In this Thursday, April 14, 2016, photo, DroneLinx CEO Steve Metzman prepares his drone to make videos and still images of an apartment building, in Philadelphia. DroneLinx, a service based in New York, has a variety of clients who want aerial photos or videos but don’t want or need their own aircraft. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
By: Joyce M. Rosenberg
NEW YORK — That drone flying around a suburban house might not belong to a wannabe pilot — it may be a tool that’s become indispensable for a small business.
Many small companies have either built their business around drones or use them to do tasks they previously accomplished by regular planes and helicopters. The unmanned aircraft also take the place of humans who might use scaffolding or navigate difficult terrain to get a close look at a structure or damage from a disaster. Drones, whose prices range from under $100 into the thousands of dollars, can be cheaper, faster and safer ways to make inspections and take photos and videos.