Don't fly over people until you watch this video!

Did you know that you can now fly over people with your drone? But not so fast! It’s not a free-for-all. Before you head out, make sure you understand what you can and can’t do. We put this video together to explain EVERYTHING you need to know before attempting to flying over people.

Blog post:

https://pilotinstitute.com/how-to-fly-over-people/

– What the regulation actually says (including the FAA definitions of sustained flight, transiting, open-air assembly, and vehicle)
– What qualifies as a Category 1, 2, or 3 drones,
– 25 examples of flying over people or moving vehicles and what the requirements are,
– Do propellers create lacerations without prop guards?
– How we got a LEGAL Category 1 drone!
– What flying over people means,
– What is kinetic energy and why it matters.

Download the cheat sheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9gcmiqwsaa9j6m2/Flying-over-people-Cheat-Sheet.pdf?dl=0

We went to discuss this experiment on the DSPA (www.dspalliance.org) Weekly show , find the video here: https://youtu.be/w_s8KnA1UGs

Do you have questions about what we tested in this video? Leave them down there. We’ll be happy to interact.

Table of content
00:00 Introduction
01:44 What does the regulation say?
08:42 Category 1, 2, 3, 4 definitions
12:11 Does a sub-250g drone cause lacerations?
18:15 Can the DJI Mini or Mini 2 qualify as Cat 1?
20:37 Examples of operations over people and moving vehicles
28:14 What does flying over actually mean?
29:48 Kinetic Energy Discussion
32:28 Conclusion

Our Other Channels
– PIXL Drone Show: drone related podcast, posts every Tuesday morning. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbeSmbjvE0etKry8Nk2n0CQ
– Pilot Institute Airplane: our airplane channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIgBjGoM-yn_3bH8Qr9xkXA

Our courses
– Part 107 Made Easy: the most comprehensive ground school online. https://bit.ly/2AkRWq0
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50 Comments

  1. Mr. L. Frederick on May 9, 2021 at 2:12 am

    Hi. I realized I have put way to much money into this hobby to just mothball it. Can I get some info on your course? I want to get my 107. It just makes sense to do it. Thank you for responding to my nonsense earlier. Funny how things seem to always work out. + I found the links. Have a nice day 🙂

  2. Drone Adventures on May 9, 2021 at 2:15 am

    You make a whole video about the danger of drone but don’t have the testicles to fly into your leg to demonstrate the danger?

  3. Shahril Amirul on May 9, 2021 at 2:15 am

    Haha drone go brrrrrr!

  4. Sparky Rih on May 9, 2021 at 2:17 am

    I cut my fingers on a DJI Mini 2 while hand catching once… I would really feel bad if that happened to somebody’s face…

  5. Carl DK on May 9, 2021 at 2:18 am

    I can tell you a Mavic Mini easily cuts a finger, talking from own experience.

  6. Dog Lover112233 on May 9, 2021 at 2:19 am

    What kind of watch are you wearing?

  7. Tom Waznis on May 9, 2021 at 2:19 am

    A guessing game with the FAA. Maybe I’ll wait.

  8. The RC Bat on May 9, 2021 at 2:21 am

    Thanks for this. Really made sense 👍👍

  9. SECRET CREEK PROSPECTING on May 9, 2021 at 2:23 am

    Anything that is ruled by a higher power, of course they are going to have tricky regulations. I get that, . Defund higher power.

  10. Wayne Boyd on May 9, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Thank you. So basically, since we can’t get the smaller battery for the DJI Mini 2 (and who wants a smaller batter anyway?) then we can’t fly over people. Period. You can do it with the prop guards and small battery but the rest of us, with or without prop guards, but with the included battery, can’t fly over people. Right?

  11. 2gnospam on May 9, 2021 at 2:25 am

    I guess a bicycle jumping a ramp and crashing requires an FAA investigation.

