In November 2021 I completed my Part 107 License for using a drone, so I would be able to legally operate and fly Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems up to 55lbs in the US. I completed this training so I would be able to fly my drone in a safe and legal manner when completing jobs for clients.

In February 2022 the rules around drone operations changed and it is now a legal requirement that people wanting to fly a drone complete either for recreational or commercial use should have a Trust Certificate for recreational flying or a part 107 for commercial flying . I highly recommend checking out Robert at Drone Pilot Deploy if you are interested in getting these qualifications.

As I already had my Part 107 before these changes, nothing has changed for me and I am still flying under Part 107 rules. Recently I have seen a lot more drones popping up and I just wanted to give out tips for when booking someone to do drone work for your business or project.

Pre-Flight Checks

Before doing a job for a client there are a number of things I need to check before I even arrive at the location. It is worth bringing these up with your selected drone pilot to make sure these checks have been completed, just to keep yourself right.

  • Airspace

I need to make sure I am flying in an airspace that is not extremely close to an airport or an event where planes or aircraft will be flying on that day. You may need to contact Air Traffic Control in certain situations to make sure it is ok to fly at a certain time. This is an extremely important point because if a drone crashes into a plane or helicopter it could lead to a fatal accident.

  • Land Ownership

If flying over someone’s land, although no one owns the airspace above their property, it is common decency to make sure you either have permission or make the landowner aware you are completing a job with your drone. This will save you a lot of hassle. You could be liable for trespassing or nuisance, even if you do not personally go onto the land (although this is generally a civil rather than a criminal matter).

  • Surrounding Areas

When researching the area I will be working in, I look for overhead wires or cables, buildings, aerials and even wildlife as I don’t want to disturb any animals when shooting. This can include checking the area via google maps before arrival but also doing a final check when I arrive at the location.

  • Weather

I always make sure it is suitable flying weather before arriving at the job or before taking off. This can be important because if something happens to your drone which causes damage to someone or someone’s property, this could lead to legal proceedings or you having to pay out compensation. This point leads me on to the other most important aspect of having someone doing drone work for you, insurance.

Insurance

I highly recommend making sure that if someone is flying a drone for you, make sure they are fully insured. This is important because it could come down to you being liable for damages. If someone flies a drone without exercising a reasonable standard of care and injures someone or damages their property, you could be negligent and liable to compensate the victim for personal injury or damage to property. If they are insured their insurance will have them covered for these issues.

It is so important that your drone operator is careful, thorough and takes into consideration some of the above steps, along with other issues which may arise during the job.

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