How to avoid the wrath of the FAA, according to 51 Drones

Russ from 51 Drones released a great video with seven tips that you can do to avoid the wrath of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as some drone pilots are experiencing.

How to avoid the wrath of the FAA, according to 51 Drones

Russ says that in a nutshell, it all comes down to preparation. I would recommend watching the entire video as he lays it out very clearly. If you’re short on time, however, here are the main points.

  1. Register your drone weighing over 250 grams with the FAA.
    1. Recreational pilots register once for all their drones weighing 250 grams of more
    2. Part 107 pilots register every single drone weighing less than 55 pounds individually, even if they weigh less than 250 grams.
  2. Use a pre-flight checklist
    1. Identifying info
    2. Date, time, location of the flight
    3. Drone information
    4. Check weather
    5. Flight purpose (recreational or commercial)
    6. Check airspace (get LAANC authorization if needed)
    7. Inspect drone
    8. Check firmware
    9. Calibrate compass or IMU if prompted
    10. Set RTH altitude over the highest obstacle in the flying area
  3. Check the airspace with B4UFLY, KittyHawk apps and apply for LAANC authorization if needed
  4. Follow the FAA drone rules
    1. Keep your drone within visual line of sight
    2. Don’t fly over 400′ altitude above ground level (AGL)
    3. Don’t fly over people
    4. Don’t fly over emergencies
    5. Give way to manned aviation and don’t fly near airports, helipads, etc. (DroneXL added this to the list).
    6. Don’t fly at night unless you have a waiver (DroneXL added this to the list).
    7. Check the FAA drone rules.
  5. Don’t post any questionable drone videos online. Read this article if you don’t understand why.
    1. Make sure to have a Part 107 certificate if you monetize your drone videos or otherwise use your aerial videos to further your business.
  6. Where you fly from?
    1. Fly from public property if possible as landowners can prevent you from taking off and landing your drone from private property.
  7. Be professional and cordial when communicating with the FAA

Flying drones as a career?

If you want to turn your hobby into your career, practice how to fly your drone safely, and learn what it takes to get your Part 107, be sure to check out the excellent training modules from The Drone U.

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About the author

Haye Kesteloo

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