Cincinnati Aerial Photography
03 Jan 2017

FAA Part 107 – Hiring a Drone Company that is Compliant

Towards the end of 2016, the FAA implemented new rules for commercial drone operators (FAA Part 107). In part, this helped to reduce the regulatory burden on drone operators and it also worked to make the process safer as well.

LostPeak Media is FAA Part 107 Compliant

LostPeak Media is one of a handful of commercial drone operators in the Cincinnati area that has become compliant with FAA Part 107. We use pilots that have a remote pilot certificate along with at least a private pilot’s certificate (even though this is more than what is required). LostPeak Media exceeds the FAA Part 107 requirement that drone pilots hold a remote certificate, in an effort to ensure maximum safety in all of our flights.

Additionally, FAA Part 107 allows commercial drone operators to request specific exemptions from some of the rules. As it stands, all commercially operated drones must be flown only within a visual line of sight and during daytime hours. Additionally, we typically are unable to fly inside the airspace of most airports. The good news is that we are able to seek exemptions for all of these rules. You can see if the area you want us to fly in is restricted in any way by going to this FAA Part 107 map.

Cincinnati and FAA Part 107

You can tell just by looking at the map that the new regulations will require us to contact the FAA for an exemption for a lot of locations in the greater Cincinnati area (any area inside the orange circles) due to the locations of the airports. The process is very automated and in our experience allows us to get approval (when needed) in less than 6 weeks.

Luckily, the FAA Part 107 regulations also allow for exemptions so that we can fly at night or from a moving vehicle. Overall, these changes are a positive step in the right direction and help us streamline the process for getting your project done more quickly while still being safe and legal.

16 Jun 2016

Aerial Video of Residential Landscaping in Mason, Ohio

We recently had the opportunity to work with a client that provides landscaping services in the greater Cincinnati area. The client, Garden Path Landscaping Services, had done some incredible residential landscaping on some Mason, Ohio homes and wanted to be able to showcase them. All of the homes had pool installations and significant landscaping for beautiful outdoor living spaces. These types of projects are perfect for aerial video and aerial photography. They are visually pleasing and provide residential homeowners (and potential landscaping clients) the opportunity to visualize their own home based on what they see. Any opportunity to provide a potential client with a vision brings you one step closer to more business and these aerial videos do not disappoint. In fact, we were notified by the client here that less than a week after posting these aerial videos to his website and social media, he has already sold another outdoor living space specifically because his new client saw the aerial videos and was impressed with his work.

Our Aerial Video Process

We provided aerial video, aerial photography and ground photography services in order to provide full coverage for each home and outdoor living space. Because each house is different (including potential obstacles), prior to arriving on location, we took a look at each property online so that we have a better idea of the types of aerial video shots we can get. Once on location, we re-assessed to make sure that we could safely provide all of the necessary coverage. After the necessary aerial video was captured, we then edited and branded the raw video into three separate video clips that are now prominently displayed on the client’s website.

These videos provided the client with a beautiful view of his finished product as well as additional traffic to his website when shared online. The aerial photography is also helpful in this same way, providing gorgeous content for the client’s website as well as shareable content to use on all social media outlets. Each of the videos we produced is embedded below.

This is just one of the aerial services provided by LostPeak Media. If you are interested in an aerial videography or aerial photography project, please contact us today.

11 May 2016

Drone Liability Insurance and Hiring an Aerial Services Company with it

Necessity of Insurance

It typically goes without saying that insurance is something most reputable companies (no matter the industry) do not go without. In some cases, insurance is required. But did you know that commercial drone companies are not required (at this point anyway) to carry drone liability insurance? So it is important to ensure that the company you are working with carries a commercial drone liability insurance policy. This is important because a general liability policy for business typically will not cover any damage that results from potential drone accidents.

Drone Liability Insurance

There are a few large companies that offer drone liability insurance and it isn’t very costly. But the importance of insurance is not just to cover any potential costs of damage, it speaks to the quality of the business you are working with. No serious UAV operator will do so without purchasing drone liability insurance. And because you are choosing to step up your game by partnering with a company that already understands the necessity of not only being legal, but also being safe, you are less likely to have to deal with any potential issues.

