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Mattucci aims for sky with aerials

| Monday, June 4, 2018, 1:46 a.m.
Bridgeville photographed by Mattucci Aerials in 2017.
Bridgeville photographed by Mattucci Aerials in 2017.

Mattucci Aerials was begun in Carnegie by Anthony Mattucci to combine his two loves of flying and photography. He has his bachelor's degree in finance and economics from Robert Morris University and an associate degree in flight technology from Community College of Allegheny County. He is a FAA airline transport pilot, FAA certified flight instructor, and FAA UAS remote pilot.

He started his aerial photography business in 2007 and then, a year later, bought a small two-seat Cessna 150 to fly. In 2012 he sold the plane because most of his work was now being done using drones, but he can still rent a Cessna as needed for projects where a drone is not feasible.

Choosing safety over single-pilot aerial photo missions, Mattucci will always have another pilot who flies the aircraft while he shoots, particularly over more congested airspace or downtown Pittsburgh where there are many medical helicopters. Only in very rural areas has he flown and shot images at the same time.

His FAA remote pilot license is for commercial work operating under FAA Part 107 regulations concerning drone (unmanned) aerial flying. Drones are restricted to no higher than 400 feet above the ground unless within a required distance of taller structures. He owns three DJI brand drones, each serving different needs. He uses drones for roof inspection projects and 3-D mapping and they can also be outfitted with infrared cameras.

“The ability to shoot in 4K with a stabilized gimbal camera can create amazing cinema-like videos,” Mattucci pointed out.

He offers one-on-one personal training to become an FAA remote pilot. “More FAA drone pilots who understand the FAA regulations and airspace also make it safer for pilots who fly manned aircraft,” he said.

One of his most memorable aerial photo jobs was his contract with a security company that wanted aerial images taken of certain buildings during the G2 Summit in 2009. The images were used by the government and the Secret Service to get a better perspective for locating armed security personnel.

“The aviation industry needs pilots of all types,” Mattucci stated. He began flying lessons at age 13 and went on to acquire all FAA ratings and thousands of hours in more than 45 different aircraft. “Drone pilots have good paying opportunities from military users, aerial mapping, tower and smoke stack inspections, real estate video, and many other applications. The sky really is the limit!”

For more information about his aerial photography business, visit

Charlotte Smith is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach her at 724-693-9441 or

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