Who doesn’t like to fly a drone? It’s like a remote-controlled helicopter but only better in every way possible. You not only get to fly a drone very high in the sky but there is a camera in every drone which gives you a bird’s eye view. Running a drone provides a superb perception of how the world can be viewed from the eyes of a bird and is a boon in both cinematography and surveillance. As fun it is to fly a drone there are a lot of dangers involved it in too and if the pilot of the drone isn’t careful he can easily harm any animal or human being.
Drones are very fun to fly if they are flown carefully. Drones are expensive as well and if you manage to buy one but later you find out you can’t fly it that’s a real bummer. Although it seems like a toy, it isn’t by any means. Drones are used by military personnel for spying, for photography, for aerial inspections of places that cannot be reached on foot, and by delivery, executives to deliver things and shipping and the list goes on.
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Here today we are going to talk about how normal people who own a drone should fly one and what rules and regulations or laws one must follow to ensure a fun yet careful venture in the air.
Laws regarding personal drone flying in the United States
Drones are also known as UAS or unmanned aircraft systems. It’s called a UAS because nobody flies a drone with a pilot on board. Someone controls it from the ground. Drones have become very popular in recent years and as a result, they are everywhere. Due to this, the United States of America has laid down many different laws so that everyone can fly a drone but safely. Some of these aforementioned laws are:
1. Registration: You have to get yourself registered before you can fly a drone. This is because you have to let the state know whether you are flying a drone commercially or for just recreational purposes. You must do this because if you are caught otherwise you might end up with some legal problems. You need to register it to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) after which you’ll be given a serial number which you need to attach to your drone before you start flying it.
2. Maximum Altitude: For recreational users, there isn’t much of a maximum altitude limit but it’s safe and advisable for the drone to be below 121 meters or 400 feet.
3. Maximum horizontal distance: The maximum horizontal distance is that the drone should always be in sight. As long as the drone is in sight you are good to go. The maximum horizontal distance or FPV can be calculated with a spotter.
4. Insurance: There isn’t any compulsory insurance for your drone but it’s always advisable that you ensure it.
5. Maximum takeoff weight: For recreational fliers, the maximum takeoff weight is 25 kilograms. Private fliers can’t take more than 25kgs in the air.
6. Distance from airports: For the safety of the airplanes it is necessary that every private or recreational flier maintains a minimum distance of 5 miles or 8,047 meters from the airport. This is a very strict law failure of which could lead to legal issues. In case you need to travel within 5 miles of the airport you need to let the proper authorities know about it.
7. Speed limit: Speed limit for every drone is under 100 miles an hour and it needs to be followed. Every remote or app that the drone uses shows the speed that the drone is currently traveling in.
8. Time for flying: Drones can only be flown in the day or during dusk. The specific times are anytime between 30 mins after sunrise and 30 mins after sunset. This time is to be strictly followed in any circumstances.
9. Specific Rules: There are some specific rules you need to follow like you can’t fly over humans or moving vehicles, you must maintain a height of 25 feet above them. You cannot fly over any event or stadium or any particular national park. Also, you cannot fly to an area where an accident occurred unless you are from the press. You cannot fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These are very important places where accidents can easily occur hence these steps are taken.
10. Privacy: You have an instrument that can fly high at great speed and has a camera on it. As a result, you can easily invade others’ privacy which you should not at all. It’s a highly sensitive matter and if caught could lead to jail. Even if you are not caught, it’s something you should never do because it is very immoral.
11. Weather conditions: You cannot fly a drone in adverse weather conditions. Adverse weather conditions include rain, high winds, and any particular weather condition where visibility is affected.
12. Sensitive Infrastructure: You cannot fly a drone over or around any sensitive infrastructure like windmills, hospitals, power stations, correctional facilities, military bases, and other government facilities, etc.
13. Banned cities: Flying a drone is absolutely banned in New York City and Washington DC. In these two cities of The United States of America, you cannot fly a drone by any means.
Drones are a very fun thing to play with but one needs to be very responsible with them. IF anyone of you thought it’s nothing more than a toy the above laws will argue with you. These are just a few of the hundreds of laws laid down by the United States regarding drone flying.
The reason there are so many laws is that even when it is fun, drone flying can be extremely dangerous to you and your surrounding if the rules and the laws are not followed properly. These laws are not just set to stop you from doing anything illegal, they are also there because of your safety and because of how important it is to the government of The United States.