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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🎬 Jump to Section
0:30​ B-Roll Footage & Introduction
0:31​ 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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13 Comments

  1. Gordon Barbay on November 3, 2021 at 9:42 am

    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!

  2. Harrison Gould on November 3, 2021 at 9:42 am

    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.

  3. Lyman Medeiros on November 3, 2021 at 9:51 am

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

  4. jeep2liberty on November 3, 2021 at 9:52 am

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

  5. Doug Cooper on November 3, 2021 at 9:53 am

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

  6. DaedricHealer 15 on November 3, 2021 at 9:54 am

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

  7. Lyman Medeiros on November 3, 2021 at 9:55 am

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

  8. Jacob Carbajal '' on November 3, 2021 at 10:09 am

    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 I’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 ?

  9. Jhinuk Chowdhury on November 3, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Excellent! So much better than the Pilot Institute video on the same topic. 🙂

  10. Paul Emus on November 3, 2021 at 10:12 am

    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 I’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.

  11. paul figlia on November 3, 2021 at 10:15 am

    ​ @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?

  12. Pat Hughes on November 3, 2021 at 10:17 am

    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

  13. Burlap and Light on November 3, 2021 at 10:30 am

    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.

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