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PPA Today: Drones: August 2017 Archives

Drones: August 2017 Archives

Thumbnail image for iStock_000049507766 smaller.jpgFrom the FAA

Texas Drone Users,  

The FAA warns unauthorized drone operators that flying a drone could interfere with the U.S. National Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Texas Military Department's rescue and recovery missions as evacuations escalate due to rising water. 

You could be subject to significant fines if you interfere with emergency response operations. 

Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place. 

Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

By Trent Schick

Have you been using drones in your business but want to take things further and set yourself apart from the competition? Well PPA has recently launched the Certified Drone Photographer program! 

This unique program ensures that you are not only legal to fly drones, but also equipped with the education to take the best pictures using drones. Before you jump in, there are just a few things you need to know.

To be eligible for the program, you must meet certain requirements:  

  • PPA membership
  • An FAA Section 333 Certificate OR Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107)
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance
  • UAS Registration Number
  • Logbook summarizing 30 hours of Flight Time

If you meet these requirements, you can apply for the program, which includes a $75 fee. After your application is successfully processed, you will be able to schedule your Certified Drone Photographer exam, the final step in your certification. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, costs $25, and you must score an 80% or higher to receive your certification.

The Certification is valid for two years, after which time you will need to recertify. Recertification can be completed by uploading your new FAA score or updated remote-pilot certificate.

Get more information on Drone Photographer Certification and access to the application, so you can learn to not only be 'Bona Fide' but 'Certified'!

You never know what you'll find out about on theLoop, PPA's members-only social network. Recently, PPA member David Bailey, M.Photog., CPP, of Colorado Springs, shared info we figured deserved another push... and a big THANK YOU!

InterDrone, the biggest Drone Conference and Expo in the country is coming to Las Vegas, September 6-8, 2017! We know from the response to our Drone Zone at Imaging USA last year that drones are currently the hottest addition to a successful photography business. Now you can experience a conference devoted to all things drone... certainly some inspiration you may want to pick up if you're considering becoming a PPA Certified Drone Photographer... which David Bailey also just did!

InterDrone will feature information for builders, buyers, and flyers of commercial drones, technical classes, an expo hall with the "Yes-Fly Zone" drone demo area, expert speakers, and other special events. InterDrone's expo will feature more than 185 unmanned system manufacturers and sellers. The full commercial drone conference features more than 120 panels, sessions, classes and drone workshops. Justin Moore, PPA's first Drone Certified Photographer, is also a speaker at InterDrone!

If you register by August 25th, there is a discount available! David asked for and received another 15% discount for PPA members, so just use the discount code PHOTO when you register! Visit for more information. 

by Sidra Safri
iStock_000049507766 smaller.jpg
We all know that there are certain things you can and cannot do with your drone. You can fly a drone for commercial purposes once you have passed your Section 107 drone certification exam. You cannot fly your drone over large groups of people. Pretty much ever. 

To make these dos-and-don'ts (and life as a drone photographer) a little easier, the FAA introduced waivers. FAA Certified drone photographers can apply for a waiver that allows them to fly over people, fly during a moving vehicle, fly at night etc....whatever the case may be. 
We have all heard about these waivers, but still very little has come out on how to apply for them. 

Well, guess what? PPA has a "How to Apply for a Drone Waiver" guide just for you. This new resource walks you through what information you need to provide, how detailed you should be, and what the FAA is looking for when processing your waiver. Check out this cool new resource here!

For more information about drones or to get details on PPA's new Certified Drone Photographer program, head over to

by Sidra Safri
No Drone Zone.jpg

Every so often you will hear about a drone that got too close to an airplane or a drone that was being flown in an area it shouldn't have. As more people purchase drones for commercial or personal use, these close calls are happening more than ever before and are getting more and more risky.  The FAA reported 1,274 close calls in 2016 alone, and are expecting that number to double for 2017. 

The most recent close call reported by U.S. media outlets took place on July 31st, 2017, when a drone was seen by an airplane preparing for landing in what was stated as "in the vicinity of the runway"! That is way too close for comfort!

Constant violations of drone regulations are forcing the FAA to crack down on violators. Most recently, the FAA arrested a man from Arizona for endangerment and unlawful operation of a drone during a massive wildfire near Phoenix. Besides the possible criminal charges, the fines can get quite pricey. In 2016, the FAA fined one company $1.9 million! 

As a rule of thumb:

  1. Always check the B4U fly app to ensure there are not limitations to flights in your location. 
  2. Stay of the airplane's way!...Keep in mind planes are much larger and faster than drones and are carrying fellow humans. One wrong move from a drone and it can put many people's lives in danger. 
  3. Always fly below 400ft!
As always, check for all the latest drone news and best practices. 


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Drones category from August 2017.

Drones: July 2017 is the previous archive.

Drones: September 2017 is the next archive.

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