Section 333 Templates And Sloppy Copy/Paste Jobs Can Jeopardize Your Insurance Coverage

I am the first, and perhaps only, lawyer who publicly stated you do not have to be a lawyer to file a Section 333 petition with the FAA for commercial UAS operations – I did this even before the FAA began its Summary Grant process.

What I have said is that hiring a law firm to prepare your petition can save you a great deal of time, leave you knowing the petition has been done correctly, and that the petition is right for the proposed operations you will actually be performing.  Plus, you started a relationship with a lawyer who can help you with your post-333 needs.

However, we are seeing folks sloppily copying other companies’ petitions without regard to their content (Eg.: “UAV is the Inspire…flight time is 40 minutes”). Perhaps some of this is coming from companies with non-attorneys selling templates online.

However these errors are occurring, though, the danger in submitting a Section 333 petition that does not match how you actually run your operations, even though it becomes approved by the FAA, is in the event there is an accident your commercial UAS insurance may deny you coverage for the accident claims.

This  is because the Section 333 approval you provided to the insurance carrier in your application for coverage contains the text of your petition as well as the manuals you submitted – and are part of the conditions of your FAA approval. Moreover, the Section 333 is part of the factual representations made to the insurance company. The insurance carrier reviewing the accident claim may notice that your operations are not what you represented them to be in the copy and paste job/Section 333 template – and then deny you coverage.

So, if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer to do it for you, do yourself a favor and take the time to tailor your Section 333 petition to the real operations you will be performing. The days you spend doing this work is a far cry from the stress and possible financial consequences you could face taking short cuts that could leave you not only in trouble with the FAA, but also on the scary end of a hook for personal injury lawsuit judgments and attorneys fees.

Note: In my prior work as an attorney I have worked for insurance company clients and participated in litigation involving insurance coverage. If you want to learn more about how an insurance company can legally deny you coverage, just google “insurance coverage declaratory judgment action.”

Disclaimer: None of the information in this website including this blog post is legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you have legal questions. This website is attorney advertising.

 

Antonelli Law UAS Client Richter Studios Receives FAA Approval

Antonelli Law UAS client, Chicago’s Richter Studios received approval from the FAA on August 11th to operate the DJI Inspire 1 for aerial cinematography. The FAA approved the petition in less than 90 days.

To contact Richter Studios visit http://www.richterstudios.com/

A copy of the FAA Grant of Exemption under Section 333 can be viewed here: Richter Studios – 12422-1

If your company would like assistance filing its own Section 333 petition to fly UAS commercially, contact firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli at 312-201-8310 or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you.

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Top 3 Reasons to Hire Antonelli Law to Register your UAV (N Number)

1. Registering UAVs purchased from foreign countries like through DJI.com is a complicated bureaucratic process. Why bother to go through this bureaucratic process yourself? Do what you do best instead.

Registering your UAV purchased online from  manufacturers or sellers located in another country will involve not only obtaining FAA official original carbon copy forms but also tedious details including making requests directly with foreign Civil Aviation Authorities for assurances to the FAA that the UAV was previously registered or had a registration that was canceled. Eg: FAA Letter re Sci Aero – Australia Registration

This includes purchases through:

If you can plan ahead of time we recommend purchasing these drones/UAVs domestically if possible to avoid the extra layer of complexity in registering a UAV purchased from a manufacturer or seller located in another country.  

2. Establish a lawyer-client relationship with one of the leading drone law firms in the country. 

By hiring Antonelli Law for your N Number registration you are establishing a lawyer-client relationship and have the ability to call or email us in the future with questions or concerns you have with  at reasonable hourly rates and without high minimums. It will be good to have knowledgeable go-to attorneys when you are operating in the ever-changing regulatory environment of drones.

Even if you obtained your Section 333 Grant of Exemption without Antonelli Law’s help we can assist your company in obtaining their required N Number registrations, also referred to as the ‘tail number.’

3. Obtaining an N Number is required by the FAA prior to commercial operations.

Before you can use that highly coveted Section 333 Grant of Exemption, each UAV you use must have a “Tail Number” also known as an N-Number signifying it is registered with the FAA.

“All aircraft operated in accordance with this exemption must be identified by serial number, registered in accordance with 14 CFR part 47, and have identification (N−Number) markings in accordance with 14 CFR part 45, Subpart C. Markings must be as large as practicable.”

