Basic Questions about Reliability and Safety

Dec 2, 2016
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I'm planning to soon purchase a P4P to use commercially. I have been a professional aerial photographer for many years, taking photos from fixed wing aircraft and sometimes helicopters, and now that the P4P is out, it seems that it might provide good enough quality for some still uses, as well as smooth video that I cannot do from aircraft without expensive stabilizing equipment.

I am beginning from scratch regarding drones and all that I know is what I have gleaned from internet discussions and videos, but hopefully will soon have the opportunity to visit an experienced drone pilot.

Besides image quality, my concerns about drone use are regarding crashing and the damage that can be done to the drone or injuries to a person.

What are the possibilities that the drone will quit operating? I'm presuming that the batteries are fully charged and that all the equipment has been fully checked out prior to the flight. If there is an engine failure, does it drop like a stone or float somewhat? If it quits at 400 feet, will it be totaled if it hits pavement? If it would hit a person on the head could it kill him?

I have seen many videos of drones flying over cities and towns. Are there any restrictions for that in the US?

What are the approximate costs for liability insurance for a one person drone business? Can you recommend any insurers?

I'm new to this board, so my apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong area or if there are other places here where these questions have been covered.

Thank you.
Aug 15, 2016
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First off welcome to phantom pilots.
You don't have to worry about it failing since most of those cases that you might have seen are pretty rare. Overall the phantom is reliable, and if you can get into it, I recommend modding the battery so that you can get a longer flight, but we can save that for another day since people are still making the mod for the p4p. You generally don't want to fly over a herd of people. Take it easy with your first flight, but do note that the p4p is a lot safer to fly than the older phantoms. It's more stable at least, and it has a bunch of sensors, which I honestly don't think is that necessary in the open, but it can be useful for indoor settings I guess. Get it registered online for $5,and then I'm pretty sure you have to go for your commercial license to start using it professionally. Oh and have fun with it.

First off... take it to an open space where there aren't too many trees/buildings and learn how to fly it going towards and away from you. It's different when you go right and left when it's flying towards you. Just get the basics down.
Jun 14, 2016
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You'll DEFINITELY have to have a commercial (part 107) certificate.
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Jan 4, 2016
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If the propulsion system fails it will fall like a rock. From 400 ft your best option is to buy a new one (if it's not an in warranty period hardware failure).

Reliability is improving gradually and currently is very good. You should always assume the worst at happen though to be safe.

You shouldn't fly within 30m of people, cars or buildings (other than your own or with permission). Avoid flying directly over people and don't fly over populous areas (lots of people where there is a reasonable chance you may crash into something if you have an AC failure. There are also rules that apply to your proximity from airports etc.

For commercial use you need to be appropriately licences (regulations vary in different jurisdictions).
Nov 7, 2016
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Pierre, South Dakota
Just echoing what everyone else said, Its a drone things fail its a fact life but the drone you are getting is one of the best in the market and DJI has a steller name so you are making the right choice with going with the drone you are.

I wouldn't go all out on your first few flights, LEARN IT, I mean lean how to fly it and learn how to take awesome videos and photos, You have experience in the video and photography field but still this is a new tool in your arsenal so just take your time and master it.

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