You Bought A Drone, Now What?

by TNyland 28. February 2019 13:54

The following information is compiled, and simplified information taken from the FAA website on how to register your drone.

Drones are becoming the latest craze for all types of industries, hobbyists, and educators. Whatever your drone will be used for, there are rules and regulations one must follow before you can officially prepare your drone for takeoff.

The first step is to register your drone. All drones must be registered unless your drone weighs under 0.55 pounds. If you are caught with an unregistered drone, civil penalties can cost up to $27,500, and criminal penalties can cost up to $250,000 and up to three years in jail.

Wired® has created a helpful spreadsheet that lets you know whether your drone requires registration or not if you are unsure. Check out if your drone requires registration here.

There are three levels of registrations for drones:

  1. Under .55 pounds – no registration required
  2. Between .55 and 55 pounds – 14 CFR Part 107
  3. 55 pounds and over – 14 CFR Part 47

Majority of drone users fly a drone that is under 55 lbs. If your drone does exceed 55 pounds, you will need to register by paper, registration instructions can be accessed by clicking on the link (14 CFR Part 47).

You can fly under Part 107 for any reason, including for work, business, for fun in your backyard, to teach, or for public safety missions. All drones being registered under Part 107 will be between 0.55 lbs. and 55 lbs. You will be required to register under one of the following:

  • Recreational Fliers & Modeler Community-Based Organization
  • Certified Remote Pilots including Commercial Operators
  • Educational users

After your drone is registered, it is important to review the rules for flying your drone prior to your first flight.

Learn the Rules

  1. Make sure you understand what is and is not allowed under Part 107 rules. Review a summary of the Part 107 rules (PDF)
  2. Still unsure of Part 107 Rules? Check user identification tool
  3. Some operations are not covered by Part 107 and require a waiver. Check out examples of what requires a waiver and read about Part 107 Waiver Application Process.
  4. If you want to fly more advanced drone operations, review the Part 107 operational waiver information.

Drone Flying Don'ts

  • Fly higher than 400 feet
  • Flying outside visual line of sight
  • Unaware of FAA airspace requirements
  • Flying directly over people
  • Flying over stadiums and sport events
  • Flying near emergency response efforts such as fires
  • Flying near other aircraft, especially airports
  • Flying under the influence

Maintaining a safe and effective airspace for you and other drone pilots is of the utmost importance. It is central to understand where you can and can't fly your drone. As a drone operator, it is your responsibility to understand and abide by the rules of the airspace and always fly within FAA guidelines and registrations.

Be sure to download the B4UFLY app on your mobile device. This will assist you in being a responsible drone pilot.

Registration for Recreational Fliers & Modeler Community-Based Organization
You are considered a recreational user if you fly your drone for fun, even if you only fly in your backyard.

Registering Your Drone

  1. Register your drone with the FAA – Visit faadronezone.faa.gov and select "Fly Model Aircraft under Section 336" to get started
    1. You must be at least 13 years old to register. If you are under the age of 13, a responsible adult must register in your place.
    2. Registration fee is $5 and is valid for three years.
  2. Once you've registered, mark your drone with your registration number in case it gets lost or stolen.

The following drone registration is for a Certified Remote Pilot, Commercial Operators, or Educational Users flying under option 1 in Part 107 (option 2: flying under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft is the same registration as a recreational flier process), the following is required:

Certified Remote Pilot including Commercial Operators: register under this category if your drone is under 55 lbs. and is for work or business
Educational Users: register under this category if your drone is under 55 lbs. and is used for educational or instructional purposes, such as class room or drone training programs.

Registering Your Drone

  1. Make sure you understand what is and is not allowed under Part 107 rules. Review a summary of the Part 107 rules (PDF)
  2. Still unsure of Part 107 Rules? Check user identification tool
  3. Some operations are not covered by Part 107 and require a waiver. Check out examples of what requires a waiver and read about Part 107 Waiver Application Process.

For Certified Remote pilots including Commercial Operators and Educators,

Step Two: Become an FAA-Certified Pilot by Passing the Knowledge Test

  1. Must be at least 16 years old
  2. Must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English
  3. Be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS
  4. Review the full process to get your Remote Pilot Certificate
  5. Study for the Knowledge Test by reviewing the Test Prep Materials provided by the FAA
  6. Complete and pass the FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center

After you've passed your test, you will need to complete the FAA Form 8710-13 for your remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application System (IACRA)*

Step Three: Register your drone with the FAA

  • Pay $5 fee with your debit/credit card. You will need the model of your drone for registration. Registration is valid for 3 years
  • Visit dronezone.faa.gov and select "Fly sUAS under Part 107" – create an account and register
  • After registration, mark your drone with your registration number in case lost or stolen

If you are flying a drone for investigation purposes, be sure to check out LTI's crash/crime mapping kits that can map in your control points ensuring the upmost accuracy for court purposes. Still want to learn more from an investigations point of view? Check out the webinar recording and Powerpoint deck delivered by three leading crash investigation experts!

 

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