ALERT  |  NEW FAA Rules for Recreational Drone Hobbyist |  What You Need To Know!
Articles Blog

ALERT | NEW FAA Rules for Recreational Drone Hobbyist | What You Need To Know!

September 15, 2019

[Intro] Hey everybody, this is Dave from Steel City
Drones Flight Academy. So today, May 16, 2019, the FAA announced some big changes for rules and regulations for recreational drone pilots. So I wanted to get on top of this as quickly as possible because, as of already, right now, a lot of people are kind of misunderstanding a lot of things what’s going on here. There’s some confusion so I wanted to get
on top of that as quick as possible to get you the right answers as to what you need
to know. This is basically the master document that
you’re going to have to look at. This is 11 pages long and this is really legally binding from public law for Section 115, 254, Section 44809 What does that mean? Just simply enough again, that essentially
what the FAA is doing is having an introducing eight statutory conditions for
recreational fliers. So let’s talk about some of these things one at a time. If you go down to page 4 and 5, essentially these are the things that you’re gonna have to be concerned about. Let’s talk about what remains as current. The definition of ‘Recreational Use’ remains the same. If you want to use a drone for any reason
to futher a business, whether you make any money off of it or not, even one penny, it doesn’t matter. If you’re just used taking pictures and you’re putting them up on a company’s website or whatever have you, that is considered commercial use. You still must retain line-of-sight or have
a visual observer maintain line of sight for you and you must give way to manned aircraft. There’s no longer any wiggle room to fly above 400 feet. There used to be some provisions in there,
under a community-based set of rules that allowed you to fly above 400 feet. Those are no longer applicable to recreational flying. Secondly, you must now have FAA Authorization to fly in controlled airspace. That is a big change that we’re going to talk about after we go through the rest of the list. Recreational fliers can no longer call local
airports. Air traffic control should no longer be taking the recreational fliers phone calls. Next, recreational drone pilots are no longer required to call airports. Now, that was big because anytime that you are within five miles of a heliport you were required to contact the heliport operations
and if you’re obviously in a large metropolitan area. you could have up to 12 to 14 different hospitals that you would have to communicate with. You’re no longer needing to do that this. This one requirement alone is a huge, huge, improvement for recreational fliers. You also can have to now use with a system called LAANC, which is the low altitude authorization and notification capability system, in the
future to obtain that airspace. What that means is, right now for commercial fliers, like myself, anytime we need to fly in controlled airspace we would have to actually use a system called LAANC. It’s an app that we use on our phone and it’s gonna use and look toward a UAS Facility maps and compare that to make sure that we’re able to do so. I’ll explain that a little bit after we go
to the rest of the list. LAANC is not functional for recreational fliers as of yet. So, until then, the FAA is granting temporary airspace authorizations to fly in certain fixed sites in controlled airspace throughout the country. There’s approximately, as of right now, 240
sites across the United States that they’re starting out with. Now, the Pittsburgh area alone only has one site and it’s very very small. One small field facility and that’s going
to be pretty much the same thing across the country. We’ll go over some of those particulars as
we go through the rest of the list. The FAA regulations are not the sole source of law that joint operators need to comply with. Recreational fliers will have to take and
pass an aeronautical knowledge test to be able to even use their drone for recreational use. Now, that’s a huge, huge, development and
that’s gonna obviously stir up a lot of controversy and make a lot of people unhappy. So, that’s not in effect, as of right now,
May 16, 2019, but, at some point in the future that’s going to be a requirement. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how those developments shake out. Okay, so, let’s go back and talk about one
of the biggest changes, which means recreational drone pilots can no longer fly in controlled
airspace without an airspace authorization by the FAA in advance. Now, what that means is, if you look at this
map of the Northeast right now, you see all these areas in green and in red. Those indicate controlled airspace that starts at the surface and that’s what drone operators have to be recognizing. That’s what’s going to be important to you
guys. So, right now what I’m using is what’s called a UAS Facility Maps. Now, this is an FAA website that you can actually go in there and you can put in a very specific address or you can actually look at it from
a more wider scope of an area to look at how the airspace shakes out. So the way this works, and I’ll zoom in right now to show you, this is the facilities map for Pittsburgh International Airport. Now this is a circle that is 14 miles from
an end-to-end and it’s seven miles from the center of the airport to the outer parts of