For a flat fee of $250 per UAV/drone, Antonelli Law’s experienced staff will do all the paperwork for you and deal with any necessary back-and-forth with the FAA.

A service like this should not be necessary in our modern digital age but is needed. We love our clients and hope this service will help alleviate a lot of the frustration of trying to deal with the FAA yourself. Note: Some registrations may be higher.

Contact Antonelli Law by clicking here to have us handle the FAA process to obtain your FAA registration and obtain your required N Number.

Obtaining your N Numbers can be done any time prior to commencing commercial flights, even prior to filing your Section 333 petition. You will not be allowed to file for a non-blanket COA without an N-Number.

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1.

Drone Democracy Improves With N Number Registration, Lower Price

Antonelli Law is proud to announce its Drone Democracy program now includes one FAA N number registration and a lower Section 333 legal fee of $1,500 for simple uses like residential real estate,  home and roof inspections, and nature photography with certain drones already approved by the FAA like the DJI Phantom 3.

In June Antonelli Law launched  its Drone Democracy Section 333 service as an experiment, to serve people wanting to use drones for simple uses and at a lower legal cost than our traditional Section 333 petition services for GIS, cinematography, oil & gas, mining, engineering, forensics, and other sophisticated uses.

Please note the Pilot License Requirement:

The company or individual running the operation that holds the Section 333 Grant of Exemption does not need to be a licensed pilot, but the person actually flying the drone/UAV must be. The licensed pilot may be a company employee or an independent contractor, as long as the licensed pilot has the UAV competency and other qualifications articulated in the holder’s Section 33 Grant of Exemption.

The FAA currently allows a sport or recreational pilot license (officially called an airman certificate) to operate drones/UAVs under a Section 333 Grant of Exemption. A driver’s license may substitute for a current medical certificate.

Please click here for Drone Democracy.

For GIS, cinematography, oil & gas, mining, engineering, forensics, and other sophisticated uses:

If your company would like assistance filing its own Section 333 petition to fly UAS commercially, contact firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli at 312-201-8310 or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you.

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Jeffrey Antonelli

Note:  None of the information in this website is legal advice.
Please consult an attorney if you have legal questions. This website is attorney advertising.

Press Release – Chicago Law Firm Secures Federal Approvals for Commercial Drone Use Under Firm’s Section 333 Filing Service

Press Release 8-4-2015

Chicago Law Firm Secures Federal Approvals for Commercial Drone Use Under Firm’s Section 333 Filing Service

Growing number of commercial players in the emerging drone industry seek Antonelli Law’s drone law services to help secure clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct drone flights

The attorneys of Antonelli Law, a leading Chicago-based drone law firm that specializes in federal commercial drone law, have secured a total of 11 Section 333 Grant of Exemptions, which allow operators of unmanned aircraft vehicles to conduct aerial surveillance for data collection and for a variety of other commercially-driven purposes. The leading drone lawyers at Antonelli law offer a full spectrum of commercial drone law services that have helped clients in the real estate, engineering, and cinematography fields clear the FAA’S legal hurdles to be able to start flying drones in just a few months.

During July 2015 alone, the law firm’s team of legal and aviation experts have successfully secured four Section 333 approvals. Camera and video-equipped drones are increasingly being used by companies large and small to conduct aerial surveillance. And while thousands of U.S. commercial users want to seize on the potential of drones to leverage their businesses, only about 820 total petitions have been approved by the FAA as of July 2015.

The FAA is expected to finalize its laws for commercial drone operators within the next year, but until then, laws dictating commercial drone use will continue to evolve. Obtaining FAA approval for certain types of drone use has become easier in 2015. Recent changes that took effect earlier this year have allowed Antonelli Law’s Drone/UAS Practice Group to secure Section 333 approvals faster than ever—in as few as 90 days. Previously, every petition filed for commercial drone use had to be reviewed by the FAA on a case-by-case basis with full regulatory analysis and publication in the Federal Register.

Kansas City, Missouri-based engineering firm, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company Inc., is one of Antonelli Law’s latest clients to receive FAA approval. The company—which provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions—received clearance on July 14 to operate a variety of small drones, including the DJI Inspire 1, Draganflyer X4-ES, and SenseFly eBee. Burns & McDonnell is one of several clients of Antonelli Law to obtain FAA approval within 90 days.

