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JDS

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Hello all!

I think we are all very well aware of the fines that are associated for flying commercially without a 107. I am unable to find if there are any potential ramifications for businesses that knowingly hire a non 107 pilot for commercial purposes.

The back story to this is that I have a current authorization for 100 Ft AGL for a local Golf course that is well within LBB airspace. The Golf Course is looking to use a club members drone to shoot videos of the course for their website. I have talked to the drone owner and he states he has authorization to fly since he can clear the warning off his DJI Go app and he pays for yearly flight authorizations though DJI..... I tried to explain it to him, but he wasn't aware of what a part 107 license is....

I want to ensure the Course does not get into any trouble by allowing him to fly for them and flying at over 300Ft in a 0 grid!

Thanks!
 

Mavic Mac

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Below is an excerpt from this article ---> Yes, You Really Need to be FAA-Certified to Commercially Fly sUAS

Besides the risk associated from an insurance standpoint, there are legal concerns that come with hiring a drone operator for any commercial use without a Remote Pilot Certificate. Although the FAA is hardly able to police the entire commercial drone space at this time, they are, of course, trying to deter unauthorized operations. If a business is caught or turned in, the company or individual hiring/contracting them could face federal penalties for their role in the unauthorized flights.
 
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JDS

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Below is an excerpt from this article ---> Yes, You Really Need to be FAA-Certified to Commercially Fly sUAS

Besides the risk associated from an insurance standpoint, there are legal concerns that come with hiring a drone operator for any commercial use without a Remote Pilot Certificate. Although the FAA is hardly able to police the entire commercial drone space at this time, they are, of course, trying to deter unauthorized operations. If a business is caught or turned in, the company or individual hiring/contracting them could face federal penalties for their role in the unauthorized flights.
Thanks Mavicmac!

I forwarded the article to the supervisor in hopes that they do not continue.
 

Phaedrus

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Although the FAA is hardly able to police the entire commercial drone space at this time, they are, of course, trying to deter unauthorized operations. If a business is caught or turned in, the company or individual hiring/contracting them could face federal penalties for their role in the unauthorized flights.
Under what section of the FARs would they cite a business for hiring a non-Part 107 pilot? Insurance is another matter, but I am unclear how the FAA can bring an enforcement action against a business or entity that hires an un-certified pilot.
 

Fred Garvin

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A while back someone contacted the FAA about this and posted their response:

FAA Response.JPG

Note the "per violation" in the response. Each image used could be considered a "violation". This could get VERY expensive VERY fast.
 
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Fred Garvin

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No Dave, it wasn't me. It was on one of these forums though, can't remember which one. I frequent Yuneec, here, a bit on Inspire and Mavic. You could probably find it if you search. I grabbed the jpg since the question comes up every once in a while. I also got the same answer back in January from our local UAS FAA guy at ZFW ARTCC. He came to our AUVSI Lonestar Chapter meeting to discuss the RID NPRM and the question of the legal impact of hiring unlicensed operators came up. He said basically what was in the FAA Response I posted but also specified that the hiring entity is liable for 10x the fines the pilot could get. That's reflected in the $$ amount example.
 

Dave Pitman

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Okay, no problem. In my opinion, it would benefit the FAA as well as all of us if they were to pick a subject not abiding by the FAR, perhaps a real estate broker, and levy the fine on each of their portfolio of listing images obtained by less than accredited uas operators. And made it painful enough to get the attention of the NAR. A $10k fine per listing would probably do that.

Maybe the FAA could use the $$ to fund their NSA/RID/UTM scheme and let the rest of us remote broadcast. 🤔
 
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LUIS MARTINEZ

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Hello all!

I think we are all very well aware of the fines that are associated for flying commercially without a 107. I am unable to find if there are any potential ramifications for businesses that knowingly hire a non 107 pilot for commercial purposes.

The back story to this is that I have a current authorization for 100 Ft AGL for a local Golf course that is well within LBB airspace. The Golf Course is looking to use a club members drone to shoot videos of the course for their website. I have talked to the drone owner and he states he has authorization to fly since he can clear the warning off his DJI Go app and he pays for yearly flight authorizations though DJI..... I tried to explain it to him, but he wasn't aware of what a part 107 license is....

