Would you let an unlicensed driver take your car for a spin? Probably not, right? In the same sense, it is unwise to hire an unlicensed drone videographer. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires remote pilots to be certified if they wish to fly commercially. Because of these FAA regulations, we want to ensure that you have your ducks in a row prior to hiring a commercial drone pilot.
When is a Drone License Necessary
A pilot’s license is necessary anytime an sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System) is being used for a commercial purpose – basically any paid drone job. Commercial uses can range from aerial video and photo, to drone inspections of industrial buildings and equipment, and much more. This article provides great in-depth examples of further paid drone uses.
Consequences of Flying Illegally
Certified drone operators have been well-versed on the proper way to safely operate a drone. FAA certified remote pilots are necessary because they know how to account for things like nearby people, weather conditions, commercial flight paths, and nearby trees or infrastructure. The intensive testing process ensures that only serious pilots will hold Part 107 licenses. This is crucial because the consequences of flying without without a license can include hefty fines, ranging anywhere from $400 to $200,000; property damage; or even bodily injury.
How to Tell if Your Drone Guy is Licensed
The best way to tell if they’re licensed? Ask them exactly that! If they say yes, go ahead and ask for a copy of their license. Any certified drone videographer will be more than happy to share this information with you. This documented correspondence could help your case in the event that you run into legal trouble with the FAA.