How to fly a drone Anywhere | Where to fly a drone legally Step by Step Tutorial

How do I follow the new FAA Rules, Local Laws AND keep my DRONE from being CONFISCATED, get FINES, TICKETS or even ARRESTED by Police or FAA? How do I fly a drone legally in New York City and follow drone rules? If you’re asking what are the NEW drone regulations, what are the new FAA rules for hobbyists, what are the local drone laws, how do I find them, where can I fly my drone near me or how do I find out where to fly a drone, even near an airport controlled airspace in Los Angeles?… you’re not alone. I receive these questions often on the Alien Drones channel and I think it’s because no one really wants to believe it is such a pain in the neck to truly know where and how to fly legally in the US, and spoiler alert, simply opening up B4Ufly or Airmap and see that it shows “good to go” doesn’t cut it. Nothing exists that brings the federal, state and local rules together in one place, AND it is constantly moving, so in all fairness this ain’t easy! So ignorance is bliss then, right? Secondly, most people simply aren’t willing to put in the kind of effort that is currently required to get a valid answer on where it is legal to fly a drone anywhere in the United States simply for a hobby. Pecking at an app for 30 seconds should be good enough, right? Well, tell that to the officer when he shows up, see how that works for ya! Finding a legal spot locally for that DJI is IMPORTANT as well as the FAA airspace rules so here’s my guide on how I locate a spot that considers most everything before flying in the U.S.. A recent trip I planed to an overly restrictive California proved both challenging and informative on how not only to do this in San Clemente, California but gave me a blueprint on how I approach flying new areas. Who knew it would be so dang hard? I’ll do my best to share knowledge here but I need your comments to continue honing this in for the benefit of the drone community. What say you? Drop your tidbits below… As a side note, as I’m in the U.S. this covers this area so apologies to those in other countries. Pilots outside the US certainly can benefit immensely from the same due diligence process but obviously the details may be different for you in different countries. Wish I could help but hey, I’ve got my own problems here, right? LOL!

Note: There was no flight over people during this flight (Duh). How’s he do that? 😎 Wide angle lenses are too easy to zoom and shift… Ha! Lastly, thank you to my eagle-eye VO for keeping things in sight!!

Good Flying!

Some documents mentioned here:
HR 302: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/302/text/eah
FAA Authority Release Doc: https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=22938
FAA Site: https://www.faa.gov/uas/
FAA DroneZone: https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/
Recreational Flier rules: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
Original text of regulation: https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-10169
UAS Maps and Data System: https://udds-faa.opendata.arcgis.com
FAA LAANC System: https://www.faa.gov/uas/programs_partnerships/data_exchange/
FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions site: https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html
Registering your drone: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/register_drone/
State Park Entry points: https://csparks.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=964f042b0f7345919cf471b2223c767c

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#dronerules #faa

50 Comments

  1. PISQUE1969 Francis on March 10, 2021 at 12:08 am

    what if they say that control "includes", the beaming of radio waves, which go 360 degrees and up and down, as such if you are flying east, your beam is radiating west, or south, or north, depending on how a confused BUREAUCRAT, or police officer may be thinking that day ….

  2. The SkyButler on March 10, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Hi Alien. πŸ™‚ A little late to this Comment session, but I just wanted to add a couple thoughts. First of all, great job laying out your process. I’ve gone thru this same flow a few times now when flying out of state, out of the area and in the next town over. It’s what you have to do, in order to fly legally in the U.S. at the moment.

    My gripe with it (the regulations, not your video), is this:
    1) the search process can be different each time, and there’s no consistency between how States, Cities, and local Municipalities document and lay out their information and laws. For people like you and me (and many others commenting), we want to, and are trying to do the right thing but this inconsistency can make it difficult and nearly impossible to know that you’ve actually found ALL the possible laws that might affect your flight. We all need to advocate for consistency to make this work efficiently.