Most companies offering drone liability insurance will provide discounts to the company if it keeps written policies and procedures in place, uses services that help document all services provided, etc. By working only with organizations that have a drone liability insurance policy, you are likely partnering with a business that is more organized, keeps better records, has a system in place and can properly handle the project you are working on.

Why Should You work with LostPeak Media?

With LostPeak Media, we work well within the parameters set out by the FAA for all of our drone flights (check out this blog post here for more info on our 333 exemption). We have written policies for drone flights, we document the details of all of our drone flights, and we review any project thoroughly on the ground before take off. These factors typically work in the background, but ensure that our team provides the best, most fluid service to all of our clients, no matter the situation. Our number one goal is always to have a safe and legal flight that provides a finished deliverable to our clients. Keeping in line with the process that we have already set up ensures this success.

04 Apr 2016

FAA 333 Exemption and its Effect on Cincinnati Aerial Services

Cincinnati Flight Coordination Map

The FAA requires anybody in the United States that is providing aerial services via drone (UAV) to operate under what it calls a 333 exemption. What this means is that it is treating drones like aircraft and require anyone operating them commercially to do so within a specific set of rules. LostPeak Media has a 333 exemption and is legally compliant for all aerial services. With that said, let’s take a look at the requirements under an FAA 333 exemption.

The FAA currently requires all drone operations (commercial and hobbyists) to take place in visual line of sight of the pilot. This basically means that the drone cannot physically fly anywhere that the pilot cannot see it with their own eyes. In addition to this, an 333 exemption also requires commercial drone operators to abide by the following rules:

  • Pilot of the drone must hold a current pilot’s license
  • Drone flights must take place within the line of sight of both a pilot and a second person (the visual observer)
  • Drone flights are not to exceed 100 mph
  • All drones must weigh less than 55 pounds  (this requirement can be exceeded with prior authorization)
  • Drone flights cannot exceed 200 feet above ground level without prior authorization
  • Drone flights cannot exceed 400 feet above ground level at any point
  • Drone flights cannot be within 5 nautical miles of a tower controlled airport without prior authorization (similar rules exist for smaller, uncontrolled airports)
  • Pilot must follow all visual flight rules as though flying in a typical aircraft
  • Pilot must be aware of and abide by any temporary flight restrictions, restricted airspace, etc.
  • Drone flights must take place during daylight hours
  • Drone must have a GPS enabled return-to-home feature in the event of a lost GPS signal
  • Commercial drones must be registered similar to a typical aircraft and are issued a tail number (Yes, our drones actually have a physical tail number on them. Yes, it’s pretty sweet.)
  • Pilot must conduct a pre-flight inspection of the drone
  • Drone flights for closed-set movie or television filming require additional authorization

What does the FAA 333 exemption mean for someone hiring an aerial services company in Cincinnati?

First, its important to note that these rules are in place to help keep everyone in the air and on the ground safe, so it’s important to hire someone that has a 333 exemption and follows the rules outlined above. Did I mention that LostPeak holds a 333 exemption? Seriously though, no matter who you are working with, it is important that the aerial service provider you choose holds a 333 exemption.

In Cincinnati, we typically have to consider these rules in a couple of situations.

  • The property where a client would like to shoot is within five nautical miles of either Cincinnati international airport (CVG) or Lunken airport (LUK). In this case we are required to notify the airport manager a few days before our flight time and get a written letter from them agreeing to our flight.
  • Reds/Bengals games trigger what the FAA calls a Temporary Flight Restriction (TRF) and we are unable to fly at all within several miles of the Reds/Bengals stadium. This basically blocks out all of downtown and the surrounding areas for any drone flights. The good news is that these TFRs only last a few hours.

As one of the only aerial services companies with an FAA 333 Exemption that also uses some of the most advanced drone technology, we would love to work with your company to provide stellar aerial photography, video or mapping services. Please get in touch with us on our contact page or call to speak with us.