7 Ways for Drone Pilots to Avoid the Wrath of the FAA!

The FAA is stepping up their policing of drone pilots. This is largely due to bystanders reporting them. Here are 7 things you can do to help mitigate a surprise letter in the mail, containing an unreasonably egregious fine.

LAANC Approval Process (Last updated 2019): https://youtu.be/-VKOTQj8Sys

For all of the rules: faadronezone.faa.gov

All the drone and camera gear I use to manage 51 Drones: https://kit.co/the51drones/51-drones-youtube-kit (If you received value from this video, checking this out is the best way to say thanks!)

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  1. Mehdi Blidi on January 8, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Am I allowed to fly with the european Drone licence?

  2. 007 on January 8, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Hi on the other hand I have a cousin named Karen. And she’s definitely a Karen.

  3. GigaHurtz on January 8, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    Excellent video, thank you!

  4. Big D B on January 8, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Russ, Can we all get to copy the sheet you use to show Law Enforcement? That would really be so helpful and so everyone to be on the same page…

  5. Jeff Housen on January 8, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    wow, that stayed relevant for…an entire month
    new rules are out

  6. da Mana on January 8, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Maybe I missed it, but do all these rules apply to drones UNDER 250g??

  7. Sergei Daniel on January 8, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Any chance the form you have, minus private details, can be made available? I really like the idea of having a quick education sheet available, if I am approached.

  8. Victor Corvalan on January 8, 2021 at 11:14 pm


  9. Jesse Smith on January 8, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    Most people don’t even do that much work in their 8 hour work day. It’s ridiculous.

  10. Daniel Deodato on January 8, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Instead of ICE, someone should pay antifa to shout “ABOLISH THE FAA”

  11. SeaC Programmer on January 8, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    The FAA is seriously KILLING an awesome hobby . A Hobby that drove innovation in this field .

  12. Steve Eck on January 8, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    I have huge issues with Remote ID!!! Lets say I’m out flying my drone taking pictures and video of my family on vacation and some guy’s come up to me after using the public portal and finds my location. Lets say he comes up and threatening me and my family about the drone. Straight up giving access to the general public is nonsense and puts Drone pilots in danger.

  13. Nate's HOn3 East Broad Top Railroad on January 8, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Where can you take the FAA aeronautical knowledge and safety test online? I registered my drone for recreational use and I’ve searched the FAA website and online but I can not find the online aeronautical knowledge and safety test anywhere.

  14. ShearFreak on January 8, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Your complete transparent straight up attitude was SO appreciated and refreshing. And you had me laughing at certain parts. Thank you.

  15. bigcatdaddy76016 on January 8, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    I hate the public because they are envious of your joy. They can call the F.A.A. and MAKE UP stories about you just to stop you from enjoying a hobby. They need to be aware that a false report can get them in trouble, more than the drone hobbyists. Most hobbyists are law abiding and careful while flying.

  16. BasedSM on January 8, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Any way we can see that form you have?

  17. onikin on January 8, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    What forms and permissions do I need to get from the Coast Guard and Fish & Wildlife for my RC Boats?
    Very dangerous things. What if they caused a speedboat to crash or I endangered someone on a pool noodle or something?
    They probably hurt the fish too!

    Gotta be regulated!

  18. Craig C on January 8, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Do drones (like my DJI Mini 2) record the "black box" flight info within the drone itself? Or is it stored in the app and/or in accompanying online account?
    Also, would it help one’s case to proactively register a sub-250g drone – even though it’s not required – as a show of good faith / proper protocol?

    I’d also love to see the wording of your laminated note that you present to approaching people, I’m going to make one. Thanks!

  19. Dave Pinson on January 8, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Hi there. Can you post your handout you laminate for public questions please. Excellent videos

  20. Sny11 on January 8, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    51 Drones, The pre flight check list app you showed in this video I seem to not be able to find it. Could you reference what it is known by? Thanks for your informative videos

  21. ferambr on January 8, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Excellent information. I do have a question. I live in Texas and I was told by a friend that if he ever sees a drone flying over his house, he would shoot it down. I understand that one thing is flying over houses say around 40-60 or even 100 feet high, and other flying a drone at the property level or very close. But at what point it is not a crime or against rules to fly the drone over houses?
    Also, what happens if a indeed a drone is shot down by an angry house owner?

