College Coach - Hello!


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Hello! I'm Paul and I am a coach at a college in Florida. I love the shots my DJI 3 gets at practice, but was told by our School of Aviation that it is considered a 'commercial' operation to video our own practices...which I find a bit of a stretch as we are not selling the videos.

Does anyone have information that shows that using a drone to video practices (which is a million times safer than having a person stand in a chair lift and do it) is NOT a commercial use as the FAA sees it? There seems to always be ambiguity with the FAA but I don't see where it says that it is commercial to video your own practices at a college anywhere.

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It is not a commercial operation.  

The FAA considers a UAV as an aircraft, so it must abide by the Federal Aviation Regulations.  So here is the definition of a commercial operator Section 1.1 General Definitions of the FARs.  "Commercial operator means a person who, for compensation or hire, engages in the carriage by aircraft in air commerce of persons or property, other than as an air carrier or foreign air carrier or under the authority of Part 375 of this title. Where it is doubtful that an operation is for “compensation or hire”, the test applied is whether the carriage by air is merely incidental to the person's other business or is, in itself, a major enterprise for profit."

It should be obvious that your schools aviation department is a "Commercial Operator" because flight training is an enterprise for profit.  However if faculty or students use same aircraft to fly to events, meetings, recruiting, or even to take photos above your practices, as long as no one gets paid for flying, it is not a commercial operation.   


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