I produce a lot of auto dealer commercials, and I was just approached about shooting some videos for six golf courses in Florida where the client wants to use a helicopter for getting some aerial footage, so I am considering purchasing either a Phantom II or another helicopter drone for the aerial shots at the golf courses as well as doing lot shots at dealerships. I've been doing some research, but I am wondering if anyone here has any experience with using either a Phantom II with the built in gimbal and camera, or another brand. I've read a few horror stories about having to replace the Phantom's camera and gimbal at the same time if just the gimbal or camera break, so I am wondering if it makes sense to just buy a drone with a gimbal and just add in a GoPro camera or other rig? I would really like some advice! I actually own two Ken-Lab gyros that I use for shooting boat to boat videos, so that setup would work great from a real helicopter for the golf courses, but none of the small dealerships I work with would have the budget for a real helicopter shoot, so a drone purchase might make the best sense. Any thoughts?
It's still very much illegal to fly a Phantom (or any other small multi-rotor copter) at a publicly accessible location like a car dealership or a golf course for commercial purposes. Period.
The FAA has absolute control of all US civilian airspace from the ground up. And they have said distinctly NO.
Waivers are possible for a big budget commercial or huge dollar productions like movies and such, but a hassle to get.
So theres no real way to do this today without running afoul of the law.
The FAA is supposedly working on regulatory changes for 2016 - but nobody knows for sure.
Until then, if you go ahead, put aside a big pot of cash incase they come after you with a big fine.
Simple as that.
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