FAA Drone rules update

Hi Robert,
It’s been years since you posted this. I am a new member of InterNACHI and just received my certification. I hope to be licensed in Florida in the next week or two. Since there are many homes here with tile roofs I was thinking of using a drone. Anything new on that front? Are other inspectors using drones?

2/15/15, 3:41 pm

Sorry I was looking at his join date. Anyone currently using drones?

FAA Gives Flight to Drone Test Program With Companies

I use my camera pole more than my drone.
Don’t forget in Florida, older cement tiled roofs pre-1994 may have been secured with cement, not a nail down system.
You cannot tell very well if there are loose tiles without getting up there.

Not if you follow Transport Canada rules.

Now rules are different depending on weight of drone/uav.

If drone is under 2kg or 4.4 lbs then there is an exemption - which also has rules. Rules include having insurance, permission to fly over the property, maximum height allowed to fly, etc.





I’ve started flying mine out of necessity due to my ankle injury. The client’s parents attended this past Thursday’s inspection. It turned out the father is a controller for the FAA (“Boston Center” is here in Nashua). I was a little worried when I found that out, but his words : “As long as you stay under 400 feet, nobody cares.”

Hey there Brian. I also started out of necessity. I had back surgery last year and took some good advice from a local Inspector that was flying one. I wish I would have started sooner is all I could say. It’s not a substitute for walking roofs if that’s what you used to do before. But, those difficult ones to get on and the ones you know for certain you wouldn’t want to get on due to obvious damage and deterioration, it serves that purpose very well. Good luck to you and hope you stay busy as well.


I did an inspection for a air traffic controller, his opinion was kind of the same as above… that if you’re pretty close to the deck and can see the device, you shouldn’t get yourself in too much hot water.

He was explaining to me that helicopters have some different rules/exceptions to the lowest safe altitudes (1000 and 500 feet?) as well as and obviously emergency services.

Thanks Bert. Nope, not as good as walking the roof but I’m getting good at capturing the whole roof on 1080 video, plus grabbing stills of all the penetrations. It’s working for me. I still put the ladder up and see how the shingles are nailed, etc. Just can’t walk the roof due to my inflexible ankle, at least not yet. The plus side is now I have a better way to photograph the roofs I couldn’t get on anyway. I bought a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. I’ll get a 2nd, probably a Phantom 3, in a couple months so I have a backup. Everyone enjoys the little air show at the inspection. :wink: