Commercial versus recreational drone flying…

“If I am flying for my own pleasure, and I later sell the video or photographs that I took; does that mean that the flight, was in fact, a commercial flight?”  This is a question that many people have asked.

The rules are connected with the UAS operator’s intentions at the time of the flight.  

Therefore, a drone operator who does not hold a Commercial UAS Certificate, can sell his or her footage and/or photographs after the fact, if the flight itself was conducted for recreational purposes.


Recreational v. commercial drone flying…

A frequent question asked by many, who post on social media such as Facebook, is whether flying a drone in support of a volunteer activity, such as a church function, or in support of a non-profit organization’s activities is considered to be commercial flight, even if the drone operator is not being compensated for the flight.  The answer is yes- this is still commercial flight, because the drone operator is not flying strictly for his or her own pleasure.

As I stated in my last post, any drone flying that is not strictly for personal pleasure is considered to be “commercial” in nature.

Commercial versus Recreational Drone Flying…the distinction is a simple one.

Under the Federal Aviation Regulations that govern Unmanned Aircraft Systems, any flying that is not strictly for personal pleasure or recreation, is, by definition, commercial flying.  Whether the operator receives any compensation is irrelevant.

Flying through a narrow desert canyon…

This footage was filmed in the Alvord Mountains.  The Alvord Mountains are located in southern California’s  Mojave Desert, not too far from the city of Barstow.

On this day, I was exploring some of the ruins of the Alvord Mine.  For more info. on the Alvord Mine, see my article: