If you’re looking to hire a drone pilot for your business or project, there are some essential things you need to consider. Drones are effective for various tasks, from photography and videography to surveying and mapping. But before you hire a drone pilot, it’s crucial to understand the qualifications they must have to fly safely and legally.
Commercial Certification / FAA Licensed Drone Pilot
The first thing you should look for when hiring a drone pilot is their certification. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must certify all commercial drone pilots. This certification requires the pilot to pass an aeronautical knowledge test, and certain waivers require pilots to complete approved training or pass an additional exam.
In addition to being certified, the drone pilot you hire for commercial work must be an experienced pilot for the specific task. If your project involves aerial photography, ensure they have experience taking photos from a drone, including composition, exposure, and shutter speed. Similarly, if your project involves surveying land or mapping an area, make sure they have experience setting up and flying waypoints and have access to necessary software solutions for post-processing.
Finally, the drone pilot you hire must know local laws and regulations regarding unmanned aerial vehicles in your area. Different states and cities may have different rules about where you can take off, and fly, and altitude restrictions for quadcopters and other unmanned aerial vehicles. A stop order or citation from local law enforcement may extend beyond the liability of the pilot also to the client; hiring an experienced and knowledgeable drone pilot can protect your business and project.
The importance of commercial drone insurance
Another way to protect yourself from liability during a drone operation is by requesting a certificate of insurance for commercial drone operations from your drone pilot. This type of insurance helps cover any damages or injuries caused by their drones during their work. It also covers legal expenses if the pilot is sued (frivolous or not) or is found liable in a court of law after an accident involving their drone. Insurance policies may also provide coverage against physical damage caused by windstorms, floods, lightning strikes, and similar events that could cause a crash.
It’s also important to note that some insurance policies restrict where the pilot will fly their drone. For example, some policies may limit how high off the ground the pilot can fly their drone or how far away from populated areas they can operate it. Your drone operator should carry a policy that covers the operation you are hiring them to complete; otherwise, an event could become the client’s headache, no matter how minute.
Hiring a qualified and experienced drone pilot ensures your project goes smoothly and safely. By following these tips when looking for someone to fill this role, you can rest assured knowing that your project is handled by someone who knows what they’re doing and understands all applicable laws in your area.
If you are interested in hiring a drone pilot to take commercial photographs or cinematic aerial videos, please contact us today for a project quote.