    2) because of the inconsistency and difficulty, I think people often give up the search for all applicable laws and just go for it. Part 107 certified or not. Also, think about how many people own a drone and have NO IDEA about any of this. I’ve met people just like that. I’ve heard people say "the FFA" or "the FDA" and things like that. Or even that "this is just a toy. I don’t have to look up laws to use my toy." So, the part that concerns me a bit is to think about the situation where you or I do all the due diligence that we can and we miss something because of the challenges mentioned, and we inadvertently break a law/ordinance, etc., but because we are "Part 107 Certified Pilots" we get reprimanded and maybe lose our Certificate, whereas the person unaware/ignorant to everything has a means to get out of any issue, just because they didn’t know. And they don’t have a Certificate so who cares? I haven’t seen this happen (yet), but it is a concern of mine. Again, advocacy for consistency in how we can get the information needed will help all of us. Even those who don’t know they need help.

    So, as you mentioned, all those reading this should take the action to advocate for ease and consistency in drone laws, at least across our nation.

    Cheers!

  3. Duulo on March 10, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I got three 4 minute unskippable ads on this video. Garbage channel

  4. FilmVideos on March 10, 2021 at 12:15 am

    I am glad you were able to fly the drone however; it’s amazing that you have to do more work and deal with stress of the possible encounters LEO to justify a hobby. It really bothers me that there are more rules to prohibit you from flying than to allow you to fly. This is why I love flying to other countries where they don’t have so many rules and lots of country side places to fly a drone without being bothered. Good job on the video!

  5. Igziabeher on March 10, 2021 at 12:17 am

    I have been flying remote controlled helicopters and model airplanes since the 1980s. I remember the excitement of the first time we strapped a camcorder to the bottom of my Magic 80 helicopter and got some video that you could hardly watch because the vibrations, but it was fun. I started flying a drone about 10 years ago but now I am ready to give all of it up because it is no longer fun. Look at how many hoops you had to jump through to get a shot. My local city has banned the operation of the controls of a drone anywhere in the city limits, including all the beaches and wildlife areas. I must drive at least 30-50 miles to use my drone, and while I have the FAA rules on my side, that won’t stop a cop, or a neighbor, or some ignorant idiot from harassing me. Time to find a new hobby.

  6. Michael Carrico on March 10, 2021 at 12:17 am

    of course San Clemente is so restrictive,that part of Orange County is rife with rich Trumpublicans who believe that They are the only ones with Rights

  7. Phoenix Behemoth on March 10, 2021 at 12:17 am

    sometime pre-emptively contacting local police to explain what doing can solve your headaches πŸ™‚

  8. Zig Zag on March 10, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Thanks for this. I just passed the 107 test today but I know that now the real work begins. This video was really helpful. And thank you for having real music at the end ;-).

  9. Tom Stokes on March 10, 2021 at 12:22 am

    This is among the most helpful, informative, and practical presentations you will find on the topic of drone regulations and flight laws. Well done, Kieth. Thank you!

  10. bob/lego/gamer on March 10, 2021 at 12:23 am

    what age do you have to be to fly a drone that weights under 250 grams like the dji mini 2

  11. Rob Frasier on March 10, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Excellent info. Being new to drones this was very helpful. Especially living near San Clemente😜

  12. Paul Geyer on March 10, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Doubt it will happen but ACLU needs ti be involved. Example is you can not fly drones over groups of people, yet at professional events I see drones over the stadiums and the fans all the ti me to video action on the field. "Exemptions" are total BS as it should be the same law for all. Either no one flys over people or all can fly over people.

  13. None of your Business on March 10, 2021 at 12:24 am

    I also want to add and say thank you for making this video. Definitely tops all of the other drone videos for this reason alone. Thanks for showing us how to do all of this. The video wasn’t too long or too short, straight to the point and you also included everything on the screen for us to follow along πŸ™‚ πŸ‘

  14. Jay Marroquin on March 10, 2021 at 12:25 am

    I was just about to post "27 minutes and no damn footage of the said pier!" but yay πŸ˜ƒ, footage of said pier.

  15. Kris K on March 10, 2021 at 12:27 am

    Fly App says non restricted . Good enough

  16. Robert Thompson on March 10, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Thanks. Well done!

  17. J Bennett on March 10, 2021 at 12:29 am

    "Fly it like you stole it."

    This reminds me of some advice I got long ago about riding a motorcycle. "Ride it like you’re invisible." In other words, don’t rely on other drivers seeing you. Just assume they can’t. That mindset makes you safer.