“The opportunity for Burns & McDonnell to start deploying drones for 3D aerial utility corridor mapping and infrastructure inspections will not only quicken our ability to deliver quality-driven results to our clients, but drones will undoubtedly increase the safety, productivity, and remote sensing options of our existing aerial data gathering operations,” said Steven Santovasi, department manager, geospatial services for Burns & McDonnell. “Federal drone law is not easy to navigate, however. Securing FAA approval to fly required us to engage the services of the drone law experts at Antonelli Law.”

While drones are showing their positive value in fields such as agriculture, architecture, construction, and real estate; smaller business owners interested in launching commercial drone operations often discover the pursuit to be anything but a low-cost, small-investment decision.

This summer, Antonelli’s Drone/UAS Practice Group launched “Drone Democracy,”—a lower-fee Section 333 service intended to help potential operators of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) obtain expedited legal clearance from the FAA—as a way to help more commercial users be able to fly drones. Created as a division of Antonelli Law’s Drone/UAS Practice Group, “Drone Democracy” exclusively serves commercial UAS users seeking FAA approval to operate drones for small-scale uses like residential real estate and nature photography.

The firm also now assists clients with obtaining the FAA-required N Number registration, a required step in the process to be able to fly a drone also referred to as the “tail number,” which identifies each drone by a serial number. Obtaining an N Number for drones obtained from outside the U.S. can be particularly difficult, but for a fee of $250 Antonelli Law will handle the lengthy, bureaucratic process of obtaining N Number registration for commercial drone users.

As an avid drone-user himself, Antonelli’s passion for the law intersects with his interest in flying unmanned aerial vehicles for fun. On his Drone Laws Blog, Antonelli regularly highlights updates in the FAA’s changing regulations for drone users and keeps followers updated with the latest Section 333 exemptions his firm has secured.

“We’re still on the brink of unearthing the many ways drones can aid in so many facets of society—from aiding in search and rescue missions to speeding-up survey work—we haven’t even begun to tap into the full benefits of drones,” Antonelli said.

For a full list of clients that have successfully secured Section 333 approval with the help of Antonelli Law, visit http://dronelawsblog.com/antonelli-law-clients-receiving-section-333-aproval-faa/.

About Antonelli Law

Located in Chicago, Antonelli Law focuses on drone/UAS law, intellectual property, commercial law, and educational fraud.

Antonelli’s Drone/UAS Practice Groupis leveraged by the legal and aviation expertise of attorney Kate Fletcher, an experienced commercial pilot with one of the world’s largest airlines, and Mark Del Bianco, a Washington D.C. attorney with substantial experience in federal administrative agency rulemakings, enforcement proceedings, and appeals. Antonelli, Fletcher, and Del Bianco together create a unique legal practice to serve clients in the emerging legal landscape of drone law.

Antonelli Law is committed to drawing upon the skilled resources of both technical and legal talent for drone/UAS clients. For more information, visit Antonelli Law or go to Antonelli’s Drone Laws Blog. More information on “Drone Democracy” is available at http://www.dronedemocracy.com.

 

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The Secret Advice I Have Been Giving About Pilot Licenses & Section 333

I am finally letting the cat out of the bag.

For more than a year now, I have been telling potential clients who  call me about filing a Section 333 Grant of Exemption with the FAA about a wonderful “workaround” if they don’t have a pilot’s license and don’t want to get one.

The issue for so many people and small companies is they simply do not have the time, financial resources, or willingness to go through full fledged flight school to obtain their pilot’s license (“airman certificate”) which the FAA currently requires for flying drones under a Section 333 Grant of Exemption.

So What Should I Do?

There is a terrific loophole in the FAA Section 333 process: a business can apply and receive a Section 333 Grant of Exemption to fly drones commercially and legally, even if the employees and business ownership does not have a pilot’s license, as long as the person actually flying the drone does have a pilot’s license.

Therefore, it is perfectly fine for a company to hire outside licensed pilots to fly their drones. Some companies are cropping up that will supply other companies with licensed pilots who are already familiar with flying drones. One is a client of ours. But there simply are not enough available at this time.

So What is Your “Secret”?

I learned several years ago that many traditional radio-controlled aircraft hobby clubs sanctioned by the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics), including my very own rc club, have members who are already FAA licensed pilots who love flying remote controlled airplanes, helicopters, and multirotors – aka drones.

