So, I suppose that I’m expected to join the ranks of those who are condemning the flight of a drone over Las Vegas, during which an airliner on final approach is seen passing beneath the drone, in the video that was shot by the drone. Ok, I hereby condemn this idiotic act.
That sounds rather flippant, you say? Well, as far as I’m concerned, this act is so obviously reckless, and plain stupid, that I don’t think that I really need to add my voice to the mix. I do think that the FAA should investigate and then identify this person. Then, this “pilot” should be punished. Severely. With jail time. After the perpetrator is punished, the Government should announce this to the world, as a reminder that this type of behavior is intolerable.
“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.
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.
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.