Hiring a Licensed Drone Pilot

FEDERAL LAW

Airspace in the United States is regulated exclusively by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Flying any aircraft outside of purely recreational (literally “for fun” only) requires a license. Many people have operated under the mistaken impression that they are flying recreationally if they don’t receive money for their images, but the FAA (and federal law) doesn’t see it that way. It’s more complicated.

A good way to think about it is, “A drone flight is recreational if you can compare it to flying a kite in the park.” Even taking video of your own gutters or roof on a home is considered “commercial activity” by the FAA. It’s about the intent in furtherance of a business.

PHYSICS and SAFETY

Most people clearly understand the danger present in a Major League Baseball pitcher’s fast ball. It’s a simple matter of kinetic energy and an equation involving velocity and mass.

Even a mid-size size drone weighs twice what a baseballs does and even with a slower speed, can seriously injure people and animals. Licensed Remote Pilots have studied and been tested on numerous safety guidelines. Our procedures and safety protocols eliminate or reduce the chance of damage to property, people, or animals.

LIABILITY

For the reasons above and many more, licensed pilots usually buy insurance for any aerial work. As you might expect, getting insurance for commercial work without a license is more difficult and creates the opportunity for claims against the company employing the pilot in addition to the pilot.

PROFESSIONAL

Ultimately the benefit of hiring a licensed pilot is the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing your project is being handled professionally. License pilots usually have good pre-flight processes, understand what types of flights are both legal and safe, and are able to provide a professional work products.

To earn a Remote Pilot (FAA / Part 107) license, we are found to be physically and mentally safe to fly and passed an FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Exam based on the same content pilots of manned aircraft learn. This includes, risk management, aircraft safety, proper use of regulated airspace, radio communication, and airport operations among other topics. Many of us take formal training from flight schools. All of us must pass a test required by the FAA.

For more information, see: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/