the radius. So, that’s a large area. Now, what Pittsburgh International did, was, they looked at their facilities, they looked at the entire area and they mapped out this grid with different levels of maximum heights a drone operator can get approved for. So, in other words, what they did was, they
looked at it and said, okay this grid right here is 400 feet, we would allow drone operators to fly up to 400 feet and it’s because it’s not gonna affect our operations between planes taking off or landing into the traffic patterns of the airport. In other areas, they may say, “okay, on this
grid, which is a 100 feet, this is all they’re going to allow, because anything higher can possibly interfere with flight operations and so forth. So in some instances you have zero. Meaning, they’re not gonna even allow you
to fly 5 feet high. Some are 50ft, 100ft, 200 and 400. Let’s say you want to fly in this quadrant
right here of the grid, which is a hundred feet. If you apply, went into LAANC, and you asked for a 102 feet, it’ll come back and say, they’re not gonna allow you to do so. If you want 95 feet, they’ll say, ok you’ll
be approved. So,if your request is gonna stay underneath what that altitude is going to be you’ll get the request. It’s gonna be a nice automated system that you can use your app for and get instant authorization through a text message. That’s the way the commercial system is used as of right now. So that’s how that’s going to be used. But now they’re saying until LAANC is ready for recreational flying, now you’re gonna be designated into limited areas. You go under ‘Recreational Fliers’, in the
green, and then come down here and you’ll see where it says the FAA has posted a list
of approved sites. This is a spreadsheet that’s lists all of
theme. Right now there’s a little over 200 nationwide and again they’re depicted by blue dots on this map. Now. if we look at even. looking at the same UAS facility’s map for
Pittsburgh, if I drill down and zoom in on it, you’ll see a really small blue circle. If I keep zooming in, even zooming in closer, you’ll see, this here, is a recognized flying field that you can fly in controlled airspace
and that the FAA will allow you. Now, then when you want to find more information about it, you can go ahead and double click on it and it tells you all the information
about that and where the point of contact information, where you can get more information. So, this specific one right here is an AMA
flying field. So you would have to coordinate with that
group, with that organization, to fly in that area. So you would have to coordinate any flying that you’d want to do there, with the AMA’s local contact people. You’d have to join, make sure you’re joined
to AMA as well, before you can fly that. You can’t just go rogue, you’d still need
coordination through that. And also too, is that, you know, you also
have private properties are down here as well. You just can’t this fly directly over private
property without permission. I’m gonna go into private property issues
and some drone laws in a future podcast next month. So there are rules and regulations in place
for this. If we go back to here, into this map, knowing this area around Pittsburgh, there’s many other area, local airports, that are not in
controlled airspace at the surface. But if I go down to here under, Washington
County, Washington County Airport, notice that’s not part of that, because the airspace at that airport and the surrounding area does not start until 700 feet high. So, therefore, we can’t go 700 feet high anyway, so it’s a mute point, which is again, why we’re not even talking about that. If we go up here in the north, there’s Butler
County Airport. Again, that’s another airport, an area where
the controlled airspace does not start until 700 feet. Now, lastly, I’m also getting a lot of questions about night flying. So, night flying is still not, is not even
discussed in any of this literature. So, with that said, I believe, in my own opinion, the night flying aspect is still being worked out. Because, under commercial rules and regulations, a commercial remote pilot has to get a waiver to fly at night. And obviously if a commercial operator has to do that, and also have equipment to be able to fly at night, then that certainly
is probably going to most likely be addressed on the recreational side of things as well. But, as of right now, it has, it’s not being
addressed. So we really don’t know exactly what’s going on with that. Okay, so that basically sums up all the changes that you need to know. If you still have more questions, please feel free to leave questions down in the comments section. And underneath in the description, I’m going to also leave certain links of the different things that are you’re gonna want to take
a look at, and, like, for example how to be able to access the UAS Facility Maps, certain links to different things. You’re gonna be able to see that right down in the description of the video. So, with that said, like always, thanks for
watching and I’ll talk to soon. If you like this video and like to see more
free videos in the future please subscribe to our You Tube channel. And while you’re at it, if you’re interested
in free lessons on how to fly drones, discounts on drone equipment, discounts on insurance or access to our exclusive drone video library – Checkout our website

Only registered users can comment.

