Drone Rules 2021 – Some of These Might Make You Quit the Hobby!

Drone Rules 2021 – Some of These Might Make You Quit the Hobby!

Drone rules and regulations are so difficult to navigate. Are there actually good reasons for having them?

Timestamps:
0:00: Intro
2:45: Why 400 AGL Max?
4:29: Why Visual Line of Sight?
8:03: Flying Over People?
10:09: Flying in National Parks?
13:37: Why Register My Drone?

All the drone and camera gear I use to create and manage 51 Drones: https://kit.co/the51drones/51-drones-youtube-kit

For info on flying over people and at night: https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=25980

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50 Comments

  1. vaughnbay on July 4, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    10:43 "…the FAA is the only…" Russ, read 15 CFR 992.152; NOAA also regulates airspace. Or more accurately prohibits flight in specific airspace. The US NAS is complex, get it right! As a matter of fact, go violate a bird sanctuary with anything that flies and you will think that the FAA is Santa Claus.

  2. vaughnbay on July 4, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Come on Russ, there’s all kinds of manned aircraft flying below 500 feet. Helicopters, dusters, powerline work, pipeline inspection, float planes, aerobatic pratice boxes, demonstration flying, military low level routes, sky crains, logging, foot launched, gliders, lighter than air, SAR….the list goes on and on. You aren’t stupid, the point is NOT traffic separtation so that drones have a place to fly, the entire point is that drones are unmanned and they have NO priority over manned aircraft what so ever. And that is perfectly logical. RECREATIONAL drone flying should have been limited to airparks like the AMA boys did for years. But manufacturer money talks on K street. "For hire" usage is an entirely different subject. Business operations normally follow the rules. Go look up "Dustin Dunnell" on youtube. Go back through his vids. With some of the sh$t that he pull he should be in jail as well as fined, along with many others.

  3. Isaac Wolf on July 4, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    After a rabbit hole of confusing and dividing drone law videos that I watched before this I was confused and politicized. However, when you said "you can get a commercial permit for some of these areas if you just talk to people", I then snapped back to reality and realized libertarians exist, and are probably in the drone hobby being lobbyists for completely unrestricted flights without consequences to any pilot.

    Just because you can legally drone in a state park without a permit or permission doesn’t mean you have to be a d**k about being in the right when they hit you with all those fines for disturbing the life/integrity of the area.

    Thank you for the level headed "devil’s advocate" approach to discussing these things! Some takes from others really get the ol’ American rage going and it ain’t good for the blood pressure XD

  4. Kris W on July 4, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    I was in a hobby shop today and I can tell by their Attitude that this hobbies pretty much done. Back a few years ago used to be packed with people but now it’s pretty much empty especially the most recent times, pretty sad. People are Being prosecuted for just crashing their RC in a field. Our government is no longer the same, the patriot act really done us good. We’re now losing our freedom of speech, kind of makes you wonder what’s next.

  5. Craig Heartwell on July 4, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    all of those reasons for VLOS don’t explain why binoculars are not also sufficient… it’s like telling a sniper that he cannot use a scope for accurate spotting. VLOS should include reasonable visual enhancement. and 70mph?!? where do you live?

  6. Ronan on July 4, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Currently doing course for my license in Australia. 5% of the course would relate to actually flying a drone.
    Ridiculous and another example of government overreach

  7. Chris Donohue on July 4, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    ye guys in the US had better rules for a long time then here in europe, alot, alot of rules.

  8. Jason Edmundson on July 4, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    Can I fly in the country in my neighborhood!! Fly over my neighbors houses?? I live in North Carolina

  9. Hubsan RC Productions on July 4, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Don’t blame it on the Federal Government, blame the idiots who flew their drones over airports where they shouldn’t be flying that is what started this crap in the first place.

  10. Boring Drone Dude on July 4, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve heard you can TRANSITION fly over people or cars. You cannot hover. ???

  11. mikecruz101 on July 4, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    So can I just like have a drone and want to fly it for fun in a open Area ?

