If you’re one of the 1.1 million Americans who received a drone last holiday season, you’ve probably broken it in with numerous test flights. If you haven’t already, here are a few rules you should consider before taking flight with your drone. Below, we’ve share a list of what you need to know before flying a drone, courtesy of Cadie Thompson for Tech Insider. Happy flying!
Register your drone
Thompson says the first thing you need to do before flying your drone is to get it registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Registration is mandatory for all drones weighing between .5 and 55 pounds. There is a $5 registration fee, but that fee is waived if you register your drone by mid-January. Failure to register your drone could result in fines or imprisonment.
Familiarize yourself with any local laws about operating a drone
Thompson says some cities have certain restrictions regarding drone flight so check out any local regulations before operating an aircraft in your city or elsewhere. You should also review community-based rules, such as those developed by the Academy of Model Aeronautics, says Thompson.
Do not fly your drone over 400 feet
Thompson says that it is important to fly your drone below 400 feet and below surrounding obstacles when possible. Avoid sensitive infrastructure including power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, government facilities, and well-traveled roadways, says Thompson.
Keep the drone in your sight at all times
Thompson says you should never lose sight of your drone to avoid dangerous and illegal collisions. You should also avoid flying during bad weather and in poor flying conditions such as fog and high winds, says Thompson.
To read the rest of Thompson’s rules, click here!
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