Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

Short answer:  not as much as you might think.  As you can imagine this isn’t a simple questions to answer.  As a initial benchmark, consider this.  You can do some really cool aerial video or photos for less than a couple hundred bucks.  Know exactly what you want and need a few raw video or pic files then you can probably get it for a Benjamin.

What is the range of LDF ?

Another tricky question.  The technology will allow LDF to fly up to 3 miles from the operator.  But the FAA currently limits that to line of sight from the operator.  So, really about a half mile works well depending on conditions.  The video signal can also degrade with increased distance.  Closer is always better.

How high can LDF go ?

You guessed it…tricky one.  Theoretically the operating limitation for altitude is based on the distance from the operator…so up to about 3 miles if the drone were right over the operator.  However, the FAA regulations limit drone flying to 400 feet above the ground maximum.  There are exceptions if you’re within spitting distance of a structure.  For example, you could fly higher if inspecting a building or antenna that is taller than 400 feet.  There are also waivers for flying higher if the FAA approves.

Can I use LDF to do some kick @ss night video ?

Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is no.  The FAA does not allow drone flight later than 30 minutes after evening civil twilight (that means 30 minutes after sundown more or less).  Again, an FAA waiver is possible under certain circumstances.

UPDATE!!  Thanks to some additional training and a daylight waiver awarded to LDF by the FAA in December 2019, we are now authorized to conduct night flights! This is an exciting new tool to have at our disposal. 

What are the limitations?

The limitations above are the main ones:  daytime, within line of sight, within 400 ft. of the ground.  There are others and of course everything has possible exceptions.  Can’t fly drones from a moving vehicle.  Can’t fly over crowds of people. Can’t be paid for flying unless you’re certified under FAA Part 107.

What are the applications for using a drone ?

Anything where you want a new perspective or need an aerial view.  See the Services page for more.

Where does LDF operate ?

LDF is based in rural west central Indiana but will work anywhere.

Can I buy a drone and do it myself ?

Sure.  Just make sure to familiarize yourself with the FAA regulations for registering and operating a drone and don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t receive a payment for an operation that it isn’t a commercial flight.  Some operations are considered commercial regardless of whether a payment changes hands.  Check out these FAA websites and get licensed under FAA Part 107 if necessary.

FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems

FAA Summary of Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft System Rule (PDF)

FAA Small Unmanned Aircraft System Registration

Are you spying on me ?

No, definitely not!  While it’s possible and legal for LDF to fly over property and catch people on camera that are not part of a drone operation, every possible effort is made to respect privacy and property.  The equipment that we fly is not capable of “spying” on anyone without being quite obvious and noticeable.  If you think a drone is spying on you, call local law enforcement as most privacy laws are part of local or state statutes.

Should I shoot LDF out of the sky with my shotgun ?

Hopefully the answer to this one is obvious.  But it’s something that LDF hears a lot in discussions about drones.  If you think any drone is violating state laws regarding privacy call local law enforcement and make a report.  The FAA considers shooting at a drone to be the same as shooting at a manned aircraft and this could have serious consequences.  Don’t shoot.  There are better options.