Drone News: FAA Administrators Remote ID nonsense, Mini over DC, Autel Enterprise, Local Drone Laws

This week in Drone News: FAA Administrator Dickson makes a Remote ID blooper. A discussion about your potentially expiring drone registration. A DJI Mavic Mini was seen flying over a DC March by the White House. Autel shows Evo II Enterprise models in China. And lastly, we are launching a cool tool to help drone pilots find local drone laws.

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Confused about Remote ID? Watch this
Drone pilots said: “The FAA surely can’t make this Remote ID thing more complicated!”
Administrator Dickson said: “Hold my beer and watch this! And don’t call me Surely”.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson talked to a bunch of kids during Drone Safety Awareness week and after a young boy asked if the FAA was concerned that Remote ID would be too restrictive and therefore force people to not follow it, this is what he said:
Dickson first talks about FRIAs (football field) and flying indoor.
Then he says “Broader scale, business application, at higher altitude, 300-400 feet, within VLOS”.
Let’s me clarify this, if you are beaming that Remote ID will not be required below 300 feet, you have not read the UTM ConOps document the FAA put out a few months ago.
There is NO WAY remote ID will not be required below 300 feet.
So why did the FAA administrator said so:
1. He wasn’t prepared to answer this question at a kids’ events and he is not good at improvising.
2. He doesn’t have a full grasp of Remote ID (he has much bigger fish to fry: Space X launch, 737MAX, etc…)
3. He didn’t understand the question.
4. He flat out lied to a little kid.
5. This wasn’t actually Steve Dickson.

Your FAA registration may be expiring soon.
Drone registration became a requirement in January 2018.
If you registered a drone back then, your registration will expire in January 2021.
Remember, it is 3 years from the day you registered, so be sure to login to the FAA DroneZone to check the date.
You can update your registration today.
Remember also that you have to register your Mini and Mini 2 as a Remote Pilot, but you don’t as a Recreational Flyer.

A mini caught in Washington DC
A Mavic Mini was spotted near Capitol Hill in Washington DC during a recent demonstration in the city.
The video was posted on FB and you can see the mini hovering over the crowd before landing on the road.
Nick, the person who posted the information, said “Once it descended to about 2ft. it just sat there and hovered (while spinning and looking around) before darting forward and hitting a random person in the lower torso.”
He said he picked up the drone, removed the card, and waiting for someone to claim it.
Nobody came so he apparently handed it to the Secret Service.
Not a good day for whoever is going to get caught doing this.
As a reminder, DC has a very strict no flight zone, especially this close to the White house.

New Autel Evo II enterprise
Autel released the Evo II earlier this year with 3 different model: Evo II, Evo II Pro, and the Evo II dual.
Images surfaced online show a few new Enterprise models.
The Evo II Pro Enterprise
Evo II Dual Enterprise
They appear to be equipped with RTK module, flood ligh, and loud speaker.
No pricing, nor confirmation they will be available on the US market.

Confusing Local State laws? No more!
We’ve been listening to our students for a while, and one of the complaints that comes back a lot is: how do I find local regulation?
Most websites who attempted to do this in the past typically don’t stay up to date, or are hard to navigate.
Our motto is not Aviation Training Made Easy for no reason!
We are excited to launch a new brand on our website where you can find the latest local drone regulation.
And unlike other places, we made it a Wiki which means that you can update the information if it becomes outdated.
Instead of making it OUR tool, we made it YOUR tool.
Head over to https://pilotinstitute.com/drones/states/ to test drive!


  1. Jet Martin on November 22, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Re: FAA Administrator Dickson, I vote for the TOTALLY CLUELESS explanation. It starts from the top…..I’m jussayin.

  2. Ray Jackson on November 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    I am very new to flying drones, I have gone a bit off the deep end with this hobby having flown model rc airplanes and helicopters. I have 4 drones at the moment, a couple are sort of toys but are gps drones. First can I fly these in my back yard , as I am trying to get used the control and operation, and second, I did register with the FAA and i have been hearing about registering a drone. Do I have to register each one of my drones individually or does my registration cover all my equipment. None of my drones are designated as toys, they all fall into the field of having to have FAA registration. I do not want any FAA fines . I

  3. BadTuna on November 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks again for the latest update, Greg!

  4. Paul Wagner on November 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Great information as usual Greg, thanks! Really like the Wiki site, great idea.