  12. Dean Keaton on May 9, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Oh yea, here we go again…. Let’s take the WORSTE possible scenario that could ever happen with a drone… (Decapitating people in public) ..and just BLOW it UP into a BIG DEAL- maybe even PASS LEGISLATION ON IT !!! WHEW HOO that’s a WOKE WOKE WIN there !! Departing from yer Fantasy World there… the only fact about this is that the only person most likely to be injured by their drone IS the PILOT themselves. But of course if you’re as creatively Bankrupt as this POSTER, of course you gotta’ make a WOKE video about it. Let’s 4get about the fact that most drone pilots have such trouble with flying at times, they couldn’t even run into an object when they are consciously TRYING to DO IT. Is it just me…? Or did this lame just waste 36min of yer Life too…?.?.?

  13. SCIENCE IS NOT DEAD on May 9, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Don’t worry social distancing is going to solve the problem for you!

  14. Mickey McH on May 9, 2021 at 2:32 am

    I’m more interested in where you got the dummy arm. Did someone on skid row wake up this morning short one arm?

  15. Scott huey on May 9, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Folks all this equals is more government control over what we can and can’t do. Drones are probably the most safest things to fly, out of any aircraft. I have flown planes for years and have seen people get hurt very bad. You don’t see any injuries from drones that even come close the RC PLANES. I have a couple of drones I fly responsible, but I dont need the government over stepping its bounds. I fly recreational not part 107 which I think is a scam and just about more control and money.

  16. Nigel K Thomas on May 9, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Fly at some distance. Use some common sense! If your drone is 100 metres up there shouldn’t be a problem.

  17. Tyler Bryant on May 9, 2021 at 2:35 am

    I found Linus Sebastian’s dad! Nice to meet you!

  18. Brookie Nwo on May 9, 2021 at 2:36 am

    So it’s pointless in having a drone as we are just getting more and more rules of what we can’t do with them

  19. Steve the Pirate on May 9, 2021 at 2:36 am

    Similarly, I’d probably survive being hit by a bicycle, but at minimum I’d be unhappy about it.

  20. Aaron on May 9, 2021 at 2:40 am

    Great explanation, it sounds like flights over people is no unless your drone has a recover shute or is so light you can’t hardly fly it in the wind… anyone know the max total grams 🤔 for cat 1 that can meet the kenitic energy requirements?

  21. toptarantula on May 9, 2021 at 2:41 am

    Did you know there are countries other than the USA? Where the FAA regulations aren’t relevant? And where YouTube also works? Maybe you could re-title your video?

  22. ROB REESE on May 9, 2021 at 2:41 am

    you’ll bleed a lot specially if your blood type is A or B or combination of AB.Universal blood type people ( type O)are very lucky,coz there’s tons of supplies out there at the Blood Bank!!

  23. Robert K on May 9, 2021 at 2:42 am

    Great video. Thank you. What about night flight not sustained over people? Are the OEM strobes on the Mavic Air 2 etc. sufficient to be legal under Part 107 after April 21, 2021? If not, after market strobes are available for Category 2/3 aircraft. Are those promoted with 3 mile visibility legal after April 21, 2021 for Part 107 operation without a waiver?

  24. Greg Daymude on May 9, 2021 at 2:42 am

    Thank you very much kind sir. I just happened to cross this video as my purchase has yet to arrive but now I know what I have to do in order to actually enjoy my new toy. Can we make our own prop guards? Cuz I was thinking maybe plastic bottle might be let’s weight. Actually where I live it might be pretty hard to find a place to fly that doesn’t have moving traffic or people out and about. I’m going to subscribe to your channel cuz you have good info that will keep me out of jail or keep money in my pocket thanks again.

  25. quinndemand on May 9, 2021 at 2:43 am

    Oh my God dude, get to the point. Then you can elaborate.

  26. Nathan on May 9, 2021 at 2:43 am

    So can we fly over people or not?

  27. Maddmavic on May 9, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Loop hole all u have to do is have people sign a waiver and u can fly over them

  28. Richard Shifferd on May 9, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Thank you for taking the time to better explain the FAA regulations. It always helps to have the best understanding of sometime and not have to guess.

  29. Alan Hazard on May 9, 2021 at 2:46 am

    I will keep this information in mind for next time I see a flying pig.

