Things you should know about our operation:
Safety is the number one priority in all our operations, regardless of how big or small. FMP adheres to all FAA regulations regarding the operation of UAVs including the following:
Although our aircraft can fly several thousand feet high, we do not fly over 400 ft. above ground level (with certain exceptions). That’s because general aviation air planes usually fly no lower than 1000’ above ground level, and helicopters generally operate no lower than 500’ above ground level. This gives us a 100’ buffer zone for safety. Nonetheless, we always yield to all manned aircraft regardless of altitude. The big boys have the right of way.
Also, all our aircraft have a range of several miles and although we can fly by using the video feed from the camera as well as telemetry information from the UAV, we always fly within visual line of sight (VLOS) unless we are granted an FAA waiver. This allows us to watch for any obstacles we may not have seen in our site preparations, address any mechanical or technical malfunctions, and take immediate action.
We always establish a safety zone for takeoff and landings. We do not fly over large crowds. We avoid cell towers and other structures that could interfere with the aircraft’s signal.
Unlike recreational UAV hobbyists, UAV pilots licensed under FAA Part 107 can fly within certain controlled airspace, such as near airports, with prior FAA approval. If any of our jobs fall within controlled airspace, we will secure the necessary approval from the controlling authority before any flights within that airspace.
Weather is also a factor in any type of flight operations, and especially so with UAV’s. We do not operate our aircraft in rain or stormy weather, particularly near thunderstorm activities. We avoid winds stronger that 25 knots. And visibility must be 3 statute miles or greater. We always check weather conditions before any flights and will alert you, our customers, if weather may play a factor for the job.
We are always cognizant of people’s privacy. We avoid flying over people’s homes or property without prior approval and we NEVER use our UAVs to look at, film, or take pictures of people in the privacy of their properties.
FMP can operate 30 minutes before local sunrise and 30 minutes after local sunset. For night flights beyond those times, FMP can apply for a waiver through the FAA with ample notice and cause.
Note: Operating a drone commercially requires a Part 107 certification from the FAA which consists of a written test at an FAA approved testing facility. This test requires a fair amount of aviation knowledge, especially when it comes to airspace requirements. It is illegal to operate a drone commercially without this Part 107 certification, and the drone pilot must have a Remote Pilot certificate with a Small Unmanned Aircraft System rating.