All of the apps on the list I use 100% of the time when flying.

The List

1. Skyward.io

This is my goto flight management software. It’s owned by Verizon, so no worries about funding. Management has also been very proactive and involved in the evolution of our industry. The free tier version gives you everything you require to operate as a remote pilot and be compliant with Part 107 regulations. It even allows you to maintain a library of all your Part 107 Authorizations and Waivers. They also provide a lot of free resources to get you started. There are several other choices available but this is the one I use and love.


2. Airdata.com

All Part 107 Remote Pilots are required to maintain flight, operations and maintenance records of all your commercial activities. This software does all that for you in a pretty automated fashion. It links up with your drone and battery data and keeps records for you without any input required. If you ever need to present your records, this tool pretty much covers everything. I think it’s a must have for all 107 remote pilots.


3. DJI Go 4

There are a lot of pros and some cons to using the DJI Go 4 app. First and foremost, if you fly a DJI product (which you probably do), this is pretty much required in your toolkit. Besides all the automated intelligent flight modes and camera settings, it’s pretty safe to say that since it is the “official” DJI app, it’s pretty much pointless to use anything else. I’m sure their are folks out there using other apps that are less restrictive (ie. geofencing), but I’m not sure I would use anything else for most DJI prosumer drones.

To learn more about the DJI Go 4 app check it out on DJI’s website

4. Google Maps

It’s google maps. Enough said. Whether your scouting your next location or figuring out where to launch from, google maps is pretty much it when it comes to pre-visualizing your flight. It use to be my goto for maps/scouting but with Skyward.io, the map features are integrated into the app. That means I can create my entire flight plan and overaly directly over the map and flight area I create. Sorry google maps. Still lots of love for you.

Google Maps

5. Weather Apps

I’m not going to go into much detail here. I think everyone has their preferred weather apps. As someone who enjoys other “air sports” I’ve picked these 3 handy weather apps. They pretty much cover most of my needs for anything related to drone flying or air sports:

6. Adobe CC (Creative Cloud)

If you shoot and edit photos and video from your drone, then you probably already have some sort of editing suite on your computer. I chose Adobe CC because it’s robust and tightly integrated features for photo and video editing. Adobe Photoshop is pretty much the standard when it comes to editing images. You can use lightroom for cataloging your work and performing simple edits. I know alot of photographers who swear by lightroom for their workflow.

Since I’m on a Mac, I find that Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Media Encoder pretty much do everything I need. I also use the built in Lumetri Color for grading my footage.

Adobe Create Cloud

7. Capture One

For those of us who don’t find Adobe’s Lightroom robust enough for our photo editing and workflow, Capture One is pretty much the only game in town. As a professional photographer, Capture One is the only goto photo workflow and editing software in my arsenal.

Capture One

I’ll keep updating this list as time progresses. I’m sure there are apps that I find extremely useful that I’ve left out, or soon will discover.

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