  30. Mr. L. Frederick on May 9, 2021 at 2:47 am

    Not to be a smartass or anything but doesn’t a helicopter have a whole hell of a lot more kinetic energy than a drone? Helicopters don’t have rules as such. Nor planes for that matter. Its not as if people are crashing drones into people all the time for this to become regulated I don’t think. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  31. Qudus The_Lifted_Traveler on May 9, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Thank You for great information

  32. Derek Bramer on May 9, 2021 at 2:50 am

    The mini 2 will cut you. I know this from experience. 🤷🏼‍♂️

  33. Miguel Silva on May 9, 2021 at 2:54 am

    So, because of Japan regulations you can fly a Chineese Drone illegally imported to US ? 😛

  34. Gadget Inspector on May 9, 2021 at 2:55 am

    Great video and thorough explanation. Thanks for the cheat sheet as well. I haven’t found a need/reason to do sustained flight over people but transitioning rears its head frequently.

  35. Delray Meints on May 9, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Phantom 3 cut my sisters arm 3 inches long 1 inch deep while she was trying to catch the drone, be careful around people

  36. Dan Beck on May 9, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Can you clarify:
    Even if you are compliant with Category 1 through prop guards and weight, that you ALSO need Remote ID AND to be a Part 107 certified pilot? Is the Mini you used in the video compatible with Remote ID?

  37. Mr. L. Frederick on May 9, 2021 at 2:57 am

    So… with the drone I have right now I’m at risk. I can lose everything if an accident happens that causes lacerations. You know, it ain’t even worth flying these things. Who was it that thought this was a good idea for people to have? Some how I have to find a way to put a parachute on my drone that will deploy if it starts to lose control. That’s totally unreasonable. The only other option is buy a new drone that weighs in under 250 grams with prop guards. There isn’t one out there that meets this requirement for category 1! Not to even mention category 2 or 3! Nobody makes drones with parachutes! My piloting days are done. I quit. Unless I can find an area to fly it where there isn’t people. Where’s the fun in that. Conclusion – Drones are no longer any fun. For now that is.

  38. luiz gioppo on May 9, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Better stay away in buying drones…too much BS created by FAA.

  39. Airbrushkid on May 9, 2021 at 2:58 am

    The FAA rules will only apply to the people that will follow them! There’s thousands of people that have drones and even fpv quads that have not and will not register there drones. There cannot be a cop every inch in the USA to stop them!! And for the people that report them. They better have proof and know who these are!! Life sucks people. I fly on my land. And there is no way I can hit somebody on my 75 acres of land. If they are there trespassing.

  40. Ken Tomory on May 9, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Great video, though I do not agree completely with your category breakdown nor how you describe each category, you seemed to place them in lumped together in 2 and 3 and there are some distinct dividing lines. Not as the rule is written. Also the a parachute is not the complete answer, parachute gives a minimum altitude to operate to be effective – P4 Pro is min alt of 62.5′ AGL for the parachute to deploy and be effective and if it doesn’t deploy do you have a manual actuator and can you deploy it in time.
    Good call on insurance. If found in violation of a rule / statute which caused reportable damage or injury, the insurance will deny your claim. If the company you work for has liability insurance, they may pay out to the victim, but will not cover any liability directed toward you. The rest comes down to willful disregard, willful neglect, etc….

  41. Scott huey on May 9, 2021 at 3:01 am

    It doesn’t matter what you do the FAA will continue to change things. Remote ID on drones over 250 grams. Dji makes the mini 2 but any type of add ons goes over the 250 mark. You can fly over people if you drone is a category 1, you put blase covers on and well now it’s over 250 and you still can’t fly over people. Does anyone see what they are doing? It’s little traps that they put in there they don’t want people to have drones, fly them, or anything else. Like I said government control of everything, yes we have to be safe hell I have even been cut by my own drone, so I know it can be dangerous . We can be careful and safe and be able have some fun at the same time.

  42. Reginald Johnson on May 9, 2021 at 3:03 am

    The Mini doesn’t have avoidance like Mavic Pro, Pro 2’s etc! I have 4 Drones and the only I have ever crashed was the Mavic Mini !

  43. milo74156 on May 9, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Great video

  44. Tom Waznis on May 9, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Looking at the EVO 2 6k. Gonna take a while to figure this one out. Thanks for the help.

  45. james slater on May 9, 2021 at 3:04 am

    What if ur takeing vido of a groop that ask to be filmed

  46. Minimalist Ng. on May 9, 2021 at 3:05 am

    How about a car video ?

