FAA Bans Drones For More Than Six Million People

In recent weeks, the FAA has solicited input from hobbyists and companies in the ‘drone’ industry, produced rules and regulations, and set up a registration system for all the quadcopters and flying toys being gifted over the holiday season. Whether or not the FAA is allowed to do this is a question being left to the courts, but for now, the FAA has assuredly killed a hobby for more than six million people. The FAA has introduced an updated Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for a 30-mile radius around Washington, DC.

The 30-mile TFR area

Previously, there had been a blanket ban on drones, UAS, and model aircraft within a 15-mile radius of a point inside Reagan National Airport. This point covered the District of Columbia proper, and the suburbs of Bethesda, College Park, and Alexandria – basically, everything inside the beltway, and a mile or two beyond. The new flight restriction for drones covers a vastly larger area – all of the DC metro area, Annapolis, half of Baltimore, and all of northern Virginia. This area encompasses a population of more than six million people.

The DC metro area has, since 9/11, become some of the most complex airspace in the entire country. There are several military bases, Aberdeen proving grounds, the US Naval academy, and of course the White House, Capitol building, and the Pentagon. Even commercial airliners are subject to some very interesting regulations. For the same reason general aviation shuts down in southern California every time the president visits LA, you simply can’t fly model aircraft within the beltway; it’s a security measure, and until now, flying clubs in the DC area have dealt with these restrictions.

The new TFR has effectively shuttered more than a dozen flying clubs associated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics. DCRC, a club with a field in the middle of some farmland in Maryland, has closed down until further notice. The Capital Area Soaring Association has also closed because of the TFR.

Although called a Temporary Flight Restriction, this is a rule that will be around for a while. The FAA says this restriction is here for good.

126 thoughts on “FAA Bans Drones For More Than Six Million People

        1. This is absolutely so true!

          But of course, we wouldn’t need to have ANY sort of restriction whatsoever, if those very few individuals who chose to not behave and use them properly, which has now ruined it for the rest of us law-abiding citizens.

        2. Banning all flights in the area makes the job of finding the “criminals” wastly easier.

          By the way, who are these nythical “law abiding citizen” you Muricans keep talking about? Have you breed a new race of humans that doesn’t make mistakes, or are you refering to droids?

        3. Criminals follow tons of law, most of them in fact, you’d stick out a bit too much if you just ignored all laws. And you’d be arrested or assaulted before you even made 5 bucks of illegal profit. Or in case you are a person going for violence, before you even gave someone a black eye.
          In fact the bad people probably already registered their drone, using your mom’s name of course, but still.

    1. Yea, this move will just solve everything.
      Anybody ever realize that gun-free zones is where the insane mass murder sprees usually happen? Best place for a crazy to go for his last hurrah. Safest for the murderer, most dangerous for the rest of us. Anyway…
      The total effect of this stupid ban which (completely emanates from unreasonable fear, so yea the terrorists won) is to inconvenience the citizenry. NOTHING else is accomplished with this. I don’t think this will even help get votes (the holy grail), so I guess it’s just pure arrogant, narcissistic “parenting” of the people. Why do the utter morons think they are wiser than the citizens. I witness the stupidity of the average person every day and it’s not good. But for the most part the actual wisdom of the average person is better than a government official. Just add vocabulary I guess. This is a clear example of the Dunning Kruger effect – illusory superiority.

      1. I dispute your comment about gun free zone’s being a playground for the crazies out there. For the most part the UK is a gun free zone. It is much much more difficult to own a handgun in the UK. And they don’t have any movie theater shooting spree’s or school shooting spree’s with anywhere near the regularity that we do out here in the USA.
        So I’m not buying the entire “when they ban guns only the crazies will have guns” then I’m not buying that.
        As a multicopter pilot, I agree that this licensing and disband really sucks. It’s something that is fueled by a media frenzy of unsubstantiated so-called facts; that aren’t really fax at all. I mean can anyone substantiate that a full-size airplane has been brought down by even one drone? Yet something that is dangerous like laser pointers are still allowed out there in the public and kids are shining them in the eyes of airliner pilots. But we don’t see a ban on those do we?

