Today, we answer a question about high school drone classes. Tom called in to ask us about the legality around high school students using drones to make money.
Tom is a high school media teacher that integrates drones into his coursework. As a result, he has been approached by several businesses who would like his students to shoot drone footage for advertising purposes. In return, these businesses would make charitable donations to the high school. Ultimately, Tom’s question is this: If they’re flying drones in exchange for charity, do my students need to have Part 107 licenses?
If you listen to our podcast regularly, you’ll know that we often get questions about flying drones for non-profits. People want to know if they need to be licensed even when their employer technically makes no money. According to the FAA, however, these businesses are being furthered by the drone services that pilots provide. Thus, most pilots flying for charitable purposes do, indeed, need to be licensed.
In this situation, there are certain nuances that might allow students to fly without a license. If Tom himself, for example, is a Part 107 pilot, students could shoot aerial footage for these businesses in exchange for money. At the same time, however, only one student would be able to fly at any given time. Remember, a Part 107 does allow licensed pilots to act as a supervisor on any commercial flight mission.
In turn, this episode is a discussion around the nuances of flying drones for charity, specifically in Tom’s case of high school students. We hope you enjoy it. Fly safe!
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- [02:35] Today we answer a question about high school drone classes
- [03:31] Paul answers today’s question, and explains why non-profits do, in fact need Part 107 licenses
- [04:00] Discussing and clarifying the term “furtherance of business”
- [04:44] In which case is it okay for a student to film without getting a Part 107 license?
- [05:04] Can the school and the student get fined for flying without a Part 107 license?
- [07:03] Would it suffice for the teacher to get a Part 107? Are students allowed to fly in this case?