Drone Resources


Introduction

Interest in aerial photography and/or videography using a drone is definitely growing, thanks to an ever-increasing availability to consumers of reasonably-priced drones. The quality of footage and photographs captured by these aerial platforms has kept pace as well. Since we are starting to see more aerial footage included in Multimedia SIG members' productions, we decided to add this page in order to provide some basic information to our members and other interested parties.

We will try to keep any regulatory information up-to-date, but it is always the responsibility of the individual to keep themselves abreast of any developments in this field!! 

Here is the ultimate authority: Federal Aviation Administration Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Key Considerations

Know and understand the meaning of "Recreational Flight". Many people assume that a recreational flight is one that is not operated for a business or any form of compensation. But, that's not always the case. Financial compensation, or the lack of it, is not what determines if the flight is recreational or commercial. 

Non-recreational purposes include things like taking photos to help sell a property or service, roof inspections, or taking pictures of a high school football game for the school's website. Goodwill or other non-monetary value can also be considered indirect compensation. This would include things like volunteering to use your drone to survey coastlines on behalf of a non-profit organization. Recreational flight is simply flying for fun or personal enjoyment.

If what you are doing is not purely "recreational flight", then you must have Part 107 certification, which is required for any flight that is not recreational.

The following points are drawn directly from the Federal Aviation Administration web site and focus on recreational flying. If you don't know all the terms, you should make yourself familiar with them before you fly!

  • Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage to show to FAA or Law Enforcement officials upon request. 
  • Always avoid manned aircraft. If one approaches it is your responsibility to get out of it's way. It is not the responsibility of the manned aircraft! 
  • Never operate in a careless or reckless manner.
  • Fly at or below 400' above ground level in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace.
  • Fly at or below 400' above ground level in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, E) only with prior authorization by using LAANC or DroneZone..
  • Keep your drone within sight. If you use First Person View or similar technology, you must have a visual observer always keep your drone within unaided sight (for example, no binoculars).
  • You cannot be a pilot or visual observer for more than one drone operation at a time.
  • Do not fly a drone over people unless they are directly participating in the operation.
  • Do not operate your drone from a moving vehicle or aircraft unless you are flying your drone over a sparsely populated area and it does not involve the transportation of property for compensation or hire (that would fall under Part 107).
  • If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounts (250 grams), it must be registered with the FAA. (FAA Drone Registration). There are requirements about displaying your registration number on your drone, and you must carry your registration paperwork with you when operating your drone.
  • You can fly during daylight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time), or in twilight if your drone has anti-collision lighting. 
  • Minimum weather visibility is three miles from your control station. No. You can't fly in fog.

The foregoing information is a "brief" overview of what you need to know to start flying your drone. In the weeks to come, we'll continue to add material to this site, such as considerations for aerial photography and videography, recommended web sites for training and education, interesting equipment used by SIG members, and so on.  


Chino Canyon - Photographer near white truck in lower center of photo.



Page last updated: 08/14/2021

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