Remote Drone Pilot License For Video & Photography

I recently took and passed the FAA’s UAS aeronautical pilot 107 knowledge test for commercial drone pilots. Yes, if you read that aloud, that’s a mouthful. And you may well ask, what is that and what does it mean or why did you that?  That is an exam, administered in a similar fashion to your SAT test (for those of you college graduates or aspiring ones), but done at a facility that’s been approved by the FAA.  Simply put, if you want to fly a drone in the U.S. for commercial reasons, one of the requirements is to take and pass this test.

So without going into a lot more technical things about the test itself or how much studying time it required by yours truly, just know that it does require pilot (airman) knowledge. A lot of the information on this test is the stuff real pilots of real aircraft need to know. For instance, I now know things about aviation and specifically air space and how to read aeronautical charts that I was completely oblivious to just months ago.  And frankly, that’s a good thing.

drone aerial photography

So Mr. Smarty Pants – you think you’re Mr. Drone Pilot now?

Well, secretly, yes… but no. I’m sure just about everyone by now has seen a drone flying about.  Some of you may have even had closer encounters than you’d like.  And while they are cool and fun, drones also need to be used with some caution and certainly a bunch of common sense. Just as you want a good pilot when you are a passenger on an airline, I think we all want drone pilots that follow the rules. And that’s why I took the test – to follow the rules.  So, if you are reading this and hiring a production company or individual, be sure the pilot has their remote pilot certification – often called the drone 107 license. If the video or pics taken with the drone are commercial in nature, (i.e. used to promote something) then even if the person doesn’t charge you a penny – you – or certainly they – very well could be breaking U.S. law.  And that license must be renewed every two years.

Sweet! Drone shots for every project!

I personally think of the capabilities of using a drone for video and photos as just one more tool in the toolshed.  Aerial does open up certain possibilities and perhaps many angles not accessible before. And it also allows for movement for video, just like a dolly, jib or slider but in much broader and perhaps more dynamic ways. But as with most technology, there’s a place and time to use it – instead of employing it for every single shot in your video. And safety should always be the number one priority with any job. So contact me today – to learn more about how to put this interesting technology to good use in your marketing and advertising visuals. While I am now a certified drone pilot, and take that responsibility seriously, I still think of myself as just a camera guy. In other words, I won’t show up with attitude, but rather, with helpful suggestions!  🙂

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