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Posting Aerial Videos Online

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Qstn

I create an aerial video of my drone flight
I post it to YouTube
YouTube makes money from my post
I do not make a dime from that post
Do I need a Part 107 Certificate to do that?

I do understand if I personally offer an Aerial Service for a Fee, I need the 107.
 
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Are you aware of Mikey with the YouTube channel PhillyDroneLife? He's been slapped with something like $180,000 in fines for live-streaming his illegal flights over and around Philadelphia on his monetized YouTube channel. I haven't seen the outcome yet, the most recent article google finds is from the end of last year, but that's the extreme case and I guess we'll see it move along sooner or later.

Recent articles I've seen say that incidental posting of drone videos on YouTube doesn't rise to the level of violation if they don't document illegal flights like most of Mikey's do. If the channel depends on drone photos or videos the 107 certificate would be required.

Something that's obviously business related posted by a hobby pilot, like a real estate video or photo spread, is likely to attract the attention of the commercial pilot that didn't get the job. If referred to the FAA, their first response is likely to be 'education' and not enforcement. Mikey got educated a few times, persisted with his rule breaking, and got charged with 100+ violations.

I'm answering because I don't see any other answers and am hoping if I'm wrong somebody who knows better will jump in and correct me. I hope it's helpful...
 
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Even if your YouTube channel is monetize-able, you don't have to monetize your aerial videos. I think the 107 is pretty clear that if you're a hobbyist, you don't have to apply for the 107. And "hobbyist" is defined as someone who doesn't accept compensation for their services and/or video. So I think you are golden. That said...

The FAA is moving target, and I never know what cockamamie rules and regulations they're going to come with next. YMMV, yada, yada....

D
 
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Qstn

I create an aerial video of my drone flight
I post it to YouTube
YouTube makes money from my post
I do not make a dime from that post
Do I need a Part 107 Certificate to do that?

I do understand if I personally offer an Aerial Service for a Fee, I need the 107.
You don’t need a part 107 certificate to do that. No.
 
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Qstn

I create an aerial video of my drone flight
I post it to YouTube
YouTube makes money from my post
I do not make a dime from that post
Do I need a Part 107 Certificate to do that?

I do understand if I personally offer an Aerial Service for a Fee, I need the 107.
I don't think so that you need a Part 107 Certificate to do that.
 
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Just a heads up. Compensation has nothing to do with the 107. The Recreation carve out of part 107 states that if you fly for any reason other then recreation then you need to be licensed part 107 pilot. That is it. Its very strait forward. Even flying for a friend as a favor or a free thing falls under that. Keep in mind that the FAA is at home because of covid restrictions and doing enforcement from home. My bosses son posted a camping video and had some drone footage that my boss flew, FAA sent him a very stern email. Well he sent one back with my bosses 107 number and told them they needed to contact him, he was the pilot. They sent a “Nevermind” type email.
just something to think about.

Too many people seem to think Compensation has something to do with it but it does not. Flying for any reason other then flying for fun requires a 107.
 
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Just a heads up. Compensation has nothing to do with the 107. The Recreation carve out of part 107 states that if you fly for any reason other then recreation then you need to be licensed part 107 pilot. That is it. Its very strait forward. Even flying for a friend as a favor or a free thing falls under that. Keep in mind that the FAA is at home because of covid restrictions and doing enforcement from home. My bosses son posted a camping video and had some drone footage that my boss flew, FAA sent him a very stern email. Well he sent one back with my bosses 107 number and told them they needed to contact him, he was the pilot. They sent a “Nevermind” type email.
just something to think about.

Too many people seem to think Compensation has something to do with it but it does not. Flying for any reason other then flying for fun requires a 107.
I think good argument could be made that "flying for a friend for free" IS recreation. If a friend says, "Hey...I'll meet you Saturday to go rock climbing" - Is that not "recreational?" Or, "Those rocks over a Dover Dam are a fun climb. You should go there sometime." Is that not "recreational climbing?" Why should droning or any other hobby be deemed "non-recreational" because it was at the behest of a friend??

