In a bit of a surprise, a blog posted today from Lensrentals explains the different options of drone systems now available for rent, including a short list of rules and tips for flying for both recreational and commercial use. While I've seen many requests online from people asking where they could rent a drone for a one-time shoot, most companies have stayed away. So is this a good idea or a bad idea?
I say that it's a bit of surprise because of the obvious high risk when it comes to flying a drone. Not just damaging the equipment, but crashing into property or even people. I don't even need to link to all of the examples of this having happened in the past few years by drone owners, so now that just about any can rent one on the cheap, do you think this will open up a lot more cases of misuse?
As far as liability goes, Lensrentals clearly states in their blog post here:
Lensrentals does not assume, and the customer indemnifies Lensrentals against any liability or claims resulting from use or malfunction of the equipment. Renter assumes all liability that may arise from use or failure of the equipment.
Renter assumes and shall bear the entire risk of damage to the equipment from any cause, except damage in the possession of the Shipper.
There are no requirements from Lensrentals to rent a drone, but they will point out that you need to hold a remote pilot certificate to fly commercially. I wrote all about taking that test here a few months ago.
As for the models available, right now they will stock the Mavic, Phantom 4 Pro, and Inspire 2. What might be of more interest to current drone owners is they also stock some batteries and filter kits, so if you need to load up for a job, this would be an way to do so.
So what do you think? Is this a bad idea? I don't think we can fault Lensrentals for stocking a product that there is a market for, so it's up to the people who pilot drones to make a responsible choice. As for me, I can only hope that people fly responsibly, but I fear this will only encourage more unqualified people to be out flying, which will just hurt the commercial industry (those of us who fly for money) in the end.