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Flying UAV for Non-Recreational use

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OK. So I just spent the last 2 hours searching the forum and couldn't find anything that clearly answers my question which is:

Can someone please explain in simple terms; what do I have to do to start using my drone to earn some money??? I' have poured over the FAA fact sheet, read and tried to decipher the FAA warning letter to YouTubers and like offenders. Read the 91-57 Advisory Circular and I've come across several posts about petitioning for a 333 exemption??? I'm more confused now then when I started looking.

I live in New England near the Canadian border where there is not a lot of drone owners and I'm being approached by several realtors, golf courses, Construction Co.'s etc. who are requesting my drone services. I've been an amateur photographer for the last decade and I'm going to be retiring in 8-10 years. I would love to earn some supplemental income by using my Inspire for my business but don't know what I need to do to comply with FAA Regs.

Anybody?
 
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After just recently graduating from a formal sUAS training school I can tell you...

#1 Be safe and operate responsibly
#2 Follow the rules on http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/
#3 Based on my research the FAA is currently not pursuing any UAS operator that operates within the guideline and operates in a safe, responsible manner. That is until some boneheads decided to change that.
#4 Get a business License
#5 Get Liability Insurance
#6 Go to work.

You can get a 333 Exemption if you'd like as it is up to you but I am gunning for the Part 107 which, from all what is happening in the news, should be finalized within a year. I would then take the Part 107 FAA sUAS Operator's test and would be GTG if and when I pass.
 
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OK. So I just spent the last 2 hours searching the forum and couldn't find anything that clearly answers my question which is:

Can someone please explain in simple terms; what do I have to do to start using my drone to earn some money??? I' have poured over the FAA fact sheet, read and tried to decipher the FAA warning letter to YouTubers and like offenders. Read the 91-57 Advisory Circular and I've come across several posts about petitioning for a 333 exemption??? I'm more confused now then when I started looking.

I live in New England near the Canadian border where there is not a lot of drone owners and I'm being approached by several realtors, golf courses, Construction Co.'s etc. who are requesting my drone services. I've been an amateur photographer for the last decade and I'm going to be retiring in 8-10 years. I would love to earn some supplemental income by using my Inspire for my business but don't know what I need to do to comply with FAA Regs.

Anybody?
There are many doing what you want to with no 333 exemption or whatever ... just do it.... and comply when the rules become clear...
 
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I understand the exemption a little better now. ie., watched some guy on YouTube ranting about how he, a commercial rated pilot, has to jump hoops to comply with this exemption, just to fly what he considers a plastic toy compared to the planes he flys, to take real estate photos. But beyond the rant he does explain the process and he posts links for the procedures to submit for the 333 exemption.

Anyway, I understand the need for regulations and the need for safety so I don't mind doing the things this you-tubers all up in arms about. Today I took pics of several properties for a local realtor and close friend, who insisted on giving me something ($$$). And it got me thinking: I could do this all the time ( I really enjoyed it ). What are all the guys on the Inspire forum doing?

Just want to do the right thing. OC, can you tell me more about the Part 107?
 
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#4 Get a business License
#5 Get Liability Insurance
#6 Go to work.

You can get a 333 Exemption if you'd like as it is up to you but I am gunning for the Part 107 which, from all what is happening in the news, should be finalized within a year. I would then take the Part 107 FAA sUAS Operator's test and would be GTG if and when I pass.
Can you also tell me more about insurance? Liability Insurance? How does one explain that to ones Ins. Co. And what does getting a business License mean? Thinking up a business name and coming up with some sort of a business plan? Do I need to become an LLC or something?
 

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Insurance will need to be through an aviation insurance company. There are several around. I use Sutton James and my brokers name is Airika Ackerman (feel free to contact her for yourself). That is one option. Business name is on you and making a small LLC is helpful when billing and making bank accounts. Also keeps Uncle Sam happy since he gets his share.
As long as you fly safe and in accordance with the FARs you should have no issues. Keep it under 400ft, away from people not involved in the shoot, get SIGNED permission from people and property you are flying over, and try not to piss anyone off. Lastly, what seems to get me the farthest, is be nice to people. Talk to them and answer questions. I have had zero run ins with people where they left upset. A few close calls but some simple dialogue and friendly explanations have kept me out of trouble.
 
