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Fadamor

Leave the Quadcopters at Home

3 posts in this topic

This will be a bit from out of left field, but I think it's something some people may not think about until they're facing law enforcement. External drone videos of Otakon or the Matsuri with your small drone system seem like a great idea at first, but please be aware:

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems, Remotely Piloted vehicles, Drones, Quadcopters, whatever you want to call them... they are illegal to fly in Washington DC without express written permission from the FAA. Unlike most of the U.S., the size of the drone or whether you are using it as a hobbyist does not matter. The Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) is the inner portion of the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and extends in a 15 mile radius from Reagan International Airport that prohibits any drone activity (unless you get FAA authorization, and you can imagine how many agencies are going to be looking closely at you and your drone before that happens.)  From the FAA's website:

DC No Drone Zone

The National Capital Region is governed by a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) within a 30-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which restricts all flights in the greater DC area.

The SFRA is divided into a 15-mile radius inner ring and a 30-mile radius outer ring.

  • Flying an unmanned aircraft within the 15-mile radius inner ring is prohibited without specific FAA authorization.
Edited by Fadamor

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I would also like to say that if you are able to get that written permission from the FAA you should also register your drone/RC plane due to a new ruling by the FAA.

  • The penalty for not registering it is a hefty one with a criminal fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years and additional civil penalties of $27,500.
  • You will also need proof of the certificate to which you must carry with you no matter what.

To register your drone here is the website link: http://federaldroneregistration.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw-73GBRCC7KODl9zToJMBEiQAj1Jgf2TytZ2tOhs0e6jSviff3ODe7A-uCcxI19tO-okAd9YaAmIm8P8HAQ

I think it costs about $50 to register a drone and good for three years to which you need to renew it.

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Not sure where you got that link, but it's not the correct one. A government registration site is never going to have a .com domain. The correct one is: https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ and the registration fee is $5.

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) between .55 pounds and 55 pounds have to be registered with the FAA. Basically, if your drone weighs less than a half pound you do not need to register the drone. If you only will be flying the drone indoors (usually only those drones that fit in the palm of your hand), then you do not need to register the drone with the FAA.

If your UAS weighs more than 55 pounds, then it is not "small" and must be registered under the FAA's procedures for manned aircraft. This will give it an "N" number like you see on the tail of manned aircraft.

If registered, the drone has to have the registration number somewhere on the aircraft that doesn't require tools to view. Some operators put the registration number inside the battery compartment. Mine is on a weatherproof label on the top of the sUAS. Additionally, you will need the registration certificate (sent to you via email as soon as you register) available for presentation on demand from law enforcement. I keep mine in the carry case for the drone.

By the way, the odds of getting FAA permission to fly inside the FRZ are pretty much non-existent unless you are flying for a news organization, a movie shoot, or the Feds. Also, permission will never be given to non-registered devices.

Edited by Fadamor

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