Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you located and what areas do you service?

Above Summit is located in Somerville, Massachusetts and services most of New England without travel fees. If you want to get us on a project that is requires a plane or a long drive then all we ask is that you pay basic travel and lodging expenses. Our grip van and passports are at the ready.

What sort of equipment can be used on your drones?

Please refer to the break down the specifics of each drone and camera in our Technology Page

What about safety?

Safety is our paramount concern at Above Summit.  We will not fly over the heads of people or in inclement weather (precipitation, high winds, etc). We also use a Visual Observer to provide an additional level of on-site safety.  Our FAA Part 107 pilots are seasoned and responsible operators with experience on an array of equipment and have created safe yet incredible, innovative shots.

How far can you fly?

The drone must remain within the Pilot in Command's line of sight at all times, and our height ceiling is 400 feet (122 meters) by law.

How long can you fly?

We use LiPo rechargeable batteries to power our copters. Each battery lasts anywhere from 10-25 minutes, depending on the payload, temperature and type of aircraft. Swapping out a battery only takes a couple minutes and we always bring multiple batteries to each shoot. If required, we can also recharge batteries during a shoot.

Are you licensed?

Yes, we were first licensed with the FAA's 333 exemption for commercial pilots and have since been licensed as Part 107 operators of unmanned aircraft. 

Are you insured specifically for drones?

Yes, we are insured for general liability up to 1 million dollars. We are also insured with separate production insurance. If you decide to book us, we will be happy to provide you with our certificate of insurance, adding your company as additionally insured.

What are the current FAA restrictions?

1. Our pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with the drone at all times.

2. Flying must be done during daylight hours, with the only exception being 30 mins before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, unless we are using a nighttime waiver.

3. Maximum altitude is 400 feet above the ground or a structure. For example, if we are filming a 150 ft building, we could fly 550 ft high directly above the building.

4. We cannot fly over the heads of people who are not directly participating in the operation.

5. We cannot fly within a 5 mile radius of an airport without prior authorization from the FAA. 

IMPORTANT: Please note that all of Boston and parts of surrounding towns are within the 5-mile radius of Logan Airport. We currently hold a blanket certificate of authorization for certain sections of Boston, although many are still restricted, as they fall within the flight path of Logan.

To check your project's specific location in relation to airports, please visit this interactive map:

What if I want to film in restricted airspace (Boston) but don't have time to wait for a permit?

When we are unable to fly a drone in a restricted area, we instead hire a very talented Helicopter pilot. The helicopter session can be rented in 30 minute intervals, with 3 camera operators present. This is especially useful if you're looking for both photography and video coverage at the same time. The helicopter pilot we use for these projects is extremely responsive and flexible to individual project's needs.