Rules for Drone Hobbyists – 2019

The new rules for hobbyist/recreational drone pilots are now in effect. Here is a summary of everything you need to know! This description will be updated as any changes are made to the regulations.

You can find the complete text here: http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title49-section44809&num=0&edition=prelim

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Timestamps. Clicking on these will take you to that specific topic:
Subsection(a): Limitations to qualify as a hobbyist/recreational pilot: 2:31
Authorization with LAANC/FAA Portal: 3:10
Class G (uncontrolled airspace): 4:02
Aeronautical Knowledge Test and proof: 4:37
Marking of aircraft: 5:28
Operations at fixed sites: 5:52
What is a fixed site?: 7:12
Flying a drone over 55lbs: 8:10
Updates to these rules: 8:20
Subsection (e): Endangering National Airspace System: 8:45
Subsection (f): Making changes by the FAA: 8:53
Aeronautical Knowledge Test details: 9:06
Definition of CBO: 9:23
60 second summary of these rules: 9:49
Closing: 11:13

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50 Comments

  1. Richie Bricker on February 24, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on ur accessory page. I had no idea about the LED light shortage. $ 159 per LED makes em worth more than gold. Never thought how rare they might be, but ya cant just mine for em anywhere

  2. Lana Okeaness on February 24, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    So as of September 2020, do I still need to pass this Aeronautical Knowledge Test to fly recreationaly?? Thanks!

  3. Richie Bricker on February 24, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    U might understand the laws once youve learned how many people that have been seriously injured or killed by drones… Thats right,,, 0 people. zero point zero. Ya dont have to go to school to drive and yet cars kill whole cities worth o people every year and injure an average size countrys worth o people. Knitting needles have killed way more people than drones WTF

  4. Natalie Gregory on February 24, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Helpful thanks!

  5. Geethal Amila Gamage on February 24, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Hi, Thank you for the video. I have a question about posting a drone footage in Youtube. Do I need FAA license for that or can i still do that as hobbyist ?

  6. Toby Chung Videos on February 24, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    There is an exam to fly drones recreationally? What is the link. I just asked my part 107 instructor and he said that due to the quarantine right now, part 107 testing sites are closed and we are limited to flying as hobbyists. No talk of an exam

  7. Travis Cox on February 24, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    You can fly 400’ above a structure, yes

  8. Ken Martin on February 24, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    ITS ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE START TO TELL THE PRIMA DONNAS WHAT WE WANT, NOT WHAT THEY WANT. WEAR A A MASK DONT GET A HAIR CUT DONT GO TO CHURCH. BUT WHEN THE PRIMA DONNAS GET CAUGHT IN CHICAGO AND SAN FRAN IT DOESNT PERTAIN TO THEM. SOME DAY WE LITTLE PEOPLE WILL GET TIRED OF BEING PUSHED AROUND AND PUT DOWN ALL THESE PUNK RICH KIDS.

  9. NonRev on February 24, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Ok, Just got a drone and did the FAA Drone Zone and registered and paid my 5 bucks. Nothing on there said where or how to take a test. And not that Part 107 not doing that just just the hobby part 349.

  10. gaming with david on February 24, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    So I need to take a test too????

  11. Pat Conant on February 24, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    So can I fly at national monuments as I dont see that mentioned , not talking about the statue of liberty. like Grand starcase in Utah? state parks, dams ? I like way out west.

  12. nelsaadi on February 24, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Is the knowledge test out and available now.?

