Licensed to Fly
Not too long ago, aerial videography and photography used to be out of reach for most businesses. Aerial footage can greatly enhance a message by being able to show size, scale, and beauty that is not normally seen from the ground. As drones entered the hobby and then commercial industry, they quickly replaced the need of renting an aircraft, pilot and video crew. With the sudden boom of consumer drone popularity, so did the instances of drone mishaps. The Federal Aviation Administration was quick to put in regulations surrounding drone use.
As of now, the FAA divides drone use into two categories: recreational and commercial. Depending on local and state laws, most people can go out and purchase and drone and fly it for fun. All you need to do is register it with the FAA and abide by certain rules. You’re able to use it for personal use, but the tricky part is when you want to use that footage or drone “in furtherance of a business. “In furtherance of a business” is the term the FAA uses to define commercial use. Videography or photography captured from a drone and used for business purposes must be flown by a licensed remote pilot or you are at risk to be fined.
To obtain your license you must take and pass the part 107 sUAS drone certification test. It’s a 60 question test that contains questions about airspace types and regulations, aircraft physics, weather reports, sectional charts, proper operation and limitations regarding drones. The test is actually a bit overkill for what you need to know and how to operate a drone safely for commercial use, but I think it the FAA was trying to get operators to appreciate and respect the rules of aircraft operation.
Here are a few clips of what we shot recently.