unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators are compelled to
abide by all regulations set forth by government and
regulatory agencies including the
Primarily for safety reasons, there are numerous
operating considerations - considerations which may impact
the commercial use of these specialized aircraft – also
known as “drones”.
Flying a drone is much like flying
an airplane or helicopter – mechanically and legally.
All the same aeronautical considerations for flight
and administrative rules and restrictions and laws about
operation are very real.
Flying a drone for any commercial purpose requires
licensure by the FAA as a remote pilot. The actual
regulation that covers commercial drone pilots is known as
14 CFR Part 107 which became effective on August 29, 2016.
To help ensure proper, safe, legal
and timely service, a certain amount of paperwork and
administrative procedure is necessary.
Clients, property owners, real estate agents, and
other “interested parties” will have written notices and
agreements to complete.
Mutually agreeable schedules must be arrived at.
The Federal Aviation Administration and local Air
Traffic Controllers play a huge role in deciding when and
where (if at all) drone flight may be authorized. The days
of just anybody grabbing a drone, running it up and the air
and snapping a few photos and a quick video are coming to an
enforcement and penalties for violating federal laws are
increasingly taking control.
Only licensed pilots may operate a drone for
commercial purposes and they must have specific permission
to do so on a case-by-case basis if the location is within a
5 mile radius of any airport (and there are a surprising
number of small airports everywhere).
Drones and their control devices are
high technology – and as such are subject to operating
can be adversely affected by a variety of interfering radio
waves and magnetic fields, metal equipment and structures in
the vicinity can stop a drone in its tracks.
Software problems can cause delays.
Generally speaking, drone flight will be limited by a number
of atmospheric and weather conditions:
Wind speed must be less than about 20 mph with less than
30 mph gusts.
Temperature operating range is limited to between 32F
Any kind of moisture, to include spray, drizzle, mist,
rain or even extremely high humidity will significantly
impair or preclude flight.
Drones may not be flown at night without obtaining
special permission from the FAA approximately 90 days in
General Safety Precautions
Drone pilots must have specific permission from nearby
airport flight control when flying within a 5 mile radius of
their controlled airspace. (There are few locations where
this does not apply – it is amazing how many small airports
Must stay clear of any emergency response effort.
Cannot fly over / near people.
Cannot fly above 400 feet.
Must remain in visual contact – line of sight.
Cannot operate from a moving vehicle.
Must avoid all obstacles including people, buildings,
vehicles, power lines and other utility cables, trees,
shrubs, towers, etc.
Must be cautious when operating in areas with high
levels of electromagnetism, including base stations and
radio transmission towers.
Photographic / Aesthetic Considerations
Naturally, we all want the best
looking pictures and video possible.
That is hard to do on a dark, cloudy day.
The direction of the sunlight may have an adverse
about incidental activity that may adversely affect the
roof repairs or replacement is going on.
Or the landscaping crew decides to show up at the
same time. Or
any number of other things that may adversely affect the
outcome of a photo session.
For any or all of these reasons,
scheduling of a “shoot” with drone photography can be
Delays happen. If we have an appointment, we will do
everything in our power to be on time and to work
efficiently – that is also in our best interest. So, please
BIOGRAPHY / DISCLOSURE
John is a
professional photographer operating as Hale Photo ServicesSM
LLC (HPS) with a subsidiary for aerial photography called
UAV.photosSM – utilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAVs) or more commonly referred to as “drones”.
John is licensed by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) as a Remote Pilot (Cert# 4114363). HPS
is licensed and insured.
John P. Hale is also
a licensed real estate agent in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
He is an active member of Carroll County REALTORS ®
John has been licensed since 2000 and also practiced
in Tucson, Arizona for many years.
Mr. Hale holds the following designations and
certifications awarded by the National Association of
REALTORS® (NAR) and other authorized institutions:
ABR-Accredited Buyers Representative, AHWD-At Home
With Diversity, CNE-Certified Negotiation Expert,
CRMS-Certified Risk Management Specialist, CRS-Certified
Residential Specialist, CTA-Certified Tourism Ambassador,
e-PRO-Online Real Estate Practice, GRI-Graduate of Realtor
Institute, MRE-Master of Real Estate, MREP-Mortgage Real
Estate Professional, MRP-Military Relocation Professional,
and Workforce Housing Certification.