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Results tagged “Drones” from PPA Today

By Sidra Safri

Congratulations on the purchase of your drone! This is an exciting development in the world
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 of photography and one we know you will thoroughly enjoy. However, before you can begin taking aerial photos and charging your clients, there are a few things you MUST do! 

1. Register your drone at the FAA's website
If you are only going to use your drone as a hobby and not for commercial purposes, then you do not have to register. However, the moment you decide to charge for your drone photography, you must register with the FAA.

2. Study/ Get Licensed
In order to fly your drone for commercial purposes, you must have a section 107 drone license. This shows the FAA that you know enough about aerial flight patterns, and other facts, to man a drone, and are well prepared in all situations. You can find plenty of study materials at PPA.com/drones or the FAA website. In order to get your certificate, you must score a 70 or higher on the exam. The exam will cost you $150 dollars to take and it must be taken at one of the FAA testing centers which can be found here. Also make sure you are aware of what waivers you can apply for. For more details or to go ahead and apply for a waiver, visit the FAA's website

3. Review your insurance.
With your PPA membership, you are already insured with PhotoCare. However, this does not include drone coverage. You will need to increase your liability insurance. This can be done by contacting Lockton Affinity and they will walk you through the entire process. You can find more information here.

4. Download the B4U fly App
This app is created by the FAA. You want to make sure you use this app before you fly. This will let you know if there are any flight restrictions, as well as if you are too close to an airport or possibly flying in airspace you are not allowed to fly in.

5. Get PPA Drone Certified
This allows you to stand out and show your clients that not only did you put in the time and effort to legally be able to fly, but also you were willing to put in the time to take fantastic drone photos. There is a learning curve to drone photography, and being a PPA Certified Drone Photographer will help you get past that learning curve in no time! For more information, visit PPA's Certified Drone Photographer page.

6. Stay up to date on all things drones.
With drone rules changing every day, it is necessary to stay current on any new developments. Visit http://www.ppa.com/drones/ to be in-the-know on all things drones!

By Sidra Safri

Many of you remember PPA talking about the Drone Pilot Integration Program a few weeks ago. Upon its introduction, there has been a large influx of interest, and the FAA wants to ensure that the correction information is shared. 

The FAA will be hosting a webinar on  November 27th at 12:00 pm to discuss the program details in depth. For more information about the webinar, please see the FAA announcement below:

The new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program fosters innovation and advances the integration of UAS into our nation's airspace to ensure U.S. global leadership in the emerging UAS industry. It's taking collaboration to a new level!  

There's already been tremendous interest in the Program and more than 4300 people registered to attend our online webinars to learn how they can participate. It's facilitating partnerships between state, local, and tribal government entities and private industry to gather operational and other data from advanced operational concepts, such as flights over people and package delivery. 

Based on demand, we've added more webinars, which provide you with an overview of the Program, application process, and the specific criteria and deadlines that you will be required to meet. Registration is required: 

The results from the Program will help to inform the development of future enabling regulations that will expand safe UAS operations and help to transition many of the new and novel operational concepts that we manage today by exception into routine, commonplace aspects of our everyday lives. 

Details about applying, timelines, and requirements are at FAA.gov/Go/DronePilot. 

Stay up-to-date about all things drones at PPA.com/Drones.

By Sidra Safri

Under 14 CFR ยง99.7 entitled "Special Security Instructions", the FAA has the ability to issue additional drone restrictions based on the recommendations of other governmental agencies. 

On September 28th, the FAA issued a new set of restrictions at the request of the Department of Interior (DOI). The FAA and the DOI have decided to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet of the lateral legal boundaries of the following sites: 

  • Boston National Historical Park, Boston, MA
  • Folsom Dam,Folsom, CA
  • Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, AZ
  • Grand Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, WA
  • Hoover Dam, Boulder City, NV
  • Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, MO
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, SD
  • Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, CA
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, NY

'Lateral legal boundary' means that no drones will be allowed to fly within 400 feet of the official boundaries of the site. 

These restrictions will go into effect starting October 5th. For more precise guidelines and more information, visit the B4U fly app

These new rules are important to keep in mind (and to share with fellow drone pilots and drone photographers!) as those who violate FAA restrictions will be subject to potential civil penalties and/or criminal charges. Nothing you want to be inadvertently involved with!

