New Drone Flier Questions Answered – The Rules

The interest in camera drones has exploded over the last few years with a lot of new fliers joining the hobby. We get tons of questions every week from fliers all over the world and I wanted to put together a series of clips answering those questions on the channel so others could benefit from them. In this first clip in this series I cover the rules for flying in the United States that hobbyist fliers should follow. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything I’ve covered in the clip and be sure to stay tuned for the next clip in the series.

Official FAA rules for hobbyist fliers –
Registration page for drones –

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  1. Colin Watkins on December 26, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    why dont thay enforce registration on drone flying,that way we can eliminate the goof flyers.

  2. Bob H on December 26, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    If you want save some time start at 6:00. The beginning is unnecessary.

  3. D Hansel on December 26, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    Ever get your drone hung up in a tree. I have once and I remembered I had my 24′ fiber glass telescoping ‘Fish Stick".
    They normally run about $ 230 but I found them at Amazon for far less price.
    This 24′ pole collapses down to about 5 feet. It’s really sturdy and has a metal hook on the end.

  4. Hugh Smitham on December 26, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you.

  5. Derrick Thomas on December 26, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Great advice. I’m from Canada and still liked your video as those rules apply here as well PLUS some😔

  6. Norman Penick on December 26, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks for another great video!!!

  7. Burt Wonderstone on December 26, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    I live just on the edge of a class C airport, but technically I’m still within the 5 mile radius according to the maps. I routinely fly my Phantom 4 and Mavic Mini in the back yard and open fields behind me without going through the approval process. I never fly over 400 feet and I know the air traffic patterns at the airport are far from me. I fly for the fun of it in my back yard, but don’t want to go through the hassle of seeking approval for flying for fun around my house. Am I seriously in danger of getting fined? Is my drone (which is registered and tagged) able to be monitored for these "illegal" and unapproved flight activities? It seems like a bit of overkill in my circumstances.

  8. starlinater10 on December 26, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    I agree 100% Rick. People definitely have to be careful flying drones because they can easily ruin it for the drone flyers that do take it serious and also ruin it for future drone flyers. Great clip Rick! You’re awesome man!

  9. MS REBUILDING on December 26, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    You could get hit by a coconut and GET knockout FUNNY

  10. Drones of York on December 26, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Well done Rick! Truly enjoy your videos.

  11. Moet4u on December 26, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Important topics very well explained. Good job Rick!

  12. Andy Clifft on December 26, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Great topic Rick. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Tierra de Gracia - Viajes y Turismo on December 26, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    13 minutes of wise words and advice, transmitting your experience to young people is very important, good job sir.

  14. Hayden S on December 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Is there an age restriction for flying drones? Do you have to be 16, like with driving a car? or is there no age limit

  15. James Forman on December 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    The biggest "hassle" I’ve encountered was a police officer asking "where is the drone you’re controlling?" I pointed to it & showed him the viewer. He replied "Wow. That’s awesome."

  16. y592w on December 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Is license necessary to fly a drone in the US, such as to fly a DJI Mavic 2?

  17. Greg lawler on December 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you for that informative video. I have shared it in our Australian Mavic Mini group which at present has some 7,000 MM pilots Whilst not all the USA rules apply to the Australian airspace your advice re registration and safely apply equally here in Aus.

  18. Fly Wright Drones on December 26, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Great video Rick, thank you for taking the time to make this video. Very informative a must watch for everybody.

  19. Travels with Yoly on December 26, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    I have trouble understanding how a couple of the guidelines interact with each other. First of all, it’s a given that I am at least 20 miles from the nearest airport or helipad. You just stated that all commercial aviation cannot fly lower than 500 feet. If I am flying at say 250 feet, why do I need to observe visual line of sight ? What are the actual risks under these conditions ?

  20. Patrick Walsh on December 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Rick, this is a very informative episode and I look forward to the next one, especially now that you mention about flying over private property. I did a very stupid thing the other day, I went through an open gate knowing full well I was intruding in someone’s private land. I thought to myself sure why not it’s a long lonely lane and just before I took off a big Land Rover pulled in and an irate woman rolled downs the window and gave me a right rollicking. I deserved it I suppose but I got a bit confrontational and shouted back at her but I gutted it’s what I get for not reading the “private property” sign. I was trying to photograph a rock on the opposite side of the road and the main road had no lay-by our path to take off from and the only place was the apron of the driveway🙂 Still, I stupid after that ordeal 😐😐

  21. Kevin on December 26, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you

  22. James Funk on December 26, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    With the VLOS rule, you literally have to be able to see the drone with your eyes, or you are in violation. I purchased a Mavic Air 2, and quickly realized I could not enjoy the hobby if I can’t fly beyond 500 feet. I didn’t want to feel like a criminal every time I put the drone in the air, so I returned it to the seller. I would get back into the hobby if that rule were changed, but I doubt it ever will be.

  23. eigdom_iuam Iiawah on December 26, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Hi Rick, very informative! Thanks! Have you done a video on the various mapping apps to see where the restricted areas are and where it’s safe to fly? I have heard of Airmap, and I am sure that there are others. Can you comment or do a video on these apps? Thanks again.

  24. Craig Fisher on December 26, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Rick, you are an excellent point man for new as well as existing drone pilots. I’ve been flying drones for over 4 years but enjoy watching you in almost every video you release.

