The folks at the FAA are in control of the airspace in the United States, their drone laws and regulations are designed for safety and have been emulated or echoed in many countries across the globe. In an effort to keep the skies safe, they shared seven days of topics. These were not a guideline on how to fly, at this point, they are more concerned with making sure we all know that there are not only best practices for safe flight, but also laws and rules we all must follow.
The launch of the DJI Mavic Mini just last week was super exciting, particularly that it is so small you do not have to register with the FAA before you fly. However, it is not exempt from flight rules. Whether you have a small toy, a Mavic Mini, or a more substantial drone, the rules remain the same in the sky.
As always, we invite you over to Drone Rush for all of the latest on the best drone, and all of the FAA guidelines.
Join us for some of the highlights from this informative week of drone safety, the FAA’s Drone Safety Awareness Week:
Day 1: Public Safety and Security
Did you know that there are special programs from the FAA to account for law enforcement, search and rescue, and fire rescue drone? You can get involved, just don’t try flying your drone around an emergency situation, you’d be endangering lives and risking some serious fines.
What you really need to know is simple: You can fly your drone for fun, or you can fly your drone for pay. The moment you accept compensation for your flight, or for photos and videos captured from the sky, that is a commercial operation, requiring you to have your Part 107 Certification, and to follow a few different rules in the sky.
Using drones to inspect radio towers, rail lines, power lines and large buildings is a huge business, at least it might be when the drone industry satisfies the line-of-sight rule we have to follow for drone flight. That’s right, whether you fly for fun or for pay, you must be able to see your drone in the sky at all times.
We’re all excited for drone deliveries, having Amazon drop off our next package right at our doorstep sounds super cool! That said, think about your home, is there really a safe place for a drone to fly in, land, leave a package and take off again? There are a number of difficult tasks a drone delivery needs to overcome before it can deliver stuff to you, but we’re getting there, and that’s very exciting.
Day 5: Education and STEM
What did you learn in school? Children these days have the pleasure of learning about drones, along with other robotics, in the classroom. We learned basic electronics in my time, nothing that could fly. There are several levels of education around drones, including the mechanics of how they are built, learning how to actually fly them, and learning how to code everything from basic flight systems up to advanced navigation and obstacle avoidance tasks.
Day 6: Recreational Flyers
There are enough rules and safety guidelines for hobby pilots that we needed two days. Day one for recreational flyers covers the tasks you need to accomplish before you fly. We hope you know that you need to register most drones with the FAA before you fly, and you’ll need to affix that registration number to the outside of the craft. The hardest part some days is learning the airspace restrictions — You cannot fly anywhere you want, you must be aware of airspace designations, then acquire authorization to fly in controlled airspace. If you live within five miles or so of an airport, you are likely in controlled airspace.
Check out Drone Rush’s airspace map for more details.
Day 7: Recreational Flyers
Day two for hobby pilots, and the final day of the safety week, wraps up the recreational flight rules. Some of the basics include the 400 foot altitude limit, do not fly over people, stay away from emergency situations, don;t fly over stadiums, and more. Most of all, safety is in your hands, following the line-of-sight rules ensures you can see your craft and navigate it to a safe place when and if there are obstacles in the sky. Remember, you do not have the right of way if a manned aircraft comes around, you must get out of the way.