A company can simply call up or visit the AMA model clubs and ask if any of their members are licensed pilots who might be interested in being hired to fly drones for their company.

There is a very easy way to find the contact information for all the clubs in your area: A simple link where you type in your zip code:

http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubsearch.aspx

Scroll down to see a sample search result for the Los Angeles zip code.

If your company would like assistance filing its own Section 333 petition to fly UAS commercially, contact firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli at 312-201-8310 or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you.

If you are a small real estate or home inspection company, you are eligible for our $2,500 Drone Democracy program: click here.

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Sample search on AMA website for Los Angeles – over 40 RC clubs to recruit licensed pilots from within just 25 miles of zipcode 90012!

LA BMP

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright permission to display site search results obtained from Academy of Model Aeronautics

 

Antonelli Law UAS Client Helios Imaging Receives FAA Approval

Antonelli Law UAS client Helios Imaging received approval from the FAA on July 21th to operate the Helios 960, a proprietary design based on the Tarot 960 airframe for closed-set cinematography and construction inspection. Likely due to the custom nature of the proprietary design, the FAA approved the petition in just less than 4 months.

This is the 4th Antonelli Law UAS client this month to receive FAA approval, for a total of 11 widely varied industry clientele.

A copy of the FAA Grant of Exemption under Section 333 can be viewed here: Helios Imaging Inc- 12107

If your company would like assistance filing its own Section 333 petition to fly UAS commercially, contact firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli at 312-201-8310 or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you.

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Antonelli Law UAS Client iCam Copters LLC Receives FAA Approval

Antonelli Law UAS client iCam Copters LLC received approval from the FAA on July 20th to operate the large custom manufactured GT80X (pictured below) and DJI Inspire 1 for closed-set cinematography. Likely due to the custom nature of the GT80X, which has a 1 hour flight time and carries the Epic Red 6k camera (see photos below), the FAA approved this petition in approximately 6 months.

A copy of the FAA Grant of Exemption under Section 333 can be viewed here:  iCam Copters LLC – 12080

You may reach Mike Conrady of iCam Copters LLC by email at icamcopters@gmail.com or by telephone at (408) 206-0184.  Scroll down to view Mr. Conrady’s interview at the 2015 Drone X Conference in Santa Cruz.

If your company would like assistance filing its own Section 333 petition to fly UAS commercially, contact firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli at 312-201-8310 or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you.

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GT80X Helicopter

FAA Approved for Aerial Cinematography by iCam Copters LLC

GT80X FAA Approved for Aerial Cinematography by iCam Copters LLC

GT80X FAA Approved for Aerial Cinematography by iCam Copters LLC

Antonelli Law UAS Client UA TacSolutions LLC Receives FAA Approval

Antonelli Law UAS client UA TacSolutions LLC received approval from the FAA on July 17th to operate the Aerialtronics Altura Zenith ATX8 and CyberQuad Maxi for demonstrations and testing. The FAA approved this petition within 90 days.

A copy of the FAA Grant of Exemption under Section 333 can be viewed here:  UA TacSolutions LLC – 12068

If your company would like assistance filing its own Section 333 petition to fly UAS commercially, contact firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli at 312-201-8310 or fill out the contact form below and we will contact you.

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New N Number Registration Service by Antonelli Law – $250 Flat Fee Per UAV

New N Number Registration Service by Antonelli Law

 $250 Flat Fee Per UAV

Having gone through numerous N Number registrations with the FAA ourselves, with some registrations going through easily and others being subject to many unexpected questions, we thought we should expand our N Number Registration Service to clients who obtained their Section 333 Grant of Exemption on their own or with higher-priced law firms.

Obtaining an N Number is required by the FAA prior to commercial operations:”All aircraft operated in accordance with this exemption must be identified by serial number, registered in accordance with 14 CFR part 47, and have identification (N−Number) markings in accordance with 14 CFR part 45, Subpart C. Markings must be as large as practicable.” This involves obtaining original FAA carbon copy forms, a bureaucratic process and tedious details.

Contact Antonelli Law and let us obtain the FAA N Number registrations for you.

Note: Some UAV registrations may be higher than $250

 

An Antonelli Law blog on UAS/Drone Law