          1. @ Me – Do you live in that area?
            For someone to live so close to one of the largest military targets on earth and then complain when you can’t fly your quad outdoors seems a bit childish.

          1. If you take out the deaths related to gang violence (80% of all shooting) and make other politically incorrect adjustments, the murder rate of a number EU countries exceeds the US. Vermont for example, has both a very high gun ownership rate, and a very low crime rate. I leave it to the readers to google the demographics. It is also interesting to note in the US gun violence grew (nearly doubled) under prohibition and again with the “war on drugs”.

            In the case of mass shooting, nearly every participant has been on some type of medication. We don’t blame them, yet nearly every advertised antidepressant lists suicidal thoughts as a side effect. Unfortunately the media has placed “mass shootings” into the public consciousness.

          2. @ Mungojerry- The US has ~112 guns per 100 people (we have more guns than people). The UK has 6.6 guns per 100 people.

            And yet we only have 46X the number of firearm deaths. I think that’s pretty impressive.

          1. Guns come to criminals through law-abiding citizens.

            How many zip-gun serial killers have you seen recently? How many garage gun factories operate in the US? Nearly all of the weapons leave a legal factory through a legal purchase by a law-abiding citizen, and then end up in the hands of a criminal through theft, lost and found, or the purchaser later turning out into a criminal.

            Simply restricting the number of guns in the public hands in general limits the availability of guns to criminals, therefore increases the cost and risk of getting caught trying to obtain or have one.

          2. The same could be said of speed limits and stop signs. I mean, if there’s nobody else at the intersection why should I have to stop? If the road is clear and dry and there are no other cars in the way, why should I be limited to 55?

          3. @Rick Downer “why should I be limited to 55?”

            The 55MPH speed limit was instituted during the oil crisis in the 70s to reduce oil consumption. It was maintained because it makes money. In many stretches of road it is simply too low. People know this, that’s why traffic on most US expressways and rural highways consistently travels at an average speed that is 5 to 10 or even more above the speed limit. The limits don’t get raised because officials are corrupt and enjoy that ticket money. Safety has absolutely nothing to do with it.

        1. I don’t want to sound like that guy but, this not the UK. It’s pretty easy to get a gun in the US. Then add in the fact that there are areas, some rather large, where some one could go, knowing full well that not a single person there has a gun. I’m not a gun advocate by the way, I don’t even own one. I am a realist though.

        2. He’s right about the gun free zones. Most of those crimes in England aren’t reported on international media networks. And our own city of Chicago, which is gun free by law (meaning it’s a felony to own ANY kind of firearm), has the highest gun related violent crime rate in the country. Anyone using drones to propagate terrorism and other crimes, is not going to register their craft.

        3. This is about drones, not our second amendment right. It isn’t about drone quantity but quality of user. Flying drones over nude beaches, people’s yards, fires and near airports has forced responsible entities to begin creating laws, rules for use, in an attempt to help people with no common sense to depart the “Wild West” attitude and become civilized. We should embrace organization for the safety and privacy of all.

      2. That’s interesting the actual wisdom of the average person is better than a government official. That’s like saying those with the greater wisdom of the average person elects those with inferior wisdom to work for those with the greater wisdom. Perhaps that’s why you witness the stupidity of those who you say have better wisdom. Any narcissism on the part of government official i could be a reflection of the wise people who elected them. I have no idea if your thought are original to yourself or not, but they are unlike the usual rants against the government.

      3. The idea that gun free zones are where shootings always happen is factually wrong, do some research. – gun owner/ex military/living in a gun friendly state

        As for these rules being due to terrorists…
        No. It happened because drones (actual drones) dropped to several hundred bucks and any idiot with no flying skills or knowledge of flying rules could go buy one off Amazon. Model airplane clubs have been flying for decades without problems, it was only when drones got cheap that we had problems.

