More and more businesses, as well as individuals, are investing in drones and unmanned flight. It has become a modern means of making an income, as well as a fun recreational activity. However, a lot of the rules and regulations associated with drone flight safely are somewhat unclear and bring up a great deal of questions. Unmanned Safety Institute is the world’s leader in drone safety. We strive to equip our students and institutions to fly according to FAA flight standards. In this blog, we’ll address the most common questions regarding flying drones safely.
Where can I fly my drone?
When it comes to safely flying your unmanned aircraft, it’s important to use your common sense. Generally, any occasion that you are concerned whether or not it’s appropriate to fly is probably a no-go. For example, in busy and congested cities like New York, flying is prohibited. Flying over people is not permitted. This refers to flying over a group of people not associated with the flight crew. As a general rule of thumb, stay away from sporting events (Major League Baseball, Major League Football, NCAA Division One Football, and Nascar Sprint Cup, Indycar, or Champ Series Races, as well as public events, community events, and any event where large groups may congregate. Legally, you are not allowed to fly within three miles of these sporting events. In addition, keep your drone’s flight path at least five miles away from wildfires, and restricted airspace. It’s a misconception that drone pilots aren’t allowed to fly near airports. The truth is that FAA requires that drone pilots wishing to fly within five miles of an airport give notice to two entities prior to beginning flight. The first entity is the airport operator or manager, and the second is Air Traffic Control.
Can I fly it over private property?
Before drones, it was widely accepted that everything above and below land was owned by those who lived on that stretch of land. However, modern aviation has changed that. In the early 20th century, Congress decided that the air was a public highway, but with limited land rights. This was to protect pilots so that they were not trespassing every time they flew. The public highway is considered 500 feet and above. Drones occupy the grey area between the ground and 500 feet. States vary in the specifics, but in general, it’s best to not fly drones on private property below 400 feet. If a drone is flying on your private property, you can report a drone, and base your argument on the following concerns: the drone is causing a disturbance, the drone is being flown recklessly, and the pilot is violating the state privacy laws.
How high can I legally fly my drone?
Despite the private property regulations, aviation authorities recommend flying your unmanned aircraft below 400 feet. This helps you avoid possible conflict with other aircrafts like airplanes or helicopters.
Can I fly my drone at night?
In general, do not fly after dark. Even if your aircraft has night lights, dark is considered before 30 minutes before sunrise and after 30 minutes after sunset. This is called civil twilight, and if you choose to fly during this time, be sure your drone is visible at all times and has appropriate lighting, make sure you don’t exceed the speed and height guidelines by the FAA, and do not fly past the civil twilight hours unless you have a waiver permitting you to do so.
Unmanned Safety Institute brings over 30 years of experience in UAS flight safety operations to our customers and students. We deliver award-winning flight safety training and drone certification programs. To learn more about how you can take the next steps toward becoming a certified remote pilot, contact us today.