  22. Robert Lacourse on January 8, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Hello. First an excellent video! I recently retired from the FAA as an ASI/UAS, aka Drone Focal point, and the one that investigated all the drone issues in my district. Currently I am a UAS DRONE PRO for the district, (volunteer educator). Your 7 ways are spot on, and I wish all operators would watch it. If i may add two items of interest, first the LAANC authorization confirmation number SHOULD be documented, either on the preflight checklist or anywhere. By the way 107 does require a preflight inspection, it is up to the operator to prove this preflight for each flight. The FAA has the ability to verify this LAANC number/date and time, and operator authorization. Without proof it is your word against theirs, or the complainant’s. It is advisable to keep this data for as long as you own the drone, at least 2 years. Secondly, you mentioned it and I am glad you did is the maintenance record. It is the operators responsibility, (in lieu of an airworthiness certificate) to keep/ensure the Drone is in an airworthy condition. When I was talking with, aka investigating, an operator i would ask for proof of airworthiness of the UAS. This was often followed by a blank stare. I would ask a follow up question, "What is your Drone hit a person and caused serious injury, can you prove that you were flying an airworthy aircraft?" remember saying so is not the same as showing documentation.
    Lastly, yes I know I said a couple things , but you are spot on with having the right attitude with the FAA. Having a willing and able attitude will always side in your favor. It is a program called the FAA’s Compliance Program.
    I will be hosting a zoom/ poss a webinar that discusses how the complaint process works and how operators should react to "the call". Again thanks again for he great video
    One last foot note: UAS flight records can be requested by the FAA, and when provided, (in my experience) has helped the UAS operator prove that they were flying with the rules.

  23. John Wood on January 8, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    awsome video, I am a part 107 holder, and believe it or not, the FAA allowed me to register all four of my drones for professional, and recreational use. They were very polite, considerate, and efficient. I was amazed when dealing with them. I have gotten into agruments with a few people who stated to me that if they see a drone fly over their property they have every right to shoot it down, Those kind of folks scare me, as I have 30,000 dollars wrapped up in drones, and cameras. If a property posts a sign that states no drone flights, is that legal? I wanted to fly over skin walker ranch, but their signs all over stating that.

  24. Bob on January 8, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    We all need to stand up for our hobby . Never register don’t give them a dime . The sky is the ultimate freedom ! Don’t give it away

  25. Bradley Harrington on January 8, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Our office secretary where I work is named Karen . Biggest bitch I know . Always throwing everyone under a bus to cover her screw ups

  26. Mark Stambaugh on January 8, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    The drone community needs to form a lobby.

  27. T. W. on January 8, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Revenue, or exchange of money, monetization of content etc. is NOT a requirement for part 107. Only the intent of the flight mission matters. Anything other than "flying for fun" counts as "furthering a business", where "business" does not mean the intent for profit or revenue. In other words, if you fly with the intent to film video or images for social media, you are not a recreational hobby pilot and need part 107 registration. Keith had a phone call on his Alien Drones channel with a representative of the FAA that was explaining that.

  28. AeroRealm on January 8, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Very informative. Thanks!

  29. Bob Jones on January 8, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Is there anyway I could see an example of the forms you laminate. I want this to be my new hobby but I want to learn all of the rules first because of my profession I really want to stay out of trouble. I’m very polite to people and would love to laminate some forms of my own then carry a drone “preflight” journal with my kit. Also if anyone is reading this.. should I go for the Mavic mini2 $600fly more package or the mavic air 2. I’m trying to determine if it’s worth getting the bigger one due to all of the licensing and restrictions. I’m a huge nut about my privacy so it kinda bothers me I must submit all of my information. And that pet where you said all of my flights are recorded and does that include video/ photography as well? I’m going on a trip soon so when I get back I’d love to read some replies so I can make the proper decision. (I’m moving to Germany in 10 months and so my drone decision will also be tailored to US and GU.) thanks ahead of time for any help that can be tossed my way!

  30. Zach Eldridge on January 8, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Haha! "Karens… if you will" LOL

  31. kaya miya on January 8, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    this 107 shit is ridiculous! i took the first test when it came out as law, let me tell you what the hell do i need to know cloud formations, and basically what pilots need to know! we can only fly 399 feet a/g and its never to leave our site, no flying at night so what the hell ?its all a bunch of bull shit!! meanwhile amazon will be dropping boxes on your landing pad in the back yard in the next few years

  32. Bori Outdoors on January 8, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Where I can download the information on the laminate form?

