Sean Gordon

Hello from Boston, MA. Part 107 Pilot at an Engineering Firm

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Hey all, my name is Sean.  I work for a national engineering firm.  Over the past year I've taken the initiative to start a drone service in our firm.  I am currently the only Part 107 Certified Pilot in the company.  I currently fly an Inspire 2 and will be getting an Inspire 1 for thermal imaging in the near future.  I am looking for any advice on streamlining FAA Airspace Authorization (understanding LAANC is not available here yet but hoping for early 2018), as a lot of our work doesn't allow me to plan as far in advance as the FAA would like.  Hoping to get some advice to questions as they arise.  

 

Thanks!

Edited by Sean Gordon

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Hi there, My name is Darren.  I am a Navy Submarine veteran, amateur photographer and IT Professional, just getting into the hobby, with an eye to making Aerial photography into a side business.  I have taken FAA private pilot ground school, but never had the cash to pursue that; from what I've seen the part 107 exam doesn't look too difficult and I hope to take it soon.  Like Sean, I'm hoping to get some guidance here.

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7 hours ago, Sean Gordon said:

Hey all, my name is Sean.  I work for a national engineering firm.  Over the past year I've taken the initiative to start a drone service in our firm.  I am currently the only Part 107 Certified Pilot in the company.  I currently fly an Inspire 2 and will be getting an Inspire 1 for thermal imaging in the near future.  I am looking for any advice on streamlining FAA Airspace Authorization (understanding LAANC is not available here yet but hoping for early 2018), as a lot of our work doesn't allow me to plan as far in advance as the FAA would like.  Hoping to get some advice to questions as they arise.  

 

Thanks!

When you file for authorization make sure and ask for a minimum of six months. Ask for a year and settle for six months. I don't know how the authorization process has changed as far as time to receive what you file for but in some instances 3 months is on the low side. Until LAANC rolls out in your area you have to give the FAA as much time as possible to grant your request. That, or ditch the private sector and go government. 

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Or as you might notice, in no way is this a recommendation but you can do what the FAA is forcing everyone else to do, follow all the rules except one and fly without the waiver.

Again, I’m not endorsing that but it’s been a year with little to no improvement to the waiver process. Farming it out to third party vendors and creating LAANC is tacking for ever is not a solution.  

 

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20 minutes ago, R Martin said:

When you file for authorization make sure and ask for a minimum of six months. Ask for a year and settle for six months. I don't know how the authorization process has changed as far as time to receive what you file for but in some instances 3 months is on the low side. Until LAANC rolls out in your area you have to give the FAA as much time as possible to grant your request. That, or ditch the private sector and go government. 

The authorization process can be a max of 6 months I believe.  So when I put the dates in just do it for the full 6 months?  What always throws me off is they ask about the frequency of flight.  In reality the work I'm going to do I will be out 1-2 days top getting footage I need.  Clearly because of weather I can't plan that far in advance for one day, so would you recommend just putting daily or weekly and submitting for a 6 month authorization?

6 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

Or as you might notice, in no way is this a recommendation but you can do what the FAA is forcing everyone else to do, follow all the rules except one and fly without the waiver.

Again, I’m not endorsing that but it’s been a year with little to no improvement to the waiver process. Farming it out to third party vendors and creating LAANC is tacking for ever is not a solution.  

 

I would love to do that, however my risk management group would hang me from the rafters! (if they found out)

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1 minute ago, Sean Gordon said:

The authorization process can be a max of 6 months I believe.  So when I put the dates in just do it for the full 6 months?  What always throws me off is they ask about the frequency of flight.  In reality the work I'm going to do I will be out 1-2 days top getting footage I need.  Clearly because of weather I can't plan that far in advance for one day, so would you recommend just putting daily or weekly and submitting for a 6 month authorization?

I would love to do that, however my risk management group would hang me from the rafters! (if they found out)

I ask for a year and on the last round of authorizations got a year. Until the process improves and is near instantaneous, I ask for everything the FAA is willing to give as far as time. I file larger areas 1-3 mile radiuses around a specific point so I have the freedom to operate over all of our property without burdening myself in a ton of paperwork filing on a per-flight basis.

Most of my work is construction projects that run for 18-24 months in length. You might need the airspace for a day or two, but what are the chances that you need to repeat the same spot? Or fly something nearby? The paperwork end is pretty simple once you get used to it. File enough, and you should be able to carve out a pretty nice chunk of airspace to work in. Work smarter, not harder right?

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