For the last six or seven weeks I have been concentrating on freelance work and I am slightly alarmed that on many of the facebook groups and TV sites people say I am looking for a drone operator and a load of names are then tagged.
Often it seems to be that there is no concern about if the person has CAA permission for Aerial work or soon to be known as CAA Permission for Commercial operation CAA PFCO.
I am not implying that all these people are not CAA Approved but there are a good many who are not.
Corporate responsibility is really important and by employing someone who doesn’t have CAA PFCO, they won’t be insured and certainly won’t be abiding by the aviation law laid down by this country with regards to the use of drones. Yes you can say we didn’t know, but in a court of law, ignorance is no defence.
So here are the following checks you can make to make sure you are booking the correct person for the job
Check their showreel – like what you see? Don’t concern yourself that you have to have this type of drone or that type of drone. The camera is the thing and the footage that the drone operator will provide you with what you need. Check what the showreel was shot on. So if its a Phantom pro 3 with a 4K camera as long as its set to the correct settings this can be downgraded to match most cameras. I have a Phantom pro 3 and I have flown for TV commercials and productions and the footage has been just fine.
Check that they are CAA Approved – you can do this by checking the CAA website this costs you nothing
Ask for a copy of their CAA PFWA / PFCO – retain this PDF for your production paperwork so should the production company be asked in the future to provide providence of the aerial footage.
Ask for a copy of their insurance documents – again retain for your production paperwork. If you work for the BBC they have a UAV team and they suggest a minimum of £5M public liability plus spotter / flight assistant. They have other guidelines and if you check “my risks” on the internal gateway, you will see what they are asking for in addition.
Production companies have a legal and moral obligation to pay the correct people for aerial footage. If someone is doing it just for their showreel, are they insured? Are they safe and operating within aviation law? Finances may be tight but you should be paying the correct, competent and qualified personnel to carry out the work you require.
If your production is where you employ people to do one role and they give you drone footage you need to check they have CAA PFAW/ PFCO and that all important insurance.
In the TV industry their are a number of crew like myself who have added to their skill set and they will be happy to provide you with the documents you require.
This will ensure that our industry is not brought into disrepute.
If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me, there is no obligation to book me as your drone operator.
In tomorrows blog post I will be writing about how production companies get the most out of booking a drone operator.
Have a great Wednesday
The Drone Lass AKA Carys x