Frequently Asked Questions

Droidshots has answers to some popular drone-related questions.

Q: What is a Drone?

A: In the United States, the term "drone" is a popular, informal name referring to any aircraft in the category of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). Additionally these aircraft must also weigh less than 55 lbs. ("Drone" is also used to describe unmanned military aircraft.)

Q: What are the advantages of drone services?

A: Nearly all consumer-grade drones are able to carry a camera that can record images and video. Most drones can also "live stream" video in real time from the camera to the operator and even to social media platforms. The cost to operate a drone is considerably less than that of a manned-aircraft such as an airplane or helicopter. Because of this, Droidshots offers commercial images and video at a lower, more affordable cost.  Flying a drone also saves on resources such as fuel and maintenance. Since UAS devices run off batteries, emissions are also reduced.

Q: Is it illegal to operate drones commercially?

A: No, it is not illegal to operate a drone commercially. It is only illegal if the drone operator does not have the proper licensing.

Droidshots' UAS operator and business owner, Marcus Collins, is a fully licensed drone pilot and has an FAA Part 107 UAS Airman Certificate.

Q: What defines commercial drone operation?

A: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers anything tied to income as commercial operation. If you fly adrone for any purpose other than hobby or recreation, it is commercial use and the operator will need a license and will be expected to comply with all commercial regulations as well as airspace policies.

Q: How high is a drone allowed to fly?

A: According to FAA guidelines, a small UAS cannot fly higher than 400 feet AGL (Above Ground Level) without a Certificate of Waiver issued from the FAA itself.

Typical drone photography and videography for commercial and real estate rarely requires a drone to fly above 200 feet. This height is satisfactory to capture most any subject, so a Certificate of Waiver won't be necessary.

Q: Can you fly a drone at night?

A: Flying a drone at night is not allowed. Regulations state that drones can only fly between sunrise and sunset. Unless you have a valid reason, an exemption can be granted from the rule under part 107 by the FAA.

Q: Can drones fly near airports?

A: Whether you can or cannot fly near an airport depends on the airport. Each airport has their own rules regarding drones.  Some airports require approval from the FAA and/or the local Air Traffic Control tower (ATC). Some do not.  If your project is near an airport, supply us with the address, and we can find out for you.

Q: How long can a drone fly?

A: Battery life for all drones are different. Droidshots' drones can operate for 15-25+ minutes on a single battery. Factors that affect drone flight time includes the type of drone being used, the wind speed, air temperature and drone load to name a few. To ensure total coverage, multiple batteries are brought along to every shoot. Droidshots also has the ability to charge batteries on location so we can fly uninterrupted for hours if necessary.

Q: Can you a drone fly over crowds of people?

A: The FAA guidelines state that you cannot fly an unmanned aircraft over anyone not involved in the flight operation. This includes flying at stadiums, sporting events, and other large gatherings. These restrictions can be exempted on a per-flight basis, however, a valid reason is required.

Q: Can you fly a drone indoors?

A: It depends on the situation. The FAA frowns upon it, however flying a drone indoors is not legally restricted. While it is possible, Droidshots cannot recommend flying a drone indoors. In most cases, doing so can be dangerous to both people and property. Even with the obstacle avoidance features that some modern drones are equipped with, malfunctions and technology errors can sometimes happen. If a drone needs to be flown indoors, it must be done so in manual mode. GPS can be unreliable while indoors and could behave unpredictably.

For indoor filming projects, Droidshots has other options for interior video including a rolling stabilized camera dolly, handheld gimbals, cable cam, motorized dolly, and fluid head tripods.

No information on this page should be taken as legal advice. It is highly recommended that all statements listed here should be verified with the appropriate regulatory agency.


Give us a call or send us an email


Franklin, MA 02038



Phone Hours:
Monday - Friday 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday 10 am to 4 pm