  1. FAA are lousy at their jobs, they put us in danger daily with aircraft that isn't fit to fly and students. Then the arrogant helicopter pilots acting stoned. No need for any of them.

  2. It's a toy! USA free country?? Another joke! American dream..have to be asleep to believe that! Cops above the law. Country broke 3rd bathrooms? Impeach trump cuz doing what he said he do if elected. Buying a gun myself easier than flying a drone?? Kids toy? USA is a joke..

  3. You know the largest point of concern is flying in controlled airspace. If I am correct, even if it is Class B or C controlled space, that only applies to the levels of airspace within the flight level. IE: if you are within 5 miles or so of the airport, that flight level is going to extend from ground level up to X Altitude , after that, the airspace bottom of the second tier extends from the top of the first tier to a higher level and so on for the remaining tiers. Confusing unless you look at it, but in the end, the altitude BELOW those tiers are Class G airspace unless there is another airport controlling that airspace as well. This should mean that you can fly without restriction in those areas even though you are below the flight level of a controlled airspace which could be thousands of feet above you keeping that again you are not within the 5 mile limit of an airport. At least this is what I get from understanding sectional charts and airspace.

  4. for now ..

    fly in “G” airspace under 400ft

    don’t fly over people

    yield to other manned aircrafts

    and most important apply common sense !!

  5. I have been flying my drones safely since the beginning of the hobby.
    I registered them in the beginning.
    Thats all you will get from me. Take your regs and put them where the sun don’t shine.
    Thanks for the explanation.

  6. Model R/C clubs will not let you fly unless you are a member of the club and pay the monthly maintenance fees and have a MAAC membership as well. Getting expensive and over regulated for a Sunday 'Toy' at a local school playground. Same in Canada as of June 1st.

  7. Blows my mind some dork that knows how to read weather maps and whatnot can pass the part107 and have never flown a drone. Someone with years of freestyle FPV flying cant even fly in their own yard now? The FAA can SMD

  8. Yea i thought this unrealistic crack would happen. Its why i stopped my ama membership.
    Ill keep flying on private land with a visual observer. Fixed scale wing. If i get another drone its for commercial.
    Nice and informative video. Cheers

  9. Anybody want to buy a used DJI Phantom 4 standard? I'm just gonna
    fly my paramotor into all these places that I can't fly my drone into.
    I'll just be sacrificing super still and hovering type videos. Hardly
    any requirements and restrictions while flying ultralight aircraft!

  10. Seems like they want to a) control it out existence b) tax it to death and c) all of the above. This is Govt at its finest…

  11. So I have a question, in controlled airspace where the ceiling for drones is 0 feet, how is legal for my 6'1" ass to stand in that airspace as well and be legal???

  12. Please stop using the term ‘drone’

    We HAVE to use an APP? On our PHONE? Yea , na….
    Private software on a PC and a private and encrypted comms link for me. I’ll incorporate a transponder if the supporting infrastructure is put in place, no probs. But short of this, I will be responsible for my own adherence to regulations, thank you. I have no intentions of breaking the Law but I have every intention for preserving my right to carryout my activities in private, free from oversight or harassment.
    Boycott APPS people. Or at least stop mindlessly using them for everything in place of licenced software or independent sites on the internet. And support Open Source Hardware/Software Manufactures as much as possible. Have you noticed the consumer drone market is dying? Rapidly?
    99.9% of UAV’s the public are aware of are tiny little toys (advanced toys, yes) that are absolutely useless at anything other than taking photos/videos. Only 2-3 yrs ago, UAV innovation was exciting, people were coming up with crazy ideas and pushing boundaries. Now, most UAS are capable of doing more things than we will likely need but cant do specific things well, hot swap, work in tandem to lift etc etc (whatever your heart desires)

    And the cost….. prices for these flying cameras by the top manufacturers are, INSANE.

    A purpose built UAV can be done for 10-20% of the cost. (Matrice 600Pro with optional extras.) It may not have a plethora of functions, most of which are not required at a purpose built, commercial and/or industrial level.

