- Signing up here on the website. It only takes 30 seconds!
- Following NODE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest news.
- Spreading the word about NODE, with friends and fellow enthusiasts across the country.
Operation of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) comes under the general jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration, and there may be additional state and local rules that apply. The UAS pilot is responsible for knowing, understanding and following ALL those rules. Among those rules is a requirement to register your drone if it weighs over about half a pound (0.55 to be exact), a minimum age requirement (13) to fly it unsupervised, and a list of areas where it’s not legal to fly your drone, or at least not without some prior coordination with an airport or air traffic control facility.
If you plan to use a drone for business (like aerial photography or roof inspection) there are additional rules. The UAS field is expanding much, much faster than anyone really expected, so the rules in some cases are still being developed. This makes it a bit confusing for a new UAS pilot to learn all the things he or she needs to know, but there are some excellent resources online that have pulled a lot of the information together. Of course, you can do a lot of research on your own at www.faa.gov/, but one of the best places to find a whole bunch of information in one spot is www.knowbeforeyoufly.org.
There is also a smartphone app called B4UFLY available for iPhone and Android. It’s still a bit of a work in progress, but has a lot of basic helpful information, including the capability to tell you if you’re in an area where flight is prohibited, allowed with some restrictions, or you’re just good to go. If you’re flying strictly for fun, a UAS is considered a model aircraft, and the Academy of Model Aircraft has a very good set of safety guidelines that is worth a look. You can find them at www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf.
The bottom line is that your new acquisition is not a toy; it’s got the capability to do some serious damage to people and property if it isn’t operated thoughtfully and safely. Flying is a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of responsibility too. Know the rules, follow the rules, and enjoy your new UAS safely.
Is this a new GoPro must-have accessory, or a future dud? AER lets you shoot aerial photos and videos, simply by throwing your GoPro®! Compatible with GoPro® HERO 3+, 4 and 5.
What are your thoughts? Write ’em up in the comments below!
The team is crowdfunding now on Kickstarter and expects to deliver its first units by January. Check it out to see for yourself.
You know for certain you want to buy a drone. You’ve seen them on the news, in the park, at a friend’s and even your neighbor’s kid is flying them. It is great to have so many choices, but which one should you buy? Like any other purchase, you need to come up with a list of what is important to you and with that, we can narrow down your choice.
A great way to start is by window shopping. As of today, July 1, 2016, Adorama.com has 236 variations of drones from which to choose ranging from $18.99 – $31,721.82. That is a crazy span of prices, but those prices mean everything when it comes to your mission. If your mission is to play in the house, annoy the cat, and blow papers off your wife’s desk, then you will most likely spend under $100 for tons of fun. If your mission is to fly your DSLR with a great lens 240 feet up because you have Spielberg on speed dial then you will be spending a great deal more. But if you are like most of us you will be somewhere in the $500 – $5000 range. Let’s start with some tried and true drones that are considered entry level and work up from there.
Click here for the in-depth article by Nils.
Part 107, the latest in legislative FAA goodness and the requirements for commercial drone use in the U.S., was released June 21, 2016. This is the big jump we all have been waiting for as it relates to the UAS community, and it makes the lives of those wanting to get into commercial drone work a little easier.
For those that fly for recreation, you can stop reading now and go and play. Nothing here for you.
Here is a quick sum up of what the FAA put out:
What you must do
The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the final Small UAS Rule this morning. The press release is available at: https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=20515.
Please note that all provisions of the Rule, including all pilot requirements and operating rules, will be effective in August 2016, 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.
Details about the rule are available on the FAA’s UAS website.
As exciting as drones are proving for both hobbyists and commercial filmmakers, local and federal governments in the United States are continuously enacting legislation that governs the use of drones for shooting video.
Filmmakers and video production professionals need to pay particular attention to the rules because the FAA requires anyone using drones for commercial purposes to get special permission to do so.
