I’ve been chatting with a number of my UAV sources and was informed that UAV sales have been through the roof this Holiday Season. The majority of buyers fall under the category of recreational users. I think that’s a wonderful thing. It’s a terrific way to get outdoors, have some fun and teach your kids the principals of aviation and aerodynamics at a non-engineering level. However, things are not as simple as that, so if you’re thinking of opening your present and flying your UAV in your front lawn, think again!
If your UAV weighs .55 lbs. or more it needs to be registered with the FAA. They will send you an airframe number that must be affixed to the UAV so that it is visible. You may not fly your UAV until that has been done.
Once you’ve registered, be sure to download the FAA’s B4UFLY app. The app is available for Android and IOS. This app will let you know if you are allowed to fly in your area. Assuming that you’re allowed to fly, under no circumstances are you allowed to fly over someone’s property or over individuals not part of your flight operations.
Regrettably, there are imbeciles weaponizing UAVs. If you see that or suspect those activities report it. These people are either too stupid to fly or criminals. Their actions endanger lives and make it difficult for you and your family to enjoy a great hobby and learning experience. The commercial use of UAVs is accelerating at an exponential rate and it’s likely that your children will see business travel on remotely piloted aircraft in their lifetime. We need to encourage the technology and ensure a safe operating environment.
Have fun, but keep in mind that penalties are not trivial, and in most cases you’ll be charged with a felony that carries a 10 yr. sentence and $10,000 fine per violation.