Do you really have to have a license to fly a drone? In order to use it for commercial use and it be legal, the answer is yes! Drone videos and aerial photos capture amazing aspects that our phones, and even professional cameras cannot. Drone images generate buzz and can set you apart from your competition, because who wants to read a paragraph about a property instead of watching an interesting video that not only shows the house/property, but the surrounding area. The uniqueness of drone services is leading to an increasing amount of real estate agents using drone video and photography to market their listed properties, but are you using a certified drone pilot? If not, you could be facing some serious consequences. Many of our Montrose, CO real estate agents and offices are using drone “pilots” that aren’t certified because it may be cheaper, or more convenient, but we are here to tell you, if you get caught using a “pilot” that isn’t certified, it’s going to end up costing you and you will be left with serious consequences.

To act as a remote pilot for drones in accordance with FAA regulations, a person must obtain a remote pilot certificate. The person applying must pass a test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center. After the test is passed, the FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (known as IACRA) must be completed to receive a remote pilot certificate. The certification is then valid for 2 years and certificate holders must pass either a recurrent online training course OR recurrent knowledge test every two years after to stay certified.

What can happen when you hire an unlicensed drone pilot?

  • Fines

Operating a drone for commercial use without a license can lead to not only the “pilot” getting fined, but you can be fined as well. The drone itself must be registered with the FAA, as well as the pilot or fines up to $250,000 can occur. Hire a certified pilot and avoid these fines, we guarantee hiring a certified drone pilot will be a lot cheaper than the fines you’ll receive for using “the other guy.”

  • Mishaps Mean Trouble

Guess who’s liable if a drone crashes into a property or person and damage occurs? It could be you, but if you hire a certified drone pilot, they have liability insurance that will cover unexpected mishaps such as these.

  • Poor Quality

A certified drone pilot has to take tests and go through many trainings, so they will very knowledgeable when flying the drone. In result the quality of your videos and photos will be more professional. The pilot also has a reputation to uphold, not only for themselves, but their business. When you hire a certified pilot you know you’ll end up with high-quality finished products. Don’t end up with poor quality videos and photos because you hired someone who hasn’t taken the proper courses to learn all there is about flying a drone.

  • Rules Are Broken

Certified drone pilots have taken countless hours of training and will know where they can legally fly, how high they can fly, how to retrieve permission to fly in different classes of airspace, and how to properly plan and execute the project. Most people don’t understand that there may be some restricted places a drone cannot fly or has to get prior permission to fly. A certified pilot can find out this information prior to to the drone shoot, and fill out paperwork to receive permission to fly the drone in that area.

  • Privacy is Violated

The growing use of drones is drawing attention on the safety and privacy concerns. A certified drone pilot will have taken courses to understand the laws and regulations regarding what can and cannot be in the drone’s view. Someone who isn’t certified will not know about these laws, and you don’t want to end up facing a lawsuit for violating someones privacy.


These are just a few things to consider when seeking out a drone service for whatever your needs may be. Obviously, we’d love for you to hire us, but more importantly, we want you to hire a Colorado drone service provider who plays by the rules, because the use of drone services for real estate is becoming more popular, and the last thing we want is stricter regulations from the FAA. We would love to keep our services available to you without regulations limiting our abilities. While our certified drone pilot is located in our beautiful community of Montrose, Colorado, we travel anywhere and everywhere and continue to serve businesses on the Western Slope.

We’d love to work with you on your next project, so if you’re ready to discuss how BPetersonDesign can help, leave a comment or send us an email.