Florida REALTOR® Caleb McDow Authorized to Fly Commercial Drone

Florida REALTOR® Caleb McDow Authorized to Fly Commercial Drone

WINTER HAVEN, FL., Aug 13, 2015 — Recently, Caleb McDow, a Florida REALTOR® and agricultural land specialist received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a drone for commercial purposes. McDow has been granted what is called a Section 333 Exemption – referring to the FAA statue that currently prohibits businesses from operating a drone for hire. He is the third REALTOR® in the state of Florida and one of only 18 REALTORS® nationwide who has received the exemption.

McDow’s exemption comes with a list of 28 conditions and limitations that he must abide by during every flight, such as staying below 400ft and keeping the drone within line-of-sight at all times. Also, the drone may only be flown by an FAA licensed pilot. But this requirement won’t present any issues for McDow.

McDow is no stranger to aviation. After graduating from college, he spent 9 years flying F/A-18 Super Hornets in the US Navy. During his service, he logged over 1300 flight hours and 412 aircraft carrier arrested landings. In addition, he is an instrument-rated private pilot who flies civilian aircraft for both business and pleasure. McDow joined Crosby & Associates, Inc. in 2014 following the completion of a Masters degree in Real Estate at the University of Florida. He now specializes in all types of land in Florida – including farms, pastureland, citrus groves and development land.

To date, the FAA has approved approximately 900 of these exemptions – mostly for companies involved with aerial photography & video, agricultural, and utility services. McDow’s exemption was necessary because of the specific mention of REALTORS® in the FAA’s Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. According to the document, using a drone to take photos or video of your own property for personal use is permitted, while the use of those photos and video by a REALTOR® to advertise a property for sale is prohibited. Now that his exemption has been approved, McDow will be able to take aerial videos of land and property and use the media on websites and in promotional videos.

McDow filed for the exemption on May 5, 2015 and waited approximately 90 days for a decision. After receiving his approval via e-mail on July 28th, McDow says he will immediately begin using the technology in his real estate business.

“I’m really excited about putting my drone to work,” McDow said. “My work in agricultural real estate brokerage will really be enhanced with aerial videos. And because I work most often with large properties, I can provide property owners and prospects an airborne tour of the property in minutes without ever leaving the ground.”

As for drones themselves, McDow expects exponential growth in the industry in short order. “My hope is that a lot more individuals and companies will pursue their own exemptions,” McDow said. “These drones can be applied to all sorts of industries and used in ways that no one has even thought of yet. I look forward to seeing how creative future users of the technology can be.”


A full copy of the grant of exemption is available upon request. Please send requests via e-mail to caleb@crosbydirt.com.

Caleb McDow is a REALTOR® with Crosby & Associates, Inc. in Winter Haven, FL. Caleb can be contacted at 352-665-6648 or caleb@crosbydirt.com

Twitter @calebmcdow

About Crosby & Associates, Inc:

Headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida, our roots are in the South but our reach spreads throughout the Country. We have 13 associates offering specialized expertise with active licenses in eight states, and strong relationships with select firms throughout the Country. We specialize in ranch land, row crops, farms, commercial and development opportunities, and recreational acreage. We have provided professional and reliable real estate and consulting services to owners and prospective owners for more than 30 years.

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