Mercury PIC is committed to safety and will not fly for any client without first evaluating the project and performing a site visit in person. The site visit could be performed immediately before a flight operation, but no work will begin until all safety steps have been completed.
Below are the steps we take before any flight will begin. If a client asks us to perform an operation we believe to be unsafe, we will refuse the job.
Process for evaluating project before visiting site:
Acquire full description of imagery sought by client including location, time of day, altitude needed, and any other needed information. Scrutinize work request to ensure no part of it would violate the law or create unreasonable risk to public safety.
Check airspace for location using sectional charts and other trustworthy sources. If airspace is not Class G, check current Certificates of Authorization or Certificates of Waiver for pilot. If no valid COA or COW applies, apply for necessary certificate from FAA.
Survey publicly available satellite maps to identify landmarks and potential hazards around operation area. Evaluate possibility of public presence at location for risk assessment.
Process for visiting site:
Survey property and perform risk assessment.
Identify all hazards to safe flight including structures, vegetation, wires, and wildlife. Evaluate likelihood of any of these factors causing a crash.
Identify any location where unmanned aircraft system could accidentally fly over people (and plan steps to avoid those locations or prevent people from being there at the time of the flight).
If property is urban and/or residential, walk the entire site to get a complete picture of any risks to safe flight.