Assuming a level playing field, I'm sure I could win that one in a court of law. But honestly, I don't think the FAA plays on a level playing field. It's the difference between being "refuted" vs. being "dismissed"...<:^/

D
 
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I think good argument could be made that "flying for a friend for free" IS recreation. If a friend says, "Hey...I'll meet you Saturday to go rock climbing" - Is that not "recreational?" Or, "Those rocks over a Dover Dam are a fun climb. You should go there sometime." Is that not "recreational climbing?" Why should droning or any other hobby be deemed "non-recreational" because it was at the behest of a friend??

Assuming a level playing field, I'm sure I could win that one in a court of law. But honestly, I don't think the FAA plays on a level playing field. It's the difference between being "refuted" vs. being "dismissed"...<:^/

D
Yea its one of those things. I prefer for someone with more resources then I have to test that case. Lol
 
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I think good argument could be made that "flying for a friend for free" IS recreation. If a friend says, "Hey...I'll meet you Saturday to go rock climbing" - Is that not "recreational?" Or, "Those rocks over a Dover Dam are a fun climb. You should go there sometime." Is that not "recreational climbing?" Why should droning or any other hobby be deemed "non-recreational" because it was at the behest of a friend??

Assuming a level playing field, I'm sure I could win that one in a court of law. But honestly, I don't think the FAA plays on a level playing field. It's the difference between being "refuted" vs. being "dismissed"...<:^/

D
I don’t think anybody is making the argument that rock climbing isn’t recreational. What would make it non recreational is if the friend has a monetized YouTube channel about rock climbing where the videos were uploaded, owns a rock climbing equipment company, or hosts rock climbing events and the video was used to promote them.

If the the videos have commercial value and purpose of the flight was to benefit someone commercially then it’s no longer recreational.

In the case of YouTube running ads before playing a video that was uploaded this wouldn’t automatically burst the protection of the recreational exception because the pilot wasn’t doing it to benefit YouTube. This is just an unintended consequence.
 
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I don’t think anybody is making the argument that rock climbing isn’t recreational. What would make it non recreational is if the friend has a monetized YouTube channel about rock climbing where the videos were uploaded, owns a rock climbing equipment company, or hosts rock climbing events and the video was used to promote them.
So if somebody ELSE makes money off of MY aerial video - but I don't make a dime - THAT is considered "non-recreational" for ME?? That's a stretch. I bet I could come up with a half-dozen real-world examples where that wouldn't be the case.


If the the videos have commercial value and purpose of the flight was to benefit someone commercially then it’s no longer recreational.
Hmmmm...I'd have to see that nomenclature. What if someone STEALS one of my YouTube videos and uses it in a television commercial and doesn't pay me a dime? Does that make ME a "professional???" And what if I see this commercial and recognize my footage? Am I obliged to tell the FAA that some other schmuck is making money off my video??? No sir....I don't think that that's the case. I think I could win that argument pretty easily.




In the case of YouTube running ads before playing a video that was uploaded this wouldn’t automatically burst the protection of the recreational exception because the pilot wasn’t doing it to benefit YouTube. This is just an unintended consequence.
Unless the FAA is going to have the nads to completely redefine the word "professional," I think case could be made that NOT being paid qualifies as "non-professional." Ergo; "hobbyist."

Discuss.

D
 
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So if somebody ELSE makes money off of MY aerial video - but I don't make a dime - THAT is considered "non-recreational" for ME??
Yes. It’s about the purpose of the flight. They don’t have to even make money directly from the flight. If a friend that is a real estate agent asks you to take some photos of a house they intend to use to market the home, even if you are doing it for free and the agent doesn’t sell the house the flight is still commercial in nature even though no money changes hands.


I bet I could come up with a half-dozen real-world examples where that wouldn't be the case.
Ok give it a try.

Hmmmm...I'd have to see that nomenclature. What if someone STEALS one of my YouTube videos and uses it in a television commercial and doesn't pay me a dime? Does that make ME a "professional???"
Not if your intention for the flight was purely recreational. You didn’t intend for your video to be used in that way so you are good. Similar to the YouTube situation.

Am I obliged to tell the FAA that some other schmuck is making money off my video???
The FAA is the Federal Aviation Administration, they administer aviation they don’t care about what happens to your videos. If someone steals your videos and uses them commercially you can sue them for copyright infringement.


Unless the FAA is going to have the nads to completely redefine the word "professional," I think case could be made that NOT being paid qualifies as "non-professional." Ergo; "hobbyist."
The FAA doesn’t use the word professional so I’m not sure where that comes from. To qualify for the recreational exemption you have to fly “strictly for recreational purposes” anything that is not “strictly for recreational purposes” requires a part 107 remote pilot certificate. Money or no money doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Hmmmm...I'd have to see that nomenclature
“7.1.1 The Aircraft is Flown Strictly for Recreational Purposes. Any use of unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes must be conducted under part 107 or other applicable FAA regulations (e.g., 14 CFR part 91, 135, or 137).”
 
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Yes. It’s about the purpose of the flight. They don’t have to even make money directly from the flight. If a friend that is a real estate agent asks you to take some photos of a house they intend to use to market the home, even if you are doing it for free and the agent doesn’t sell the house the flight is still commercial in nature even though no money changes hands.
Our disconnect is on the *intent* of the flight. If I take photos of a neighbor's house because it's what I like to do, and then they sell it a year later without telling me - and use my photos in the advertising -this does NOT make me a "commercial UAV pilot." My intent was recreational. The FAA rule book is pretty clear on that.



Ok give it a try.
I wash my neighbor's car and they sell it. Am I now a "commercial" car washer?

I mow my neighbor's lawn and they sell their home. Am I now a "commercial" lawn mower?

I repair my neighbor's truck and they turn around and sell it. Am I now a "commercial" mechanic?

I write and record a song for my neighbor. They use the song in a video produced for the sole purpose of selling their home. Am I now a "commercial" musician?

I could go on all day with dozens of examples how doing FREE WORK for fun - REGARDLESS OF OUTCOME - is still "recreational."




Not if your intention for the flight was purely recreational. You didn’t intend for your video to be used in that way so you are good. Similar to the YouTube situation.
Copy that. So the FAA specifies that it's the INTENT of the flight - regardless of the end use. Correct? At least that's my take on it.




The FAA is the Federal Aviation Administration, they administer aviation they don’t care about what happens to your videos. If someone steals your videos and uses them commercially you can sue them for copyright infringement.
I'm aware of my copyrights. But that's not my point.




The FAA doesn’t use the word professional so I’m not sure where that comes from.
Copy that. I should've used the FAA's vernacular of "commercial" or "recreational." I stand corrected.




To qualify for the recreational exemption you have to fly “strictly for recreational purposes” anything that is not “strictly for recreational purposes” requires a part 107 remote pilot certificate. Money or no money doesn’t have anything to do with it.
So give me an example of a "commercial flight" where "money has nothing to do with it."




“7.1.1 The Aircraft is Flown Strictly for Recreational Purposes. Any use of unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes must be conducted under part 107 or other applicable FAA regulations (e.g., 14 CFR part 91, 135, or 137).”
I skimmed through and read part of the whole mess. I just can't get enough of FAA legalese....<:^/

What I garner from this is that "recreational flight" is based on the UAV pilot's intent, and has little to do with unintentional use of the UAV pilot's video and/or photos.

Thoughts?

D
 
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Our disconnect is on the *intent* of the flight. If I take photos of a neighbor's house because it's what I like to do, and then they sell it a year later without telling me - and use my photos in the advertising -this does NOT make me a "commercial UAV pilot." My intent was recreational. The FAA rule book is pretty clear on that.
Agreed. But you can’t take the photos for the purpose of giving it to your neighbor to use to try to sell their house
I wash my neighbor's car and they sell it. Am I now a "commercial" car washer?

I mow my neighbor's lawn and they sell their home. Am I now a "commercial" lawn mower?

I repair my neighbor's truck and they turn around and sell it. Am I now a "commercial" mechanic?