  25. MS REBUILDING on December 26, 2020 at 11:00 pm


  26. Shaheer Burney on December 26, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Got the notification after 19 hours

  27. frutotrela on December 26, 2020 at 11:02 pm


  28. 1k horsepwr on December 26, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Stop a Fly Away. Attitude mode was the safest feature that DJI had implemented into their drone systems with their Phantom line of drones. Attitude mode gave the pilot in command complete control over the drone in the event a fly away would occur. In my opinion, removing Atti mode from the Mavic line up was the biggest mistake that DJI ever made as far as trying to create the safest flight experience possible with these drones. And it seems to me that this was a senseless decision on their part. Fortunately, a hack for the Mavic line of drones has been discovered to implement Atti mode back into the drone. The hack is completely safe, and completely reliable, and I would recommend it to anyone who owns this drone and wants to be a safe and responsible pilot.

  29. nick svaluto on December 26, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Here in a Michigan we these boats that tie off each other and seen videos of the drone flying over these boats and there are people on these boat should they be doing that

  30. Mike Barber on December 26, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Flying a night? I always thought wasn’t allowed but recently saw someone saying it is?

  31. James Aberson on December 26, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Rick, I have a Phantom 4 and a JJRC X-12. Can I fly them at the same time or will they interfere with one another? I’ve been too wary to try.

  32. Kenny Foss on December 26, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    Rick, flying within 5 miles of an airport? You can request to fly using AIRMAP within 5 miles of an airport. I do request because when I fly around my house it is just inside the 5 miles. I do receive permission, but MUST fly no more than 100 feet elevation.

  33. Terry Driedger on December 26, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you Sir. Great info as always!

  34. Jerry T. on December 26, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Great video! I try to avoid coconuts. Thanks from Canada.

  35. Bill Bishop on December 26, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Rick – You mentioned that FAA was working on new rules of line of sight, please explain more on it, because I’m interested. I work with ranchers and farmers here in Montana using the litchi program (other agriculture programs) to terrain follow an irrigation ditch between 60 feet and 100 feet for a quarter of mile or more and it’s next to impossible to see the drone. I do continue to scan the sky in the area of the drone is flying and the rancher or farmer is my assistance. Question: Are there separate rules for flying drones for agriculture purposes?

  36. Helen D nORO on December 26, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks for the information Sir.

  37. LenWhistler on December 26, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Re: VLOS Visual Line of Sight 7:14
    Country: Canada with Basic Drone License.

    IMO ….. This rule has to go. I have the DJI Mavic Air 2 and violate that rule regularly and navigate with the camera or google maps. I plan my route in advance and know the area – it is perfectly safe to do so. You are too limited with VLOS.

  38. Don Joyce on December 26, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Great summary, Rick! Our drone rules in Canada are similar, but there are some significant differences. I have videos covering all the Canadian drone regulations on my channel.

  39. Alex Broytman on December 26, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Rick, what about private properties – such as hotels or farms, for example, – where owners put ‘no drones’ signs. Are there any specific rules for this?

  40. Thomas Southard on December 26, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Can’t thank you enough for your videos Rick. Have been watching for months!
    Just got my first drone, a Mavic Mini. your videos have prepared me for my first flight.
    It was Safe and enjoyable. Thanks to your videos.
    You always say you love to talk.
    I for one, love listening to what you have to say!
    Thanks again, and keep Talking! 😁

  41. Cesar M on December 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Good info….

  42. Bill Bishop on December 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Rick – Great information for new drone pilots and older drone pilots.

  43. N2 DaAIR on December 26, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    I still say you REALLY should try paramotoring. As much as you love to fly, you would be in absolute bliss. With a little quality training you’re flying in a matter of days, and now YOU are the drone! Just imagine!

  44. Lenny Foss on December 26, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Rick
    What’s your opinion on the DJI GO 4 app with the bow tie geofencing?
    It allows you to fly closer than to 5 miles if your not in the flight path.
    This subject does not have much coverage on YouTube.

  45. TQ on December 26, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    seems like bird like to fly nearby my drone either curious or wanted to attack, any idea to avoid that? sometimes they just appear from nowhere……

  46. Tom Grisak on December 26, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Good common sense advice. PS, you have set up an attractive background for these talks. I have the same passion you do for flying. I’ve always wanted to be a pilot, but never wanted to spend the time or go to the expense of doing it or maintaining an airplane. This is the next best thing and it fills the need to be up there, even if I’m not.

  47. Tony Owen on December 26, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Thanks Rick for the info. Even though I have a Part 107 Certificate, review is always good. I fly only as a hobbyist for now. The major safety concerns were to the point. Look forward to your future videos on the safety factors.
    Might want to mention the calibrating of the compass on one’s first flight of the day (even if you flew yesterday). I have watched videos where guys launch their DJI drones and wonder why – when they execute an RTH – the drone is either off home plate, or skewed from the original launch heading.
    I always do a compass calibration before first flight; launch about 10 meters in the air, hold momentarily, then tally-oh! RTH’s are spot on, even orientation to the original heading of the drone on Home Plate. Cool thing is to gimbal down as you approach Home Plate point, and watch things happen beneath.

  48. The Road East - Philippines on December 26, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Should say, KEEP CALM and FLY ON!

  49. Chasbro Chas on December 26, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    Great video as always. I live on Long Island NY and have to say that I don’t go out that often to fly my Evo. There are so many town and local restrictions that is almost impossible to find areas where there are no people, no cars etc. I do go out more after Labor Day when there aren’t people on the beaches or some of the larger parks don’t have people checking whether you’re a town resident. However when I do fly. I really enjoy it.

  50. D Hansel on December 26, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    I would like to see someone come out with a vest saying FAA Registered Drone Pilot.
    I have seen the ones that say FAA Licensed Drone Pilot but all I want to do is fly as a hobby.

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