FAA Certificated Commercial Pilots on staff.
When hiring a UAV (drone) operator or aerial photographer (use of conventional aircraft)
it's highly beneficial that they are certified pilots. A photographer or videographer that is a certified pilot has a understanding of what can be safely be done with the aircraft (ie for camera positioning) and has had extensive education in meteorology to help ensure the best-captured outcome.
Certified remote pilots have the ability to capture unique photographs and videos from different points of view. Real estate photos, field mapping, aerial inspections and progress shots are just a few projects that may out perform the use of conventional aircraft.
There are several benefits for the use of UAV's over conventional aircraft such as ease of execution and project savings.
This new technology creates new opportunities, but business owners - from real estate agents to farmers - need to be aware that they can't hire just anyone with a UAV to do the job. Here are three crucial questions you should ask an aerial operator before you hire them.
1. ARE YOU FAA CERTIFIED?
A remote pilot must be FAA Part 107 Certified to operate an unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes or in furtherance of a business. A certified remote pilot will be familiar with all regulations necessary to help you complete your project safely.
2. ARE YOU AUTHORIZED TO FLY IN THIS AIRSPACE?
There are several different classifications of airspace in the United States and the vast majority of it is uncontrolled. However, if you need services in the vicinity of an airport, the pilot must be authorized to fly there. The pilot can't just call the airport control tower and request permission. In some cases, authorizations require 90 days to process (sometimes longer). Consider this when preparing to hire an operator. Some areas, such as National Parks and TFRs (temporary flight restrictions) prohibit flying altogether regardless of certification.
3. ARE YOU INSURED?
A crashed aircraft can damage property and people on the ground. The FAA doesn't currently require liability insurance for UAV operators. It's still a good idea to verify if the pilot you're about to hire is insured in case of an accident.
If these reasons aren't enough to hire a certified pilot, then here's one more. The FAA has recently started issuing fines to businesses who hire uncertified remote pilots in the amount of $11,000 for each occurrence. That can certainly put a damper on any project.