        1. Those aren’t drones. For something to qualify as a drone then it has to have at least some degree of autonomy. The deeper you drill in to the specifics, the greyer the definitions get but to compare the things you get off amazon for a couple hundred dollars is like comparing a dollar store radio-controlled vehicle to something you’d see in a DARPA challenge.

          Also: enough of this drones=guns bullshit. It’s like legislating pellet guns because they are firearms and guns kill people.

          Furthermore: Maybe we should be less focused on *HOW* the mass-killings happen, and more focused on *WHY*. America has guns, get the fuck over it… other countries have mass-stabbings on subways and there are a million other ways to make people die. It’s a thing that happens and ever since Columbine it has been a part of the American zeitgeist… the media harps on every new shooting and nudges dissociative people in that direction. Plants a seed that grows into a tree that the media picks up and uses as fertilizer for all the other growing seedlings.

          1. “other countries have mass-stabbings on subways”

            Not nearly to the same extent as the US has mass-shootings. You can always point to isolated incidents, but that’s just not seeing the forest for the trees.

          2. Your idea of “drones” is just as wrong as the media.
            You clearly you have no idea how capable these actual drones really are, people have been flying fully autonomous model aircraft at flying fields for well over a decade now.

            I think I paid $40 for my flight controller and put it in my $300 quad-copter, it’s a full autonomous system. I can lay out a flight plan on a computer/cell phone/tablet and have it fly it without touching the controller. I can also send it into hover mode, or auto return at the flick of a switch. While I already have an HD camera on it, for another $100 I can send real time video to my computer from up to 3 miles away, and a $50 option to send me full telemetry. There are also gymbal stabilized camera mounts that let you mount Gopros or DSLRs, some even allow a second person to control the camera, which is how they do pro filming. If you have access to the right equipment (laser cutter, 3d printer, etc..), these can be built for well under $100. I could do all of that, including a cheap Gopro for under $1000.

            DJI, Xyma and others offers the same functionality in a ready to fly package that requires no controller skills (or tuning) at all. More options mean more money obviously. The DJI even gets info on no fly zones and does what it can to keep you from violating those FAA regs.

            Here is just one of the systems available, mine is a clone of this as it’s open source. http://www.ardupilot.co.uk/

          3. Oh, and we could try and focus on the why gun violence happens, but gun lobbyists pushed legislators to pass a law blocking all federally funded gun violence studies, so that won’t happen. So instead of an actual well funded scientific study presenting facts, you have the media and lobbyists setting the tone.

          4. @Dax- guns don’t call out to passerby saying ‘hey you, yeah you- you should totally pick me up and go kill a bunch of random people with me’. It comes down to societal disconnect and media badgering and the same thing could happen with a myriad of different scenarios- kids could start jumping curbs with 2,000 pound death-machines and we could all be talking about banning a different 3-letter word. You’re not seeing the trees for the leaves.

            @Brokencodes- Columbine was what I used for when school-shootings entered the zeitgeist. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States goes back to 1764. Some on that list may not fit the common day definition of ‘school shooting”, but I’m sure I can find at least one example that predates the one that you claim as first.

            @Shep- and what you are talking about is different from the ‘6 million drones by christmas’ that the government and media keep droning on about (see what I did there?) If the media is talking about hobbyists then you qualify as something else- an enthusiast, perhaps. The media and politicos talk about ‘a couple hundred dollars’ and you’re talking about $1000 (and a 3D printer, custom parts and upgrades that aren’t going to be under 6million christmas trees). Everything you said has real-world limits but the politicians and media are drawing parallels with technology and terminology (for the average person) that was popularized by planes the size of cars built to drop bombs and stay in the air for days at a time and travel 1000 times further than the 3 miles you referenced.

        2. Just do away with the constitution and allow the certifiably insane people running the US political world to ‘wing it’ and all will be rosy I’m sure, end of all violence and poverty and unhappiness in a week (.. or there abouts).

    2. This is the same government that claims the Border Patrol as the power to stop, detain, and search you without a warrant within 100 miles of our borders, an area that encompasses 2 out of 3 Americans. For them a 30 mile radius is nothing.


