Is anyone doing tower inspecitons?

I’ve been contacted lately about providing close out photos of new cellular tower installations. I’m interested to find out if anyone else here has been doing these? If so…any words of wisdom? What are you charging?


Matt E.

One of my first gigs was shots and video of the construction of a novel AM radio antenna design. I was very worried about near field radiation causing interference, but it really did not mess it up or interfere with my rc signal (as it shouldnt). Some thoughts on proceeding. Make sure to calibrate the compass, and even the imu onsite prior to flying. Make a note of any and all obstacles (guy wires, trees, the tower itself) make sure you know the altitude of the towers ceiling. Patience and planning will help you lots here.

Since you are functioning as the person getting visual data and not as an inspector (this would require proper certification) you should be pricing this accordingly. Make sure to factor in time for travel, fuel, insurance, and post processing into your fee. I would think since this is a danger close flight near critical infrastructure you wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect $150 an hour (with flight time, planning, insurance, producibles considered) This will also depend on what producibles they want (photos, orthos, 3d models etc) Without knowing too much about the job i would think somewhere in the ball park of $300-$400 might work. Keep in mind this will vary with where you are and your competition, if someone else will do it for $250 you dont want to loose the business. Hope this helps!

Scott Lashmit


I appreciate your input. I’m still waiting to get details on the specific type of tower and exactly what needs to be documented to meet the close out specifications. I’m trying to get my foot in the door as this company does a substantial amount of towers throughout the midwest. I’m working full time and trying to grow this as a side business that could potentially prosper into something more. Right off the bat, $500 - $750 came to mind once flight time, travel, and incidentals are accounted for. I’m friends with one of their bankers and am meeting him this week to discuss further. Hopefully he’ll have a little insight on what they’re willing to pay?

Again…thanks for your insight. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Matt Elfreich


Anytime, always glad to help out where i can. I totally understand trying to break into a big company with a lot of potential business. I as well work full time, as a teacher, and have this on the side but the dream is to be scalable enough that this becomes my full time gig. The price range doesn’t sound terribly off, make sure you are ensuring that you are paying yourself for your time in that, it is easy to forget you are putting in hours and they should be paid for. The banker might or might not discuss client details but it never hurts to ask. Ill toss out another suggestion since this is a big fish,stand by your work, i will often toss out the offer to do the work, meet there specifications, and give them the chance to see the value i provide; Then give them the offer to take a look at the data, if they see the value and ROI (which you may want to help spell out for them, don’t assume they will reach the same conclusion as you have) they can purchase the data and we can move forwards, if not it didn’t cost them anything and you will have a deeper portfolio at the very least.

Hope you land your white whale! Keep us posted on the status.


Scott Lashmit

Much more than just an inspection firm, we design, install, inspect and maintain towers, antennas and transmission lines on all types of towers from Australia to Iceland. From sea to shining sea and across the oceans blue, Tower Inspection crews can be found erecting tall towers and installing and maintaining HF, LF and VLF towers.
Cell phone towers need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis so minor issues do not escalate into major and expensive repairs. Safety and access are of the utmost concern in the process. Using small, easily maneuverable UAVs which can see virtually any angle of the infrastructure can be a cost effective, quick, efficient and safe means of assessing the condition and orientation of all components of the tower. Transmitting live, high resolution photography which management can see on the ground or from the desktop, any urgent decision making regarding follow up maintenance or repair procedures can be taken without delay. Data can be stored and compared with each inspection, allowing for maintenance scheduling and budgeting.

Hey @Matthew_Elfreich,
Not sure if it’s still relevant for you, but we are witnessing on-growing activity of tower inspections via the Scopito app on DroneDeploy’s App market. You are welcome to try it for yourself.

Hi @Dani-Scopito, is the app still going? Cannot find it on DD marketplace… What happened?

Hey @Juarez_de_Souza you can still find Scopito at the App market. If you dont find it there, you can always go to and create an account that way. You will still be able to view your DD maps if you create the account directly with Scopito :slight_smile: