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Flying as an independent contactor - who needs the 333?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flyguyphl, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. flyguyphl

    Jul 20, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I talked to a guy today who owns a real estate video company and wants to bring me on as a videographer to do aerials and interior videos, but as an independent contractor, not an employee. I am a pilot. Would I need the 333 exemption since I'd be working as an independent contractor or can I do it under his if he gets one?

    Also, what about insurance? Something bad happens, would I be responsible or him? I'm thinking maybe that's why he wants to go the independent contractor route, so he's not responsible for anything.
  2. stargater07

    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I'm not from the US but in the UK I believe you need permission to earn payment from operating a drone, which would mean employees, contractors and independent self employed persons.
  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Western North Carolina
    Either of you could have the 333 but if you plan to "Do this" it might be better for you to get it so you can fly other than just for his company.

    You should have a min of $500K insurance and larger jobs might require more insurance than that. If you are flying the aircraft you are responsible for it and what it does. I'd say CYA get the 333 and the insurance. Better safe than sorry.
  4. SteveMann

    Aug 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Westford, MA
    This sounds like untested areas, but if 'something bad happens', you would both be sued regardless of your working relationship. The client doesn't care. The IC designation does not absolve him of any liability, it just removes the employee paperwork burden. I have used IC's every year and all I have to do is produce some 1099's at the end of the year.

    As a pilot your certificate is at risk without Section 333 exemptions because 14 CFR §61.101 'Recreational pilot privileges and limitations' and 14 CFR §61.113 'Private pilot privileges and limitations-Pilot in command' both have specific prohibition of flying for commercial purposes. (Ironically, there is no FAA rule that a non-certificated operator would be violating). Just make sure your contract says that you will be the PIC under the authority of his Section 333 Exemption Number #####. If he won't give you at least that, then walk away.
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