UAS & A Bit More Basics
Whether you are a Novice Drone Pilot or have many years of aviation experience, rules and safety tips exist to help your fly safely in the National Airspace. Think of these tips as a pre-flight checklist to help you fly safer.
Drone Safety and Helps Tips
- Register your Drone
Go to: https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/
- Be aware of FAA airspace restrictions
Go to: http://www.faa.gov/uas/where_to_fly/airspace
- Download B4UFly mobile app in your app store
- Fly your Drone at or below 400 feet
- Keep your Drone within your line-of-sight
- Respect privacy
- Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
- Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people
- Never fly near emergencies such as fires or hurricane recovery efforts
- Never fly under the influence of Drugs or Alcohol
- Notify the Airport and Air Traffic Control Tower prior to flying within 5 miles of an airport
- Fly only during daylight or Civil Twilight, at or below 400 ft.**
*These rules are subject to waiver www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/
**Civil Twilight-Morning Civil Twilight starts when the geometric center of the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon. Evening Civil Twilight begins at sunset and ends when the center of the sun reaches 6 degrees below the horizon. The Evening Civil Twilight is otherwise known as dusk.
Waivers to certain Small UAS Operating Rules
The small UAS Rule (Part 107) includes the option to apply for a certificate of waiver, which allows small UAS operation to deviate from certain operating rules if the FAA finds that the proposed operation can be performed safely.
Flying Under Special Rule for Model Aircraft (336)
Recreational and/or Hobby flyers should know that if they intentionally violate any of these safety requirements, and/or operate in a careless and reckless manner, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties.
- Under the 336 rule, you can ONLY fly your Drone for hobby and/or recreational purposes. As always, you must register your Drone as soon as possible.
- You should always follow your Community-based Safety Guidelines and fly within the programming of a Nationwide Community-based Organization.
- Always keep your Drone in Line-of-sight. You should always keep your Drone within your line of sight, or within the visual line of sight of a visual observer who is co-located and in direct communication with you.
- Fly your Drone at or below 400 feet when you are in uncontrolled Class G airspace. This is airspace where the FAA is not controlling manned air traffic. To determine what type of airspace you are in, refer to the model application, which operates your Drone (if equipped). You can also use other drone-related mobile applications. Knowing your location and what airspace you are in will also help you avoid interfering with other aircraft.
- Unless you have a certificate by a Community-based Organization, you cannot fly any drone above 55 pounds.
- It is extremely important you never fly your Drone near other aircraft or near any emergency response efforts. You are also not allowed to fly your Drone over a group of people, a public event, or a stadium full of people.
- If you plan to fly your Drone within 5 miles of an airport, you must notify the airport and the air traffic control tower prior to your flight.
The FAA requires you to register as a “Modeler” and mark the outside of your model aircraft with your registration number in case it is lost or stolen. Registration cost is $5.00 and is valid for 3 years.
To register you must be 13 years of age or older (if the owner is less than 13 years of age), a person 13 years of age or older must register the model aircraft.
You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident.*
Online registration serves as a certificate of ownership of the model aircraft.
*visiting foreign nationals must register their UAS (drone) upon arrival in the U.S.
New Laws & Regulations Coming in the Future
*There are a few new laws https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/ that describes how, when, and where you can fly drones for hobby and/or recreational purposes. Following these rules will keep you and your drone safe and will help keep the airspace available to everyone.
To Register Your Drone You Will Need
- Email Address
- Credit/Debit Card
- Physical Address and Mailing Address (if different from physical address)
You can register your drone online at https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/. Be sure you are not flying any type of aircraft over the 55-pound weight limit.
You can also register your drone by mail. You will have to go to: http://www.faa.gov/license_certificates/aircarft_certification/aircraft_register/UA in order to print the registration application.
For more information, please visit the FAA website at http://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
Article last updated November 2019