Aerial photography

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Robin Hood, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Robin Hood

    Robin Hood Pre-Flight

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    Anyone out there doing aerial photography? I would be interested in hearing from you on the topic as I am interested in doing some with my plane. I understand it is exempt from needing commercial license. Is this correct? Also any tips for success in this venture would be helpful.
     
  2. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    Several years ago this came up in a magazine article but my memory fails me as to which one. As I understand it, if you advertise for aerial photography then you need a commercial license. However, if the photographer in your plane takes and sells a variety of pictures and being in a plane is incidental to his art than it does not require you have a commercial but then you can only charge the photographer his prorated share.
     
  3. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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  4. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    If you take the pictures to sell, you'll likely need a commercial license.

    I disagree with the bolded part, but maybe I misread it. Being in a plane may be central to his art, getting an unusual view or a unique perspective. It seems to me it is the same as taking a passenger up for their purposes.
     
  5. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    I plead the 5th...

    I think if the FAA wanted to get someone on this, they could. The laws are vague for a reason.

    I remember a similar situation with banner towing. Some banner-tow operations would let you fly banners for free, just to build hours, and they didn't require you to have a commercial license. They would say, it's just like you borrowing their plane. However, they were paying for all of the fuel and they were making money on your flight. Then the discussion turned to the 'free' time you were getting. You were doing a commercial service because you were being compensated with time in a plane that you would otherwise have to pay for.
     
  6. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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  7. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    There are a lot of different options in the aerial photography world. You can find a bunch of good operators from the Professional Aerial Photographer's Association (PAPA) International website. I've included a link below.

    https://papa.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=808138&module_id=158944

    And the company I work for chooses to always have a commercial pilot in the right seat based on our understanding of the regs and how the FAA is likely to deal with any issues. Worked out well for us when we had the hydraulic failure in the Cardinal and made a gear up landing at the end of a photo run. We didn't have any problems with the inspectors about our type of operation or legality.
     
  8. Cogito

    Cogito Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A humble suggestion: It takes a long time to get good at aerial photography. Formation Flying, Weather, Light, Time of Day, Clouds, Cameras, Lenses, etc. You could start slowly and SAFELY practice your craft while being strict about taking absolutely no money for practice shoots. Meanwhile, study and take your Commercial Written and Practical Tests while you're learning the skills of aerial photography. The written is easy and the practical is much simpler now that you don't need to use a complex aircraft for the checkride. Or volunteer or work as a PA for an established Aerial Photographer and learn your craft that way.

    If you're talking about photographing ground-based subjects, we've mostly switched to drones. If you don't yet have your part 107 license, you could knock that out this evening instead of playing Fortnite. Again, way easier than when we had to petition to get a section 333 exemption to fly drones commercially. And I was trying not to sound like an old codger.
     
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  9. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    <I still do mostly 90% aerial vs drone... and for a lot of jobs we would actually be more efficient flying the mission than flying a drone. Honest I think a lot of companies are short changing themselves by not considering traditional aerials because the drones are getting the hype. I can hit 12-20 jobs in a day that would take 3-5 days to drive to and do by drone. Both platforms have their place.
     
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