Whether you intend to fly a drone for fun or for professional use (such as real estate photography to help market your home), there’s a lot to know about using this technology. All drone users need to know the laws, courtesies and safety practices of drone flying.
The FAA requires a drone operator to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. The only exception to this rule is for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft, which is only available to drone operators flying for hobby or recreational purposes. Drone operators should register their drones with the FAA.
The FAA also provides a helpful list of safety and privacy rules:
- Fly your drone at or below 400 feet
- Keep your drone within your line of sight
- Respect FAA airspace restrictions. Never fly near other aircraft or airports.
- Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people
- Never fly near emergencies or disaster relief efforts
- Respect the privacy, safety and property of others
- Never fly a drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In addition, there may be local laws for you to follow. Dartdrones.com explains that local restrictions can “prohibit flights anywhere from state parks to state infrastructure.” Local ordinances can even restrict the areas where you can and can’t launch your drone in certain cities.
Despite precautions, drone accidents happen. Check your liability insurance carrier, or you may prefer a drone-specific insurance policy. Dronetrader.com offers lists of insurance carriers for both recreational and professional drone use.