  13. Just go and fly. To hell with such ‘requirements’
    Don’t be a dick, or pose a danger to others and go learn as much as you can about airspace and safe use of it. (licence course is ‘ok’ for this) Other than that, don’t let others tell you what you may or may not do in order to satisfy legislation designed to safe guarding of ‘the lowest common denominator’
    Cant recommend doing it in built up areas of course, but if your out of the way and posing no threat… be your own person.

    Once battery tech/energy efficiency hurdles are cleared. The reason for all this ever increasing constraints will become clear.

  14. The worst of it is they have lumped control line and free flight in with drones. At 78 years old I am done. AMA got dollars signs in there eyes and thought drones would add to their head count. Now we will pay the price. Been a modeler since about 1948. Had a wonderful time flying both R/C pattern and control line. But they have screwed up this hobby big time. A good time to retire from it.

  15. 2019 USC Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart iii, Chapter 448, § 448409(a)(6) states:

    "In Class G airspace [UNRESTRICTED], the aircraft is flown from the surface no more than 400' above ground level [AGL] & complies with all airspace restrictions & prohibitions."

    Manufacturers will likely begin enforcing the 400' ceiling within the drone software apps, as DJI already does with the NFZs. What crock of BS from the Airspace Nazis…

  16. How in the hell can they enforce any of this shit? This is bureaucratic noise as usual. Are there going to be specialized drone cops or drone detecting radar implemented? I think not. In Florida we don't have to register firearms. Why bother registering drones? Common sense non-compliance works for me.

  17. None of this would have even been an issue if idiots hadn't flown too close to airports and actually crashed into some aircraft, it's always a few dumb sh!ts that ruin it for everybody!

  18. I feel pretty lucky I live in a place where I can get away from everything pretty easy and be in the middle of nowhere to fly.

  19. Two questions: 1.Am I correct that drones under 250gm are exempt from all this? 2. Is this actually law? I am hearing from some people that until it gets posted in the Federal Register as a law, it is not an enforceable law….?

  20. Was hoping to finally get into the hobby but looking at where I live, Virginia Beach, it looks near impossible.

  21. Hi, just registered my drone with the FAA and i was required to take a 10 question test and the only question i got wrong was the night flight as a recreational pilot the answer is no we are not allowed to fly at night as of 8/09/2019. and the price has gone from $5 to a base price of $25 certificate and label $45 certificate, label and id $65 certificate 2 label 2 tracking id and your id with photo.

  22. New laws in the UK/EU will prevent us over here from flying higher than 400 feet even when standing beside a hill/mountain at 4000 feet. The only way you can get a drone up a 4000 feet hill is by climbing up the first 3600 feet of it, which is ok if you're physically able, but the main advantage of the drone was to allow you to take shots of places that were physically difficult or dangerous to get to, like the top of a hill or mountain like this one.

    (You can guarantee that lawmakers in the states will be examining what's happening in Europe in relation to drones regulations) , bureaucracy loves rules and laws.
    So its coming to a place near you soon.

    These guys would now be prevented by law and by geofencing software (especially DJI) from filming this footage ( ); and you certainly couldn't fly from the base of that hill now but would have to climb up it, (and a fairly dangerous climb at that); but why should we have to endanger ourselves when can just send up a flying camera?

  23. Communists. How about kites? Are they gonna milk the kids too? If there’s no plains why they getting their snouts in the fun. Never see plains flying under 400 feet in most places.

  24. Why don’t they tell fixes wing aircraft, not to fly under 500 feet, so they don’t get In the way of recreational drones, kites, paragliders etc. making it all too complicated, just to extort money from the public.

  25. Do any or all of these regulations apply to those hobby drones that don't fall within the size or weight limits for registering them? And what if all of your drone flying is done outside of these "Restricted Air Space" zones? It really is starting to sound like one big money making scam in the works.

    Why aren't the drone manufactures up in arms over these regulations? If it's going to directly effect their bottom lines, why aren't we hearing from them about the pitfall of some of these rules. Are they getting kick-backs from all of these new rules? I can see the positives of keeping airline traffic spaces safe but once a hand full of rules and regulations are established, more are sure to follow that will restrict the flying of hobby drones from flying even outside these designated restricted air spaces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *