Some real estate agents who fly drones to photograph listings have claimed that as long they are not charging money for the service, they qualify as hobbyists. Companies that provide drone photography or video for real estate brokers and agents will sometimes say they are charging for a photo or video editing, not drone flights.
In a notice interpreting the special rule governing model aircraft, the FAA explicitly stated that “a Realtor using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he is trying to sell and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing” is not engaged in a hobby or recreation. Nor is “a person photographing a property or event and selling the photos to someone else.”
Realtors and other commercial drone operators “are subject to all existing FAA regulations, as well as future rule-making action,” the FAA said.
So unless you or your Drone Pilot are not a Part 107 Commercial Licensed, you and the pilot can be subject to fines ranging between $1,100 and $2,200.
The Drone Pilot will be exempted from being able to obtain a commercial license for over a year.
Realtor can lose their realtor license and place on the FAA Blacklist.
So best advice would be, when hiring a Drone Operator, you may want to ask to see their current Pilot License, and they will be happy to show it.
Trevor & Tanya