Keeping you safe
First, a drone / multi-rotor / unmanned system is not a toy. Improper operations can cause serious injury and property damage. Under current FAA ruling, small-unmanned aircraft better know to the mass media as “drones” or to enthusiast as multi-rotors may be operated for hobby and recreational purposes under specific guidelines. These safety instructions are intended not only for the protection of the aircraft, but also yourself and others.
Individuals flying for hobby or recreation are strongly encouraged to follow safety guidelines, which include:
- Operate below 400ft
- Do not operate within 5 miles of any airport
- Fly within the line of sight
- Do not fly over crowds or high traffic areas
- Avoid flying during the evening hours
- Do not fly over any stadiums or racetracks
- Remain clear of all manned aircraft
- Do not fly in poor weather conditions such as reduced visibility or high winds
- Do not fly under the influence of alcohol
- Do not fly over sensitive infrastructures such as water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, power plants, high traffic roadways, government facilities.
The statutory parameters of a model aircraft operation are outlined in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012) (PDF). Individuals who fly within the scope of these parameters do not require permission to operate their UAS; any flight outside these parameters (including any non-hobby, non-recreational operation) requires FAA authorization. For example, using a UAS to take photos for your personal use is recreational; using the same device to take photographs or videos for compensation or sale to another individual would be considered a non-recreational operation.
Read the FAA's Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (PDF)