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I understand the exemption a little better now. ie., watched some guy on YouTube ranting about how he, a commercial rated pilot, has to jump hoops to comply with this exemption, just to fly what he considers a plastic toy compared to the planes he flys, to take real estate photos. But beyond the rant he does explain the process and he posts links for the procedures to submit for the 333 exemption.

Anyway, I understand the need for regulations and the need for safety so I don't mind doing the things this you-tubers all up in arms about. Today I took pics of several properties for a local realtor and close friend, who insisted on giving me something ($$$). And it got me thinking: I could do this all the time ( I really enjoyed it ). What are all the guys on the Inspire forum doing?

Just want to do the right thing. OC, can you tell me more about the Part 107?
Here is just the proposal. Based on the class I just took there will be some changes and adjustments to it but at the moment this will be as close as it gets.

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/media/021515_suas_summary.pdf
 
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Can you also tell me more about insurance? Liability Insurance? How does one explain that to ones Ins. Co. And what does getting a business License mean? Thinking up a business name and coming up with some sort of a business plan? Do I need to become an LLC or something?

Just to add what Mazz has covered is that there are some carriers that will provide Liability coverage per event.
 
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After just recently graduating from a formal sUAS training school I can tell you...

#1 Be safe and operate responsibly
#2 Follow the rules on http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/
#3 Based on my research the FAA is currently not pursuing any UAS operator that operates within the guideline and operates in a safe, responsible manner. That is until some boneheads decided to change that.
#4 Get a business License
#5 Get Liability Insurance
#6 Go to work.

You can get a 333 Exemption if you'd like as it is up to you but I am gunning for the Part 107 which, from all what is happening in the news, should be finalized within a year. I would then take the Part 107 FAA sUAS Operator's test and would be GTG if and when I pass.
You were able to get insured without a 333? We shopped our insurance for a while and everyone mandated a 333 and pilots license.

You are certainly welcome to go the whole 'beg for forgiveness when something goes wrong' route. Just because the FAA does not have the resources to penalize operators for not complying with the law does not mean when something goes wrong they won't make an example out of you.
 
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You were able to get insured without a 333? We shopped our insurance for a while and everyone mandated a 333 and pilots license.

You are certainly welcome to go the whole 'beg for forgiveness when something goes wrong' route. Just because the FAA does not have the resources to penalize operators for not complying with the law does not mean when something goes wrong they won't make an example out of you.

Yes.

I have 2 quotes on my desk for Liability insurance for 1 million / 2 million aggregate insurance. Though it doesn't mean that I will accept it. There is no "beg for forgiveness..." don't see how you came up with that.

From what I have found there have been a dozen instances from the past 7 years where the FAA would have stepped in and made an example of someone behaving badly but nothing came off of it aside from a civil court decision where there was not enough proof to warrant a conviction. Though from recent events such as some boneheads flying and restricting fire fighting planes to be airborne this may allow the FAA to make someone accountable but it also allows the FAA to "push" and approve FAA Part 107 sooner.
 
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Yes.

I have 2 quotes on my desk for Liability insurance for 1 million / 2 million aggregate insurance. Though it doesn't mean that I will accept it. There is no "beg for forgiveness..." don't see how you came up with that.

From what I have found there have been a dozen instances from the past 7 years where the FAA would have stepped in and made an example of someone behaving badly but nothing came off of it aside from a civil court decision where there was not enough proof to warrant a conviction. Though from recent events such as some boneheads flying and restricting fire fighting planes to be airborne this may allow the FAA to make someone accountable but it also allows the FAA to "push" and approve FAA Part 107 sooner.
This has been covered on the forum over and over. Just because they don't bust every or as of yet any operators although they have shut down operators in my area, does not mean that should you have an accident and something catastrophic goes wrong ( loss of control resulting in an injury ) that they will not make an example out of you. So, in the fine print of your policy, does it mention that all activities must be coordinated and operated in a legal manner? Ours do. Do you not think that your insurance company will not walk away in a second if they have the slightest opportunity to not pay out i.e. the FAA stepping in and ruling the activity was conducted in a manner not in accordance with the law?
 
