Vestas brings in Sulzer Schmid and WKA Blade Service to inspect 1,250 wind turbines in under 12 weeks

Sulzer Schmid, a Swiss company pioneering UAV technology for rotor blade inspections, and WKA, the leading blade inspection and repair service provider, have been enlisted by Vestas to conduct a massive and challenging drone-based blade inspection campaign in Scandinavia, on a staggering 1,250 wind turbines in less than 12 weeks.

For this important campaign, time is of the essence. The blades of the 1,250 Vestas turbines located across Sweden and Finland must be inspected by the end of June, just in time for the beginning of the repair work season that traditionally takes place during the less windy summer months. To deal

with that challenge, Vestas has opted for a drone-based solution, which is the only approach that can meet its high-quality standards within such a demanding time-frame.

WKA & Sulzer Schmid’s have joined forces to offer the complete service needed by Vestas. Within their partnership, Sulzer Schmid’s cutting-edge drone-based inspection technology will be combined to WKA’s qualified field personnel and rotor blade expertise to offer a state-of-the-art turnkey

solution. WKA will deploy drones equipped with cameras and sensors to capture and record blade defects and ensure smooth operations in the field.

The project management will be supported by ROBUR company TEC GmbH, an industrial services specialist.

The offering of Sulzer Schmid and WKA covers the entire workflow up until the defects are made available on the customer portal of Vestas. In addition to diligent planning and efficient field operation, this requires a streamlined defect annotation process and the integration into the backend systems of Vestas to allow for end-to-end information flow. The HD images captured by the drones are analysed aided by Artificial Intelligence, and detailed automated reports are generated via Sulzer Schmid’s 3DXTM software components.

“The feedback from the field teams and the blade experts provides us with a wealth of information that helps to continuously improve the technology and to further push the boundaries of productivity and ease of deployment,” explained Christof Schmid, Co-founder of Sulzer Schmid.

Thanks to the new capabilities offered by unmanned aerial vehicles, the market for drone-based rotor blade inspections is developing rapidly. “We are convinced that drone-based inspection will become the new standard in the wind industry. In combination with an efficient field operation and a

streamlined digital information flow, this innovative solution will add a lot of value to our customers.

We are looking forward to seeing the results of WKA and Sulzer Schmid’s collaboration on this inspection campaign”, commented Jöns Sjöstedt, Senior Director Service Sweden & Finland of Vestas Northern & Central Europe.

To respond to the booming market demand, WKA has trained eight teams for drone inspections. “As a trusted service provider for Vestas for blade repairs, we strive to always provide the most effective service, using the best technology available on the market. That’s why we are thrilled to be able to rely on Sulzer Schmid’s drone technology to expand our service and meet the demanding requirement of the wind industry world leader. Going forward, we are pleased to announce that all of our customers will be able to benefit from our collaboration with Sulzer Schmid,” said Kyriakos Kosmidis, CEO of WKA

Tom Sulzer, Co-founder of Sulzer Schmid, concluded: “We are excited that Vestas has chosen our technology for this inspection campaign and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the added value that Vestas is looking for, working in close collaboration with WKA”.

CAA – Confusion over Channel airspace restrictions

There has been some confusion over restrictions for Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations over the Channel. This is partly due to the way the French produce NOTAMS and how the third party apps presents them.

Manned and unmanned aircraft pilots seeing a large restricted airspace structure over the south east coast are only seeing the NOTAM which covers all the areas for the purposes of deactivation and or activation.

The actual areas can be found within the AIP Supplements published by each nation.

For Temporary Danger Area (High Seas) and Temporary Restricted Areas (France) French Directorate Of Maritime Affairs BVLOS Operations, pilots are to read the NOTAM fully and be aware of two documentswhich are associated with the airspace restrictions.

Altair Aerial AA200 Drone Review | Autonomous Hovering & Positioning System

aa 200 drone review unboxing

Drones are a great way to pass the time and can be used for both recreational and professional purpose. We’ve reviewed hundreds of drones that are on the market and are always ready to try out a new model. That’s why we were excited when Altair Aerial released the AA200. We’ve reviewed many Altair products on this website and were excited when they released this new model.