  13. Hayden on February 24, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    It looks like I’m destined to be a drone outlaw

  14. J J on February 24, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    The fact that I just spent almost a thousand bucks in a drone makes me cringe after watching this video 😂 🤣

  15. Ken Martin on February 24, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    SO PEOPLE CAN GO INTO MAJOR CITIES AND BURN DOWN BUILDINGS AND BUSINESSES.BEAT UP AND KILL OLD PEOPLE AND NOT BE CHARGED UNTIL THE ELECTION. BUT DONT FLY A DRONE ABOVE TREE TOP LEVEL. OR YOU WILL BE CHARGED. SEEMS I’M IN THE WRONG COUNTRY. WHEN IN HIGH SCHOOL DURING THE LAPS BETWEEN KOREA AND VIET NAM WE SAID AMERICA LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. THE BEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD. SO NOW MY HOUSE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY ( 12000 MILES FROM HERE ) IS FINISHED. YEP I’M LEAVING. NO MORE BULL SHIT WHERE IM GOING JUST PEACE AND QUIET.

  16. Jeff on February 24, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Stores should have this information before you down hundreds of dollars on a drone. I had no idea about any of these rules I just spent a 1000 dollars on Mavic air 2 thank you for this information

  17. Terry Saunders on February 24, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Rule 1 the most important of all rules that overrule any other and that is:-

    1…..It is mandatory you must be a proven US citizen to even pilot a drone, because if you’re not a citizen, then you can’t register the drone, which means you can’t fly it, which brings up back to 1.

    How sad, that the US has to make everything you do only available to US citizens, what’s next? Wanna crap? OH no!!!!, I don’t have a SS number to use the public bathroom, or swimming at a local pool and get asked "can I see your proof of citizenship? ", and yes I am one of those Americans that don’t care if someone has a SS number or not, as long as they are not inciting terrorism, then they should be allowed to do what they want, wanna pilot a drone? Sure, as long as you follow the FAA regulations and register it, who cares if you’re an American or not. Is your hobby building and inventing? Then sure buy the components you need without being scrutinized and accused of being a terrorist.

    Next there’ll be ICE agents in groups of 10 at every street corner stopping people to see their papers.

    The US is getting to be a dictatorship country, and very distrusting, soon every hobbyist no matter what their hobby is, will be scrutinized in fear that they are conspiring to create weapons of mass destruction.

  18. FBI CIA on February 24, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    I’ll tell you really sucks, I just paid $445 bucks for a racing drone and VR headset yesterday, now I find this out ? I had high hopes of flying VR because I’ll get a helicopter ride in my lifetime. This was going to be my retirement fun. Thanks FAA, for ending the dream. You suck, really really hard.

  19. JC&C Adventures on February 24, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Have a headache 4 minutes in. I just fly and try not bother anyone.

  20. jdelia on February 24, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    This was a very informative video. Has the FAA made any progress yet in development of their online aeronautical knowledge and safety test for recreational flyers? Have they announced any updated implementation date? Thanks!

  21. CharlesDourdy on February 25, 2021 at 12:01 am

    I was thinking about buying a drone, thought it was pretty much buy-n-fly. Started thinking about looking up the regulations for drones in my area, now I have to take a test and wear a special hat while standing on one foot.

  22. Malcolm Le on February 25, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Hello there So do i need to have a license to fly Dji mavic 2 ? Please

  23. cochise1987 on February 25, 2021 at 12:03 am

    I am already an airplane pilot, SEL, MEL, COM/IR. CFII experience. Do I still need to take the aeronautical knowledge test?

  24. Ready get set Jam on February 25, 2021 at 12:04 am

    buy a mavic mini and fly all you want.

  25. None Ya on February 25, 2021 at 12:05 am

    my drone identifies as a flying pig so your rules dont apply so sorry

  26. blackydon on February 25, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Thank you. Great.

  27. Bruce Baker on February 25, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Sounds like they just want us to stop hoppy fliers from enjoying our hobby. I only want to fly around my field behind my house, not around any airports, if I hear a small plane in the area I will land my drone until it is gone. I never fly much over 200 feet and not more than 700 feet away from me, always in sight, and now you need a pilot’s license test to fly a small toy quad-copter? In the 1970s I had a commercial helicopter license and a private pilot’s license for small fixed-wing aircraft and it was not this complicated. This summer I am afraid to take my toy quad-copter out in my own yard for fear I am breaking some new rule. I have spent a lot of money on my toy quad-copters and now they just sit on the shelf, because they are being regulated out of my own airspace around my house. I live out in the country in NW PA. I can’t even use my Q-500 4K to check my rain gutters to see if they need cleaning, because there is probably some law against that now.

