Before You Hire an Unlicensed Drone Pilot, Know the Risks

Closeup man hand operating drone by the river

A Licensed Drone Pilot, do they really give a license to pilot a drone? The truth is a drone is not a toy. While it might share some similarities with that little helicopter your child flies in the backyard, it is a sophisticated machine that can fly high enough and far enough to be dangerous in the wrong hands. So before you allow a real estate agent to move from taking pictures on her cell to flying over your backyard, consider your risks of not using a licensed drone pilot.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licenses commercial drone pilots for unmanned aircrafts. This license is called a Remote Pilot Certificate and ensures the pilot understands the rules of use. Along with basic safe flying practices, drone pilots must understand the flight height requirements and where they can and cannot fly. It’s important to note that not only is the pilot legally responsible for the safety of the drone use, but the person who hires them as well.

What are your Liabilities of Hiring an Unlicensed Drone Pilot?

  • Fines
    Not only will the pilot get a fine for operating a drone without a license, but you will as well. There are fines for both commercial and recreational drone violations. The drone must be registered with the FAA. Civil fines can reach $27,000 while criminal fines as much as $250,000. Licensed drone pilots have insurance to assume this liability, relieving you of this risk.
  • Damage Liability
    If something goes wrong and the pilot causes property damage, you could be held liable for any damage or injury. Licensed drone pilots have liability insurance which will cover unexpected events.
  • Privacy Rights Violations
    A licensed drone pilot understands the laws and rules regarding the privacy rights of those in the drone’s view. They know what they can and cannot record and follow the guidelines set forth in the FAA Best Practices.

Drone photography and video offers a unique view of your property and location. By hiring a professional, licensed drone pilot/operator, you can eliminate the risk of drone use and ensure you have some beautiful results. That said, drone images generate buzz and differentiate yourself amongst your real estate competition. Even if the property is not lake view, it is still great to see the surrounding neighborhood such as the park, school or shopping center. Four times as many buyers would much rather watch a drone video than read a long paragraph about the property. Capture your buyer’s attention with this unique new perspective!



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