There are restricted fly areas set by rules and laws in each city, state, and park.
There are certain no-go- areas too where drones can’t fly. They can’t be used around the airport and could potentially pin you with a criminal offense if used unauthorized in certain places, such as the stadium in the middle of a game.
According to particular regulations, they are not at all allowed in some big, congested cities, such as NYC. Where the owners of these drones are allowed to fly these drones is still very vague and somewhat undefined by the authorities.
You can not fly over sports stadiums. You can not fly by some bridges and monuments. The exact rules depend on your area and time.
FAA limits the height of their flight to 400 feet, to prevent them from interfering with national airspace. The know before you fly site has more info.
They can be used to gauge the layout of an area to create 3-D maps. It can be controlled via remote controller within the limits of a certain radius.
However, some lawyers say the small ones don’t count. They are also limited to recreational uses, strictly not allowed for commercial purposes.
Their increasing popularity has sent demand into overdrive. People are flying them over buildings all over the city, and crash and burn videos regularly trend on YouTube.
Drones have become increasingly common in the past decade and can be seen everywhere from weddings to football matches. However, carrying cameras isn’t the only thing they are used for.
This popular activity has-quite reasonably- raised alarm about privacy and more laws regarding this particular law are due to come out.
However, some people argue that no further laws need to be implemented because the pre-existing laws about harassment, stalking and trespassing already protect privacy.
Rules You Need to Know
1. Stay below 400 feet, that’s the permitted altitude, not below, nor above this
Not too high, not too low. After all, you don’t want to damage your drone by flying it into an aircraft such as an airplane or helicopter. Or even worse, straight into some tall guy’s head. Or the worst of them all, break the law while you’re at it. You are solely responsible for your drone’s actions, and disregarding the altitude law can land you in a heap of trouble. 400 feet is by no means the international limit which varies country by country.
2. optical line of sight
The above heading is a fancy way of telling you to keep your drone in your line of sight while it is in the air. And not just through binoculars or the telescope you got in fourth grade while you were going through a star-gazing phase. No, you must be seeing it with your own two eyes and two eyes only, except for corrective eyewear.
3. Avoid flying over people.
Big crowds are where you should draw a substantial line. And not even big crowds, small ones too or just people in general, come to think of it. So, public places will have to be religiously avoided unless you want a hefty fine in your hands. Do not fly your drone over people that are not okay with it because they will be well within their rights if they ask you to stop flying it around them.
4. community guidelines
Every country or city has their own set of unique guidelines regarding drones set out by their aviation authorities which you should thoroughly go through before you even think about purchasing your very own drone. Surely, you do not want to end up flying your $100 aircraft in the limited 8×20 feet of your bedroom before packing it in a cardboard box and tossing it in the attic.
5. Giving notices to the airport
As mentioned above, flying near the airport is not allowed. However, you may be taking permission from the authorities beforehand depending on the laws of your country.
For example, the guidelines laid out by the FAA of the United States require you give prior notice to some particular entities before show time, such as to the control tower.
Again, this varies country by country, and an individual should take all precautions necessary before attempting flight near such a sensitive area. Obtaining this permission is a long, if not tedious process which can take months, and if you get permission to fly your aircraft, you should be sensible enough to stay out of the way of other airport-related aircraft.
6. Flying your drone after dark is a big no – no
The last but not least, do not fly before dawn or after dusk, no matter how many lights your drone has, or how well lit an area you are flying in. The dark is the place where you will lose your drone, or it will cause you to lose something, probably a significant amount of cash.
7. Flying alert
Flying your drone intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and drugs is strictly not allowed under FAA guidelines and can land you a hefty fine. But then again there aren’t many things you can do while intoxicated.
8. Avoid moving matter
While crowds are strictly off limits, so are moving vehicles and FAA guidelines require you to maintain at least a 25 feet distance from either.
9. Do Not Cross Your Limits
Residential Areas are no-go areas for obvious reasons, along with urban areas, churches, stadiums, parks, prison stations roads, etc. It is best to join a drone flying club to avoid suspicion and for some healthy competition.
Avoid using it on foggy or cloudy days for unobstructed vision; after all, you don’t want your drone to sizzle to death just because it started raining mid-flight. Some drones are so lightweight that they can easily be swayed by even the gentlest of breezes.
RTF – Ready to Fly: Contrary to the name, you may still need to install a propeller to the drone. The batteries will also need to be charged.
BNF – bind to fly: They usually come fully assembled, but without controllers, so you will need to install software on your mobile which requires time and energy
ARF – almost ready to fly: The word is not particularly accurate because buying an almost ready to fly drone means buying a drone kit — the kit that you will have to assemble yourself and an incomplete one at that too.
Transmitters, receivers, batteries, motors, flight controllers and electronic speed controllers will most probably be absent, and you will have to buy them separately. So, when buying a drone of this kind make sure to read about it beforehand to have an idea about exactly what other things you might need to purchase aside from the standard drone kit.
FPV – first-person video: One of the more high tech drones which stream directly to your mobile phone, VR Headset or any other device. It is commonly used in photography and drone racing.
Lipo – Lithium Polymer: This is a fancy way of saying batteries. You do not need to become an expert on batteries but apart from battery capacity, charge time to use time ratio is vital to check out before buying a drone.
Weight: Drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds require you to register them with the FAA, which gives them each a special number which must be displayed on the drone at all times. The fee is $5 for three years so no big headache over there. Luckily, you don’t have to 18 for this one; 13 years of being alive should suffice.
Controls: Many drones are controlled through mobile phones which can prove to be convenient at times but quite battery consuming. Your phone may not even be able to control the drone if it’s not up-to-date, as the software only runs on newer and more advanced software.
Sensitivity: Remember: you get what you pay for. A drone with increased stability will require you to fork over a couple of hundred extra dollars. Low priced drones will not have added sensors or controls which may lead to a not so stable flight and are not suitable for beginners.
Drones may not be allowed for commercial use, but you can certainly make a pretty penny selling them.
So you probably don’t want to fly drones around the city, unless you’ve got a casual $2000 lying around.
Some people foot the argument that all the good the drones could do -and have done is being overlooked. Owning a drone is no biggie now, anyone and I mean any average civilian can easily own one. One can buy them for as low as $100 from both online and local stores.
There are numerous advantages of owning a drone.
Drones have been known to spot and save stranded hikers, lost children, astray pets, you name it, on numerous occasions. So now you’ll probably want to buy a drone before that next Disney World trip with your kids.
All these rules should not stop you from having a bit of fun and investing in a drone of your very own.