      The real question is whether this 30 mile radius will stand after the courts rule the 2012 law bars the FAA from regulating model aircraft.

      1. I like the videos of people refusing to cooperate with those checks, and getting away with it after some verbal confrontation because in fact people can’t be legally be forced to cooperate, they just bluff everybody into thinking they have to.

  1. The “six million people” is a number I was waiting for, and thought strangely lacking from other stories. That’s roughly 2% of the population of the United States, right? Not a small number.

      1. Restriction is correct; it is not a _ban_. They are free to use the device as long as they go outside the area. They are also free to use them indoors.

        I’m not saying the rules are not dumb; the clickbait headline is, though.

          1. It isn’t sophistry. It’s misleading to say drones are banned for those people. It’s more accurate to say they are unable to use them near their homes. There’s a big difference.

      1. I just had a read up about that it’s kind of weird too have no representation, I’m non-US so never heard of this before. You could do what you like to D.C folks and they couldn’t do shit.

        1. Incorrect. While the private sales can obviate the need to run background checks on conventional firearms, I can’t imagine anything capable of “exploding a tank” wouldn’t be counted as a Destructive Device under the law. Not even sure private sales are possible on something like this, as I believe it requires a licensed dealer intermediary.

          1. transfer of DD and calibers larger than .50 (self contained cartridge) are not allowed without an FFL. The purchaser also has to go through the same fingerprinting, federal background check, and $200 tax that Reg mentioned, unless they already have a class 3 FFL with type 10 license.

    1. when was the last time any shoulder-fired rifle was actually useful against a tank?1938? and even then it was marginal.

      now, thermite is quite useful against tanks, and you can find the ingredients in most of the civilized word..heck, most of the world period. you just have to have the intestinal fortitude to deploy it. no background check required, anywhere on the planet.

      1. Yes, exactly. For anyone with the balls to try them, there are an unbelievable amount of way to cause death and destruction that do not involve the use of firearms. Anyone with a dial up connection could look up instructions for just about anything.

        Any one that served in Iraq or Afghanistan knows just how ingenious a person can be when you combine murderous rage and household supplies.

        1. “when you combine murderous rage and household supplies. ”

          Quoted for the people that do not understand this concept.

          I religiously carry a knife and a pen right next to each other in the same pocket every day. If so inclined I can end a person just as quickly and just as easily with either of them. Test me on this theory, I invite you.

          1. And largely self-exclusive, as mental instabilities often result in cognitive problems. In other words: the homicidal maniac is often a drooling idiot.

            There’s this myth about the unstoppable criminal, who’s constantly high on PCP and prowling the streets and lurking the cinemas, constantly ready to pounce and stab or shoot you or your children. He’s so poor that he has to subsist by robbing gas stations and homes, or mugging people on the streets, yet he has the education and smarts of Angus McGuyver and access and skills to obtain every kind of gadget from CNC lathes to 3D printers, and chemicals and labs to cook up his own gunpowder if you try to restrict his access to weaponry in any way.

            And the only way to stop this fellow is by constantly carrying a handgun about your person – even if you don’t know how to use one properly.

          2. It’s 100% not. Maybe 25 years ago. Today the internet has enough tutorials on nearly everything that any idiot could build a gun, or make a thermite trap. There’s an instructable on embedding a taser into a bicycle seat, activated by a phone. Random people on youtube have posted videos of using the thing. They aren’t clever or brilliant people. They don’t need to be when the information is there and there’s no “figuring out” required.

  2. They had to ban them for the largest population of idiots, Congress and all the lobbyists. Everyone else is just collateral damage to ensure the most dangerous ones cant have RC quad copters.

    1. Sorry guy neither of those bills says anything about a felony. They also do not say that you can’t fly or use a drone to take pictures They just referred to a type of Geo fencing which restricts the drone flight area to stay out of commercial airspace And to prohibit close flights around critical infrastructure such as power plants and communications towers. Felony only applys to breaking federal laws and the state of New Jersey has no power to pass federal legislation.

