Phoenix Drone Operator

I am excited to announce I am an FAA 107 certified official Phoenix drone operator! This means I can be commissioned to fly an unmanned aircraft like a drone.  What an amazing addition this will be to my photography services.  Having a drone option is a lot like having that extreme long or wide lens in your arsenal. It’s not something I’m going to use for every shot but, more as an additional tool to help tell the story.

I was recently commissioned to be a drone operator by New Belgium Brewery. They were hosting their annual Tour de Fat event in Tempe. My assignment was to capture the bike parade as well as the event from a drone perspective. According to FAA 107 certification rules a drone operator can not fly over people at events.  I thought this might make my assignment difficult but, in this situation I had little desire to be directly over people.  The best shots were looking across or over at the people ..instead of straight down.

I heard my client say this event happens at two other locations around the country so they needed a way to show this was the Tempe location.  I took it upon myself to take a couple shots for them that really show the venue.  Now when someone sees the water, bridges and red rock they will know exactly which location this is.   That image in my editorial gallery too.

FAA Logistics

Being an FAA certified drone operator means I am responsible for safety and following the rules. Drones for commercial use is still pretty new. A lot of the rules and regulations are still being figured out.  Luckily the FAA has established an automated system for a drone operator to receive flight plan approval.  As long as the flight plan falls within the automated system.  Otherwise it may take 30 days or more for flight plan approval.

This New Belgium event I was commissioned to be a drone operator for was taking place right in the flight path of Phoenix Skyharbor Airport. It was in class B airspace. I was gonna need FAA authorization to fly in this area or my drone would not be able to take off.

These images are my drone operator flight plans as well as the authorization texts from that FAA automated system.