I write and record a song for my neighbor. They use the song in a video produced for the sole purpose of selling their home. Am I now a "commercial" musician?

I could go on all day with dozens of examples how doing FREE WORK for fun - REGARDLESS OF OUTCOME - is still "recreational."
None of these situations are relevant and I won’t try to turn them into drone relevant situations so I’ll let it be
Copy that. So the FAA specifies that it's the INTENT of the flight - regardless of the end use. Correct? At least that's my take on it.
Yes but it’s the intent OF THE FLIGHT not just the pilots intent. The pilots intent might be “because it’s fun” but if the purpose of the flight is to get photos so the neighbor can sell his house the flight is not recreational
So give me an example of a "commercial flight" where "money has nothing to do with it."
I told you the one about the real estate agent that doesn’t sell the house. Nobody made money still non recreational.
What I garner from this is that "recreational flight" is based on the UAV pilot's intent, and has little to do with unintentional use of the UAV pilot's video and/or photos.
Right. The FAA doesn’t regulate photos and videos they regulate aviation so they can only regulate what you are doing during the flight which is your purpose or intent.
 
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Right. The FAA doesn’t regulate photos and videos they regulate aviation so they can only regulate what you are doing during the flight which is your purpose or intent.
You know, it's funny you bring this up.

<rant>

The clear line in the sand between commercial and recreational aviation is "payload." Either you're flying a plane by yourself (or with a single passenger) (recreational), or you're flying a larger aviation vehicle with paying passengers and/or commercial payloads. It's pretty cut-n-dry. Even the most dismal observer can see why the FAA has made such a clear-cut difference between "commercial pilots" and "recreational pilots." It makes a lot of sense. I totally get it.

Conversely, the lines between commercial UAV and recreational UAV are almost non-existent. The payloads don't change. The risk doesn't change. Nothing changes. I can fly a circle around a house and take photo "recreationally" or "commercially." There is literally zero difference between those two flights. The "risk" changes not one iota. Even size doesn't matter. I flew my M600 Pro last week for test purposes. I could just as easily fly a Mavic Pro professionally or "commercially" as the FAA likes to call it. I flew my M600 Pro out at an RC Park right next to a dozen or so other recreational RC Pilots. CLEARLY, "size" matters not.

I guess my point is that there is no logic or common sense to any of this. It just seems like a whole bunch of posturing and bureaucracy for the sake of ego or revenue under the guise of "safety." The FAA completely ignores any statistical comparisons between UAV's and full-scale aviation. No other faction in the world ignores statistical data like the FAA does. The UAV community boasts literally zero deaths, very few injuries and very little property damage (I concede that if one digs hard enough, I think there was ONE DEATH in like 1975 from a large RC helicopter). From an underwriter's POV, UAV flying is the Holy Grail of safety; Zero deaths. No major injuries. Almost zero property damage. A dream come true. But everybody ignores this, favoring, instead a myriad of "what if" arguments and scenarios that are completely unsupported by any and all available data.

The FAA is hyper about safety, and I get why. When you're transporting millions of souls millions of miles thousands of feet in the air annually, you had BETTER be focused on safety and diligence. Especially since aviation has killed thousands and done billions in property damage throughout its sordid history. But when you're flying a 3 lb. toy with NO souls on board, no payload and a kinetic potential of a tennis ball, maybe - JUST MAYBE - "safety" can be relaxed a little.

Consider this....

Any Joe Blow can Willy-Nilly purchase a drone and fly it. And they do. By the millions. All over the world. Regardless of the level of stupidity or ignorance, the damage drones have done to the entire planet over their entire history is orders of magnitude less than any SINGLE aviation crash. Let that sink in. Any SINGLE AVIATION CRASH. If that kind of carnage could be put into scale, Aviation would be all of Florida beaches and UAV's would be a grain of sand.

I'm not against safety. What I AM against is a bunch of bureaucratic BS under the GUISE of safety. Honestly, until ONE PERSON is KILLED - JUST ONE - in my humble opinion, the FAA needs to relax. But there's no money in that. And fat-cat FAA jobs have to be justified.

