From the blog at DartDrones.com: “Drones can hurt people and damage property if pilots are not careful. Whether you fly drones yourself or hire a company, the pilot must be insured, properly trained, and have a drone license from the FAA.”
This leads to a common question is “Do you provide drone shots, and if so how much do you charge?”
Yes, most importantly I am licensed by the FAA with a UAV Remote Pilot rating — and I fly a late model registered drone with a high-quality camera and I am insured against any claim that might be lodged against you the agent or your broker.
Furthermore, I don’t apply special charges for this service. If it can be provided legally, it is already factored into the time quote I provide upon request. I don’t charge to switch lenses or to provide supplementary lighting — and by my reasoning the air shots should be considered just another camera position.
A few words on the legal part follow: The FAA has made much progress from the days — not all that long ago — when flight authorizations had to be filed online days, if not weeks, in advance. Now, through one of several private/public partnerships, a clearance to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle is available to licensed pilots in a mobile app that processes a few critical flight numbers and other pertinent facts stored on the device or in the aircraft firmware.
Of course there are still restrictions — generally in the close proximity of airports, heliports, sports venues, temporary flight restriction zones, and sensitive installations. In such cases, I will advise the agent that elevated views will not be part of the mix.
Sure, it’s not difficult to find a self-declared ‘drone pilot’ who will fly a hobbyist or toy drone in total disregard of the law and the safety of other people and/or their property. But I have two licenses to protect — as do agents and brokers — plus a reputation for business integrity that hopefully all of us guard carefully.
My clients understand — both the integrity of knowing the rules and ethics involved and our mutual need to keep the subject listing compliant with all applicable laws and guidelines.