  12. av8rshane on July 4, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Why do we have so many rules , because in our country and most others we make laws for the stupid people that have no sense instead of just punishing the stupid people. I started flying FPV in the early years when you had to put the system together yourself and not just go to Best Buy and buy a drone and pull out of the box and be flying it in 15 min. The videos started popping up on YouTube of people doing stupid stuff and I knew the rules were on their way.

  13. Joshua C. on July 4, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    As someone preparing to return to the drone hobby after a few years on the ground, thank you for this upload.
    It’s always important to stay up to date on the rules!
    …. also thanks for the reminder, I need to register my racing drone before I fly again.
    As a footnote, some drones may require additional paperwork for you to be entirely legal.
    For example, while I’m not up to date on the technology anymore, older high performance hobby grade racing drones may be equipped with an FPV system that transmits on *Amateur Radio* bands.
    It is not legal for you to even power such a drone up unless you have an appropriate amateur radio license, and then you are also bound to the myriad rules of said license, such as proper identification and non-commercial use.
    That said, we could always use some more hobby crossover, and I for one would readily welcome fellow drone enthusiasts to fly on the electromagnetic airways as well as the physical ones!

  14. Ballistic1953 on July 4, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    What are the companies going to do with their drone deliveries when you have to maintain line of sight

  15. MrCubflyer on July 4, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Just wish the FAA would leave the airplane guys alone but no they need to include everyone, I’m cutting out most of my flying and started racing boats. I don’t know how to judge if I’m at or above 400 feet.so I’m not getting in trouble for going over and the only way I know to do that is fly indoors or not fly.Its a shame to because we have been flying safely for many many years at the flying field.

  16. Paul Harris on July 4, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Drone regulations are very simp!e, at least that’s the argument given on some of the drone forums I visit. The fact is they are not simple and the evidence of that are the misinterpretations I see posted. In my opinion if you want to fly for commercial purposes (results in compensation to you or anyone else) you should be required to get your 107. If you’re strictly flying for pleasure no flight over people or moving vehicles, no flight within five miles of an airport, no flight above 400 feet and give way to all manned aircraft. Those relatively simple rules should alleviate 99% of the safety concerns.

  17. Rimas Meleshyus on July 4, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Very important following by rules strictly and regulations. Thanks for nice video .

  18. Don Dupuis on July 4, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    People need to quit whining., over 250 g or not 5 bucks to register your drone., take trust course it’s free. So in 45 mins and you all legal, I t will take you more time to learn how to laugh your new Drone. Guys girls your an hour out from having some fun flying. Do you challenge how long football field is, no you justexcept it and use the field. Very easy to have fun and follow a few simple rules. I know a kid the got a prop in the eye, because someone blue of the rules, now he will suffer all his life. Follow the rules and don’t hurt your self or other.

  19. 小笼包 on July 4, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    Now I understand why nobody replied to me and I asked them if they had to get any documents to fly their drones over tall buildings.

  20. Stan Augustyniewicz on July 4, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    I can track any civil or commercial manned AC by searching the tail number.

  21. Penultimate Name on July 4, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    The crop duster scenario brings up a thought. If that is happening I would expect it to be on private property. If flying on that property one would need permission. Then you would know as well as the pilot when you had permission to fly.

  22. ivaniuk123 on July 4, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    So anything below 1200 ft AGL unless otherwise indicated is class G airspace meaning that it isn’t controlled. Aircraft can fly in class G airspace meaning that they can fly as low as they want unless they are over populated areas or people and then you need to be 500 ft above them.

  23. Аndrew B on July 4, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Sorry but you sound too much like an apologist for many of these ridiculous rules.

  24. B. Bakker on July 4, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    I fly also in general aviation and I can tell you that your pilot friend is wrong. And if there is a crop duster in the area, I can imagine there would be at least a NOTAM of even a TRA. but I doubt that most drone pilots look at Notams.