Dozens if not hundreds are killed annually by commercial aviation. Until UAV's begin to even scratch the surface of that level of carnage, it makes ZERO SENSE to treat us with nearly the same level of regulation as the rest of the aviation community. Just my $.02.

</rant>

D
 
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You know, it's funny you bring this up.

<rant>

The clear line in the sand between commercial and recreational aviation is "payload." Either you're flying a plane by yourself (or with a single passenger) (recreational), or you're flying a larger aviation vehicle with paying passengers and/or commercial payloads. It's pretty cut-n-dry. Even the most dismal observer can see why the FAA has made such a clear-cut difference between "commercial pilots" and "recreational pilots." It makes a lot of sense. I totally get it.

Conversely, the lines between commercial UAV and recreational UAV are almost non-existent. The payloads don't change. The risk doesn't change. Nothing changes. I can fly a circle around a house and take photo "recreationally" or "commercially." There is literally zero difference between those two flights. The "risk" changes not one iota. Even size doesn't matter. I flew my M600 Pro last week for test purposes. I could just as easily fly a Mavic Pro professionally or "commercially" as the FAA likes to call it. I flew my M600 Pro out at an RC Park right next to a dozen or so other recreational RC Pilots. CLEARLY, "size" matters not.

I guess my point is that there is no logic or common sense to any of this. It just seems like a whole bunch of posturing and bureaucracy for the sake of ego or revenue under the guise of "safety." The FAA completely ignores any statistical comparisons between UAV's and full-scale aviation. No other faction in the world ignores statistical data like the FAA does. The UAV community boasts literally zero deaths, very few injuries and very little property damage (I concede that if one digs hard enough, I think there was ONE DEATH in like 1975 from a large RC helicopter). From an underwriter's POV, UAV flying is the Holy Grail of safety; Zero deaths. No major injuries. Almost zero property damage. A dream come true. But everybody ignores this, favoring, instead a myriad of "what if" arguments and scenarios that are completely unsupported by any and all available data.

The FAA is hyper about safety, and I get why. When you're transporting millions of souls millions of miles thousands of feet in the air annually, you had BETTER be focused on safety and diligence. Especially since aviation has killed thousands and done billions in property damage throughout its sordid history. But when you're flying a 3 lb. toy with NO souls on board, no payload and a kinetic potential of a tennis ball, maybe - JUST MAYBE - "safety" can be relaxed a little.

Consider this....

Any Joe Blow can Willy-Nilly purchase a drone and fly it. And they do. By the millions. All over the world. Regardless of the level of stupidity or ignorance, the damage drones have done to the entire planet over their entire history is orders of magnitude less than any SINGLE aviation crash. Let that sink in. Any SINGLE AVIATION CRASH. If that kind of carnage could be put into scale, Aviation would be all of Florida beaches and UAV's would be a grain of sand.

I'm not against safety. What I AM against is a bunch of bureaucratic BS under the GUISE of safety. Honestly, until ONE PERSON is KILLED - JUST ONE - in my humble opinion, the FAA needs to relax. But there's no money in that. And fat-cat FAA jobs have to be justified.

Dozens if not hundreds are killed annually by commercial aviation. Until UAV's begin to even scratch the surface of that level of carnage, it makes ZERO SENSE to treat us with nearly the same level of regulation as the rest of the aviation community. Just my $.02.

</rant>

D
I agree with basically everything. I’d say though, and this goes to your point, the FAA would like if there were NO recreational exception at all. Part 107 was the FAA standard rules for commercial or otherwise. Congress had to step in and say “no we want to give people the ability to fly RC planes and drones recreationally without having to go through the FAAs hoopla like they have been for 120 years.” So Congress added the recreational exemption NOT the FAA.

That’s one thing I sense you are still getting tripped up on. Part 107 was never meant to be for commercial operations, it was suppose to be for everything. So it’s recreational or everything else. Not recreational or commercial.
 
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Also the part 107 test is ridiculous. There’s only like 5 questions about part 107 regulations. 75% of it is about reading charts and the other 20% is about random things like understanding the weather radio forecast.

