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Aerial Photography Illegal?  
User currently offlineDelta777-XXX From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1017 posts, RR: 8
Posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5133 times:

I have recently started doing a lot of aerial photography for people. We go up in a Cessna 152 or 172 and fly about 500ft above the ground. I take pictures of upscale homes, construction, businesses, etc... It brings in pretty good money!

I went to a guy last week that told me it is illegal now. He said that you could do it before 9/11 but that it is now illegal.

Anyone know about this?


Thanks,
Hank  Big thumbs up

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5082 times:

It is not illegal. There are very few, if any, laws that have changed since 9-11. People need to get a grip.

The FAA has made some areas more restrictive and have closed some VFR corridors around what are considered high risk target areas, ie...military bases, but that is it. Tell your friend he is full of it.

T.


User currently offlineMirage From Portugal, joined May 1999, 3122 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5085 times:

I don't know were you're from but in my country (Portugal) it's not illegal, the question is that you can't just go on a C152 and take photos to earn money, you have to ask a licence to our civil aviation authority to make aerial photography as a job.

Luis


User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5052 times:

Hank,

Whether or not 9/11 has changed anything I know not, but there is one thing to be very careful of...

I presume when you say "we", you mean yourself with a camera and someone else flying the airplane. If whoever is flying the airplane receives some of the money you make from the photography, or if you pay him for flying the airplane, and that pilot holds only a private pilot certificate (i.e. not a commercial certificate) then you are almost certainly doing something illegal.

If a pilot, any pilot, is making any money from flying, then the MUST hold a commercial licence. If not, then at best you are illegal, at worst if there was an accident any insurance would be invalidated and you'd both be responsible for any liabilities.

Of course, if whoever is flying holds a commercial ticket, then things are probably OK.

Andy


User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6380 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5048 times:

What if I wanted an aerial photo of an airport? Is this now illegal?


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

It is not illegal to take photos from an airplane. If you can get into an airplane and legally fly over something you can take a photo of it. Obvioulsy FAA regulations will restrict some areas that you cannot fly through or over.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5008 times:

Using the photos is another matter of course. Companies might not like photos of their buildings being sold and could sue, especially if the building is a registered trademark (yes, it has happened and yes, the company did win).
Photographing military installations and powerplants (especially nuclear installations) is also not allowed AFAIK (this does also mean no taking pictures at an angle skirting the border of the no-fly zone...).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4627 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4998 times:

I love these people nowadays. After 9/11 everything to do with planes is illegal.

LOL

don't listen to them



Word
User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4972 times:

If you are flying at under 1000ft in a neighibor hood then you are breaking FARs (even before 9/11).


At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineChris28_17 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1439 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4944 times:

If a pilot, any pilot, is making any money from flying, then the MUST hold a commercial licence. If not, then at best you are illegal, at worst if there was an accident any insurance would be invalidated and you'd both be responsible for any liabilities.

I dont believe that has anything to do with taking pictures, that rule deals with taking passengers in exchange for compensation.

If you are flying at under 1000ft in a neighibor hood then you are breaking FARs (even before 9/11).

i was thinking the same thing...




chris


User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Chris, I believe you are right. But in the case at hand, the passenger is presumably paying the pilot to take him flying, while coincidentally, the passenger is taking pictures.

Pete


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4926 times:

Umm the commerical limitation is for almost any type of bussiness that can't be accomplished without an aircraft.

If he is getting paid period he has to have a CPL.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineDstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1461 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4910 times:

The Mayor of Venice wants to trademark the image of Venice.

Dont know how this could be done but if you want an aerial photo of it do it soon! This issue of image rights is getting out of hand.

Then Venice has been taking about flooding for years and years.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 13, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

correct PPGMD. CPL is required for any commercial use of the aircraft, ATPL for carrying paying passengers (unless you're an IP, in which case you can take a paying student).


I wish I were flying
User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4847 times:

I think you are splitting hairs on much of this. If a friend takes me up, I shoot photos of an area and then I sell them is there a violation? maybe/maybe not. The point was, is taking photos from an airplane of stuff on the ground illegal in the U.S. The simple answer is NO.  Smile


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4857 times:

If the entire reason to go up was to take pictures for profit then if the pilot doesn't have a CPL he is breaking FARs.

Also if they fly below 1,000ft they are also breaking FARs.

Taking the pictures themselves no they are not illegal if you sell them to the owner of the property. Sell them elsewhere then you might have some problems.

Certificate action is no laughing matter espically if the pilot wants to be a airline pilot.



At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4838 times:

2912n

PPGMD is right. The original question was "is it illegal now" The answer is NO, it isn't illegal now (except maybe power stations, restricted areas etc), IF - and this is a huge IF - if it wasn't illegal before.

Flying around taking pictures is not illegal. However, if the photographer PAYS any money to the pilot, or if the photographer contributes any more than HALF the cost of running the airplane - rental, fuel, etc - then the whole thing was illegal before, and is now.

Not only is this a problem in terms of the pilot's future flying, but also as I said if there was an accident the consequences are significant.

Andy


User currently offlineDelta777-XXX From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

I think my pilot has his CPL, but I'm not 100% sure. I know he is a CFI and that when we go up I fly left seat and log all the time. He really only flys the airplane when I am actually clicking shots. I do pay him, but I think that if it ever is a problem, I could always say I was paying my flight instructor, because that is what I'm doing.

I still feel pretty sure that this guy has his CPL.

Hank


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4806 times:

If its in the states and he has a CFI then he does also have a CPL.


At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineDan330 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 439 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4781 times:

Skymonster - Can you just confirm something please, with a PPL I can charge half the cost of the flight to my passenger, that includes fuel, rental etc.
So as it costs £80 per hour to rent a 152 at EMFS thenI can charge £40 per hour to my passenger.
This is how I understood it from everything I've read, but I had some guy come in to work a fews days ago and say that you can only charge half the amount of fuel, he said about £8 per hour!

So, can you just confirm that I'm correct on this ones and hes full of s***.


User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4783 times:

It may be diffrent in Europe under the CAA rules but here in the States it's a pro rata share of the direct costs of the flight.

*This part differs from inspector to inspector*
But the FAA has ruled that its the direct costs, so if you own the plane all you can charge is for fuel and tie down, you can't add in what it might have cost for maitnece.

Dan330: Correct under FAA rules (those are the ones that I know), but the rules say pro rata share, so that means for each passenger (you can have more of course in a C172 or larger plane), and for the time that they are onboard.

Also one thing you want to check out for those running commerical ops, if the pilot isn't a designated employee of the FBO, and you are not doing something that they have signed off on, then you might not be covered under their insurance as you would be in comes cases.

Basically that means I can't start flying passengers for hire to Key West, with a plane that I rent from my local FBO. Also that limitation is not only in the insuracen paper work, but it is also in some retal agreements.

Also one last note on what is considered commerical:
Commerical is only flight where the pilot gets some form the compenstation (direct or indirect), inexcharge for his flying services. If I am a repair man flying to fix washing machines and I use my own plane to get there that is not commerical. But if use Joe, my assistant as my pilot, he is recieveing some form of compenstation (I'm paying him I hope) then it is commerical, even though if you were flying yourself it would other wise not be.

Now remember ladies and gentlemen these are US rules that I am explaining and the interpetations vary among FSDOs. Please consult your local FSDO and an avation lawyer, before you begin any commerical flying operation.

This information is provided free of charge with no warrenty what so ever, implied or otherwise.

Had to put the CYA stuff on the bottem.



At worst, you screw up and die.
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