What am I paying a “licensed” drone pilot?

So you’re looking for a drone pilot? Just looking for a pilot can be a daunting task. To the public, it’s a toy with a camera. To an elite few, it’s a passion for creativity, excitement and a an innovative and useful tool for filmmaking. way of life. Its our business! Some of the most common questions I get when speaking with my clients come up, time and time again. Why is it so expensive? I only need like 2 batteries worth of time. Can’t you just pop up there and snag a few, then pop down? You’re expensive, I can get it for $50 from one of my buddies who has a drone thingy….. On and on. I thought it fit to build a few pages on my website for my “serious” clients who have unanswered or incorrect information.

What is the difference between Licensed Drone Pilots and unlicensed Drone Pilots?

This is one of the most asked questions of the last decade. I will try to explain this without being too technical.

  • On Tuesday, June 21, 2016 the FAA made a new regulation requiring: Any person(s),companies, performing drone operations would be required to be certified as a: “sUas (UAV) Remote Pilot”. This means that any commercial use that can benefit themselves or another entity that could receive any sort of gain (money and non-monetary rewards such as benefits, discounts, freebies, or in-kind services) cannot legally perform this operation. No matter if they are paid or not.


Read more here…..


Why Should You Care?

  • Most pilots and cClients have common knowledge about operating a drone for commercial purposes without a license can result in civil penalties (read: fines) of up to $1,100 (per occurrence) from the FAA. However, it is a little known fact that you can be fined for hiring someone without a Remote Pilot certification. Whether you believe this or think that ignorance is a defense for this, it’s 100% accurate that the FAA puts the burden of verification on the shoulders of the client. The pilot would face a fine of $1,100 per violation, while the person who causes the operation could be liable for a fine of $11,000


When you’re a business, contracting another business, one of the first questions should be; Do you have insurance? Did you know that several “Licensed” drone pilots don’t carry insurance or use a generic hourly insurance that doesn’t carry the normal coverage a full general liability policy does? Covering their drone but not you?


Quality seems obvious, but it’s not just High Definition footage that leads to high quality, it’s also the pilots keen ability to create aerial cinematography angles and a camera operators’ knowledge of video framing & composition, camera movement, and the ability to turn those pieces into your message. Erratic & misplaced camera movements etc, are never used in anything that would be considered commercial quality when it comes to representing your companies brand.

Aerial Drone Pilot Talent

I know you have seen those video’s online of drone capturing these amazing events! It’s almost like anyone can do this right? Truth is, the pilots who are shooting those amazing media creations have been trained and have learned through years of flying professionally.


Is it really about cost? Of course it is, but it’s also about professional. After all, a video that is sub par is like saying that your company accepts sub-par as a standard. You set the tone for your own brand, we help bring that to you, professionally licensed and insured!