Have a look at the infographic below for an overview of the rules you need to know. This isn’t meant to be legal advice, just a heads-up for all the little details you must take into account when shooting commercial footage with your drone:
January 11, 2016
Back in December, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its official registration rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in the United States. It’s important that you register yourself as a user before you embark on your first flight.
The process takes about 5 minutes. Just create an account, fill out your profile, review the FAA safety guidelines, and boom — you’re officially equipped to recreationally operate a flying camera in the wild! You do not have to have your (drone) Camera in hand to register.
Until January 20th, 2016 you can register free of charge. After January 20th, all registrants may be subject to a $5 fee. That’s the equivalent of one fancy coffee you’d be missing out on.
You need to register your aircraft if it weighs between 0.55 lbs. (250 grams) and up to 55 lbs. (25 kg)
You will be subject to civil and criminal penalties if you meet the criteria to register a drone and do not register.
This registration site will allow you to register your UAS with the FAA
October 1, 2015
by Larry Jordan
Recently, the Digital Production Buzz interviewed two founders of a company that specializes in flying drones for videography. After watching the interview, Mike wrote to share some important information and clarifications on flying drones.
Current FAA rules stipulate that no drone can be flown within 5 miles of any airport, nor can they be flown inside any national park without a special permit; and this permit does not include state parks or national forests. Also, all flights must be kept below 500 feet.
March 2, 2015
by The FAA
The FAA proposed new rules for drone flight. Check out the full press release here. What does this mean for the video industry? It is actually not as bad as the last proposal that wanted all drone flyers to get a pilots license. Some high points (pun intended) are:
With these newly proposed rules it offers some regulation around drone flight which is great for safety. What do you think about the proposed regulations and does your company operate a drone? Continue the conversation and update us here.
The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule. The FAA encourages new operators to visit:
You can view the FAA’s Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking later today at:
An overview of the Small UAS rule can be viewed at:
You can view the fact sheet at:
Press Conference audio is available here.
For more information on the FAA and UAS, visit: http://www.faa.gov/uas/
By the way, check out NAB’s new Drone Pavilion this April 13-16 in Las Vegas
December 11, 2014
In a report that first appeared in the Wall Street Journal last week, Jack Nicas and Andy Pasztor unveiled the FAA’s proposed plans, which include some sensible regulations, such as limiting drone flight to daytime hours only, limiting altitude to 400 feet or less, and requiring that the UAV be in sight of the pilot at all times. However, the major blow to filmmakers — and anybody else looking to take advantage of the ubiquitous and inexpensive drone technology that has flooded the market of late — is that the FAA is likely going to require drone pilots to be licensed to fly manned aircraft, a process that requires dozens upon dozens of hours of training.
The main distinction to make here is between commercial and non-commercial uses. For hobbyists who have a drone and like to fly it around their backyard, these proposed regulations likely won’t have much impact. However, for filmmakers who make a living through drone videography, or at least leverage drone technology for commercial purposes in some way, these regulations could very well make their lives incredibly difficult, especially if they’re strictly enforced.
Another interesting distinction in the proposed FAA regulations comes with their weight classifications. The agency is said to be grouping all drones weighing less than 55 pounds into one category under which this set of regulations will apply. That means that the professional and high-end drones which carry larger payloads, and which therefore pose more of a threat to public safety, will be regulated the same as drones like the DJI Phantom II, which comes in at a weight of under 3 pounds.
It seems like we can all agree that some measure of professional and certifiable training is in order for people who fly drones professionally. Obviously public and personal safety can be threatened by these aerial drones without the proper precautions. But to require drone pilots to be licensed to pilot manned aircraft is perhaps one of the most laughable and arbitrary things that the FAA could have done. As Bryant Frazer over at Studio Daily so eloquently put it:
That’s a little like making a 16-year-old become licensed to operate an 18-wheeler before being allowed to tool around town in a Honda Civic.
At this point, these proposed regulations are just that: proposals. That means that, for the time being, you can still go fly your drone over a wedding and make a few bucks off of it without needing a pilot’s license. However, don’t expect that unbridled freedom to last long.