Today we will be taking a deep-dive into Altair Aerial’s new AA200 drone. Altair is known for its high-quality and affordable drones that they offer and we were thrilled to see just what the AA200 is capable of. One thing we are especially excited for with this drone is that Altair Aerial has rolled out a new feature unique to their brand. An Autonomous Hovering & Positioning System. We will be getting more into detail about this feature later, but for now, let’s get started by unboxing the drone.

Unboxing the AA200 Drone

Straight away, as you open the box, the drone is preassembled with an all-black design and compact size. The fact that it comes assembled in the box is great because it means you can get to flying much faster. You will want to make sure your batteries are charged and insert them into your controller and drone. Then it will be time to calibrate it, and you can start flying.

aa200 drone

The AA200 Drone Includes:

– 1 x Fully Assembled Drone

– 2 x Li-ion batteries

– 1 x Charging Cable

– 1 x User Manual

– 1 x Spare Parts Pack

– 1 x Phone Mount

– 1 x Transmitter

aa200 drone pieces

After you have taken everything out of the box, you will want to insert batteries into your controller which takes 4 AA batteries. You have to use a screwdriver to screw off the cap to put the batteries into the controller, so be sure you have one on hand. Luckily, installing the drone’s battery is fairly simple. There is an open cavity in the front of the drone and all you have to do is insert the battery from there. One great thing about the AA200 that you don’t get with many other drones is that it comes with 2 batteries. This means double the flying time for you which in our opinion, leads to that much more fun!

Before you start flying your AA200, you will want to read the user manual carefully so you can learn more about everything that comes with your drone and how to fly it. You can tell how much effort goes into Altair Aerial’s manuals because they are super easy to read and understand. This is awesome because you can get to flying even faster. We’ve just installed our batteries and have spent some time with the user manual, so let’s see what it’s like flying the AA200.

Flying the AA200

aa200 drone review

Listed below are the specs

– Autonomous Hovering & Positioning System

– Can be controlled up to 50 meters

– 8-10 minutes of flying time

– 3 flight speed modes

– Can fly heights up to 15 meters

– Weighs 147 grams

Autonomous Hovering & Positining System

We are so excited about this autonomous hovering & positioning system that’s unique to Altair. Since this is a seemingly advanced feature on an extremely affordable drone, we wanted to test just how well it worked and if it would be useful to beginner pilots. As we began flying the drone, it stayed in a hovering position fairly well.

Now, Altair made claims that with this system, the drone will stay hovering in its position even if the pilot took their hands off the controller. We tested this and were amazed at how true this was. The drone stayed in control. Beginner pilots are sure to appreciate it this. We know that it can be overwhelming when you’re first learning how to fly a drone, but Altair is making this easier with the AA200. The autonomous hovering & positioning system will help any beginner stay in control as they learn how to fly.

Flight Modes

When drones have multiple flight modes, we are always impressed. This means that they can be used by a range of pilots with different skill levels. The AA200 comes with three different flight modes that offer a range of different speeds for all types of pilots. It’s very easy to toggle between these flight modes as well. You just have to press down on the right stick of the controller and listen for beeps.

One beep indicates that you’re in the slowest mode. We would recommend any beginner or younger pilot to fly in the mode as they perfect their flying skills. If you press the stick again, you will hear two beeps. This means you’re in an intermediate mode with a little faster speed. We really enjoyed this mode. A perfect in-between setting that isn’t too slow, and isn’t too fast. Finally, if you press the stick a third time there will be three beeps and you’re in the most advanced mode. The third mode is the fastest mode on the AA200 that seasoned drone pilots will enjoy.

Flight Time and Range

Flight time and range are a huge part of flying a drone. You want to make sure that whichever drone you purchase can give you ample flying time and can fly around large areas. One battery on the AA200 gives you about 8-10 minutes of flying time, but as we mentioned the AA200 come with two batteries which doubles your time. This is great as 20 minutes is about the average amount of flying time you get on more professional grade drones. You can fly the AA200 at a range of about 50 meters. More expensive drones can fly much further, but 50 meters is an impressive range for what you’re paying for. This range is good for beginners as well who may not be confident flying as far of distances just yet.

Final thoughts on the AA200 – Should you buy it?

