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Dos & Don’ts of flying “drones” or unmanned aerial systems

OKLAHOMA CITY – Drones, quad copters, remotely piloted aircraft or in FAA terms “unmanned aerial systems,” are gaining national attention.

The devices are illegal for commercial use, but recreational flying is allowed as long as controllers follow safety guidelines.

From in person remote aircrafts, to magazine covers and Facebook pages capturing video from a bird’s-eye view, unmanned aerial systems continue to soar to the top of the list of hot topics.

When flying an unmanned aerial systems, make sure you are flying safely.

Straight from the FAA, here are the Dos and Don’ts of flying the buzzing devices.

“Dos”

  • Do fly a model aircraft/UAS at the local model aircraft club
  • Do take lessons and learn to fly safely
  • Do contact the airport or control tower when flying within 5 miles of the airport
  • Do fly a model aircraft for personal enjoyment

“Don’ts”

  • Don’t fly near manned aircraft
  • Don’t fly beyond line of sight of the operator
  • Don’t fly an aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs unless it’s certified by an aeromodeling community-based organization
  • Don’t fly contrary to your aeromodeling community-based safety guidelines
  • Don’t fly model aircraft for payment or commercial purposes

There are only a couple of businesses that have received FAA authorization to use drones for commercial use, but for the daily hobbyist, legal expert Frank Polk said it is against FAA policy to use drones in business or related to business.

Drone enthusiasts are fighting back, claiming there are no enforceable federal regulations regarding operating a model airplane, just policies.

In the meantime, many face fines or even jail time as the FAA investigates.

Click here for more information on how you can fly your model aircraft safely.