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Requirements for hobby flying of drones in the US.

Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Messages
15
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Age
78
Location
Salinas, CA
#1
Hi,
I recently ordered a drone and have been looking into what regulations I have to meet. I assumed that flying in certain areas would be restricted and common sense safety while flying would be pretty much sufficient. After quite a bit of Googling, scanning various forums, and watching YouTube videos this doesn't seem to be the case. There does seem to be a bit of wiggle room in what's required as the FAA has been mandated to come up with final regulations but has yet to finalize them.
Here's what I've found so far. As far as where, the Know Before You Fly site seems to provide the best data as well as a lot of other helpful info. I found that after scrolling to an area under concern, clicking in that area provides contact data for notification. More on this in the following links.
Continuing with what else is required I found this. It appears that you can't just get out there and fly safely in a non-restricted area. As I'm something of a maverick I followed the Part 107 path and eventually came to this. I'm looking forward to input from others on how they've handled this and what else would be helpful to me.
Jim F.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
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#2
Understanding the NAS 'National Air Space over the US is not a simple task and not one you need to bother with if your just getting started. You just need to know where and when you can and cannot fly - as a hobbyist.

The FAA classifies drones in one of two categories; commercial use or hobby. They are not connected and require you to understand two separate rules structures. This is very hard for some to get their head around as some; tend to read bits and pieces from one to the other and try to get an overall view. Don't make that mistake. Many many years ago, the FAA decided to hand model aviation off to the AMA as far as rules and regulations go and that is still in place today while at the same time; the FAA is creating a way to bring Commercial sUAV operators into manned airspace - which has a different set of rules.

First of all, get to know the rules for hobbyist UAV (drone) flight in the US. The FAA requires you (as a hobbyist) to fly under the 'Community Based Guidelines' first put forth by the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics). Here is a link to the AMA This is where you should start, I would advise you to take the time to absorb much of what can be found there in regards to UAV Hobby Flight - its all there, at least from the standpoint of flying within the rules for a hobbyist. Although one thing you will have to do is register yourself as a hobby drone flyer with the FAA - costs five bucks and you get a number that you have to put on your aircraft, if you have more than one drone or aircraft, the same number is used - again this is all under the 'hobbyist' umbrella. Here is a link to go to the FAA website and register as a hobbyist (Must Do) Register

On the front page of the AMA website there is a link to the rules, its a simple read. If you follows those rules you'll be fine as far as the AMA and FAA goes. In addition, some cities , states and municipalities are also trying to get in on the drone regulation act and you have to be aware of that. In other words; before you fly in a state park or a city ball field, check to see if its okay. And other than that - as you mention fly responsibly using common sense.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
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#3
Jim... I am new to this and will get my first bird tomorrow...h pro... I have been trying to get prepped so when I got the drone I was somewhat ready. I installed the FAA drone ap and with the gps in your smartphone it locates where your at or you locate where you want to fly ... this appears to be helpful... I am in el paso texas... very difficult legal flight area...intl airport...heavy border patrol presence... Ft. Bliss military base... air training routes....huge mtn range and radio towers... another country next door not to mention a stones throw to new mex you have diff drone regs. Remember that state and natl parks are out... wildlife refuges are out... 5 mile zone from the airports.. I also found on the web that meetup.com have drone clubs in a vast amount of places. El Paso has 36 current members. The club gets together for fly-ins monthly ...great times...new friends.... they all walk the talk... I am going to my first one this weekend. We are going to have a search and rescue exercise with the club members... licensed SARS... radios...map and radio protocols... prize to the operators who find the dummies in the desert at the red sand dunes planted as lost victims. Now how cool as heck is that? I won't even have flown my bird yet but I am not going to miss out on that whole thing.... that's the sort of thing you pay to go do I would think and here it is free to those with the desire...check out your local online drone meetup.. maybe you will get lucky...members help reveal many other used legal places to fly. Happy holidays.... Duane
 
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Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Messages
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Age
78
Location
Salinas, CA
#4
Hi Duane,
My refurbished H Pro is also scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I've installed "B4UFly", "UAV Forecast", and "Airmap" to my phone. They all seem to be useful; especially Airmap. I'm not sure it's clear, but the red text in my first post are hyperlinks that I've found helpful. I've started several threads in the Typhoon H forums and noticed that several of those that replied have 107 licenses, and as my request is general, I felt my request for further info on the 107 path would be best posted here. Hopefully, responses from those with personal experience will reply. I'm familiar with El Paso as my brother lived there for many years. Seems like that if there weren't restrictions dramatic video could be taken. I will checkout meetup.com and am looking forward to posts of your experiences.
Jim F.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
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#7
Last edited:
Likes: BigAl07

DoomMeister

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#9
Actually no, Airmap is somewhat notorious for providing incorrect information and is run by an anti-drone activist. We shouldn't use that.
At least anti-drone for personal use! I think maybe more interested in claiming our airspace for personal gain with delivery drones. Also trying to take over for LAANC provider in the US. Very underhanded tactics. The database used for airports is very outdated and contains invalid contact information.
 
Likes: AeroJ
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
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#10
Out of date airport information is not limited to Airmap. It is also a problem for Know Before You Fly as well as the data bases available to DJI and Yuneec. For example, there used to be an airport near one of our flying fields that was converted into a subdivision decades ago, but remains listed in many data bases as an active airport.
 
Likes: DoomMeister

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