Recreational and Modeler UAS
What is UAS? UAS are unmanned aerial systems or more commonly known as Drones. Let us begin by talking about the basic drone default controls. The left joystick controls the Yaw and Throttle. The Right stick controls the Roll and Pitch.
Now let me break those down a bit further. Yaw is the rotating of the drone left and right. Throttle is the moving of the Drone up and down. Roll means you are moving the Drone side to side and Pitch means the Drone is moving forward and back. Here is a diagram to help you visualize your controller.
Now that you have a handle on how to control your Drone let’s talk about some Safety Tips.
- You should register your Drone ASAP (we will touch on how to register your new Drone later on in this discussion). Once you have your registration number, you will need to write it on the outside of your Drone and always carry proof of registration with you.
- You must always be aware of FAA airspace restrictions. The FAA provides a mobile app of real-time information about airspace restrictions and other flying requirements based on your location.
- Always fly your Drone at 400 feet or below when in Class G airspace. Also, always maintain line of sight with your Drone.
- Respect privacy when flying your Drone.
- You should never fly your Drone near other aircraft.
- You should also never fly your Drone over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people.
- Note: There are exceptions to this rule for Part 107 Pilots who obtain the proper permission through an FAA waiver. Check the FAA website for more information on Part 107 waivers. Go to: http://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/
- You should NEVER fly your Drone over or near emergency response efforts.
- Never fly your Drone when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If you are planning to fly your Drone within 5 miles of an airport, you must notify the Airport and Air Traffic Control Tower prior to your flight.
- Note: Check with the airport’s website, some contain information on how and when to contact them if you are flying within 5 miles of their airport.
Note: New changes on regulations coming to Recreational UAS Pilots (last update Oct. 2019)
- In the near future Drone operators may be required to pass an online Aeronautical Knowledge and Safety test and must carry proof of passage with them at all times.
- FAA will be issuing new guidelines for how it will recognize Community-based Organizations.
Now that we have touched on the most important information and rules for flying your new Drone, we should talk about the registration requirements.
How to register your new Drone
Here are a few requirements for novice and/or recreational pilots. When registering your new Drone make sure, you register it as a “modeler” and mark the outside of your aircraft with your registration number.
- Note: Drones that weigh ½ lb. or 8 oz. and under do not require any registration. These Drones can also be flown indoors without restriction.
The registration for your Drone will cost $5.00 and is valid for 3 years. In order to fly your Drone under a recreational registration your Drone must not exceed the weight limit of 55lbs.
You now know the requirements for registering your Drone. We will now cover the registering process. To register your Drone you must be 13 years of age or older.
- Note: If the owner of the Drone is less than 13 years of age, a person 13 years of age or older must register the Model Aircraft.
You must also be a United States citizen or a legal Permanent Resident of the United States.
What you need to register your new Drone
You will need the following to be successful in registering your Drone.
- Valid Email Address
- Credit or Debit Card
- Physical Address and Mailing Address (only if different from your Physical Address)
FAA Small UAS Rule (Part 107)
Flying under FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107) has many of the same Safety Regulations and Requirements. Let us discuss about the differences.
The Part 107 is for use in Commercial settings. If you are receiving any compensation; monetary or otherwise, for piloting your Drone or any other Drone you must have a Part 107 Pilot Certificate.
To start let’s review the differences in the registration process for Part 107. In order to fly your Drone under Part 107 you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This certificate demonstrates you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying Drones.
- Register your Drone under “Part 107”.
- Label your Drone with the registration number.
- Registration cost is the same at $5.00 and valid for 3 years.
The registration process of what you will need is the same with the exception of sending in your Drones make and model.
When it comes to registering your new Drone you have two options. You can apply online or by mail. If you choose to apply online, click on this link http://registermyuas.faa.gov/ and follow the instructions from the earlier registration discussions. If you choose to mail in your application and registration click the link below and be sure to follow the instructions from this article.
For more information, please visit the FAA website at http://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
Article last updated October 2019