Commercial vs Hobby Confusion

Discussion in 'sUAV Rules & Regulations' started by HeartOfTexas, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas Member

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    I'm new to the drone world and loving my Mavic Pro. I have a side business (not my 'real' job) designing and maintaining websites. I can see where I would potentially offer to film a location for a customer. But this would be a 1 or 2 time thing and not something I would make additional money off of. I am not daunted at the thought of the commercial license, but it does seem that the requirements and responsibilities that accompany it are greater. What should I do? I'd almost rather not charge for the extra service just to keep my hobbyist status...

    Thanks
     
  2. John Shaw

    John Shaw Well-Known Member

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    If you use it for business it's commercial. Even thought you wouldn't charge for it, it is in the package they are paying for. But then I'm not a lawyer.
     
  3. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas Member

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    Thanks, that's what I figured. What I have also read after posing this question is that when you are just flying for fun, you are considered a hobbyist and only those rules apply. Does that sound right?
     
  4. dsd317

    dsd317 Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  5. John Shaw

    John Shaw Well-Known Member

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    That sounds right to me.
     
  6. spiderpig

    spiderpig Well-Known Member

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    I recently passed my Part 107 test to use Drones commercially. It's not an easy test (I'm not a pilot in real life), but I passed. So there is a scenario where you could be at the controls flying your drone and use the video and photo for your business. To use drones commercially, there are two things that are needed: a pilot in command and a visual observer. The pilot in command can have another person manipulating the controls as long as he/she can take control if needed in case of emergency.

    So the way you could do it is to find a friend who's Part 107 certified and ask him to come with you when your flying. Make sure you also have someone who's acting as a visual observer as well. The nice thing about have a Part 107 certified person is that you can fly 400 AGL above the highest building within 400 feet. So you could, in theory, go higher then 400 AGL to get some shots.
     
  7. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas Member

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    Congrats on passing. I'm also not a pilot but bit the bullet and signed up for the Drone Pilot Ground School course. I do best with that sort of learning. And it's a business expense after all.

    So I guess when I register with the FAA (which I should have done already but haven't) I register as a commercial UAV. Done
     
  8. spiderpig

    spiderpig Well-Known Member

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    You should be registered as a hobby flier currently. But for commercial you'll need to also register as a commercial one (another five bucks). I just got my temporary airman certification (paper before you get the actual card), so will be doing that this weekend.

    The Drone Ground School is an excellent source. I did my study through them as well. It's like drinking from the firehose but take your time and make sure your familiar with all the parts.
     
  9. ascension

    ascension Well-Known Member

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    Careful here.

    "Certain drone flight will require a second person to act as a visual observer, to help the pilot track the drone. Should this visual observer be required to remain within shouting distance of the pilot? (p65)

    Not necessarily. No visual observer will be required. When one is present, however, the rule will simply require that the drone operator and the visual observer maintain “effective” communication. “This rule will require the remote pilot in command, the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS (if that person is not the remote pilot in command), and the visual observer to maintain effective communication, but it will also allow the remote pilot in command to determine how that communication will take place.” (p144)

    Should the visual observer be required to get certification? (Pilots will need to be certified). (p66)"

    Significant Aspects of the FAA’s Drone Rules – Center for the Study of the Drone
     
  10. spiderpig

    spiderpig Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Roles can be doe by one person. So you could have one person who's Pilot in Charge, and visual observer. It's all very fairly detailed. Here's the FAA link to the guidelines:
    Fact Sheet – Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations (Part 107)

    Not that I don't trust the Bard College....always good to get it from the source.

     
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