Drone regulations and helicopter pilots

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One of the jobs currently done by helicopter is aerial surveillance,
the classic example being radio traffic reporting. However, in the
next few years the FAA plans to allow commercial use of drones.

What do you think the impact on piloted aviation will be when a clerk
sitting at an iPad can pilot a drone with high quality cameras on board?

-- J. Peterson, November 5, 2012


Most helicopter pilots take workers to oil rigs. There are also a lot of jobs in medical evacuation (mostly taking people from community hospitals to larger hospitals; Medicare pays!) and sightseeing. So I don't think this will have a big effect on the need for pilots. In any case if aerial imagery becomes more common it might inspire more people to want to take tours and see for themselves.

-- Philip Greenspun, November 6, 2012