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This has been covered on the forum over and over. Just because they don't bust every or as of yet any operators although they have shut down operators in my area, does not mean that should you have an accident and something catastrophic goes wrong ( loss of control resulting in an injury ) that they will not make an example out of you. So, in the fine print of your policy, does it mention that all activities must be coordinated and operated in a legal manner? Ours do. Do you not think that your insurance company will not walk away in a second if they have the slightest opportunity to not pay out i.e. the FAA stepping in and ruling the activity was conducted in a manner not in accordance with the law?

I guess I am not getting your point. Please explain.
 
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Scenario-

As an unlicensed operator you are filming a house. Now i know that DJI makes a bombproof product that has as of yet never have a fly away or loss of control situation but humor me. While filming your drone has a stroke and flies across the street hitting a lady walking her dog. Lady is injured. Cops called. Cops ask 'Do you have permission to do this?' And they will as directed by the FAA in this bulletin.

http://www.faa.gov/uas/regulations_policies/media/FAA_UAS-PO_LEA_Guidance.pdf

Now I know you will say that will never happen to me. This is for arguments sake. Substitute the above scenario for any scenario where someone gets injured. The police will alert the FAA. The FAA will ascertain that you are not in accordance with the law. They may or may not fine you. What do you think the person you injured is going to do when they find you were operating illegally? You are going to get sued. You are not in accordance with the law and your insurance company is going to walk. You are now personally liable because any LLC you set up was operating in an illegal manner you are not afforded any protections.

That is the hopeful scenario. The worst case would be if you suddenly become the poster child when the news decides to take up the story and champion the dog walking lady and make you drone flying public enemy number one. That forces the FAA's hand and they have to make an example out of you. They throw the book at you and the real estate agent who hired you and the homeowner you were filming for.

Change IS coming and hopefully we see some relaxing in the regs. Trust me, it's a ***** for us to find pilots for jobs we have. I would love nothing more than the pilots requirement be relaxed to just having completed the PPL ground school. It is just not here yet. The rules are the rules at present and as with anything the government wants to reign in, they are waiting for someone to make an example out of and say 'See, we told you so! But don't work, we will fix the issue with increased regulation.'
 

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After speaking with several insurance companies myself they pretty unanimously had the same reactions. They all told me they knew the FAA was working on things but they do not want to leave us behind so we are insurable. I have no 333 exemption but had no issue getting insurance.
 
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@ CaptB: Sorry but I still don't get your point. You surely make it sound like us non-333 boys are a bunch of wild, reckless operators who have no common sense. So if you want to call us Part 107 folks out do it but don't bunch us up with renegades just because we have no 333 exemption.
 
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@ CaptB: Sorry but I still don't get your point. You surely make it sound like us non-333 boys are a bunch of wild, reckless operators who have no common sense. So if you want to call us Part 107 folks out do it but don't bunch us up with renegades just because we have no 333 exemption.
I never at any point said wild or reckless?!? I said that should an accident happen as they do, 333 or not. What does common sense have to do with an inadvertent error associated with the equipment you are flying. I know a lot of non 333 operators who run great programs. At no point did I ever say "reckless, wild, or lacking common sense".
 
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Please quote where I eluded to it. If I did, I apologize (as I often find myself doing here :) ). Trust me, my goal is to make sure that people make informed decisions. It benefits us all as UAS operators, commercial or not. I left a very lucrative career to build a business that keeps me home with my family instead of traveling from home 3 months at a time twice a year. The scariest part of this is not my own ability to direct my own course in this industry, but the uncertain nature of future regulation. We can all chart where future regulation goes by flying within the bounds of the law in a safe and responsible manner.
 
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So anyway I took my first baby steps to becoming a viable business by joining AMA. Was pleased to see that they offer insurance as follows:

  • $2,500,000 personal liability insurance coverage
  • $25,000 Medical Coverage-AD&D Policy ($10,000 Death Benefit)
  • $1,000 Fire, Theft, and Vandalism coverage

Not much I know but it's a start!
 

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