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Insurance Company Blocking Drone Use.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jason Boucher, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Jason Boucher

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    Hello all.

    I was flying at down hill skiing location and was approached by the owner of the location who advised me that his insurance policy does not allow drones to be flown in the airspace above the ski hill.

    Now before anyone says anything, There was a Dog Sled Race event being held at the location which I was filming, and yes, I was staying away from crowds and not flying over any of the racers heads. I also had a second pilot controlling the camera, and a spotter standing next to us.

    When the manager of the location told me to leave I advised him I would stand a block away and continue to film the event anyway, and that by him allowing me on property I was able to fly much safer keeping a better eye on my drone.

    That's when he said "I don't have a problem with it, but our insurance company doesn't allow drones to fly over or ski hill"

    He then told me that if i tried to fly over the hill from another location he would call the cops and that his insurance company would go after me.

    I laughed a bit and told him his insurance company has no authority to stop someone from flying over his property.... and then reminded him again.. I can fly safer while standing here, then I would be if i continued to fly from two blocks away (still able to see the drone, just not as well)

    The manager finally allowed me to continue to fly and advised me to "Keep it to a Minimum"

    Shortly after this happened, the person in charge of the Ski Patrol came over to me and said. "You need to leave right now, I'm not allowing you to fly that here"

    I advised him that i had a conversation with the manager, and he allowed me to continue flying. The person then told me "I am in charge of safety here and I can shut you down despite what the manager said"

    I then told him that he was distracting me and making my flying more dangerous. I mentioned to him the same thing I mentioned to the manager, and then reminded him again "The manager allowed me to fly here, and I am flying as safe as I possibly can"

    He skied away and mumbled, well if I see you not being safe I will shut you down right away.

    Has anyone had an experience like this before? How would you have reacted differently?

    What are you thoughts on Insurance companies putting a clause in their policy saying drones aren't allowed to fly in the airspace about your property?
     
  2. slim.slamma

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    upstate Ny exact same conversation in the end they asked for my card. Even called me a few times
    just leave the property and fly from somewhere else
     
  3. Skynet1

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    The manager may have simply misinterpreted what the insurance company policy dictates regarding the terms of the policy, as they may have informed the policy holder/owner that under the terms of the policy, the use of a UAV to video such events would not be covered, or something to that effect, who knows.
    The manager may have been in a position of authority to have you removed from the property, but not necessarily prevent you from flying overhead at a substantial altitude, or from a distance beyond there property line.
    If you fly legally under FAA registration mandate and flight guidelines as required, and your aircraft crashes causing damage, or personal injury, you ultimately would be identified, and may be held criminally or civilly liable for your actions were my initial thoughts. : )
     
    #3 Skynet1, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  4. Jason Boucher

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    After he tried arguing his point a few times about the insurance company I simply asked him... Listen, I don't have time to argue about this, Either you tell me to leave and I will leave, or let me stay and fly safe by keeping better line of sign of my drone. .

    He opted to allow me to stay.

    My drone is registered and has multiple identification stickers located on it. I was also following all UAS safety rules.

    When I fly I also have this card which shows my registration information to anyone walking by. I sell these on E-bay for $10 each, and when people see it they are more friendly when they approach you for information.


    card.jpg
     
  5. Skynet1

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    Not to debate the issue, but if you look to the other side of the coin, ( property owner/manager/ security personnel) any of those folks acknowledging permission for you to conduct an aerial flight over the property during some scheduled event, MAY, make them legally culpable for whatever incidents occur as result, good, bad, or indifferent.
    Again, just another point of view as I'm not an attorney, or playing devils advocate here.
    Enjoy your model and fly safe. NFC.
     
    #5 Skynet1, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  6. licensed pilot

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    Isn't it easier to get property owner's permission first? You are right about airspace and the insurance co. is wrong (if they really said that). Control over the national airspace is retained by the FAA and they reasserted this in the recent re-authorization bill.. As a commercial operator I never fly over private property w/o owner's written permission.
     
