Legal night drone flying and group helicopter photography sessions now available!

Happy spring!


With the changing seasons comes some changes to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules pertaining to commercial drone operations. Sounds boring, perhaps, but it’s actually pretty exciting - the new rules allow commercial drone operations at night and over people who aren’t part of the drone flight crew, which is how the rules had been before April 21. In order to take advantage of the new rules, though, retraining and retesting was required, along with some minor hardware changes to the drone - I added the required additional strobe lighting that’s certified to meet the three statute-mile visibility requirements.


I completed all that work a couple weeks ago in advance of the effective date of the rule change. So, now, we can fly at night for even more dramatic aerial images. For operations over people, we’re still waiting for manufacturers to design and sell drones that comply with the new rules, and, as they have 18 months to comply, this part is still not legally available.


In case you’re curious as to the details, or perhaps just need a little help falling asleep, here are the details straight from the FAA:


When your project needs photos with higher resolution than the drone can provide, and/or airspace rules or general safety considerations don’t allow drone flights, a helicopter is the solution. I work with a commercially-licensed owner/operator who’s helicopter is based at Seattle’s Boeing Field, and have negotiated fantastic hourly rates for photo flights.


We can save you even more money on that option by stacking several different client projects together for one flight, distributing those rental costs across all the participating firms - I’ve been offering this service for a decade now and it’s very popular.


Spring is a fantastic time for aerial photos - there’s typically not much atmospheric haze, the days are getting longer, and the landscape is in its lovely early phase with great colors.


Looking ahead, the dry weather in California and eastern Washington point to a busy fire season, which means lots of smoke and haze across the northwest, which makes this lovely spring an even better opportunity for those aerial project photos.


I’ve been flying weekly all spring - now’s the time to get your project on the schedule - give me a call at 206-335-0200 to get a quote and reserve your slot.

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