Flying drones is one of the best and most affordable ways to capture stunning videos of your business. However, flying a drone without proper knowledge of the rules or basic flight training can result in fines or permanent damage to the drone. Follow these rules the first time you fly your drone so it won’t possibly be your last.
Never Fly with an Unregistered Drone
Over the years, rules around drone flight have become stricter as their popularity increased. The FAA has been trying to play catch up ever since drones have been in existence to try to keep the public and other aircraft safe. It only costs $5 to register your drone under “The Exception for Recreational Flyers” if you are flying just for fun (non-commercial). However, if you intend on flying for commercial purposes (i.e. making advertisements, selling pictures, etc.), you will have to register your drone under “Part 107” and go through rigorous testing for flight clearance. Failure to register your drone may result in fines or even jail time.
Know your “No-Fly” Zones
Lucky for you, a lot of drone apps have built-in “no-fly” zone software, which automatically keeps you out of areas where you aren’t supposed to fly your drone. However, it is still good to familiarize yourself with areas where you should never fly in. Those areas include but not limited to:
- Sports Arenas
- National Parks
Keep your Drone in Your Visual Line of Sight
If you cannot keep an eye on your drone by yourself or if you are in busy airspace (i.e. trees, buildings, etc.), please use a friend to help you keep an eye on the drone. Otherwise known as a” spotter”, this person is responsible for letting you know if you are clear of any obstacles and should have direct communication with you. We use one every time we fly drones on set just to make sure we do not damage property or the drone itself.
Don’t Operate Your Drone in a Dangerous Manner
No “drunk drone driving” or use of any other illicit substance. Do not interfere with emergency response vehicles or law enforcement activities. Also, don’t fly over people or fly at them with the drone. That’s a one-way ticket to a serious lawsuit or jail! Flying drones is not a game and must be taken seriously or face the consequences.
Take “The Recreational UAS Safety Test” (TRUST)
Coming soon, the FAA will require all drone flyers to take a test and not just people flying for recreation purposes. This test will be similar to the one commercial drone pilots take, however, it will be just for personal use, so it probably won’t be as extensive. Once the test is out and being administered, the FAA will require you to carry proof you passed the test. This will be a big change for recreational pilots, so make sure to be on the lookout when the test is available if you still plan on flying legally.
For more rules about recreational fliers, visit: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/