How To Hire A Pilot

If you were to hire a helicopter pilot, you would expect that the pilot was trained, insured, and experienced. After all, you can’t just jump into a helicopter and start flying. It’s safe to say that even without seeing documentation, it’s a pretty safe bet that the pilot has done everything by the book, and is qualified to do the work.

Drones are a little different, even though they are classified as aircraft just like a helicopter or an airplane. It’s hard to believe that a machine that can purchased at a big box store carries the same weight as a manned aircraft, but it’s true…and very important to businesses hiring drone pilots.

Since the hiring entity could share a legal responsibility if an incident occurs with a drone they hired, it’s important to see documentation to ensure that the pilot is qualified and insured.

So before hiring any drone pilot, ask to see proof of the following:

1 – Remote Pilot Certification – To be qualified to do commercial work with a drone, the pilot must have this certification from the FAA. The card resembles a credit card and will have the pilots name and information on it. The blue and green plastic card will also have a shiny FAA seal on it. This FAA issued “licensed” will ensure that the pilot is qualified by the FAA to do commercial work.

2 – Drone Specific Liability Insurance – Like any contractor, the drone pilot should have liability insurance, and be able to provide proof of it. Unlike many industries, drone specific liability insurance is available on a pay per flight basis. Some pilots use this when flying, while others have a more traditional annual policy. Regardless of what the pilot uses for insurance, they should be able to provide proof.

3 – Drone Registration – Consider this a spot check on your drone pilot. If they can provide proof of drone registration, proof of insurance, and a remote pilot certificate, they’re doing it by the book. Pilots that play by the rules, and don’t take shortcuts will most likely take the same approach when flying.

Drones are readily available to just about anyone, but when it comes to business, it’s important to look at a drone pilot like any other contractor. Get their documentation, and talk to them about their experience, and expertise. The industry is very misunderstood, and hiring a qualified, and insured professional is a great way to protect your business, and get great results.