  28. sirBumpyCase on February 25, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Does ‘only line of sight’ apply to fpv?

  29. Bomberman302 on February 25, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Let’s be real here dont pretend that we all dont know the real truth, I’ll say it. First thing I have been flying airplanes and helis for almost 20 years when things was analog. Its not the FAA that is damaged the hobby it was the advent of the drone into the public hands. Back in the day having multi rotors was almost unheard of, same with gyros and other components. The tech was big and wouldn’t fit and very expensive, but taking a computer and shrinking it down to the size of a normal cellular device made the drone hobby expload with just anyone with basic knowledge and giving them a way to fly with a drone instead of the learning curve of flying a plane or heli. Every news article or TV broadcast was always about drone. So in conclusion dont put your drone into the hobbyist category drones were not ment to be in the hobby category it has directly affected the true rc hobbyist. So if this post dont get deleted this is the real reason the FAA is doing this they see future issues with the low learning curve fly of drones and just putting them in the hands of every young kids, wierd adults, pervs, sex offenders etc. The FAA say this will have to be monitored.

  30. Verlorener Junge on February 25, 2021 at 12:11 am

    In short: Don’t buy a drone, it’s forbidden on 99% of the cool spots on earth. if you still use it, laws will become much more stricter. If you vialote the law in spain, you can be charged afterwise if you upload your footage to facebook/youtube or somethgfhfgh like that.

  31. Felix Fernandez on February 25, 2021 at 12:12 am

    What do we know about that aeronautical test so far? Does anybody have a link or something ? TIA

  32. Becca Kuchera on February 25, 2021 at 12:12 am

    It’s 400ft AGL above GROUND level so no you can’t fly 400ft above a structure

  33. Mark Eckelkamp on February 25, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Are there updates to the rules? I thought now the FAA REGISTRATION should be placed inside battery compartment either with permanent marker or label.
    Also if I’m wrong let me know. I purchased a smart controller for my pro 2 and I had to take a test when I powered it up the very 1st time. Is that the test or is there another place I need to go to provide that I have taken a test. I’m sure you likely made an update video I’ll have to go see. Thanks for helping up stay legal and stay safe

  34. 51 Drones on February 25, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Everything said in this video applies ONLY to the U.S.A. Thanks.

  35. Doug Barnes on February 25, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Just watched the video and am confused. I am about to pull the trigger to buy a Mavic air 2. 100% for photography as a hobbyist/amateur. Do I need a recreational pilots license? This video seems to say yes, but other sources seem to say no. If the answer is yes then that’s a deal breaker for me. I understand the rules as I’ve read them and certainly plan to comply with those rules. However going to the trouble to get a formal license is not something I want to do.

  36. Raymond Crisostomo on February 25, 2021 at 12:14 am

    My drone is 240grams so this does not requires to register my drone. Please advisr if I’m correct. Thank you

  37. Jeremy Suitor on February 25, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Okay so I have a DJI pro 2 and if I’m just flying it around for fun just looking at stuff does that mean I’m a hobbyist I’m confused I just want to make sure I am safe and don’t get it taken away cuz I’ve paid over $2,000 for it

  38. Ron Marvicsin on February 25, 2021 at 12:17 am

    This really sucks. I just bought my drone two weeks ago. I’m not planning on making money or a business I just love photography. Can’t the gov mind their own business.

  39. Piano Palace on February 25, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Are these rules the same in 2020?

  40. Andre Benn on February 25, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Russ has the aeronautical knowledge test been developed by the FAA as yet for hobbyists as yet? It was supposed to be ready by November 2019

  41. Tharindu Weerasooriya on February 25, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Will you be updating this for 2020?