I’ve never once used a chart in a professional setting. For us, our areas of operation are too localized for aeronautical charts. They were meant to be used by airplanes traveling hundreds of miles per hour so it’s impossible to look up an address on the chart since only the main highways are on there. We have to use the facilities map but of course that’s not even on the test.

Not only that but I’d never use the weather radio to get information about the weather. I’d look it up on the internet. It’s just so disconnected from the realities of being a remote pilot. These are manned aviation guys making these rules and tests for remote pilots. I’ve been saying forever that a different federal agency should be the ones regulating this.
 
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I agree with basically everything. I’d say though, and this goes to your point, the FAA would like if there were NO recreational exception at all. Part 107 was the FAA standard rules for commercial or otherwise. Congress had to step in and say “no we want to give people the ability to fly RC planes and drones recreationally without having to go through the FAAs hoopla like they have been for 120 years.” So Congress added the recreational exemption NOT the FAA.

That’s one thing I sense you are still getting tripped up on. Part 107 was never meant to be for commercial operations, it was suppose to be for everything. So it’s recreational or everything else. Not recreational or commercial.
Ahhh...thanx for the clarification. The Part 107 opens up a whole other rant. While I couldn't agree more with most of the test (understanding the NAS, understanding NFZ's, NOTAM's, how to read sectional charts, etc.), I couldn't disagree more with the weather pattern stuff, METARs, airport signage (a place where we should never fly EVER), fixed wing stall speeds, angle of attack, yada, yada. And I think they should add important aviation facets like flight lines, glide slope, autorotation, velocity diagrams, etc.

Anyway...

I agree that the 107 is a good thing and SHOULD be for everybody. I would probably parse it out to 107C for commercial pilots and 107R for recreational pilots. The former would be a harder test, but the holder would garner more flying privileges - like flying in controlled air space with the proper permissions. The latter test would be simpler and the certification would be extremely limited - like no flying in controlled air space, period. Other incentives could be added like flying at night, flying over people, over traffic, etc.

Again, just my 2 cents.

D
 
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Ahhh...thanx for the clarification. The Part 107 opens up a whole other rant. While I couldn't agree more with most of the test (understanding the NAS, understanding NFZ's, NOTAM's, how to read sectional charts, etc.), I couldn't disagree more with the weather pattern stuff, METARs, airport signage (a place where we should never fly EVER), fixed wing stall speeds, angle of attack, yada, yada. And I think they should add important aviation facets like flight lines, glide slope, autorotation, velocity diagrams, etc.

Anyway...

I agree that the 107 is a good thing and SHOULD be for everybody. I would probably parse it out to 107C for commercial pilots and 107R for recreational pilots. The former would be a harder test, but the holder would garner more flying privileges - like flying in controlled air space with the proper permissions. The latter test would be simpler and the certification would be extremely limited - like no flying in controlled air space, period. Other incentives could be added like flying at night, flying over people, over traffic, etc.

Again, just my 2 cents.

D
Yea I’m not against having a test. The test serves as a barrier to entry for operators effectively reducing the number of people qualified to do drone work. If anybody could do it it would be even harder for us to get work and reduce pay so helps with that.

I guess I just wish the test was more relevant.

I totally agree that the FAA ignores the safety record of drones and holds us to a higher standard than GA pilots. Just look at Remote ID. It is absolutely ludicrous that a sUAV has to transmit location at all times when even manned aircraft don’t have to.


Location, altitude, speed, heading, and operator location required at all times including in Class G airspace
CA26D7F9-142B-4DFF-B3CC-67013567C0E9.jpeg

No transmitter required in class G airspace. In fairness the aircraft really doesn’t fly in class G airspace but you get what I’m saying.
2CF46BAD-63F9-4A2C-9A21-B9B43AA91C43.jpeg
 
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Qstn

I create an aerial video of my drone flight
I post it to YouTube
YouTube makes money from my post
I do not make a dime from that post
Do I need a Part 107 Certificate to do that?

I do understand if I personally offer an Aerial Service for a Fee, I need the 107.
That's a big yes! If you are still unsure, call your local FSDO.
 

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