So remember to bookmark this page to stay up-to-date on all things drones: PPA.com/Drones.

By Bethany Clark

Calling all drone photographers! Have you heard of the General Liability Endorsement, exclusively made for UAS/Drone operators? This type of coverage will help you be more protected while operating your drone on assignment!

PPA's General Liability Insurance has coverage of $1 million per occurrence, or up to $2 million total. If you want to cover your drone under the same terms, it is recommended for you to purchase Drone endorsement insurance as well. Please note that this coverage is sold separately from the PhotoCare Equipment Insurance that is provided with your PPA membership. 

Drone Liability Coverage terms and conditions: 

  • You must be a member of PPA
  • Coverage must be purchased in conjunction with PPA's General Liability coverage
  • Limit options of $50,000 and $25,000 
  • Annual premiums of $150 and $100
  • Must be compliant with Part 107 Federal Aviation Regulations, and also state and local regulations
  • Operation of drone must be in connection with a paid assignment for your business
  • Defense coverage is included inside the limit of liability
  • Coverage extends to bodily injury and property damage of others

Ready to purchase coverage? Call our team at 888-202-1526 to secure your coverage today!

Not sure what the new FAA drones rules are? Visit PPA.com/Drones!

By Sidra Safri

As a part of our drone waiver series, we will continue to talk about the 9 waivers drone photographers can apply for under the section 107 regulations. 

Today our focus will be Section 107.29 and being unable to fly at night. The FAA drone regulations state: "No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system during the night." This means that, without a waiver, a drone operator can only fly during civil twilight (30 min before sunrise), during the day, and evening twilight (30 min after sunset).*+

Luckily, for many drone-photographers, the most commonly-requested and approved waiver is Night Operation. When applying for this waiver, be specific, but not too specific. You do not want to limit yourself too much. Do your research on the area and show the FAA that you are prepared to handle any possible situation. This includes, explaining how the operator will maintain a visual line of sight with the drone during the darkness, how you plan to avoid people, structures, and other aircraft, and how you will know - in darkness - the location, altitude, and movement of the drone. 

To submit your waivers, visit the FAA's website. After submitting your waiver to the FAA, make sure you pay attention to any correspondence from the FAA to avoid delays. See you next week for part 3! And if you missed part 1, go back and read about Section 107.25 - operation from a moving vehicle, boat, or aircraft.

*Must use anti-collision lights that are visible for 3 statutory miles when flying during either twilights. 
+Alaska: Twilight is determined by the Almanac. 


By Sidra Safri

It's been a year since the introduction of the Section 107 drone regulations and many photographers are still extremely excited! As more and more photographers look to incorporate drones into their businesses, the FAA is attempting to stay on top of the influx of waivers that are coming in. 

At first introduction, the FAA was able to process waivers within 90 days. Now, that waiting period has gone up to 120 days!  To ensure you waiver is approved in a timely manner, be careful to apply for the correct waiver and be as detailed as possible. Over the next eight-to-nine weeks, PPA will break down these waivers, providing you with examples as to when you can apply for them and what sort of information to provide to ensure your wavier is processed as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The first waiver we will address is Section 107.25- Operation from a moving vehicle, boat, or aircraft.  In accordance with the Section 107 regulations, a drone operator may not operate a drone while being transported via any method. However, there is waiver for this! One may apply for this waiver when wanting to get a shot of an aerial view for commercial or real estate purposes, inspecting power lines or pipelines, even simply shooting a video for a client.  Since there is a lot going on logistically, it is understandable that the FAA wants to approve these sorts of uses. 

When applying for a waiver to operate a drone via a moving method of transportation, include as much information as possible. Include why you are requesting this waver, the time of day, a backup plan (just in case something goes wrong). Also, it helps to have another set of eyes on the drone. Include a plan to have someone watching the drone in action to add another layer of safety. The more detail you have, the more likely the FAA will approve your request, and the less back-and-forth there is trying to get additional information. At the same time, the FAA has also requested you be as detailed as possible, but to not ask for more then you need. This will cause delays in your request, and possibly even lead to a denial. To request a drone waiver or see additional waiver options visit the FAA website.

Stay tuned for the next part in our series on drone waivers, or read them below! 