  42. Morgan Norris on February 25, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Goodness…rather not have one

  43. Orlando Marquez on February 25, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Hi. Thank you so much for this video. Can anyone tell me where can I find information about aeronautical knowledge and safety test? Thanks a lot.

  44. Bern C. Prasertsri on February 25, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Questions from the video:
    – 400 Ft AGL from top of building? The top of a building or structure is not consider ground level. Ground level in a structure is considered floor/level one or respectively where an individual would stand with their feet on a natural earth surface outside of a structure.
    – Fixed site in a controlled air space requiring every flying r/c operator to register? The organization/group/individual who requested for an area of space to fly within a controlled airspace would be approve for a certain ground surface area and ground to maximum altitude allow to operate. Any flyer r/c operator in relation with the group that was approved are not require to register individually as long as the operator fly within the approved ground surface area and within the allow AGL altitude approved.

    Above I am answering from my thoughts having background as a pilot, a law enforcement officer, amongst other things, and just plain old common sense. I believe the whole objective of drones safety is to prevent/never have an incident where a drone would fly into a propeller or jet engine turbine of a manned aerial vehicle/aircraft. Causing mechanical failure, leading to crash, leading to property damage, leading to fatalities, leading to lawsuit, leading to more complex rules.

    My word of advice to drone pilots. Know the capabilities of your drone. Do not push beyond it’s envelope. Fly with courtesy and respect to others below and surrounding your airspace. Know your airspace. Get yourself an aeronautical map that outlines all of the air space around you. They sell such map near you at any civilian airstrip with a pilot shop. Study that map! Stay out of controlled air space. Do not go anywhere near or exceed the maximum altitude of an area. Rule of thumb: maximum AGL altitude for you (drone pilots) would be the minimum altitude for private pilots under VFR (visual flight rules). Stick to that 400 Ft AGL and outside of where a controlled air space starts at 0 ft AGL, then you’d more than likely won’t have a problem. Aside from having to lookout for police helicopters if you are over an urban area. Remember air space classification is like an upside down wedding cake. Know your sht and don’t think that it’s too complex to understand because it is not; no matter how an individual might make it seem or how it’s written in the penal code/section/chapter of the law. A nutless monkey can fly a drone, except for the misbehaved ones 😁 that can’t get their act together on anything it does. There are a lot of grey/gray areas in law. Not everything is black and white believe me. If you fly your drone legal and within all FAA guidelines. I guarantee you’d still run into other problems like somebody upset about you flying over their property or backyard. The argument there what’s in plain view there is no expectation of privacy. A counter argument would come in as curtilage or fenced area of a property. Well that’s a whole another subject and oh yes there’s grey area in that situation for sure. Basically to sum all of this up. Everything is illegal 🤙Just fly without incident and use common sense. That is all.

  45. Bryan Hamelin on February 25, 2021 at 12:24 am

    i live in class D airspace where the air map shoes a flight level of zero. can i turn on my drone to update my firm wear?

  46. Tim Brown on February 25, 2021 at 12:25 am

    Who is going to enforce these rules? For sure not local agencies as these are US Government regulations. Local police and Sheriff only enforce state and local laws, not US Govt laws. These regulations will have to be enforced by federal agents.

  47. SK LISTED on February 25, 2021 at 12:25 am

    All these rules on drones but when rc planes fly no one cares.

  48. Peter Lechowski on February 25, 2021 at 12:25 am

    Is this law out and implemented? About the test.

  49. caro baez on February 25, 2021 at 12:26 am

    alo excelente video desearía que sigan haciendo material de calidad… Voy a continuar mirando sus creaciones. Les envio un abrazo nos vemos pronto 🤞🏽👍🏽

  50. Amos Iron Wolf on February 25, 2021 at 12:27 am

    I’m still trying to figure out what the rules are around a private airstrip that is unmanned and has nothing more than lights available if you call ahead. Nothing shows up as restricted or any other warning on the software. The local detention center and sheriff’s office show up as restricted, but nothing on the airstrip. Any idea on that?

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