HomeFAA drone safety pre-flight checklist (Tech Blog)

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by Gabe Monte


The Federal Aviation Administration considers as pilots people who operate drones.

With prices of camera-equipped drones likely dropping for Black Friday sales, the FAA appears to expect a rise in use of drones.

Here’s a news release the FAA sent Friday about its safety checklist for anyone considering buying a camera-equipped drone.

You’re heading to the stores on Black Friday to buy that shiny new camera-equipped drone you’ve yearning for. You can’t wait to get into the sky and let loose your inner high-flying aerial photographer, right?

Did you know you’re also going to become a pilot?

When you fly your drone anywhere in the nation’s airspace, you automatically become part of the U.S. aviation system. Under the law, your drone is an aircraft. So while the rules for drones may be different, you have the responsibility to operate safely, just as a Cessna or 747 pilot does.

Here’s a pre flight checklist the FAA released Friday for camera drone operators:

  • Fly below 400 feet.
  • Always fly within visual line of sight.
  • Be aware of FAA airspace requirements: faa.gov/go/uastfr
  • Never fly within 5 miles of an airport without first contacting air traffic control and airport authorities.
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires.
  • Never fly near other aircraft.
  • Never fly under the influence.