For more info on all things drones, of course, head to


By Chris Homer

Are you interested in drone photography, but aren't sure where to start? During this spring's Super 1 Day Photography Workshops (May 8 - 22, 2017) there's a number of classes that will help you learn how to become a drone photographer. Check them out below!

Springfield, MA
May 8, 2017
With John McCarthy, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI,API

Interested in turning your love of drones into a profitable expenditure? Join FAA certified instructor, John McCarthy and learn what it takes to get your FAA Remote Pilot Certificate to fly small unmanned aircraft systems. This course will help you prepare for the test as John introduces you to numerous tips and study aids in addition to online materials and practice tests from the FAA.

Drones-FAA Part 107 Prep Course
College Station, TX
May 11, 2017 & May 12, 2017 (same class, two date options!)
With Robert Norwood, Kathy Norwood, Cr.Photog., CPP

Drones are a hot item with photographers today! But unlike most aspects of photography, drone photography requires a government license. This course will teach photographers the rules and regulations required by the FAA to successfully pass the Part 107 FAA exam.

This course will cover the 5 main subject areas of the test including regulations, airspace classifications and operating requirements, weather, loading and performance, and drone operations. A sample test will be administered to prepare the participants to take the Part 107 exam upon completion of this course. Walk out ready to ace your exam!

Wayne, OK
May 18, 2017
With Larry J. Foster, M.Photog., CPP

Drones are the hot topic right now. But what is legal and what is not? What can I do with a drone and do I need a license? What is controlled airspace and how do I read a NOTAM? Confused? This class will help clear the air and help you learn the proper way to use your drone and get prepared for the FAA UAG test.

If you're looking to get started in drone photography, register for one of these classes today! Don't forget to visit PPA.com/Drones for more resources on passing the FAA test, educational videos and more. 

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.

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By Bethany Clark

Tempted to get a drone for Christmas but don't know which one is for you? Professional Photographer Magazine reviewed 8 drones that are safe, high-quality, and ready to fly. Check out the recommendations on the best drones for photographers. 


And for those coming to San Antonio in January, there's a bonus Christmas gift for you: The Drone Zone at Imaging USA! This brand new program features 10 classes with all you need to learn about drone photography, especially how to incorporate them safely, legally, and profitably into your photography business. At the Drone Zone, you can watch drones in action, participate in demos, learn best practices for a sustainable business, and so much more. 

Best of all: The Drone Zone is available to all attendees, whether you have an All-Access Pass to Imaging USA or the Expo-only Pass (which you can get free with promo code FB2017)! Register today and we'll see you January 8-10, 2017 in San Antonio!

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By Chris Homer

With the recent changes in FAA regulations allowing photographers to use drones in their business, many are interested in offering aerial drone photography to their clients. However, there are regulations and requirements you need to be aware of to fly your drone legally, such as passing the FAA's drone pilot test.
Another requirement when flying a drone is to be sure that you aren't in restricted air space. That's where the B4UFLY App comes in handy! You can use it to check the air space you are planning on flying a drone in to see if there are any restrictions or requirements in effect. 

Download the app for Apple and Android devices and be sure to check it before you fly a drone! 

Don't forget to stay tuned to PPA.com/Drones for the latest news, regulations and education on aerial drone photography!

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.

By Chris Homer

Last week, we broke the news that the long-awaited FAA regulations relating to Unmanned
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 Aircraft Systems (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds were announced! With the new regulations, if you want to use a small drone in your photography business you must be certified by the FAA. Here are some more details on becoming certified!

According to the new FAA rules, the estimated out-of-pocket cost for an individual to become certified as a remote pilot with a small UAS rating is $150. This will cover the testing fee.

The required aeronautical knowledge test will cover the following subject areas:

- Regulations applicable to small UAS operations

- Airspace classification and operating requirements, maintenance and inspection procedures, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation

- Official sources of weather and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance

- Small UAS loading and performance

- Emergency procedures

- Crew resource management

- Radio communication procedures

- Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft

- Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol

- Aeronautical decision-making and judgment

- Airport operations.

You'll be able to take the test at more than 700 FAA-approved testing centers. Get more information from the FAA on certification here

And don't forget you can learn even more about the new FAA regulations for drones during PPA's "It's Legal To Use Drones in My Business, Now What?" webinar on July 12 at 2pm ET.

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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