  47. The Fog on May 9, 2021 at 3:05 am

    It seems to me that the key word in the language is OVER people. But if you were a distance from people (like from the side), then that’s ok?

  48. Green tip on May 9, 2021 at 3:09 am

    Ha, let me guess..being a NON-drone “pilot”; The MORE expensive one’s will allow ‘flight OVER people’. Generally speaking, because LESS “serious” pilots will be able to AFFORD them and therefore be more serious in their flight regimes. Edited to add: I certainly HOPE..and EXPECT ‘mature/responsible’ pilots will be able to reason what is or isn’t “an open air assembly..”

  49. JP Dronography on May 9, 2021 at 3:10 am

    Hello from the Untied Kingdom ! Great Video.

    Here in the UK we have adopted the European regulations, and fortunately for us, for now at least, we can fly a mavic mini over people but not assemblies of people without a prop guard. We too have MTOM categories. Above 250g we have to stay 50metres away from people, and we can’t overfly.

    However, a new relaxing regulation has just come in called ‘Article 16’. If you are a member of a major model flying club like BFMA or FPVUK for example, and sign up to Article 16 on their websites, there is surprisingly NO separation distance and can fly over people for 250g or less drones.
    We can fly heavier drones up to 7.5Kg over people at a distance of just 30metres:

    So basically there’s more emphasis on competence, here and we also have a new permission called the A2 CofC which involves some study at an approved flight school but is not overly expensive nor difficult which allows for heavier drones to be flown in recreational areas, Industrial Estates, etc within the A2 flying category (near to people).
    That’s a little over tall tree height which seems a bit crazy, and we sincerely hope that people here won’t abuse this privilege. It applies at all suitable flying locations in the UK not just within the confines of registered flying clubs either.

    Our max altitude is 400ft above the terrain you’re flying over, higher without permission if conducting an inspection of say a transmission tower as long as you’re very close to it. (within 50m I think).

    These privileges were unexpected, and in our opinion have been well thought through.
    We can’t go through all the nuts and bolts here, so if you’re thinking about flying in the UK please refer to the CAA website first. You will need to register your drone here (All weights, except toys without cameras).
    We had grey areas too but most of these have now been clarified by the CAA.

    But it does seem to us that the FAA have really made ‘a dog’s dinner’ of it all, which coupled with the confusion, will no doubt lead to unintended breaches. 😒

  50. Mike Pfriender on May 9, 2021 at 3:10 am

    Dude come on man you act like oh yeah , yeah ah not yet people there are catagories so don’t worry but you can’t fly over people .. bottom line is this you make it seem so happy and not a big deal describing all this absolute specific bullshit that no matter what unless you are a man that mows his lawn with pants , long sleeve shirt and safety glasses there is a 99 % chance I will be breaking the law now that communists are slowly putting their nose in private people’s business … Or should I say pockets .. because that’s what it will be , fine , fine , fine…. Do u want ur drone taken?? Well you are in violation of being a "pilot " and endangering all these people by flying your drone in this park even know you are WAAAAY away from everyone… This is ridiculous and makes me sick to my stomach.. My attitude should not be confused with a punk , lawless, jobless derelict that purposely can’t wait to get out of his 76 camaro with his marlboro and get his "quad " set up to "show off" and pilot his airship in front of the trailer park.. COMMON DAMN SENSE and stay away from people and airports etc… Senseless and inconsiderate people have made flying a remote control into now being a PILOT… The day I heard the reference when a man holding a remote that is signaling a small vehicle in the air called a PILOT , I knew my fun was doomed … A PILOT for pete sakes should be described and defined as any man or woman whom steps there body into or onto a vehicle that is going to leave remove it’s weight off of the ground he or she is standing on and said vehicle is going to transport this person into the air at any height and move them , is a pilot.. I couldn’t imagine going on a date and inviting my new cutie to watch me pilot my new airship … Think about how damn ridiculous it sounds .. really , even the most educated , prim and proper , by the book person, … If u think pilot is appropriate, I promise you someone is more than likely visiting your wife when you are at work.. exception ,; a man or woman who commercially and frequently flies a inspire or bigger at events or constantly abobe or around people ,… I see that..

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