  5. Stan Gwinn on November 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    I just received my Mavic Pro 2 and fly more gear. I can’t wait to dive in. Patience is not my strong suit but I’ not going to fly until I have a much better grasp of what I’m doing. $3,000 is not a toy anymore! LOL

  6. Focus'on Christ on November 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks a million for this update. I laughed that such a young individual was able to publicly leave an official dumbfounded. I really hope that mini in DC doesnt further mess up opportunities for flyers. Folks not respecting rules messing things up.

  7. Mike B aka The Drone Ranger on November 22, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    First Real Comment…….

  8. Rick Oldani on November 22, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Greg, he didn’t say between 300 and 400 ft he said more than three or four hundred feet

  9. Viktor Kuculim on November 22, 2020 at 9:23 pm


  10. David M on November 22, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Great update! Thanks for the state laws!

  11. Freakshop on November 22, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for local info. I am in NE Oklahoma and cannot find any regulations on state parks in print. I understand the desire for a peaceful retreat, but many of the parks in my area have spaces designated for off road enthusiasts and those aren’t exactly quiet or peaceful. Being able to document these activities just like anyone else with a camera shouldn’t be restricted, IMO.

  12. Ed Ruttledge on November 22, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    "Flat out lied to the kid …" This would be in keeping with the Trump administration. Do not forget the FAA is a subcomponent of the Department of Transportation and the Secretary of Transportation is Elaine Chao who "just happens" to be the spouse of Mitch McConnell.

  13. Dylan Verhoef on November 22, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    It kind of seems like he was implying that the races and freestyle events (ie closed circuit) taking place at (school – not national) football fields and/or indoors would not be required to have remote id modules. Then he talked about the situations where it would be required such as commercial (business) flights that tend to take place in the 300 to 400 foot range. It all made sense to me in that sense.
    A hobbyist at a race or competition isn’t likely to be going into the altitudes where it’s likely there are other manned or unmanned aircraft and if they are, it’s not likely they’ll be there long (shorter battery life, not a whole lot of course objectives at 400 feet). Where as someone flying for commercial shoots is likely to need to access those altitudes frequently and may stay there for several minutes at a time.

  14. mark guerin on November 22, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    They’re coming out with Evo II Enterprise I wonder what the price is going to be

  15. Flyin' High Photography on November 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Really appreciate all you guys do beyond "the course"! Proud to say I earned my "wings" at Pilot Institute!

  16. David Mascot on November 22, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    How did that Mini take off in DC? Wouldn’t the DJI Fly app restrict take off with geofencing?

  17. Jeffery Hill on November 22, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    Excellent information! I see the confusion continues with the FAA as usual. With that in mind, I just remembered that I need to renew my Part 107 license. Lol

  18. Sergey Simakov on November 22, 2020 at 9:39 pm


  19. Dick Stevens on November 22, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Good information Thank you

  20. Ja L Pa on November 22, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    The young man is right… VLOS.. I’m not flying above that 300-400 feet level…I doubt anyone can see a drone at that level..! FRIA’s won’t be around very long, they’re gonna phase them out…! And I try NOT to buy chyna stuff..!

  21. Tecgee Tech on November 22, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Greg, Why can’t the fAA require remote id at 200′ or above. The technology that is on these drone now a days and in the future, I would say, it is possible to have the drone activate the remote id when it hits that 200′ mark.

  22. Marty Genska on November 22, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Best one yet!

  23. Jet Martin on November 22, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Re: the Mini 2 and adding accessories, it is my understanding that the Mini 2 actually only ways 237grams (per multiple reviewers that have weighed it). So if it in fact weighs only 237g you would have 12grams to work with for accessories before you are over the limit (e.g., a lume cube beacon light weights 10g). Any chance you could you weigh your Mini 2 and confirm the actual weight?

  24. David S on November 22, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    He said, remote ID will be required for those in "broader scale applications, business applications for things that are at higher altitude, more than 300 or 400 feet, at a distance, maybe still within line of sight, but not in the kind of environment you are talking about that’s more of a closed circuit".

