Prescott AZ FAA Part 107 Certified Drone Pilot and Photographer Rich Charpentier

My Drone Journey

Richard Charpentier Airstream, Arizona, Drone Photography, Notes from Rich, Tech Tips Leave a Comment

Several years ago we purchased a DJ I Phantom drone. We picked it up before drones were in the news, and before all the FAA changes. Our initial intent with the drone was to document travel and offer services to our website clients. Drone footage of RV parks could be very interesting!

As drone regulations progressed I made the decision to stop using our phantom. I wanted to make sure that we were above-board when it came to drone rules and regulations. So that’s why you haven’t seen much drone footage or photography here at the Airstream Chronicles in years.

I’m happy to say that’s about change.

A few weeks ago our web design partner Greg, who is a certified pilot and flight instructor, showed me his DJI Mavic drone. He also explained the process involved in passing the FAA’s part 107 exam. That’s the exam where you can become a certified commercial drone pilot. On Sunday, 27 August 2017 I passed my part 107 exam.

Passing the exam is just the first part of what will be a long journey. There’s more to legally flying drones for commercial purposes than just passing the exam. And boy am I learning a lot!

Fortunately I signed up with an online training group known as Drone U. I actually studied for the part 107 exam on their website over the course of a couple of weeks. But they offer more than just classes on part 107. And since passing the test I’ve spent every day watching their video tutorials on drone safety and usage and building drone piloting into your business.

Prescott AZ FAA Part 107 Certified Drone Pilot and Photographer Rich Charpentier

This is not a drone photo. It was actually shot with my iPhone while sitting on my mountain bike on the Peavine Trail

Why a commercial license?

So why did I feel the need to get a commercial license for my drone? It’s actually very simple. Using a drone and the footage from the drone in any manner to further a business is considered commercial use. On my blog I do offer subscriptions and other items for sale even though we don’t get many subscriptions or sales. Putting drone footage up on the blog would be considered commercial since we offer other commercial services on the website. It’s that simple.

We also have a YouTube channel that we monetize. If you haven’t seen some of my tutorials over the past couple of years we do have them available on YouTube channel. And I’m signed up on in order to receive subscription payments for my video tutorials. So even if I put up a fun Drone video on my YouTube channel the overall channel is commercial in nature. So I wanted to make sure I was doing things legally in order to start sharing my own footage and still photography here on the Airstream Chronicles and also on my business website.

So What’s Next?

Now that I’ve passed the Part 107 exam what’s next? Well currently I’m waiting for my certificate to get to me. After that’s done I need to start submitting waivers and authorizations for flying in controlled airspace. As it turns out where the Airstream is parked is within controlled airspace. Less than 5 miles from Point of Rocks RV Campground is the Ernest Love airport. In order to fly the drone for commercial purposes I’ve still got some more work to do.

This will be a fun journey. I’m learning a lot and I’m actually learning more about all of the information pilots need to know. I am considered a remote pilot now and I’ve developed a better understanding of our national airspace and why the FAA has the requirements it does for drone flight.

As I progress on my drone journey I’ll start sharing it here on the Airstream Chronicles.

Prescott AZ FAA Part 107 Certified Drone Pilot and Photographer Rich Charpentier

This is also not a drone photo. Yet another iPhone capture during the 2017 Monsoon season in Prescott

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