Interest in aerial photography and/or videography using a drone is definitely growing, thanks to an ever-increasing availability to consumers of reasonably-priced drones. The quality of footage and photographs captured by these aerial platforms has kept pace as well. Since we are starting to see more aerial footage included in Multimedia SIG members' productions, we decided to add this page in order to provide some basic information to our members and other interested parties.
We will try to keep any regulatory information up-to-date, but it is always the responsibility of the individual to keep themselves abreast of any developments in this field!!
Here is the ultimate authority: Federal Aviation Administration Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Know and understand the meaning of "Recreational Flight". Many people assume that a recreational flight is one that is not operated for a business or any form of compensation. But, that's not always the case. Financial compensation, or the lack of it, is not what determines if the flight is recreational or commercial.
Non-recreational purposes include things like taking photos to help sell a property or service, roof inspections, or taking pictures of a high school football game for the school's website. Goodwill or other non-monetary value can also be considered indirect compensation. This would include things like volunteering to use your drone to survey coastlines on behalf of a non-profit organization. Recreational flight is simply flying for fun or personal enjoyment.
If what you are doing is not purely "recreational flight", then you must have Part 107 certification, which is required for any flight that is not recreational.
The following points are drawn directly from the Federal Aviation Administration web site and focus on recreational flying. If you don't know all the terms, you should make yourself familiar with them before you fly!
The foregoing information is a "brief" overview of what you need to know to start flying your drone. In the weeks to come, we'll continue to add material to this site, such as considerations for aerial photography and videography, recommended web sites for training and education, interesting equipment used by SIG members, and so on.
Chino Canyon - Photographer near white truck in lower center of photo.
Page last updated: 08/14/2021