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Aug 2017 Vol 23 # 8 . Some Practical Uses for Your High Tech DJI Phantom Drone

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Some Practical Uses for Your High Tech DJI Phantom Drone

By Howard Berenbon

If you bought yourself one of those high tech drones this year, like a DJI Phantom 4, because you always wanted to fly a model aircraft for fun, you may not realize, you can use it for other than recreation. Here are some practical uses, though some will require a commercial drone license from the FAA if you charge for your services:

Real Estate Aerial Videos

If you're a realitor, recording an aerial view of the homes you've listed may help sales. Record an orbiting video around your home (Point of Interest Intelligent Flight Mode, DJI Phantom 4) and uploading to your real estate lising Website. People will see the home and the area, and it will look impressive.

Roof Inspection

This is another practical use for your drone. We're in the east, and often have thunderstorem with high winds, and shingles can go flying off the roof. In fact, I used my DJI Phantom 4 to record video over my 2 story house and my neighor's home to check the roofs for missing shingles. On two occasions, after a storm, I did found missing shingles on the very peak of my roof, not identifiable from ground. Here's the video:

Movie Production

Prior to the development of drone aircraft, movie production companies hired helicopters to record scene flybys over cities, or over performing actors from various heights. Now using a drone with a high resolution camera attached, scenes can be recorded at a fraction of the cost of hiring a helicopter.

Construction Site

Now using a drone, it's easy to inspect a construction site as buildings are built, especially for high rise construction. It's a lot faster and safer to send a drone up to examine the progress of multi-floor building. Videos captured can be analyzed for project integrity.

Aerial Surveillance

Drones can also be used as a aerial surveillance device for monitoring livestock on farms, check towers, power lines and power stations, follow and track forest fires, border patrol and more.


As mentioned above, the FAA requires that the pilot have a commercial license to charge for his or her services. Also, there are certain limitations for drones that must be followed, mainly you cannot fly within 5 miles of an airport or heliport. For non commercial licenses, you can get permission to fly within the 5 mile zone of an airport, but you need call the airport tower for permission. Commercial licenses have less restrictions, and can apply for usage waivers. HB.


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