5 Myths About Using Drones For Business
1 – I don’t need a certification because I’m not charging for services.
The FAA requires drone pilots to have a remote pilot certification in order to do commercial work. According to the FAA website, recreational or hobby UAS use is flying for enjoyment and not for work, business purposes, or for compensation or hire. Many individuals and companies think that if there is no money changing hands, then it’s not commercial work, and that’s not the case. The real line is drawn between hobbyist and commercial operator. If you’re not flying as a hobbyist, then you’re flying commercially.
2 – There is no real risk in using drones because they won’t cause any real damage.
Damage is just one way our litigious society brings things to the courtroom. Drones can cause damage but ultimately, they can cause lawsuits, which is the bigger concern for a businesses. Privacy issues, trespassing, and even livestock trauma are just a few examples of ways a drone could win you a not-so-free ticket to see the judge. Of course, as we know, an incident that causes damage, or injury could see the inside of a courtroom, or get a quick settlement. Tune into some daytime television and you’ll find a plethora of personal injury attorneys that are ready to take the case.
3 – We have an general liability policy for our company so we’re covered.
While most companies carry a general liability policy, they may likely not cover a drone incident, especially if the pilot is an employee. Drones are considered to by “aircraft” and many general liability policies exclude aircraft in the coverage. This is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts when using drones for business, and it puts the company at risk, while providing a false sense of security.
4 – The person flying our drone is experienced and safe and so nothing will happen.
A safe and experienced pilot certainly helps to reduce the risk of a drone incident. However, accidents still happen for a number of reasons that may, or many not have to do with the pilots abilities. Drone can fail mechanically, or malfunction in many different ways. Compare it to your cell phone. Most of the time, your cell phone works great. But then there’s that call you couldn’t answer for some reason, or the a text that was sent that never came through. And we’ve all experienced being cut off in the middle of a conversation because the call dropped. It’s it’s an inconvenience when we’re holding the phone it in our hand, but put it in the air and add a few pounds to it, and now it could be a a dangerous situation if it fails. Any drone pilot with experience will tell you the same thing…drones crash.
5 – We probably won’t get caught and even if we do, it’s not a big deal.
When it comes to getting caught, everyone points to the FAA and the fines they can issue. While the FAA is the authority and can, and has, issue substantial fines, businesses should be more concerned about getting caught in a lawsuit with no insurance to cover the costs or damages. Most companies are diligent about covering their backsides, but because there is so much bad, and misleading information out there, commercial drone operations sometimes don’t get the same consideration.
There are rules, regulations, certifications, insurance requirements and much more that goes along with using a drone for business. If you’re going to use a drone for business, do it the right way to protect yourself, and your business.