    CaptainBadge and Antony like this.
  7. ISP5557

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    When was the last time any of these people told a News organization they could not fly their very heavy and full of fuel helicopter over their event and take video? I would venture to say there have been more helicopter crashes that have injured people than sUAS crashes that have injured people. We are letting others write the narrative of what is safe. Be nice but ask if they would call the local news station and tell them their insurance agency tells them to fly away. See how that goes over.
     
    Jason Boucher likes this.
  8. licensed pilot

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    Being polite and respectful towards property owners is more likely to result in a positive view of UAS flights, than being obnoxious and combative. We are the new kids on the block and are the ones looking for acceptance. And we are not CBS or NBC, yet...My 2 cents.
     
    Antony, Dr. Ifly Drones and Skynet1 like this.
  9. Hans Devouassoux

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    --------------------------------------

    Just as an FYI, the ski association has placed a no-drone over slope during events due to a skier almost being hit by one when it crashed at an internationally filmed competition.

    In regards to the ski resort, what you just did is increase the liability to the owner of the resort. His insurance states that he is not authorized, as if your drone fell out of the sky onto a person, and that person sued the resort, the ski resort owner would not be covered by the insurance, and he could loose everything.

    Welcome to America where everyone is sue happy.

    We must sometime think about others, and not just what we are trying to film.
     
  10. Kilrah

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    It just makes no sense at all. The process in this case should quickly determine that the filming was completely independent from the ski resort so the owner is clear, and that the correct target for a lawsuit is the pilot.

    The resort owner would not be covered if HE did something with a drone on his resort, but if a random guy comes there and does something without the resort being invoved or having authorised it there's no reason he should be liable.
     
  11. licensed pilot

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    This has become a legal discussion. Hopefully, anyone wishing to do this type of filming will have liability insurance, consult an aviation attorney and not rely on opinions posted in a forum.
     
    DrMrdalj likes this.
  12. slim.slamma

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    Drone insurance is all the safety the public deserves or desires. But the restrictions ain't gone last. 15k a year to fly over the public sounds reasonable
     
    Hunter Roberts likes this.
  13. licensed pilot

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    Wasn't looking for a "who knows more argument". As a commercial pilot license holder not much you can teach me about aviation, FSDOs etc.
    I was merely pointing out that too many uninformed people drop in here looking for answers; and giving legal advice should be left to attorneys.

    PS-There's no " FAA UAS division" Its called the FAA UAS Integration Office. I should know as I regularly pester them with questions.
     
    #13 licensed pilot, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  14. Jason Boucher

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    The resort was closed to skiers, and was open only for the Dog Sled race I was filming. I was not flying over any crowed or any of the Mushers, so if my drone would have crashed, it would have been at least 100 feet away from any spectators.
     
  15. WILLIAM BAKER

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    What is the page where you sell these?
     
  16. Jason Boucher

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  17. CaptainBadge

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    I will sell you some for $50. As a matter of fact I will give you a limited time offer of 2 for the price of 1!. Or you could go to staples and get them for a couple of bucks. ;)
     
    slim.slamma likes this.
  18. CaptainBadge

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    I wonder how many people are going to use these official looking documents to try and use the 'Pilots' line at the airport. LMAO
     
  19. Jason Boucher

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    They are clearly marked "For Reference Only - Not An Official Document" and yes.. someone could go to staples and have one of these made on paper and have them laminated for a few bucks. But these are actual plastic cards, not laminated paper, so they are much better quality then something you can get at staples. They are also only 9.99... nothing near $50. If you calculate the cost of the plastic card, sub dye sheets, metal clip, an $3 of shipping( which i pay myself as I offer free shipping) $9.99 for these cards is a great deal.

    Sorry you don't like it... but there's no need to bash someone trying to survive and make money.
     
  20. CaptainBadge

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    Survive and make money.. maybe. Capitalize on people thinking this will get them more credence in the field as opposed to a paper version in a binder.... more likely.