Here at The Storyhive, we’re pretty passionate about drones. Some would say we can “drone” on about it. We’ve flown some of the earliest commercial drones to hit the market and logged flight hours on the latest and greatest. If it has propellers and a camera, we want to take it for a spin.
It’s no secret that the drone service industry is growing. Many of our clients are asking about our drone capabilities, what our process looks like and how we can ensure a safe flight. You might be surprised to learn that we have not one, not two, but FIVE Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 licensed drone pilots on staff, all ready to help take your story to new heights.
What does FAA Part 107 mean, and why does that matter?
Since 2016, in order to operate drones in any capacity for a commercial industry, you need to have an FAA Part 107 license. Simply put, every flight needs a remote pilot in command who has the education, certification and experience to make everything run smoothly. This allows us to be as safe in the sky, as we are down here on earth.
So, what’s the big deal? Just don’t crash into anything? How hard can that be? For starters, there’s a lot more that goes into each drone flight than one might expect. We spend more time preparing for a single flight than we actually do up in the air.
Check the airspace
First, we have to check the airspace of each and every location where we plan to fly. Airspaces in big cities like our hometown of Houston can be tricky to navigate if flights are not properly planned out in advance. Flying anywhere near an airport, hospital or sports stadium might mean having to get authorization from the FAA and letting them know we plan on operating in a given airspace. We use websites like AirMap to request almost instant flight authorization in some of the busiest airspaces around the country.
Check the weather
Next, we check the weather. Wind and rain might seem like obvious deterrents to a successful flight, but we also have to take into account other weather-related phenomena. Humidity, fog, temperature and cloud coverage can alter how the aircraft performs that day. We take extra precautions by always purchasing drone insurance from applications such as Verifly that cover property damage and injury.
Our next step is a pre-flight inspection. We make sure the drone is operating at tip-top shape, prepare any onsite personnel for the pending flight and also review the game plan with our flight crew. We operate a minimum of a two-person crew, which allows a designated visual observer or spotter to help the pilot in decision-making situations.
And that’s just on the ground. We could keep going on about how we achieve the best shots from hundreds of feet in the air, but we can’t give all our secrets away. Don’t believe us? Check out some of our favorite shots.
Do you need some high-quality aerial images? Done. Do you want it filmed in 6k? We can make it happen. Are you looking for a mapping and surveying solution? Chances are if it involves a drone and a camera, we’ve done it. Flying a camera in the sky is pretty sweet.