    "Fly it like you stole it" to me means don’t attract unwanted attention, especially from cops.

  18. Chris Smith on March 10, 2021 at 12:29 am

    S

  19. Gnarls on March 10, 2021 at 12:29 am

    17:45 Just before this you said cities can’t decide where you can fly, only the FAA can.

  20. syousef on March 10, 2021 at 12:31 am

    …and if your drone crashes or someone shoots it down near the pier you are still violating the local ordinance. They’ve criminalized drone flying by stealth, and unfortunately not just in the US.

  21. Bob C. on March 10, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Great strategy to follow. I was too interested in flying my new drone (low cost HolyStone) near the coast of San Clemente, and I was trying to determine if an overlook and trail near PCH was considered private property if it was near a sub-division community. I too looked at the San Clemente No Fly Zone map, and it was not shown as a No Fly Zone, so I did take my drone there. No one bothered me, and I was in and out within 20 minutes. My concern is whether or not sub-division parks or overlooks are considered private property or city property since they seem to be open to the public (not behind gates), that it may be ok to fly as long as not within 25 feet of people. What’s your thoughts on that?

  22. decur8 on March 10, 2021 at 12:34 am

    You could have rented a boat, pushed out a short distance and launched from there.

  23. Emmett R on March 10, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Hello Keith,
    thank you for your time and information!

  24. JuicyFruityify on March 10, 2021 at 12:34 am

    This is excellent. Researching the FAA and local ordinances really is necessary.

  25. AllProG on March 10, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Great info…. Im new to droning, have the mavic zoom 2.Ive gotten it up about 5 times now in local parks and such and have not been harrassed at all just curious dads with their kids coming up and saying how cool it is ect. NOW that ive gotten more comfortable with it ive been thinking about getting my license (107). Unfortunately the more and more ive been doing research on the rules and restrictions I must say its kind of turning me off to the hobby. If the potential fines werent enough now they are initiating a user ID thing where ANYONE can track you. … RIght now i think im going to stay a hobbyist because i can night fly and post to social media and youtube videos as long as im not monetizing. My Question is Aside from monetizing is there ANY BENEFIT to me getting my 107?

  26. Dan Bowie on March 10, 2021 at 12:37 am

    Well done sir! I always do research about a new area to me. Saves me a lot of headaches.

  27. I JUST WANNA FLY DJI DRONES on March 10, 2021 at 12:38 am

    45,000 planes fly across people houses daily etc but they afraid of a drone.

  28. Cinema1920x1080 on March 10, 2021 at 12:38 am

    17:03 "purposely deceitful" – you got that right, makes it easier for them to deter or falsely incriminate legal activity

  29. Gnarls on March 10, 2021 at 12:40 am

    So, are you saying San Clemente has no legal right to say don’t fly over the pier but try to anyway. And if you get a ticket, you basically have to go to court to overturn their illegal law?

  30. Dont ask on March 10, 2021 at 12:44 am

    Damn hearing the crackel of static over a police radio, and "we got em" is Beautiful.
    So no flying a drone from a hot air balloon πŸ‘

  31. Indpendent01 on March 10, 2021 at 12:47 am

    12:35 Alien laptop showing its age lol

  32. Galan Fink on March 10, 2021 at 12:47 am

    "Fly it like you stole it". Generally, I do try to minimize my time spent at a location and do take off and land somewhat remotely but, as you mentioned, drones (and pilots wearing bright green vests as warnings) tend to bring some attention to themselves.
    While piloting, I avoid conversations and have a handout to give the curious something to read while I’m working and paying attention to my $1600 ‘toy’.
    The brochure first reminds them that it is a felony to interfere with a pilot during flight.
    It then goes on to providing them with contact information for authorities who can address their concerns.
    SOMETIMES that is sufficient.
    Great and informative video,… thank you.

