How to use Spray Drones legally

Drone Advice: FAA Rules for Spraying Drones

A lot of our customers ask us “What are the rules for using a Crop Spraying Drone?” or “What do I have to do to be able to Spray with a Drone?” and I’ve got your answer! Whether you are using a drone to spray fields, spray mosquitoes (vector control), or perhaps you want to spray roofs with a drone? Regardless, these rules apply to you. But don’t worry, I have good news – the process is pretty easy! The rule I’m going to explain here is the FAA Part 137. It was originally written back in the 60’s (I know, ancient to a lot of you readers!) but the FAA has done an awesome job updating this rule to allow for sprayer drones. For example, the original rule has a section that discusses seatbelts… well, drones don’t exactly have those, so they had to make some changes 😉

Your Drone Questions, Answered by Bryan

 

With so many new industries wanting to use drones for spraying, the rules have been streamlined to make it easier and faster. Here are the three basic components I’m going to tell you about:

  1. Aircraft airworthiness
  2. Pilot skills
  3. Chemical handling

I talk about each point in the video, so check it out here!

Now What?

That’s a good question! Have you already picked out the best drone sprayer for your job? This is an important aspect because your Part 137 filing will be specific to that drone (and yes, you can add other drones later). Second, are you a trained drone pilot? … and I don’t mean can you fly that little toy you bought at the grocery store without knocking over the lamp… I mean, can you fly as a professional? If not, do that (here’s some info). Lastly, have you contacted your local Department of Agriculture? I suggest you look them up and ask them for info on getting your license for becoming an aerial applicator.

Are there Jobs for Drone Sprayers?

Heck yeah, I hear awesome ideas every week; here are a few things people are using drones to spray:

  • Crop Spraying
  • Pest Control / Fogging
  • Invasive Aquatic Species (waterways)
  • Roof Spraying (mildew control)
  • Spraying for Mosquitoes
  • Solar Panel Cleaning
  • Windmill Deicing
  • Right-of-Way management (railways and utilities)
  • Firefighting (!!!)

What’s really cool is that once you have the drone, you can use it as a sprayer, a fogger or even to spread granules… this gives you a ton of flexibility!

 

Need some help?

I get it, for some people, the idea of filling out a bunch of paperwork is… not appealing (to say the least!) If you rather pick up dog poo in the backyard than file your FAA Part 137, you should talk to us! We’ve got a team of FAA gurus who know this stuff better than anyone, and you can hire them to do the heavy-lifting for you. You’ll still need to pick out your drone, be an expert pilot and meet your Safety Inspector, but the paperwork is off your plate! Woohoo!

 

I hope this video and blog helps to make sense of the rules for spraying from drones. I also hope it wasn’t a total bore to read… like some… certain… government documents might be… 😉

Happy flying, and stay tuned for our next blog topic!

-Bryan Sanders

(ABOUT BRYAN: our world-traveler, tech-guru and knows-no-stranger Vice President is responsible for HSE’s Client Engagement and Delight. Bryan joined HSE in 2014, eagerly departing his former life in the Financial industry and since then, he’s thrilled to be a part of the HSE family as we’ve grown into a global drone company. Bryan loves the great outdoors and when we let him go home (haha) he heads to Seattle and enjoys the beautiful Pacific Northwest. He enjoys traveling for vacations, Seattle’s beer & music scene, and eating (not cooking) great food. His partner and he are continually amused by their Dutch Sheppard “Z” and Sphynx cat “Walter”. If you get the chance to meet Bryan at a trade show or conference, please say hi!)

Proud to Be Part of the Fight

As a Veteran owned company, Homeland Surveillance & Electronics (HSE) is proud to be America’s leader in supplying crop spraying drones. We are honored to provide the kind of technology that makes a real difference and is revolutionizing farms and industries around the world! Our team loves what we do and we are always standing by to help you achieve your goals. Let’s chat – get in touch with us today!

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