I want to ensure the Course does not get into any trouble by allowing him to fly for them and flying at over 300Ft in a 0 grid!

Thanks!
If education fails, you can always file a report with your local FSDO. It'll make you very popular at the golf course. :)
 
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JDS

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If education fails, you can always file a report with your local FSDO. It'll make you very popular at the golf course. :)
I'm sure I would be invited with open arms!

I think I have given them enough information to stop the flights on location.

The most frustrating part of this is that it took eight months and 4 denials to finally get an approval for me to fly. I hope I have leveraged them enough to now hire me for the raw video as well!

Thank you all for the insight! I look forward to continuing to work with all of you!
 

Fred Garvin

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....he states he has authorization to fly since he can clear the warning off his DJI Go app and he pays for yearly flight authorizations though DJI.....
1. How can clearing a warning in DJI Go equate to authorization to fly in controlled airspace?

2. Pay for "yearly flight authorizations through DJI"???

Can you shed more light on this?

Which golf course, BTW.
 

JDS

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1. How can clearing a warning in DJI Go equate to authorization to fly in controlled airspace?

2. Pay for "yearly flight authorizations through DJI"???

Can you shed more light on this?

Which golf course, BTW.
Fred,

I wasn't following all that the individual was "educating" me on. He stated that when he opens the DJI GO app, he sends a code (same one each time)and he can take off. That's his authorization....

I wasn't aware of any 40$ a year DJI flight approval. I really don't think he is aware of what he is talking about, but was very eager to ensure I understood that he would show me how easy it is to get done.
 

JDS

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I don't think he understands the difference between an NFZ Unlock from DJI and FAA Airspace Authorization. I'm sure the FAA could provide an education.

You would probably do well to distance yourself from this person.
I have no desire to interact with him. I have hopefully kept these folks out of a heap of potential trouble! I hope, but doubt, they will distance themselves.
 
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Phaedrus

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If I had definitive evidence of the occurrence, I would not hesitate to turn it in to my local FSDO.
This is a tricky thing to do. I attempted to notify the FAA of a local guy operating a Mavic BVLOS, over people, and moving traffic. The FAA declined to look into it despite having a video posted by the guy and the video containing footage of him flying with a pointer to him reading "Me!!". He also has a YouTube channel with all his commercial work for which he lacks a Part 107 certificate.

Seems they can be very picky about what they choose to pursue.

I used their reporting hotline site. This is directly from their reporting site:

*NOTE: We will not accept a report with just a link(s) to a video(s) without supporting information. Simply sending a link to a social media site and stating a violation has occurred is not sufficient to take further action. Please note, even if a violation has occurred, federal rules of evidence severely limit the use of a video on a social media site as evidence unless the operator admits to taking the video or there is a witness who saw the alleged violation take place.
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

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This is a tricky thing to do. I attempted to notify the FAA of a local guy operating a Mavic BVLOS, over people, and moving traffic. The FAA declined to look into it despite having a video posted by the guy and the video containing footage of him flying with a pointer to him reading "Me!!". He also has a YouTube channel with all his commercial work for which he lacks a Part 107 certificate.

Seems they can be very picky about what they choose to pursue.

I used their reporting hotline site. This is directly from their reporting site:



I strongly disagree with your posting. The Federal Aviation Administration will aggressively pursue drone complaints if:
1. You send a photo of the drone operator holding the RC, preferably smiling.
2. You send a color photo of his/her driver's license.
3. You send a photo of his/her house.
4. You also send a map to the house.
5. You volunteer to drive the FAA inspector to the home.

So you see the FAA does not mess around; they take this very seriously. 🤣
 

Phaedrus

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I strongly disagree with your posting. The Federal Aviation Administration will aggressively pursue drone complaints if:
1. You send a photo of the drone operator holding the RC, preferably smiling.
2. You send a color photo of his/her driver's license.
3. You send a photo of his/her house.
4. You also send a map to the house.
5. You volunteer to drive the FAA inspector to the home.

So you see the FAA does not mess around; they take this very seriously. 🤣

That is about what it takes. However, you forgot a retina scan, fingerprints and a stool sample.
 
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