    Translation:  What he said is that football fields, or any close circuit designated for recreational activity flying, emphasis on "designated areas", will not require a remote ID; however, those flying at higher altitudes, more than 300 or 400 feet that could still be within line of sight will require remote ID – suggesting that remote id will not be required if flying below 300 feet. However, this was not specific; his wording suggests a high probability that such may be the case – he was not specific as he aimed to answer the question of remote id within the context of close circuits or drone racing and recreational model aircraft activities, in my opinion.  However, consider that model airplane recreational flying requires higher than 100 feet altitudes but not above 300 feet, for the most part. The regulation for remote ID may be taking in account designated recreational areas for flying, thus careful in making remote id requirements for flying at or above 300 feet but not below 300 ft – let us hope that they will not make it only for designated flying recreational areas.  This is something that was not clear because he was answering the specific question from the kid; I wish someone could have asked – will remote id be required when flying for recreation outside of a designated area (provided it is not an FAA air controled area) and at or below 300 feet? And if no, will it be required when flying under part 107 and under the same circumstances? But, of course, if you register a drone under part 107, you will still need to have it equipped with remote id.

    This is my take on this – we’ll soon know for sure.

  25. Mike Kinney on November 22, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Allright no remote ID unless your over 400 feet!! Yea, thats all I heard.
    😅😅 just kidding", I wish that was the case., maybe they made changes to the proposal, I hope.

  26. Chris Jacques on November 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    "Hold my beer" omg…. laughing so hard right now.

  27. bigdatapimp on November 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Mr Dickson didn’t confuse anything. He said the rule is already made and told Kaden to go to a FRIA or go home. I was watching the stream live. People are making this confusing by trying to put words in Mr Dicksons mouth. He said "the remote ID rule includes areas that are outside that are, like, for model airplanes or recreational drones." The rest of what he said was just rambling nonsense. Stop getting it twisted. Remote ID is absolutely still killing the hobby.

  28. learning to fly on November 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Almost sounds like under certain height not required transmitter

  29. Dion Roman on November 22, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    You stated in the video it’s 3 years not 36 months. I checked my expiration date and it’s actually 36 months for myself. IE I registered in June 19 2020 and it expires June 19 2023.

  30. Johnny J on November 22, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Greg, good report. I really like the wiki idea, let’s hope we can find enough information to add and make it valuable.

  31. Mike Stone on November 22, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Another idiot flying a drone where he’s not suppose to be, great, just what we need. The FAA will use this as another excuse why they need stricter regulations for drones.

  32. Elliot Huh? on November 22, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    All this regulation for a piece of flying plastic. I saw that video of the phantom hitting the wing. Looks like they launched it at the wing at like 500 mph to make that hole. And aimed it perfectly. The mini looks like it was regulated to 2 feet off the ground in Washington DC.

  33. Allen Tweed on November 22, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Well done… As usual!

  34. Just Shoot Light on November 22, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Ok, here’s the thing, SCREW the FAA…they about to get slapped with more lawsuits than anyone can imagine…I’m a part 107 pilot, but their overreach is getting to be WAY to much.

    Anyways, bet there’s a bunch of unlocked mavic’s out there as soon as this becomes a thing….

  35. James Caron on November 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    That explanation of the proposed NPRM was as clear as fog.

  36. Daniel Woodward on November 22, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    It sounded like he was saying altitudes above 300 to 400 feet would require Remote ID thus implying that below 400 feet would not require Remote ID. I think he’s more confused than everyone else. Thanks Greg!

  37. Duck Landes on November 22, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    I just checked my FAA registration, which was issued 12/21/2015, it expires on 12/12/2023. — My take on what Steve Dickson said is.. first off he’s a bureaucrat and really knows little to nothing about UAV’s and drones. He spent most of his time talking about himself. Like a true bureaucrat he never did actually answer the kids question. Just kept talking off topic and in circles. As far as Remote ID what I got from his rambling is it won’t be required if you fly at AMA fields. If you can only fly at AMA fields that pretty much kills the hobby for me. The closest field is 20+ miles. I’m disabled and don’t drive. I checked the AMA database and none of their fields within 200 miles of me specifically state that they allow drones or quadcopters. And I’m not willing to pay them $65 / year (with senior discount). I live 15 miles from the nearest town and small airport. If I can’t fly in my 1/4 mile square back yard then I’ll quit flying drones, and spend my money on RC rock crawlers instead.

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