Once again, we were impressed with this new drone from Altair. Their drones are incredibly affordable and the AA200 costs only $129.80. You get some great features for a hobby drone under $200!

Our favorite feature is, of course, the autonomous hovering & positioning system that Altair has rolled out with this new drone. We believe it will be great for any beginner who may be somewhat overwhelmed with learning how to fly. There is an outstanding amount of control that comes with flying this drone which is why it’s so perfect for any new pilot. Plus, it’s compact size helps with making it less intimidating than other, larger drones on the market.

Overall, this drone is great for pilots of all skill levels but we can definitely see that it’s catered to those who are just learning. We could see how a more experienced pilot could get bored with this drone as it’s not the most challenging. However, if you do have experience flying drones and are just looking for a new and affordable drone to add to your collection, we think you’ll really enjoy the AA200.

You can’t beat its price or Altair Aerial’s amazing customer service. Altair Aerial is located in the United States and makes themselves readily available to customers. If you have any questions you can email help@altairaerial.com and a real person will respond to help you through any questions you have. This is just another thing that makes the AA200 worth trying.

kennedy

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer’s guides for our readers.

DJI Adds Airplane And Helicopter Detectors To New Consumer Drones

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today strengthened its role as the drone industry’s safety leader at a Washington, D.C. event by committing to install airplane and helicopter detectors in new consumer drones, part of a 10-point plan to ensure the world’s skies remain safe in the drone era.

All new DJI drone models released after January 1, 2020, that weigh more than 250 grams will include AirSense technology, which receives ADS-B signals from nearby aeroplanes and helicopters and warns drone pilots if they appear to be on a collision course. This will be the largest single deployment of ADS-B collision awareness technology to date, and sets a new standard by putting professional-grade aviation safety technology in drones available to everyone.

AirSense can detect aeroplanes and helicopters from miles away, farther than a drone pilot can hear or see them, and displays their locations on the screen of the pilot’s remote controller. It has previously been available only on some professional-grade DJI drones.

“DJI leads the drone industry in developing safety technology and education, and we continue that tradition today by setting higher expectations for ourselves, our competitors and regulators,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President for Policy & Legal Affairs. “DJI was the first company to offer geofencing, automatic altitude limits, return-to-home technology and other safety features to the world’s growing community of personal and professional drone pilots. We believe our efforts have helped drones attain their enviable safety record, and we expect our new agenda will further improve safety even as more drones take to the skies.”

DJI’s AirSense commitment is the first of 10 points in “Elevating Safety,” its new plan for how DJI, other drone manufacturers, and government officials around the world can maintain drones’ admirable safety record. The 10 points are:

1) DJI will install ADS-B receivers in all new drones above 250 grams

2) DJI will develop a new automatic warning for drone pilots flying at extended distances

3) DJI will establish an internal Safety Standards Group to meet regulatory and customer expectations

4) Aviation industry groups must develop standards for reporting drone incidents

5) All drone manufacturers should install geofencing and remote identification

6) Governments must require remote identification

7) Governments must require a user-friendly knowledge test for new drone pilots

8) Governments must clearly designate sensitive restriction areas

9) Local authorities must be allowed to respond to drone threats that are clear and serious

10) Governments must increase enforcement of laws against unsafe drone operation

“Elevating Safety” is based on a comprehensive evaluation of available drone safety data, which concludes that most drone incident data collected by government regulators is misleading or useless, and shows that many media accounts of midair drone incidents are false or unproven.

“When the public, media and regulators focus on outrageous incidents that did not occur, it draws attention away from risks that are less sensational but more prevalent,” Schulman said. “There has never been a confirmed collision between a drone and an airplane, but drones have struck low-flying helicopters at least twice. This led us to focus on AirSense as the next opportunity to make drones safer, and to embrace the challenge of adding ADS-B receivers to consumer drone models that are already in development.”

Other aviation organizations agree that installing AirSense in mainstream consumer drones is an important step for protecting airplanes and helicopters and the people who fly in them. DJI’s ambitious schedule aligns with the FAA’s upcoming requirement for essentially all airplanes and helicopters to be equipped with ADS-B transmitters in controlled airspace, starting January 1, 2020.