  25. Gregory Loflin on July 4, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    What about FPV?

  26. 51 Drones on July 4, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    I should clarify something I state in the video about 400 AGL, because some people are losing their minds about my misstatement. 400AGL means 400 feet above the ground, not 400 feet above your launch point as I state in the video. So wherever you are, the limit is 400 feet above the ground at that point. I apologize for this egregious mistake. I should be whipped with a wet noodle. I will say this – if you are flying at 400 feet above your launch point, and you fly over a ditch that is 500 horizontal feet away, putting your drone at 450 feet AGL, guess what . . . do you really think that is a major issue? Just saying. Use common sense. If you launch from the edge of a canyon that is 1000 feet deep, you are technically breaking the law if you fly over the canyon until you drop down to -600 feet on your screen. But how do you know how deep that canyon is? You don’t. Again, it’s about common sense. Until drones have altimeters on them, just be sensible. So for those of you on Mavicpilots.com losing your mind over this tiny statement, I’m sorry.

  27. 1BGFAN1 on July 4, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    There is a serious error in this video. The restriction to fly below 400’ AGL is NOT measured from where the drone was launched but rather where the drone is flying.

  28. Stan Augustyniewicz on July 4, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Your right. These rules prohibit entry into the hobby. Thanks for talking me out of it and saving me time, frustration and money.

  29. John Blythe on July 4, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    I have been flying r/c models for over 40 years the registration was brought in because drones were easy to fly "gps-altitude hold" people were so silly with them so basically they messed it up for everyone now there is a test it will unfortunately put lots of people off except the regular model builders !!! i saved for years to buy the dji inspire for photographic work and the 4k camera if people had used their heads none of this would have been nessacary "you fly away from people + built up places " SIMPLE

  30. Perry Pelican on July 4, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    I am in canada and recently bought a mini 2. I have prop guards to use indoors to learn and get some muscle memory for the controls. I also have legs to keep it higher when it lands. The legs alone don’t take the weight over the 250 gram limit. I am wondering how a drone cop would check the weight. Do you know anyone who was weight checked? If they actually weigh it then we can’t get away with any extra addons. But I am hoping they check from the internet to find out the weight, in which case I will not get fined for a few extra grams for something like a gimbal/camera protector or even prop guards.
    About manned aircraft. Drones should give off a signal easy to monitor so any aircraft could know if a drone was in the vicinity. I guess if the drone has gps then it could continuously send a signal of its position. Very Easy to do.

  31. Rome on July 4, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Honestly I don’t believe a lot of the reasons behind the new drone laws are right. We now have MORE rules and regulations on DRONES than we do on GUNS. Furthermore I feel like the 100mph speed rule as well as the height limit for quadcopter’s creates an obstruction for technological advancements in the future. How are we supposed to improve on our equipment and push the boundaries of possibilities if we’re limited by what we’re even allowed to do? I believe pushing boundaries of anything comes natural to us as human beings, because becoming better or improving on something is in our blood. It’s quite literally hardwired in our brains to want to go faster, fly higher, become better, Just like how cars improved overtime and now we have super cars hitting near 300mph, or how iron man figured out the icing problem and improved on his suits overtime. But now quadcopter technology will always remain in the past because the FAA wants so called safety, which is redundant in the first place because quadcopters have never killed anyone or taken another plane down in its history on earth so far. That’s why these rules are ridiculous!

  32. Palmer T. Knoehdahl on July 4, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    I imagine that nasty little evil shit a few doors down getting a drone as a present and then I realize why so many laws and regulations exist.

  33. James Perdue on July 4, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    What’s interesting to me after reading most of the 695 comments is that the bad citizens commenting here that they have no intention of playing by anyone’s rules are the main people that have caused the need for rules. Those that say they know what’s safe and don’t need anyone telling them are just plain ignorant. Unfortunately, these same people are driving cars on the highway too.

  34. Will Stearns on July 4, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    After seeing at the hoops you need to jump threw just to even inspect your gutters……because it would save you money therefore you are making money and need a commercial license….what is intent???

