The recreational drone fever escalating since 2015 and the demand for drone is expected to soar even higher as more and more people is getting into it. However many people are not aware of the do and don’t of flying a recreational drone. Here are few things you need to look into before flying your drone.
Under the FAA ( Federal Aviation Administration) rules, all drones, recreational or non recreational and model plane(radio controlled planes) are classified as UAS (Unmanned aircraft systems). Therefore they are subjected to the regulation and rules of the FAA. The U.S. has the busiest and most complex airspace in the world. The FAA together with several industry and associations work together to promote safe and responsible approach to safe UAS integration
Here are some of the requirement and rules.
• Beginning from December 21, 2015. All UAS must be registered with the FAA The registration fee is $5. The person who wants to register must be at least 13 years old. Registration is valid for three years
• You need to provide your name, home address, and e-mail address. Upon registration, you will be provided a unique identification number, which must clearly be marked on the aircraft. You only have to register once and the ID number will apply to all your aircrafts.
• Registration applies to UAS “weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms).”
• Failure to register your drone could result in criminal penalties up to $250,000 and three years in prison.
For more detail information concerning FAA rules and regulations you can surf the FAA website or contact them personally.
Guideline and rules of flying an UAS
Flying a drone comes great responsibility. It is a great fun to fly an UAS but flying a drone or any UAS carelessly or irresponsibly may cause destruction and endangered lives. Below are some of the guidelines and rules for flying an UAS.
• The FAA Advisory Circular 91-57 is one page, dates all the way back to 1981, and states simply that model aircraft operators – in this case people flying drones – cannot fly their crafts more than 400 feet above the ground. When flying your craft make sure you are well clear of area might be use by the manned aircrafts as interference with their operation an cause serious consequences.
• Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times. How far you can fly your craft is determine by the design and the features of your craft. However its best to fly in line of your sight. Do not fly via the screen of your mobile phone, pad or radio controller’s screen. The screens got a limited field view as what the camera sees and you may not be able to see everything that is around the craft. Also, there may be lag, which compromises reaction time.
• Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying. Flying too near an airport or control tower may interfere with their operation. Inform them and get their consent first, if you wanted to fly within the 5 miles radius.
• Don’t fly near stadiums. Some stadiums may have restricted air space which prohibited any flying craft flying into it. You can be fine or even brought to court if you violate their air space.
• Don’t fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs. According to the rules of FAA, all recreational drones and model aircraft must not exceed 55lbs.
• Don’t be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft . Do not fly near people or crowed area as accident can happen, you may strike someone with your craft or if your craft crash the shrapnel may cause injury.
• Respect other people’s privacy. Do not simply fly your craft in residency area or into other people’s house as this is a violation of privacy. They may assume that you want to spy on them.
• Don’t fly near schools, churches, public institutions , office buildings. This also goes so for flying around power stations, water treatment facilities, prisons and detention facilities, and busy roadways. Find a wide open treeless field without buildings, cars, towers, trees, and other potential hazards
Always put safety as your first priority before flying your craft ,always choose an area that is open area that has little or no obstacles such as trees, tall buildings or structures. Fly them when the weather is good. Drone are usually very light and easily sway by the breeze. Flying a drone in windy condition may cause you to loose control of it and you stand a good chance of crashing or loosing it. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Therefore do not throw caution to the wind.