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  • Writer's pictureMark Taylor

Hiring a Certified Drone Operator

Before anyone hires a drone operator (for any reason), it’s important to check that they are certified and comply with the standards outlined below. Why? Because in the event something does go wrong, the FAA will expect that you have done your due diligence and researched the drone operator.

Yes, as the customer, the burden of proof is on you. Not knowing what to ask of a drone pilot or what certifications to check for can land you some serious fines and penalties. And, of course, lack of information is not an excuse as far as the federal process goes.

Luckily, we’re here to help!

Certified drone operator

How to Check if Your Drone Pilot Is Certified

Here is a detailed look at what it means to be a certified drone operator. Any and every time you hire a drone pilot, here’s what you need to check for:

  • The drone pilot on site must have an FAA 107 certificate in the operator's name. The certificate must be in the name of the pilot in command.

  • Company must have a specific COA/Waiver to operate in your area with airspace in Class E,D,C and B.

  • Company must have a UAV aviation insurance policy. (For example, at Extreme Aerial, we have $2 million in coverage.)

  • Check that the UAV aviation policy includes a no-aggregate clause. If you’re not sure, call before operator arrives and ensure they have no outstanding claims so you know you are covered.​

  • Insist that your operator has invasion of privacy insurance to prevent nuisance claims. This is particularly important when doing real estate drone photography.

  • Night Flights: Very few companies have approval to operate at night. If you will be flying and filming at night, make sure you get a copy and check that it’s current.

  • Evening Flights: If your shoot requires flying after civil twilight, make sure your done operator has a certificate or proven training to fly at night and has the correct lights for the aircraft to be visible.

  • Drone airspace is highly regulated and drones can not fly at any altitude. Your operator should know the maximum operating altitude permitted at your location. That way, he or she can make sure they will be able to take the shots you need at the shooting site.

Certified drone operator

Hire a certified drone pilot.

Every drone pilot at Extreme Aerial Productions has the required certifications and licensing to fly and film from the air. Our pilots offer high-quality aerial drone photography, inspection, mapping, topography and video services, all customized for the needs of your project. We are happy to answer your questions!

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