Preparing for Drone Work

So what do you need to do to prepare for drone pictures? If it is a developed property, then you’ll want to ensure that the property is cleaned up from clutter such as hoses, toys, yard equipment, fallen branches, etc. You’ll also want to have all vehicles removed from view if possible, along with other items such as trailers. Doing this will provide a cleaner final product.

As a courtesy to neighbors it is recommended that you make them aware that you are planning drone services for your property, and that there is a possibility that their property may inadvertently be partially included in parts of the final images. In order to fully capture a property, it is often difficult to avoid completely from capturing even the smallest amounts of your neighbors property. Giving them the heads up gives them the opportunity to remove any items they may not want seen on the outside of their property. It also gives the opportunity to avoid any conflicts that could arise after the fact. There is no law requiring you to do so, but is only a suggestion.

To help minimize the possibility of capturing more property than is supposed to be, it is recommended that some form of imagery be provided ahead of time that shows the property lines for the property to be captured. This can be in any form, whether a plot plan or satellite image, so long as it clearly identifies to property boundaries and is a satellite view. It is also recommended (though not required) that either the agent or the property owner be present to help ensure that we stay within the property limits, sufficiently capture the property, and act as a safety observer in case power lines and trees are present.

For any drone operations to happen, there’s a few conditions that must be met first.

  • Weather conditions must be conducive to drone operations. Drones can handle a substantial amount of wind, but it is not recommended to operate a drone under extremely windy conditions. It is better to wait for a better weather day than risk the dangers in order to hurry and get the imagery.
  • Be aware of whether or not the property is within five miles of an airport. If so, then authorization may need to be acquired ahead of time by the drone operator.
  • Will there be people and vehicles present? The FAA prohibits drone operations directly over persons not directly involved with the drone operations, and from operating directly over moving vehicles (traffic). Generally this should not be a problem but may be if a property is alongside a heavily trafficked road, or if the property is in a development area where construction workers are present outside nearby.
  • Ensure the operator is good to go. The operator is required by the FAA to hold a remote pilot license, and that their drone be registered. Insurance is not currently required, but is recommended. Beyond this, you want to make sure that your drone operator is in good health and fully functional both physically and mentally.