“Expanding the availability of AirSense to DJI pilots is a meaningful step forward in safely integrating UAS and reducing conflicts with manned aircraft,” said Rune Duke, Senior Director of Airspace and Air Traffic at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. “ADS-B In is used daily by thousands of pilots to increase their situational awareness and ensure safe operations. As the general aviation fleet further equips with ADS-B Out and other NextGen technology, enhancements like AirSense will allow all pilots to maximize their investment. All of aviation will benefit from the incorporation of this technology into DJI’s large fleet.”

“The aerial application industry has over 3,500 agricultural pilots that help farmers grow over 28 percent of our nation’s commercial cropland. They are flying 10 feet off the ground at speeds of over 100 miles per hour. As such, they must have great focus and precision with the important job they are performing,” said Andrew Moore, Executive Director at the National Agricultural Aviation Association. “Studies show that small drones are nearly impossible for our pilots to see, let alone track. An ideal drone system for manned ag pilots is one that has an ADS-B tracking system that can sense and avoid agricultural and other manned aircraft. DJI has taken the first step towards this by now equipping all of their drones with ADS-B tracking so their drone operators will be aware of other aircraft equipped with ADS-B tracking technology. They deserve real credit for this safety initiative. DJI’s safety policy is beyond what we have been urging the FAA and other drone manufacturers to require for multiple years. We appreciate DJI’s commitment to all airspace users’ well-being and look forward to working with them on equipping sense and avoid technology to their drones to complement the ADS-B system.”

“AAAE is pleased with DJI’s decision to equip nearly all of its drones with ADS-B In capabilities,” said Justin Barkowski, Staff Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at the American Association of Airport Executives. “Providing users with better situational awareness of nearby air traffic will only increase safety in the national airspace, particularly around airports where these measures are needed most.”

“Implementation of ADS-B will be another major accomplishment in the NextGen program,” said Edward Bolen, President and CEO at the National Business Aviation Association. “As with widespread use of GPS for precision navigation, ADS-B will enable precision surveillance that will enhance safety and efficiency for all operators in the airspace.”

Uber Elevate would like to deliver things in San Diego

Luke Fischer, Head of Flight Operations for Uber Technologies has asked the FAA if they can do what Wing can do.

Uber Elevate, Inc. seeks exemptions to allow it to conduct part 119 air carrier operations for compensation or hire under part 135 using small unmanned aircraft systems (small UAS). Specifically, Uber Elevate, Inc. seeks permission to conduct small UAS air carrier operations for commercial food package delivery in the United States, initially in the City of San Diego.

Most outlets will use some of Uber Elevates more exotic aircraft renderings, but according to the exemption they will be using the German made Air Robot AR200

Altitude Angel selected by UK’s Civil Aviation Authority as an Innovation Partner

Today, we’re announcing that we’re one of just six companies that the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has selected to join its “Innovation Sandbox”, a ‘virtual space in which new technology can be safely tested’.

The Sandbox extends to Altitude Angel the ability to continue to establish groundbreaking new trials and test emerging concepts, building on the success of last year’s Operation Zenith drone integration trial at Manchester Airport.

Altitude Angel is in great company. Five other firms have also been invited to join The Sandbox:

  • Amazon – a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • NATS and Searidge Technologies – air traffic control body NATS and its digital tower partner, Searidge Technologies, are working to implement new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital air traffic control towers.
  • NBEC Consortium* – Cranfield University and its partners, Blue Bear Systems Research, Thales and Vodafone are creating an experimentation corridor that will enable drones and unmanned aircraft fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) by having their locations tracked and thus safely fly in the same airspace as manned aircraft.
  • Nesta Challenges – the Flying High Challenge, part of Nesta Challenges, is a collaborative engagement with cities, technologists, researchers, regulators, government, public services and the public to shape the future of urban drone use in the UK.
  • Volocopter – a company developing electrically powered urban air taxis (#eVTOLs) – based on drone technology – to help modern cities solve their increasing mobility issues.

In joining The Sandbox, we will continue our work to safely enable the integration of drones into the UK’s skies so that businesses can fully realise the potential offered by automated flight, and social causes and humanitarian uses of drones can fully take flight.

