What are the legal limitations associated with drones for amateur aerial photography?

Discussion in 'Q and A Archive' started by webman, May 17, 2014.

  1. webman

    webman Administrator Staff Member

    What are the legal limitations associated with using drones for amateur aerial photography?

    This would be diffiult to accurately answer since many towns and locates have their own regulations concerning model aircraft. That is, certain parks and beaches, etc. specifically exclude R/C aircraft.

    As it stands, it's somewhat like the Wild West. That is, there is really little or nothing formal in legal limitations - rather there are some guidelines which are generally agreed upon and others which are common sense.

    The Academy of Model Aeronautics and the FAA have come to basic agreements about the safety of unmanned aerial hobby vehicles. These include:

    1. Flying within Line of Sight (LOS) and under operator control - as opposed to complete autonomous control. In other words, flying miles away using GPS is not regarded as legal and/or common sense (insurable).

    2. Staying under certain heights when within a few miles of an airport - 400 feet is suggested when within 3 miles of an airport.

    Lots of other regs - but these are not legal or illegal in the strictest sense, just that the FAA as well as other groups work closely with the AMA and they are in basic agreement. In fact, many FAA employees also fly model aircraft!

    In summary, the basics are keep it in your control, keep it in sight and don't fly over people (except perhaps yourself)...
    Goff and Wessex like this.

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