Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fly over people or events?

Yes. We have a special FAA authorization to fly directly over people. We use a drone that is specially equipped with a high-tech parachute that deploys in any malfunctions or problems with the aircraft.

Can you fly in restricted or controlled airspace?

Yes. We have unique expertise flying in flight restricted zones and controlled airspace.

 

Does the drone pilot I hire have to be licensed?

Yes. While your best friend or favorite uncle may be competent drone pilots, they can’t legally accept money for flying their drone. This is classified as a commercial drone operation and requires that the drone pilot have a license from the FAA. All of our pilots are licensed and trained for their specific missions.


Are you a licensed Drone Pilot?

Yes. The FAA licenses us to fly drones commercially. This includes Infrastructure & Thermal Inspections, Aerial Cinematography, Mapping, Construction, Real Estate, and Solar Panel Check-Ups. Any pilot that flies with us is also required to have an FAA License, and all crew members are thoroughly trained on drone operations and procedures before working with us on your job.

 

How much does it cost?

Each job is unique, and we are happy to give you a no-obligation quote on your specific job once we get the details. Things that affect rates include the type of drone and payload necessary, crew required, the complexity of the shots, and airspace clearances needed.

 

Can you fly anywhere?

We have flown over mountains, water, and dry land. We have also flown in controlled airspace and flight restricted zones with prior permission and clearance from the FAA and TSA. We are well-familiar with the clearance application procedures for controlled and flight-restricted airspace. We also have a special permit to fly directly over crowds and people.

 

Can you fly at night?

Yes. We have special authorization from the FAA for Night Operations. This type of flying can be dangerous, so it requires extra crew and planning to fly successfully.

 

Can you fly over water?

Yes. We have flown over water. Since wind can be a factor, this type of flying takes special preparation and planning and may take extra crew and larger drones to complete successfully.

 

Can you fly when it’s raining or snowing?

Foul-weather flying is possible but takes specialized drones and cameras/payloads. I would be happy to discuss your vision and what it would take to accomplish it.

 

 

How long does a typical aerial project take?

Simple, fair-weather projects can take a couple of hours, while complex missions with actors, vehicles, and intricate maneuvers can take an entire day or more to plan, coordinate, and complete. Planning and communication are the keys.

 

Do you have insurance?

We carry a $4,000,000.00 liability policy that covers most missions. We also have a $10M policy that comes into play for construction and infrastructure projects. Never hire a drone operator who does not carry insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Inspections

What can I expect from an AEC Drone Services inspection?

Actionable data, high-resolution pictures, 3D cloud point file a detailed written summary by the telecom expert pilot. Hangars’ exclusive software platform with a work package to review.

Why are Drones a safe & practical choice for my business?

UAVs are a faster, safer, and more cost-effective way to inspect your assets. A UAV inspection adequately executed by a trained pilot can accomplish in hours what a traditional inspection might discover with two climbers in a day. It’s a safe, efficient, and cost-effective choice as a place to start your facility investigation. You also get excellent documentation and can return to the site visually in seconds.

 

What certifications do your workers have?

All pilots have FAA Part 107 licensing plus significantly enhanced training. Also, all our Performance Partners are members of the NATE. That makes their voluntary tower training the most advanced in the industry.  Tower Safety UAV Tower / Structure Certification Training.  Infrared Training Center sUAS Level I Thermography Certification

Are the drone pilots trained?

Yes, our UAV Operators are all trained above and beyond the FAA’s Part 107 requirements. Most people stop at Part 107; that’s where we begin. Our pilots all receive specialized training from Tower Safety that exceeds government standards and is tailored specifically for tower inspection flights.

What do your pilots know about telecom towers?

A lot! Our professional operators already have careers in the telecommunications industry. They climb towers. They know what they’re seeing. If they’re not flying, they’re working on the wireless. This separates us from many competitors who use pilots who fly for fun but don’t have specialized skills or practical knowledge.

Standard Flight Instructions

In order to ensure the assets our pilots provide are consistent and of a high-quality, they are provided with a standard set of instructions:

  • Standard Shot List:

    • Images will be taken at 100' and 350' from the cardinal directions (N, NE, E, SE, E, SW, W), pending FAA height restrictions

    • Panoramas will be taken at 100', pending FAA height restrictions

    • Videos are captured from a multitude of different angles and altitudes to provide multiple perspectives of the property.

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  • Standard Weather: The flight date will be set for the next clear or partly cloudy day (Less than 50% cloud cover). However, you can select from the following weather requirements:

    • Up to 10% cloudy (clear and sunny)

    • Up to 50% cloudy (partly cloudy)

    • Up to 100% cloudy (mostly cloudy)

  • Standard Time: The flight time will be between 11 AM-2 PM for optimal lighting conditions. If you would like to request a specific time frame, please include that in the special notes when placing the order. Flights completed outside the 11 AM - 2 PM time frame may be subject to harsh shadows or glare, as the sun will be lower in the sky. 

 

Please note that a 10% cloudy (clear and sunny) requirement may lead to an extended timeline for the order as the pilot may need to wait for the weather to cooperate. 

Note: If you are to have special flight specifications for our Pilot, we request that you provide as much detail as possible to reference when submitting your Mission request.

For specific requests around preferred time and/or day, we will do our best to accommodate. However, we ask that you reference a select timeframe rather than stages of the horizon (ex: twilight, dusk, sunrise, etc.) as these are open to loose interpretation. 

Additionally, if a property will require the Shopping Center Shot List, or if the mission is for a lot larger than 100 acres, you may be asked to authorize additional charges. 

Turnaround Time

For most customers, we recommend  "Blue skies preferred" option, which will give you the best balance of a quick flight (48 - 72 hours after the flight is scheduled depending on weather) and blue skies. This option is typically great for customers in real estate and construction. We pass along these instructions to the pilot assigned your Mission who will visit and fly your site on the soonest clear or partly cloudy day (up to 50% cloudy).

Quality Concerns

Should it ever occur that you are unsatisfied with the quality of your assets, we will do our best to reprocess the data and improve quality immediately upon request. If you are still unsatisfied with our team's revisions, we will re-fly your project on an as-needed basis. Contact customers@aecdroneservices.com if there are any quality concerns. 

How It Works

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  1. Tell Us About Your Project

    Describe your project and tell us what kind of material you want to be captured.
     

  2. We'll Schedule a Flight

    After confirming your project details & requirements, we’ll send a pilot to your specified location, wherever it is you need us.
     

  3. Download Your Aerial Imagery

    We will share your drone photos and videos with you and make them available to download within 24 hours in most cases..

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Whether you’re managing job sites, subcontractors, or clients, our drone-based solutions deliver a flexible, cost-effective way to add aerial intelligence to your project management toolset.