  33. HUSSER on March 10, 2021 at 12:48 am

    Hopefully this isn’t too old I hope you can review my comment and give me some feedback. I was recently flying near the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa Oklahoma on the River Bank in between the buildings of River Spirit there is a city irrigation wash out I was down in that area filming and flying my drone as I was getting used to it and was harassed by their security guards and then further harassed by a tribal police officer who tried to make all types of outrageous claims and at the time I was not as informed as I am now from watching your video I also have registered my mavic Pro now I intend to go back because I have a problem with people trampling my civil liberties just because they don’t like what I do I would like to go back and be prepared but I am having a very hard time finding anything about whether or not the path that runs directly west of River Spirit Casino is city property or river Spirits property and if so being River Spirit property what are the tribe that regulates that restrictions the officer that was harassing me was from the Creek Nation tribe….the video ihave is stunning and I want to further film the area during sunrise sunset…

  34. E JS on March 10, 2021 at 12:51 am

    Why the thumbs down? Undoubtedly a good video of thorough information!

  35. No Name on March 10, 2021 at 12:52 am

    your advise hurts my head. I just received a drone because Id love to fly. I simply cant afford that lifestyle. This was the second best to what I could do. But with all these rules and regulations, it makes me wanna walk away! I cant afford to get a citation, go to jail, have my drown taken away… its so crazy how something so honest could be used so nasty! I understand both sides of the argument. I myself, simply wish I could see and be in places outside my grasp. like, whats behind that hill? Whats inside the side of that mountain?….
    thank you for your video

  36. dan yeoman on March 10, 2021 at 12:52 am

    To much! Not worth the effort to buy a drone. Thank you for making that clear,,,,,,,,,,

  37. Sensatious Hiatus on March 10, 2021 at 12:53 am

    Excellent video…I just got my first drone and I’m hoping to be as diligent a flier as you are…thanks again!

  38. John Williams on March 10, 2021 at 12:54 am

    WOW !! Can’t believe all the restrictions. Like you said, "They" are trying to regulate the hell out of Drone Flying in hopes you’ll find it too cumbersome to Fly anymore.

  39. Ken Jones on March 10, 2021 at 12:56 am

    I guess a third of the joy of flying is the research and permissions process. This video is sobering.

  40. wildcelticrose on March 10, 2021 at 12:57 am

    This is helpful, thank you.

  41. soty888 on March 10, 2021 at 12:58 am

    Still relevant. Thanks for the #bonusTip

  42. KENT ROBINSON on March 10, 2021 at 12:58 am

    *FAA CONTROLS DRONES…THE POLICE DON’T WORK FOR THE FAA*

  43. Felix Ruiz on March 10, 2021 at 1:00 am

    I love this video !! I’m a safe flyer and follow the rules. your video explain everything i needed to know now. I like what u said "fly it like u stole it" . Me I film what need and get out of there!!!! GREAT JOB keep up with vids cause these new rules coming we need people like u explaining to US.

  44. PISQUE1969 Francis on March 10, 2021 at 1:00 am

    If the governments could make all consumer drones illegal, they would … maybe soon they will find a way …

  45. None of your Business on March 10, 2021 at 1:01 am

    How do you make sure you are not flying over people or cars while landing in that part of the beach, where you were allowed? Seems impossible. There’s always people around.

  46. PotatoPilot16 on March 10, 2021 at 1:03 am

    Thank you so much this is a LIFESAVER!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Mario Hennenberger on March 10, 2021 at 1:03 am

    best advice ever in the last minute of the video!
    i always do that. also try to keep a low profile, i don;t really wanna be "the drone guy" on an airport or whatever., just asking for trouble.
    keep the Ego at home, make some nice records and move on.

  48. OB-1 on March 10, 2021 at 1:04 am

    Question:
    Regards with local governments Laws "Opperating Drone Controller on Private Property" could someone opperate the controller sitting on the hood, trunk or pickup bed of their privately owned vehicle parked in/at a parking area?

    Vehicle owners already have their Private Property (Registered Vehicle) to Leagally occupie public & private roadways & parking facilities. And would a Drone opperator be able to take off/land from their own Private Property (Registered Vehicle)?

  49. Matt Churchill on March 10, 2021 at 1:04 am

    I don’t even own a drone (yet) and I watched this entire video. You made it interesting as well as educational. Thank you.

  50. Stan Youngers on March 10, 2021 at 1:05 am

    Way too many rules for me. I was thinking about getting me a drone, but after watching this, not anymore.

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