Kespry Launches BYOD -Bring Your Own Drone -Program

Kespry, the leading drone-based aerial intelligence solution provider, today announced its new BYOD (Bring Your Own Drone) program. It includes a new platform pricing model designed to meet the expanding enterprise aerial intelligence requirements of multi-site mining companies and large-scale residential and commercial property insurers.

Kespry now offers a single fee for its platform, including unlimited access to industry-leading, vertically-integrated applications, the Kespry Cloud and AI and ML-based analytics. BYOD means companies can either choose to go with Kespry-managed drone hardware or use their own existing DJI drone fleet, including the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the DJI Phantom series.

The combination of flexible platform pricing and BYOD means teams across mining, aggregates and inspection companies have uniform access to the latest aerial intelligence technology, Kespry’s unrivaled accuracy, ease-of-use and safety benefits.

Enabling customers to integrate existing DJI drone fleets into the Kespry aerial intelligence platform ensures data reliability by providing a single source of aerial truth. Now, regardless of which drones they use, customers benefit from the complete Kespry experience, including industry-specific tools, automatic platform updates and world-class customer support.

“We’re very pleased to partner with Kespry and have DJI drones seamlessly integrate with the Kespry platform,” said Bill Chen, Enterprise Partnerships Manager, DJI. “The combination of DJI’s industry-leading drone platforms with Kespry’s vertical capabilities and expertise will further boost efficiency for its mining and aggregates customers by allowing them to more accurately and frequently measure stockpile volumes, and manage inventory across multiple sites. Kespry’s BYOD program will also enable insurance and roofing companies to significantly reduce the time spent on inspecting buildings, while delivering precise risk assessments.”

Kespry’s new platform pricing uses a single fee model designed for mining, aggregates, construction, and inspection companies to scale aerial intelligence across their operations. The cost is now based on the number of sites or properties involved, ensuring deployments are precisely aligned with business needs. Kespry and DJI-managed drones are available on an unlimited flight basis, in conjunction with the ability for customers to use the BYOD model with existing DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Phantom series drones.

“The integration of BYOD and new platform pricing means Kespry customers can further improve profitability with more accurate and frequent assessment of their assets across the regions they operate in,” said George Mathew, CEO, Kespry. “The combination of the Kespry platform, hardware flexibility and uniform access to our comprehensive applications and vertical-specific tools makes enterprise expansion easier and more accessible than ever. It enables companies to align their aerial intelligence strategy in lockstep with their evolving business goals.”

To learn more, visit: https://www.kespry.com/pricing/

Flying Into the Storm

Researchers from CU Boulder will fly drones into severe storms this spring and in 2020 in one of the largest and most ambitious drone-based investigations of meteorological phenomena ever.

Project TORUS – or Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells – is a partnership between CU Boulder, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (which is leading the work), Texas Tech University, the University of Oklahoma and the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Funding comes from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Support also comes from the CU Grand Challenge program and the Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing initiative. The goal is to collect data to improve the conceptual model of supercell thunderstorms – the parent storms of the most destructive tornadoes – to help with future forecasting.

Fieldwork will run from May 13 through June 16 and will cover virtually all of the Central Plains including parts of North and South Dakota, Texas, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. It is the largest study of its kind based on the geographical area covered and the number of drones and other assets to be deployed. The list of equipment for the project includes four unmanned aircraft systems, a NOAA P3 manned aircraft, eight trucks equipped with meteorological instruments, three mobile radar systems, a mobile LIDAR system, and three balloon-borne sensor launchers.

In all, more than 50 scientists and students from the four universities will participate. This year the CU team includes three faculty, four staff members, five graduate students (including one international visiting graduate student) and six undergraduate flight crew members.

The CU team hopes to expose how small-scale structures within the storm — believed to be invisible to all but the most precise research-grade instruments — contribute to tornado formation. Understanding this better would reduce the number of false alarm tornado warnings and improve detection of the potentially lethal storms.

CU’s portion of the project is led by faculty from the College of Engineering and Applied Science through the Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing initiative. The team is responsible for piloting the four drones around the storms to measure temperature, pressure, humidity and wind speeds. Drones are a critical component of the project because they sense data from inside the storm – data that cannot be obtained without physically being there to take the measurements. Combined with remote sensing data obtained by the other collaborators, the expectation is that these measurements will help reveal how severe storms evolve to create tornados.

