Can I Fly My Drone Over People in the United States?

Can I Fly My Drone Over People in the United States?

This is a question we’ve been getting a lot particularly this year since the FAA issued new rules regarding remote identification requirements, flying a drone at night, and flying a drone over people or moving vehicles. We’re keeping it simple in this video so you know exactly when you can and cannot fly your drone over people.

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๐ŸŽฌ Jump to Section
0:30โ€‹ B-Roll Footage & Introduction
0:31โ€‹ Recreational Flying
0:44 Certified Part 107 Flying
1:02 Categories of Operations
1:10 Category 1 Drones
2:58 Categories 2, 3, and 4

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31 Comments

  1. Doug Cooper on June 20, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Great Review Alan! Thank You For The Update, And Clarification On Flying Over People!

  2. izoyt on June 20, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    boy oh boy, that rapid diy fpv drones are really that much safer than mini. safety first, lol..

  3. Debra MacBride on June 20, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Hi don’t Category 1 drones also have to have *Remote ID* in addition to no exposed rotating parts?

    That is my understanding – Under 250 gram, no exposed parts and must meet remote ID requirements. May want to check this before performing missions over people. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Jhinuk Chowdhury on June 20, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Excellent! So much better than the Pilot Institute video on the same topic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. jeep2liberty on June 20, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    If the persons you are flying over are aware of the operations does this make it legal?

  6. XO cybercat on June 20, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Flying in the city is fine as long as you don’t show any people below??? I’m sure I have seen a ton of videos that flying over people. Maybe there will be bladeless drones in the future, I can’t wait!

  7. Will on June 20, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    "To make a long story short-" "Too late!" ๐Ÿ˜‰ In the UK, the Mini 2 is permitted to fly over people because its takeoff mass (not MTOM, according to the UK CAA) is under 250g and it was placed on the market prior to July 2022. It isn’t permitted to fly over assemblies of people at all, though.

  8. Paul Emus on June 20, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    In the real world, drones fly over people all the time. But common sense is to avoid flying over people and hovering over crowds. Yet my commercial real estate orbits and 400-foot quadrants Iโ€™m sure are going over people at some points. It happens all the time for thousands of commercial flights, and I have yet to hear of a drone falling on someone.

  9. Johnny Langland on June 20, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    Good information .. well presented .. thank you. Additionally, this is the first Iโ€™ve seen that addressed accurately the fact that once you put the propeller guards on the โ€œmini โ€œ it is no longer a sub 250 gram drone .. and as you point out, no longer a category 1 drone. Bottom line .. DJI has no drones that fit into any of these four categories. I watched another video several months ago with a live interview with an FAA person .. both seemingly nice people, but both missed the point that adding prop guards increasing the weight and it is, again, no longer a sub 250 gram drone. Accuracy is much appreciated.

  10. ZStomp on June 20, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    So what are some examples of a compliant category 1 drone?

  11. Jmanzz Jmanzz on June 20, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Going to be looking into FAA part 107 stuff soon! Do you got any tips and anything I should look into first?

  12. Lyman Medeiros on June 20, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    So my Mini 2 with prop guards is NOT category 1! damn.

  13. Marc Tonzillo on June 20, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    So basically you can’t fly over people unless you have a part 107 license and a little toy drone under .55 lbs.

  14. ThinkInsideTheBox SquareCircle on June 20, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    FAA laid out rules before the product necessitates them?! This sounds like something the FDA would do too. I’m starting to see links and patterns ๐Ÿง

  15. Magee Aerial Media on June 20, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    I am 107 and I have the Japanese DJI mini 2 with the lighter battery. With prop guards I am 243 grams.

  16. Gordon Barbay on June 20, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks Alan, great explanation. Could you remind us what "flying over people" means? Sure flying over a crowded venue like a concert or a crowded beach is obvious and not recommended. But what about a park or a beach. or a hiking trail, with some, but not many, people. Thanks!

  17. paul figlia on June 20, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    โ€‹ @UAV Coach It would be helpful if you could provide a citation to the FFA reg which prohibits overflights on people. I agree that 14 CFR 107 (which applies only to commercial flyers) contains a prohibition of overflights over people but it DOES NOT apply to recreational flyers. Recreational flyers are NOT limited by 14 CFR 107. Instead, recreational flyers must follow 49 USC 44809 which HAS NO PROHIBITION about fly overs. So, where is the reg that prohibits recreational flyers?

  18. Br Wa on June 20, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Can you clarify what is meant by flying over people. Another words it seems very clear when talking about an area where there are lots of people relatively close together. But for example if flying around a park and there say just a handful of people spread out over a relatively large area, does that mean a recreational flyer can’t fly there at all? Or…?

  19. American Movie Podcast on June 20, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Can you fly a drone as a tourist in rio de Janeiro?

  20. Harrison Gould on June 20, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    There is a way of sneaking in a Mavic Mini 2 and have it to be legal. The Japanese version of the Mavic Mini 2 uses a less powerful battery, thus making it lighter. The weight of the drone, the lighter battery and guards would qualify it to be under 250 grams.

  21. Pat Hughes on June 20, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Alan,
    I recently flew over a job site to video installation of waterproofing membranes
    I didn’t fly directly overhead but close. Am I ok, I can send you the video if you like.
    Very confusing
    Pat Hughes

  22. Lyman Medeiros on June 20, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Im a Drone newbie and a subscriber. Thanks for your easy to understand site.

  23. James Rimes on June 20, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    How do constantly see drone videos of my city on i stock ( in Asia tho ) how do those ppl get to legally shoot them? ( or is it all illegal )
    ( most of the footage is shot on mavic 2)

  24. Courtseater7 on June 20, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Can i kindly please ask you to name the under 250 non-dji fpv drones that you’ve mentioned ? Thanks in advance

  25. beame2 on June 20, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    what is the drones under 0.55

  26. Colin on June 20, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Finally a clear explanation. Thanks

  27. Jacob Carbajal on June 20, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Hi I was curious I have the recreational license and wanted to know if I flew over friends playing back yard soccer would that still be illegal or say if Iโ€™m at the beach and there happens to be a few people around is it bad for me to fly my DJI mini 2 drone ?

  28. little legs on June 20, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    I just bought one and I’m way to scared of breaking the law with one thanks for the video.

  29. Burlap and Light on June 20, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Great explanation Alan. It’s sad they we can’t even fly the mini or mini 2 over people. Do we really think the props on those would lacerate skin to the point of stitches? But I am waiting to see what drones they put into the other categories and how many people are going to willingly violate this rule. Which won’t be good for them if they get caught.

  30. Andy Shaffer-Bigred on June 20, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    Actually the answer is yes as long as it is a category 1-4 and you have all moving parts protected.

  31. Perry Pelican on June 20, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    What do you mean over people? You are always over people or above people. So you mean directly over any one person, right? What if you are flying and a person passes under you? Do you have to zig zag so that if the drone dies, it will not crash on someone’s head? The 250 gram limit is silly unless it is the weight of the battery or the weight of the main parts of the drone, excluding safety things like prop guards and landing gear. Prop guards as an additional accessory should not be considered as weight that puts the 250 gram drone over the limit by 30 or 40 grams. Those extra grams add safety and should almost be used to reduce the weight. Safer with that extra weight.

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