Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have a drone and would like to use it to monitor my business, such as by checking my roof. I won’t sell any pictures. Is this commercial use?
A: Yes. The FAA views any UAS (drone) operation that supports the functions of your business as a non-recreational use. In order to fly your UAS in this manner, you must follow the regulations set out under part 107. For more information, click here.
Q: Where can I find a list of temporary flight restrictions or TFRs?
A: Right here!
Q: Do any hobby shops provide UAS flight training for free?
A: Yes. Many hobby shops offer flight instruction with the sale of a multi-rotor. In addition many of the Academy of Model Aeronautics 2400 clubs also offer free flight training. To find a club near you, visit www.modelaircraft.org.
Q: I flew my drone for fun but ended up taking a photograph that I was able to sell later. Is this acceptable?
A: Yes, as long as the original intent of the flight was for fun.
Q: I bought a small drone and I don’t know how much it weighs. Do I need to register myself as the operator?
A: It depends on the weight of the air vehicle and if you plan to operate for commercial or civil purposes. Please contact the manufacturer for specifications, ask the hobby shop where you bought it or weigh it if you have a sensitive scale, and click here for more information about registering. We keep a running list of vehicles that require registration, so if you have information you don’t see on our site, please send it to us and we’ll update the web page.
Q: I live near a small airport that has no tower and little traffic. Do I need to stay five miles away from it?
Q: I live near a heliport. Can I fly near it?
A: Yes. But, if you are within five miles of it, you can fly only if it is safe to do so, you do not interfere with manned aircraft, you see and avoid manned aircraft at all times, and you have notified the operator of the heliport and resolved any safety concerns.
Q: I have a radio controlled airplane and just bought a quadcopter drone. Do I need to register the drone?
A: Yes, although the type of registration will depend on if you are flying for commercial or recreational purposes. Click here for more information about what registration is best for you.
Q: Do I have to register the model aircraft or drone I own?
A: Yes, if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds. If you are planning to fly recreationally, you must fly under the requirements of Part 107 or with an aero-modeling club that follows all the requirements of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (see here). However, if you are planning to fly for commercial or civil purposes (see here) you must hold a remote pilot airman certificate and complete all the requirements that it entails, which includes registering each platform you plan to operate. You can learn more and register your unmanned aircraft at the FAA’s registration website.
Q: I am visiting the United States from another country and would like to fly my drone while there. Do I need to register it?
A: Yes, if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds, you must register your drone before flying in the United States (see above). You will need to obtain a remote pilot airman certificate to fly for commercial purposes in the United States.
Q: I would like to have some Know Before You Fly materials to distribute. How can I get them?
A: Our website includes several videos as well as pamphlets and flyers available for download.