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[Infographic] What To Know Before You Fly

BY Alan Perlman
22 June 2015

Alex over at sent me an email the other week with a link to an infographic he put together.

Some of the information presented here I agree with, but there’s a big chunk of it I find misleading. Read below for my comments!

Click for larger image (opens in new window)

What-is-drone-photography-infographicPart of me sees this as a helpful resource, but a larger part of me feels like its misleading.

There’s not actually a real, enacted law that enables the FAA to go over / fine a pilot operating commercially unless they’re being reckless and not abiding by strict safety standards.

The FAA has publicly committed to clearer regulations by June of 2016, but in the meantime there are already thousands of professional drone pilots in the U.S. making money…most of them without going through the FAA’s recommended certification process.

That’s all it is right now. It’s just a series of strong guidelines / recommended regulations. You can still be a successful drone pilot, and earn a lot of money flying, as long as you’re a smart, ethically sound pilot who follows strict safety protocols.

Off the top of my head, I’m talking about pilots who:

  • Have gone through some kind of reputable learning platform like Drone U, Unmanned Vehicle University, DSLPros training, etc.
  • Have drone pilot insurance
  • Ask property owners for permission and working with local authorities / tower control officials where appropriate.
  • Fly below 400 ft, in the daylight, in direct line-of-sight, and at least 5 miles away from an airport.
  • Are strong, technically sound pilots who understand their UAS intimately and know not just how to operate the autonomous aspects of their system, but also how to fly manually really well.




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