I encourage everyone to learn the drone regulations before they pick up their first drone, having an understanding of what you can and cannot do, will not only help you save a lot of time digging for information later, but it will also help you become a better pilot before you even become a pilot.
The FAA frequently makes changes or additions to the drone regulations, however a few are set in stone.
- You must register your drone.
- Fly only for recreational purposes. (You cannot make money from your drone unless you become a Part 107 Commercial Operator. This requires a $150 knowledge exam and the actual knowledge part. Which can cost you anywhere from $0 to $500 depending on what route you take.)
- Fly your drone at or below 400 feet (above ground level) when in uncontrolled or “Class G” airspace. (We’ll talk about this later, the FAA is very bland when it comes to information about airspace offered to recreation pilots. However, I believe it is a very important topic to be discussed soon.)
- Do NOT fly in controlled airspace or Temporary Flight Restrictions UNLESS you receive clearance from a LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) app, which is easy to use and makes getting clearance simple. This will also be discussed later.
- Keep your drone within your line of sight. You (or a spotter/visual observer) must always have the drone in a line of sight.
- 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 any type of accident response, law enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts.
- Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If it is illegal to use while operating a car, it is with a drone.
Once you understand these drone regulations, you are ready to move on in Ground School.