Creating prosperity, adding to the value chain rather than subtracting, and truly knowing customers are all instrumental pieces of the Taranis business model. With incredible internal growth and the addition of new areas of operation (AOOs), the company continues to expand across the U.S. and South America, providing leaf-level insights and proactive management opportunities for the growers and retailers they work with to move every acre forward.
As a major component of this growth, qualified drone operators are needed to fly the missions that capture the insights growers and retailers have come to rely on. To provide the level of service Taranis customers deserve, even more drone pilots will be needed for the 2023 growing season.
For John Carroll, Director of Operations for Taranis, the opportunity to partner with a drone service provider (DSP) offers answers and solutions to many of Taranis’ objectives.
“We are committed to providing a high level of service and support to the retailers and growers we work with. To best accomplish that mission, we need drone pilots who know the area, who can work seamlessly with the advisors and, often, are familiar with the retailers we work with,” Carroll says. “Partnering with a DSP makes sense because we can accomplish those objectives and provide opportunity for pilots in those rural communities. It’s a win-win.”
For the 2023 growing season, Taranis will partner with FlyGuys, a Lafayette, Louisiana DSP.
With an eye in the sky, FlyGuys provides a nationwide solution to the growing demand for drone imaging data solutions and will serve as a partner for the Taranis team from #plant23 through #harvest23. As a drone service provider (DSP), the company provides top-tier drone pilots experienced in RGB, infrared, LIDAR, and Hyperspectral sensors, making the team a great partner for the AI-driven insights that allow Taranis to maximize the potential of every acre.
During the 2022 growing season, a FlyGuys network pilot flew acres for Taranis. With a great experience under his belt and seeing the need for additional help in the field, he shared his success with the FlyGuys team.
“This pilot came to us knowing that we had quite a large network of pilots and shared the opportunity that existed to benefit both Taranis and FlyGuys. After a few conversations with JC and the ops team, we were able to get our heads around what the deliverables and pilot staffing would look like and, ultimately, we all felt like it was a great fit,” says FlyGuys Senior Vice President of Operations, DaCoda Bartels.
For the 2023 growing season, FlyGuys’ contracted pilots will fly four separate AOOs for Taranis. Each AOO will be assigned two main go-to pilots for a total of eight pilots engaged in the management of all four Taranis AOOs. In addition, a super pilot will be assigned to cover all eight AOO pilots, with an additional emergency pilot on call. In total, 10 FlyGuys’ drone pilots will cover 48,000 acres for Taranis in 2023, making at least six separate passes over those acres. Initially, all AOOs are centered around Indianapolis, with expansion into additional AOOs on the horizon.
Taranis Academy will be the crux of integration for FlyGuys. Each pilot assigned to a Taranis AOO and every member of the FlyGuys’ Ops team is enrolled in the 2023 program.
“In the next couple of weeks, everyone on our team will be starting Taranis Academy,” Bartels says. “We’ll be learning about the Taranis proprietary software, engaging in specific AOO training with the flight ops team to learn about workflow, pilot management, and field management, and a lot more. And for the last bit of training, we’ll be in Indianapolis to learn in person.”
An FAA Part 107 license is a requirement to join the FlyGuys’ nationwide pilot network. Additionally, Bartels says that the company is looking for candidates with drone mapping experience and geographical proximity to the assigned AOOs.
“Basic 2D Orthomosaic type mapping is a pretty common practice in the commercial drone world,” Bartels says. “Taranis takes it to the next level by incorporating their software and AI. So, pilots with experience in flight and mission planning software are our ideal candidates.
With training and first flight missions right around the corner for #plant23, Carroll says that he is looking forward to working with the FlyGuys team and looks forward to seeing the relationship and service partnership expand in future seasons.
“We’re excited to partner with FlyGuys. Their pilot network and experience in the drone industry is very beneficial to us, and we’re looking forward to leveraging the experience and mission opportunities FlyGuys’ pilots will add to our team,” he says. “Working with DaCoda has been a fantastic experience and we’re just getting started.”
WIBW discusses technology in agriculture, and what’s in store for Taranis Academy.