The principal investigators at CU are Aerospace Department Chair Professor Brian Argrow and Professor Eric Frew. Both have years of experience and multiple field deployments doing this kind of work and will be on the road with the team this spring. Frew said this project is a great representation of their ongoing research, expanding partnerships and CU’s recognized expertise in the field.

“This project is the result of partnerships that have developed over the past 15 years to conduct this type of deployment,” he said. “In 2006 Associate Professor Adam Houston, the overall Project TORUS leader from the University of Nebraska, visited Professor Argrow here in Boulder, and they created the initial concept of operations for studying supercell thunderstorms with drones. Since then we have created new partnerships together and collaborated on several projects designing the technologies used for this mission.”

IRISS Chief Engineer Steve Borenstein said the opportunity for hands-on experience for students through the project, as well as the opportunity to observe severe weather with some of the nation’s top meteorologists is unrivaled.

“Our field campaigns challenge the entire team every day in terms of solving logistical problems and technical troubleshooting. Every student has a critical role in the preparations and mission deployments, including pilots, operators, and ground support,” he said. “Deployments are a tough three weeks, but the students leave with experience and memories that will last them forever.”

Autonomous Drone Plays Dodge-Ball

In this video, you’ll see how researchers at the University of Zurich have equipped an autonomous drone with an “event camera” that allows it to avoid moving objects while in flight. Event cameras only send data when the pixels in its field of vision change in intensity, so they have super-fast response times. Of course, they’re also very expensive, so it could be some time before commercially available drones have this game-changing equipment.

New FAA Rules for Recreational Flyers

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is implementing changes for recreational drone flyers mandated by Congress in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018(PDF).

While recreational flyers may continue to fly below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace without specific certification or operating authority from the FAA, they are now required to obtain prior authorization from the FAA before flying in controlled airspace around airports. Furthermore, they must comply with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions when flying in controlled and uncontrolled airspace.

The new requirement to obtain an airspace authorization prior to flying a drone in controlled airspace replaces the old requirement to notify the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower prior to flying within five miles of an airport.

Until further notice, air traffic control facilities will no longer accept requests to operate recreational drones in controlled airspace on a case-by-case basis. Instead, to enable operations under the congressionally-mandated exception for limited recreational drone operations, the FAA is granting temporary airspace authorizations to fly in certain “fixed sites” in controlled airspace throughout the country. The fixed sites(MS Excel) are listed online and will be routinely updated.

The sites are also shown as blue dots on Unmanned Aircraft Systems Facility Maps. The maps depict the maximum altitude above ground level at which a drone may be flown safely for each location in controlled airspace.

In the future, recreational flyers will be able to obtain authorization from the FAA to fly in controlled airspace. The FAA currently has a system called the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), which is available to non-recreational pilots who operate under the FAA’s small drone rule(PDF) (Part 107). The FAA is upgrading LAANC to allow recreational flyers to use the system. For now, however, recreational flyers who want to operate in controlled airspace may only do so at the fixed sites.

Another new provision in the 2018 Act requires recreational flyers to pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test. They must maintain proof that they passed, and make it available to the FAA or law enforcement upon request. The FAA is currently developing a training module and test in coordination with the drone community. The test will ensure that recreational flyers have the basic aeronautical knowledge needed to fly safely.

Some requirements have not changed significantly. In addition to being able to fly without FAA authorization below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace, recreational users must still register their drones, fly within visual line-of-sight, avoid other aircraft at all times, and be responsible for complying with all FAA airspace restrictions and prohibitions.

Additionally, recreational flyers can continue to fly without obtaining a remote pilot certificate provided they meet the eight statutory conditions of Section 349 of the Act, which are described in a Federal Register notice.

If recreational flyers do not meet any of the conditions, they could choose to operate under Part 107 with a remote pilot certification. Drone operators who fail to comply with the appropriate operating authority may be subject to FAA enforcement action.

Furthermore, flying a drone carelessly or recklessly may also result in FAA enforcement action.

The FAA will help recreational flyers learn and understand the changes by posting updates and additional guidance, including regulatory changes, on the FAA website.

If you are thinking about buying a drone, the FAA can help you get started with registration and important safety information.