Frequently Asked Questions
DRONES AND DATA
What is Aerial Data Acquisition?
Facts and statics collected for reference or analysis obtained from the air, using an unmanned aerial vehicle flown by a FAA certified pilot in command.
What is an orthomosaic?
An aerial photograph that has been geometrically corrected ("orthorectified") such that the scale is uniform: the photo or image follows a given map projection. Unlike an uncorrected aerial photograph, an orthophoto can be used to measure true distances, because it is an accurate representation of the Earth's surface, having been adjusted for topographic relief, lens distortion, and camera tilt. An orthophotomosaic is a raster image made by merging orthophotos.
What is orthomosaic mapping?
One of the most useful deliverables supplied by drone mapping professionals. Drone Mapping is the aerial representation of the features of a part of the surface of the Earth. Aerial maps feature a multitude of data points that can be used not only for documentation and progress reporting but can also provide critical measurements, volume, area and cut/fill. With the use of Ground Control Points you can expect precision within centimeters. Maps can also be used to identify crop loss, stand counts, plant health, field health, irrigation and pest issues and other agriculture based requirements.
What are Ground Control Points?
GCP's are large marked points on the ground to identify a known geographic location. They help to ensure the accuracy of coordinates.
DRONES AND THE FAA
Who can be a drone pilot in command?
The answer is anyone can be a PIC. The real question is about doing it legally! The FAA requires all drone content that is used for any business promotion, gain, exchange - any benefit to the business or drone pilot, must be acquired by a FAA Part 107 certified pilot. It is important to understand that "gain" doesn't just mean being paid for an image, it also refers to marketing and promotion. For example, posting a drone image of your winery on FB, and the drone image was taken by someone not 107 certified the business owner and the pilot can be fined by the FAA.
What are the FAA laws governing professional drone services?
While laws are added and modified frequently, there are a few laws that remain pretty standard.
1) A professional drone pilot in command must be Part 107 certified.
2) Flying over people requires a waiver from the FAA.
3) Flying at night requires a waiver from the FAA.
4) Beyond Visible Line of Sight requiers a waiver from the FAA.
5) Flying in restricted airspace requires authorizations and waivers from the TSA and FAA.
What regulations does the FAA place on drone equipment?
All UAS/UAV (unmanned aerial systems/vehicles) operating under 14 C.F.R. part 107, or as a public aircraft operation, must be registered. Failure to register a UAS in accordance with these rules may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $32,666. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
In addition, the operator of the UAS/UAV must carry a Certificate of Aircraft Registration in either paper or electronic format and that unique registration number must be visible on the exterior of the drone.
Why use a Professionally Certified Drone Pilot?
The easy answer is because it is illegal not to. The FAA requires that all drone pilots over the age of 16, flying for educational or commercial enterprise or gain must be 14 CFR Part 107 certified. Unlicensed flying will result in fines and possible jail time. Both the pilot and the hiring party are subject to fines and possible jail time. There are many restrictions and your drone service provider must stay informed of all the regulations.
All of our Pilots hold current FAA issued UAV Remote Pilot In Command certifications. They have undergone an extensive education in the use of Airspace, Flight Dynamics and how to operate with the highest levels of safety.
My neighbor has a drone, can't I just use it?
Federal law requires that the commercial application of a drone requires a FAA Part 107 certified pilot. So, if you use your neighbors drone to benefit your business for example promote an event, list a home for sale etc., anything that you gain from - requires FAA Part 107 certification.
The FAA also requires that drone operators keep detailed flight log books, maintenance records and other safety and quality documents that they can request to review at anytime.
What does it mean to be a certified Drone Pilot?
Obtaining the 14 CFR Part 107 certification from the FAA means that you have passed the initial aeronautical knowledge test. The certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones. For more information and a list of the knowledge test topic areas, visit the FAA website at FAA site link.
In addition to obtaining the 107 certification, it is important for Drone operators to become proficient in the hands-on operation of flying the drone. The FAA does not train or certify pilots in the hand-on operation of flying a drone or the education required for mapping and other types of drone operation.
FLYING FOX UAV FACTS
Does Flying Fox UAV have any waivers?
Yes, as of November 2019, we have 2 standing waivers with the FAA:
1) Flying at night. This means we have passed the FAA requirements to safely fly our drones 30min after sunset and 30min prior to sunrise.
2) Flying in Dulles and BWI Airspace and any other LANNC certified airport. This means we have passed the FAA requirements to safely fly our drones in the immediate airspace around those active airports. The DC Metro area is the most restricted airspace in the nation and we take great pride in the fact that we've been granted this privilege by the FAA.
What's the big deal about getting a FAA Waiver?
Applying for a waiver takes significant investment in time and money. Some waivers require additional safety equipment that must be purchased to fulfill the waiver requirements. There are no guarantees that a waiver submission will be approved.
Does Flying Fox UAV have SOP's?
It's important that any drone service provider have SOP's (standard operating procedures). We are basically running a small airline!
What is your deployable asset?
In times of disaster, we can mobilize and deploy numerous UAV platforms to fulfill your missions needs. Our Pilots and UAV Systems are equipt to maintain levels of high operational tempo and are experienced USAR and First Responders. We are deployable for upto 14 days with an extension to 21 days.
What is Flying Fox UAV's pricing?
Our pricing is dependant on our clients needs and is per project. No drone mission is the same!