Becoming part of it.
It’s easy, then it’s not. Sure, while it isn’t cheap, you can pick up a drone with amazing features at your local Best Buy and watch some Youtube videos and practice flying it. BUT… there are weight classifications, and laws established by the Federal Aviation Administration. Drones over .55lbs must be registered. Even if you do just that, if your intent is anything other than recreational…say, inspecting your own roof, or a Real Estate agent snapping some shots for his/her listings…Big fines can ensue.
Non-pilots can be fined $1,100 for first violation (could be more?). A Real Estate, or any business entity presumably, who hires a non-licensed pilot (perhaps a friend that bought a drone…) can be fined $11,000 for hiring an unlicensed pilot.
“Failure to register a drone that requires registration may result in regulatory and criminal penalties. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three (3) years.”
Seems harsh but see link below.
(FAA link: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/register_drone)
Once registered, even hobbiests are required to know the laws regarding hazards and air space. an FAA Part 107 license is the next step, although not a requirement for hobbiests.
Licensing is a must if photos are to be used with any intent other than fun…even checking your gutters, and especially Real Estate photos for selling a home.
Legitimate drone pilots take classes, and test at an FAA testing facility. The test itself is a portion of the actual test fixed wing aircraft pilots are required to take. It’s called the FAA Part 107 Certificate. And you must abide by the part 107 rules.
This isn’t impossible. It requires some dedication.
FAA views a drone as an aircraft. As they should. That’s what it is. Many drones can fly 5 miles from launch miles in the sky. Don’t.
Intro to Drone Flying
We offer a half day introductory course (4-6 hours).
Nothing too formal. Time is spent initially covering Aerial Charts and how to read them. Then we go over the aircraft itself (ours and yours if you have one) and the dynamics of flight and controls. Then we go out and fly for a bit. We’ll activate the cameras and record your session, and have an additional land camera if you desire to cover the entire event.
It’s informal, fun, and you keep all the footage while learning how to become a better recreational flyer, or learning what is involved to acquire your FAA pt. 107 Pilots License.
For those wishing to pursue licensing, we recommend who we used, “The Pilot Institute”. A leader in licensing taught by a fixed wing pilot (and his crew).