It is strongly recommended to add optional flight insurance to each project, up to $25 million dollars. You, your company, and/or your city/town can be listed as additional insureds on the policy. Flight insurance can be purchased in advance of the project and each plan has adjustable inputs for flight radius/distance, duration, and value. Prices vary; however, using generic settings: insuring an all-day (from the start of civil twilight at dawn to the end civil twilight at dusk) outdoor flight for $25,000,000 in coverage costs $194. Certain areas have a coverage maximums.
MULTIPLE FLIGHTS FOR A SINGLE PROJECT
Depending on aerodynamics, prevailing wind speed and direction, flight distance, and other factors, multiple flights may be needed to appropriately cover a property or location. If multiple flights are needed, this involves several take-off and landings—this does not change insurance rates nor the overall rate for the project.
Low-noise propellers will be used when possible; despite these technological enhancements, drone operations can be noisy, especially when flying within 100 feet of the ground or if there are strong/gusting winds.
SAFETY & PROCEDURES
For enhanced safety, all flights are conducted with redundant high-intensity CREE LED anti-collision lighting intended to be seen three statute miles away from other aircraft. These lights can be set to strobe, flash, or remain constant. These lights can seen from the ground, but are not spotlights and do not illuminate buildings, structures, or the ground itself.
At least one trained and dedicated visual observer will be used for flights when in areas subject to high electromagnetic interference, complex obstacles, within 5 miles of airports/helipads (including Class G airports), and/or in areas where the FAA’s LAANC system has been used. Airspace rules and advisories, for all flights, will rely on the use of Airmap to ensure safety. At least one visual observer must be used for night operations under the daylight operations waiver.
A site survey for obstacles will be completed as part of the pre-flight checklist. Indoor flights will rely on laser measurements collected as part of the pre-flight checklist; outdoor flights will be tracked by GPS satellites for optimum positioning and stability during flight.
There are other restrictions not noted here, however all commercial flights comply with the rules set forth by the FAA for UAV/UAS flights within the United States. If needed, FAA waivers/authorizations can be filed depending on the project and timeframe. (Examples of FAA waivers include, but are not limited to: flying multiple aircraft at one time, flying above 400 feet above the ground, flying beyond visual line of sight, etc.)
There currently are no cancellation charges if inclement weather or strong winds inhibit flight. We will work with you to reschedule. Cancellations on the part of the Client will be fully chargeable within 48 hours of the appointment.
WHY CAN’T I USE A NON-LICENSED DRONE PILOT FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES?
Short answer: it’s not legal. In fact, using a non-licensed drone operator for commercial and/or real-estate purposes is not only unsafe and against the law, but also it puts your company’s reputation at risk should you hire or use non-certificated pilots. I’m certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones under 55 pounds; a certification process that I renew and test for every two years. I also have experience: before drones, I operated and flew remote-controlled helicopters for well over a decade. I’ve flown drones for years and have hundreds of flight hours logged, all without any injuries, incidents, or accidents. I’m fully insured, all my flight operations are insurable up to $25 million dollars, and I fully understand and adhere to complicated airspace rules and UAS regulations. I also have direct access to industry leaders, FAA resources, and other expert contacts.
Longer answer: Unless someone holds a valid FAA Part 107 UAS Remote Pilot certification/license, federal law prohibits the use of flying drones for compensation, even if agreed to on a bartering basis (e.g. exchanging aerial photographs for sporting event tickets). A pilot holding a current FAA UAS license will also appear in the FAA’s database located here. Liability for unauthorized operations can fall on both the pilot and the person who hired the pilot. 14 CFR 1.1 defines operator as: “Operate, with respect to aircraft, for the purpose (except as provided in section 91.13 of this chapter) of air navigation including the piloting of aircraft, with or without the right of legal control (as owner, lessee, or otherwise).” Someone who causes the operation can be liable as well. Regarding the civil penalty provision, the pilot would face a fine of $1,100 per violation (as an individual acting as an airman), while the person who causes the operation could be liable for a fine of $11,000 (as an individual not acting as an airman).
WHAT ARE THE CAMERA CAPABILITIES OF YOUR DRONES?
All drones have cameras with gimballed stability on all three axis for buttery-smooth 4K video. Still photographs can either be taken from screenshots of a paused 4K-video or still photographs, timelapses, hyperlapses, and more can be taken in the air. FLIR (infrared) or LIDAR sensors can be used for select projects.
CAN I SEE RECENT WORK EXAMPLES?
Recent work examples are located at the Grand County Drone Pilot Facebook page.
WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?
Rates can and do vary based on many factors. Please fill out this form, and I’ll then be able to give you the best rate information: https://bit.ly/faa107. For ballpark estimates, rates are generally $250 to $1,500 depending on the factors determined in the form. (Changing locations, complexity of the flight area, conducting flight operations at night, extensive video footage editing puts things on the more expensive end).