Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, are used more frequently in film production and live events. There is currently no FAA regulation for flying drones in Class G unregulated airspace below 400 feet. Anything above 400 feet is FAA regulated airspace and the commercial use of drones is not allowed.
Drones require special consideration
Insurance companies may issue policies to cover liability and physical damage to or caused by drones – however, the following information needs to be clarified and submitted to insurance companies to start the process:
- Does the owner/operator have proper authorization from the FAA?
- What are the capabilities and fail-safe methods of the specific drone model being used?
- What are the operator's/remote pilot's qualifications?
- How is the drone being used?
- Where will the drone be used?
- Is a drone allowed for this type of event?
If a large amount of filming is planned, consider purchasing a non-owned aviation policy to further protect the production company or business.
Safety always comes first
Drone safety protocols are important and should be strictly adhered to at all times. Choose systems with built-in drone safety features such as automatic return home for low batteries, lost communication back-up or high winds maneuvering capacity. Conduct a preflight visual and operational check, including checking the communications link between the UAS and the control station, to ensure the UAS is safe for flight. Additionally, HUB recommends using a professional drone pilot with proper certification and not a hobbyist.
Contact HUB before you consider a drone for filming or aerial photography so we can advise you on the necessary coverage for your project.
Always adhere to the following:
- Fly below 400 feet and under 100mph.
- Fly at least 5 miles away from the nearest airport or aviation facility
- Fly during daylight hours or in well-lit locations
- Maintain direct sight of the drone
- Ensure the UAS weighs less than 55lbs. including payloads.
- Do not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
- Do not operate drone from a moving vehicle.
- Avoid manned aircraft and never operate in a careless or reckless manner.
- Remain familiar with the FAA regulations—refer to FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the most updated information.
- Know the local state and municipality laws regarding drone usage in the are you will be filming.
HUB Entertainment Industry Solutions is your risk solutions partner for the entertainment industry. As expert advisors, HUB is able to leverage industry knowledge and risk specific coverage for film & TV production, music & touring, live events, theatre, venues, video gaming and business management.