  35. Peter Winnett on July 4, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    The very reason for all these rules is to make people give up the Hobby. The same thing happened with CB Radio in the 80s, it worked everyone gave it up…

  36. WindJammer on July 4, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    You have misinterpreted part 91.119 C. It states a minimum altitude of 500 feet except over water or sparsely populated areas. In those two situations a distance of 500 feet must be maintained from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure. Thus, in a sparsely (rural) populated area or over water, a manned aircraft may fly lower than 500 feet as long as the 500 foot distance is maintained from the aforementioned objects/people. Your pilot friend was incorrect in his broad statement, and you are incorrect in your statement regarding rural situations. That said, any instructor will tell you that it is a REALLY bad idea to fly lower than 500 over any surface regardless of what is allowed under the FAR’s and can be construed as hazardous flying. Particularly if an accident occurs such as flying your Cessna into a drone or goose and crashing.

  37. Cubanos Por La Libertad Religiosa on July 4, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    No worth it. I quit. Too many rules and regulations and besides is also too expensive ….. for what? To take pictures of me in the woods and empty parking lots ? …. Meh ….

  38. Drone2theBone on July 4, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    I registered my Mini 2 because after I attach my propeller guards, the takeoff weight exceeds 249 grams. A cop with a scale for weighing drugs could cause problems.

  39. Graymenn 6754 on July 4, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    so when are we going to make birds follow all these rules?

  40. Boyd Appraisal Svc on July 4, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    As with anything like this bureaucratic B/S……asking for forgiveness is ALWAYS better than asking for permission. I will do as I please until confronted. It is like registering a pet, or getting a fishing license…..not high on my priority list. Fly your drone where you want, but have respect for others.

  41. Dan Russell on July 4, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    I invested $1200 in a very good drone and followed all the rules at the time to be very safe. Then they come out with you must call anyone with a crop dusting business to get their permission which there were 15 around my area and none would take my calls then the FAA wanted money for everything so they could control everything ! And if there ever was an infraction it could cost yo $10,00 to $100,000 . It became nothing but a money pit for the benefit of the FAA . They weren’t getting their piece of the pie so they made all this crap up . I flew for fun , on my 200 acre farm and the FAA made it NOT fun so I peeled my registration numbers off and just gave my drone to a guy I didn’t even know and said good luck !!

  42. Florida Wildlife on July 4, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    Helicopters can fly at 500 AGL. I used to fly in Huntington Bch. and 500 AGL unless over the ocean it what it used to be for heli’s.

  43. Steve The Pirate on July 4, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    The FAA honestly does appear to like throwing out arbitrary rules, but some of them are good.

  44. ZenTeT on July 4, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    thanks for all the info

  45. Mark Wyman on July 4, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Next they will demand regs for flying kites, or climbing trees.

  46. Eric Dow on July 4, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Light Houses. Good example. I talked to the park manager for a lighthouse in the UP and they not only gave me permission, but got with me to gather my video for production on their web site. So, ask first is a GREAT rule.

  47. meTimetraveler on July 4, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    after WWI people bought surplus biplanes and flew all around the USA w/o a license.

  48. Erik Arellano on July 4, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    I live across the highway from a skydiving place in the country and we have a ton of air traffic around my place and yes I do fly my drone here. And I have to be acutely aware of any aircraft so I do keep my ears open and if I notice any aircraft in the area I lower my drones altitude significantly

  49. Mjbb on July 4, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    You were very informative. I’m glad i did everything right. Only flying for 1year but no 107 but dont need one. Thats not my income. Its the best fun I’ve had for awhile. Lolol. Again thanks so much OH. PS. IM FULLY REGISTERED TRUST ALSO. STAY SAFE BROTHER

  50. Slapdat HughJass on July 4, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    As soon as I start caring about how the FAA dictates where & how I’ll fly (which I’m doing very safely now), I’ll let you know.

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