  33. Scott Heinz on January 8, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    As an Airline Transport Pilot and Part 107 certificate holder I totally agree with what you have presented in this video! Well done! Great information.

  34. Richie Bricker on January 8, 2021 at 11:45 pm


  35. Ernesto Golli on January 8, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    102 Karens disliked this video

  36. Michelle Cahal Photo on January 8, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you for this video! I’ve had my Part 107, well into my second renewal. But I’ve been asked to use my drone for model photography images. Example: senior sessions and large family sessions. When they say don’t fly over people, is this included or are they speaking of large crowds of people not expecting a UAV in the air?

  37. Breaking H2o on January 8, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Hey, thanks for the very informative video. You stated the facts and kept me interested the whole way. I wish I had watched this video before I flew in a national park and got in trouble (just got warned). Maybe now I’ll stay out of trouble. Probably not.

  38. Mark Kuivenhoven on January 8, 2021 at 11:50 pm
  39. Sensatious Hiatus on January 8, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    At 10:58…ain’t that the truth!

  40. Rob Roy on January 8, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Man I am so bad compared to this video when comes to droning…..never did a list ..a preflight anything….
    I got into the wrong hobby 10 years ago when I had a rc plane now it’s called a drone.
    I hate rules. Hate hate hate em

  41. Yeshua's Talmid on January 8, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you.
    As someone who’s looking into possibly purchase my first drone, there’s a lot of legal concerns which can make this choice daunting, even to the point of discouraging away from getting a drone entirely. Educational video’s like yours help to clear the air of concerns by encouraging people to fly respectfully and responsibly, while also preparing us with the means to defend ourselves from the Karen’s if need be, lol.

  42. Chad Forquer on January 8, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Please be careful with the term easement. Be aware of local laws and rules. I know where I work each home has a easement at the front of the property. This is for use by utilities and the roads department. Even with a speed limit sign in that section it is the property owners land and you can be forced out of it. Now this place does not have sidewalks so it is just the road then property. Make sure you know what they consider public property in your location. Also remember that most of the time everything off the road is private property. It may be open to the public but it is still private property. Your best bet is to have permission to be on any property you are flying from.

  43. SeaC Programmer on January 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    hhahahahah He said Karens hahahahahha Karen AKA white people calling the police on people of color minding their business for absolutely no reason to get them killed by the police
    Yes that is the official definition.

  44. Marcus Tucker on January 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Complaining about using the name “Karen” is such a Karen move.

  45. Steven Ming on January 9, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Can you share the verbiage of your laminated sheet you leave on the car? can it be downloaded somewhere? I’d like to use it and adapt for my needs.

  46. Dennis Hixson on January 9, 2021 at 12:04 am

    My DJI mini 2 says it weighs 249 grams, but the FAA says anything over 250 grams have to be registered?
    I live out in the country side, so I don’t fly in the city, so if I post my photos on Facebook or YouTube do I still need the part 107?

  47. EJ's Guitars on January 9, 2021 at 12:06 am

    I just purchased the DJI Mavic Air 2 and had no idea that I couldn’t just pull it out of the box and fly. I did educate myself enough to find out about the Part 107 certificate and obtained that and actually got LAANC approval for my first flight because I live in a cautionary zone. However after the fact I’ve learned that I made many mistakes.
    Thanks so much for your informative videos. I do want to fly responsibility and be able to create legal drone footage for my own channel. I have applied for the Part 107 waivers but am not sure if I jumped the gun on that application.
    Can I receive those waivers if I only possess the Part 107 certificate or do I need to get the commercial flyer’s license?
    Also, can all this be circumvented by just flying the Mini 2? Thank you for your incredible work!

  48. Carson Drumm on January 9, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Do all of these rules apply to drones under 250g? Like the Mini 2?

  49. elusivelectron on January 9, 2021 at 12:07 am

    I believe you can’t fly at night without certification. You also need certification to commercially fly a drone. I know another youtuber had to get the certification because his videos were monetized. If he weren’t cordial, I’m certain he would have paid a hefty fine.

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