It’s a Bird…it’s a Plane. It’s a Drone! with guest Mark Poirier


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
It's a's a Plane. It's a Drone! with guest Mark Poirier

Ever seen a really great picture and think to yourself… How in the World did they get that shot? Well, it was probably taken from a drone, and we’ve got local drone photo/video pro Mark Poirier on this week. Mark is from Eagle Eye Drone Imagery.

Mark joined co-hosts Matt Watson and Ryan Steckelberg to “geek out” on drones for both hobbyist and commercial use.

Episode Recap

Ryan welcomed in the show, who took over hosting duties with Matt this week. Steve and Felecia were out accepting the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics! It’s a big year for Friendly Auto Centers, adding on to their well deserved AAA Top Shop award.

Halloween Safety and a Couple Halloween Jokes

How about a Halloween joke? Why did the Headless horseman pay his insurance premium six month in advance? Because he wanted to get a-Head! Why can ghosts never lie about how many accidents they’ve been in? Because you can see right through them!

Matt found a cool story about a mother and her non-verbal, autistic son. Every year, she had to explain her child’s condition when trick-or-treating. She came up with the blue bucket, to let people know that kid might be autistic. So, if you see a blue bucket, just drop in some candy with a ‘Happy Halloween!’

Halloween Safety Tips:

  1. Reflective Tape and Glow Sticks
  2. A self-tracking drone for surveillance. But don’t be scared if you see a ghost following a trick-or-treater around — it might be a drone!
  3. Stay well lit and off the streets
  4. Make sure the costumes don’t impede ability to walk safely
  5. And Drive Friendly out there!


Eagle Eye Drone Imagery. Mark got into the business when he received his first drone, about six years ago, a small backyard drone. He fell in love with it. But that drone, wasn’t as advanced as he soon needed. Now, he has two great drones by DGI, the leader in the drone marketplace. He’s a member of Sky Eye Network. He gathered the knowledge he needed to make this a business. His business does a lot of work for the real estate business.

More with Commercial Drone Pilot Mark Poirier

More with Mark of Eagle Eye Drone Imagery. Matt shared how Mark came out and helped him. Mark brought the drone and was able to put a great video together that really grabs the audience. They took a look at that video. The drone flies down to the front of Matt’s office, then does a high aerial to show where Matt’s located. It’s pretty impressive. You can show so much more than with just a handheld camera. Matt really appreciated the “eagle’s eye” view of his location. Mark’s son Cody does the video editing.

Some realtors are really getting into using drones. Do you need a license? In order to use a drone, you need the FAA Part 107 drone license. You have to pass that test every two years with at least a 70% grade. There’s so much to know about drones in order to keep everything safe. Any drone, even personal drones, must be registered with the FAA. You need to be at least 12 years old, 16 for commercial use.

Maybe this drone could help get Ryan a date? But seriously, State Farm is using drones when big storms come in to survey damage, which helps customers get paid out faster.

What if we want to buy a drone? What laws do we need to be aware of. You can only fly during the day – sunrise to sunset. You can get an FAA waiver for special events, like a balloon event. There’s a little leeway for sunsets.

Can anybody start a drone business? Yes, but it really takes dedication and practice to become an expert. Mark went through Drone Command Live training. He also got certified as a drone flight instructor. He really stresses safety.

So, how much does a drone video like this cost? Of course, it’s a case by case basis, so Mark likes to come out and survey the scene and really showcase the highlight features. Realtors truly believe this helps move inventory.

Commercial Drone Services

They kept the drone conversation going. What are some other things than can be done with drones? Search and rescue is a big one. Finding lost kids, hikers. HOAs love drone videos of their big parties and events. He’s worked with a builder who rehabs high-end homes. They’ll get a before-and-after shot.

People get really excited about “What’s coming to that corner?” Drones are a great way to give people a shot of those developments. It turns out that covering sporting events is really tough. They put up a TFR. Violating that would get the violator a lifetime ban by the FAA. Fines can be $1000 per picture, up to $15,000, for doing commercial work without your FAA card.

For your typical hobby, backyard drone, a good drone is about $500. Mark prefers DGI, which you can find at Best Buy and Amazon. Be sure to get extra batteries, as they only las about 20-30 minutes.

Does insurance cover drones and drone activities? If you have an expensive drone, you can get it covered by a personal articles policy, to avoid the high deductibles. Mark mentioned that insurance companies might start to provide business insurance to the pilots.

It was time for another one of Mark’s videos. This was for Camelback Building Group, who wanted to focus on this amazing property at sunset. It was a remodel. Great ‘fly in’ shots, through carports, etc. It makes this $2 million home really shine. Amazing aerial shots of the property and the surrounding areas — Camelback Mountain.

Question Facebook: What about liability insurance? It’s in the works. And what about privacy? Be sure to take others’ privacy into consideration.

Drones and Privacy Concerns

Back to liability and privacy with drones. Be sure you ask a pilot for licensing and insurance information. Mark’s insured for $2 million. So, what about privacy? Pros like Mark will notify neighbors, to make sure they’re aware. Typically, the unlicensed folks don’t have the experience to know, and that gets them caught.

Local prisons are denying fly-overs of their yards. Why? People are dropping in contraband to prison yards, to help prisoners escape. So, prisons are now restricting those flights.

Drones can be used for forest fires to help find hot spots. Whatever your idea for aerial footage, give Eagle Eye a call! The sky’s the limit! Well, up to 400 feet.

Drone pilots have to follow the same rules as an airplane pilot. Have to have eight hours sober after any alcohol.

Mortgage News

Ryan mentioned that we’re hitting a volatile stretch, with so much big news around the world, including the Fed lowering their rates by a quarter-percent. This has no effect on interest rates. Those are already locked in. Lenders saw this coming. It will affect auto loans, CD rates, etc.  Give Ryan a call anytime if you have any questions about your mortgage.

Wrap Up

Matt’s office is a Toys for Tots location this year. December 14th, they’ll have Santa Claus. Go see ‘em!

Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!


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