      I think it is in our best interest to stick to the facts here. It does not serve our purposes well to contaminate the facts with rumors .

      1. Steve,

        Maybe I misunderstood you so I don’t want you to feel like I’m flaming you (I’m really not). “Felony only applys (sic) to breaking federal laws . . . .” Really? So if someone commits murder in New Jersey, they are either charged with a misdemeanor or the Feds have to step in? That seems a little effed up to me. Then again maybe I misunderstood you. Care to clarify?

      2. The bills make it a “fourth degree crime”. This is a felony level in New Jersey. Considering how there is no such geo-fencing device existing nor can I see anyone being marketed which can do such things as knowing whether a “regular or post-season” game is in progress if effectively bans “an aerial vehicle that uses aerodynamic forces to propel the vehicle and does not carry a human operator, and which is capable of flying autonomously or being piloted remotely and conducting surveillance as defined in this section”

  3. If drones themselves are dangerous, then the ban should be far more comprehensive, indeed national and perhaps based on carrying capacity. The same crazies that could fly a bomb-equipped drone into the White House Rose Garden could fly it into the playground in a Jewish pre-school in Baltimore or Miami. If anything, these vile people would find the latter target more appealing. Why would they want to get rid of Obama? He’s the best thing that ever happened to them.

    And if the drones themselves aren’t dangerous—which is the more rationale opinion—then the only legitimate bans are those near airports and the like. We should fight terrorism in sensible ways that protect all Americans not just those in a privileged federal government enclave. Indeed, we should make a point of not giving our federal officials any additional protection. It’ll motivate them to do their job better.

    What we’re seeing here a disgusting DC Beltway mindset that cares for their own safety but not for ours. They will do anything to protect themselves, however absurd. But it comes to the safety of all Americans, they’d rather be soft, squishy and political correct. “We can’t profile,” they will say. “We’ll do a body search on this elderly Catholic nun, while a young Arab male passes us by.” Ditto with immigration.

    I might add that no level of FAA bans will stop a drone attack. Irish terrorists had no problem launching mortar attacks in London. A terrorist who wants to target some government agency need only drive into DC, pop open the hatch on his trunk, and launch a drone pre-targeted to attack that building low and fast. He’ll be heading out of the city in mere seconds.

    In the end, this ban is stupid. It will do nothing but irritate the law-abiding. It won’t prevent a single terrorist attack, whatever the FAA may think.

    –Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride

      1. The difference is that you can fly a drone with a hand grenade attached to it right up to someone’s window.

        Of course, like everyone else has said, this regulation isn’t going to stop anyone who actually wants to do that.

          1. How about stop pissing off the people that want to blow us up?

            I’d be pretty fucking pissed too if a foreign military set up shop in my neighborhood for 15 years… kicked in the front doors of my family members homes and blew up my 6 year-old nephew that just wanted to ride his bike in the street outside.

            I don’t know… maybe it’s just me, but that seems like a pretty good way to reduce the threat.

          2. “You mean, stop making cartoons ? Welcome to a free society”

            You’re talking about something that happened 13 years into what, a 15 year occupation at this point? Every religon has zealots that will kill your ass for mocking the god they believe in. Reasonably sure I could go to Texas and get myself dead for talking shit on Jesus to the wrong person.

            Christ… we’ve got Pro-Lifers *MURDERING* people because religon… pretty sure that has to be pretty close to the dictionary definition of irony.

    1. It’s a ban on flying anything.
      It probably took you longer to post (never mind wait around for a response) than it would have taken to load the helpfully linked article with all the technical details explaining how you’re not allowed to fly any RC aircraft near DC.

      1. The link to the “helpfully linked article with all the technical details” takes you to the local TV station’s website and an unavailable video. Or perhaps you had some other “helpfully linked article” in mind?

        1. ‘Technical details’ being a hyperbole for the simplistic FAA ruling that ‘you’re not allowed to fly anything* RC of any size in the greater DC area’. The article has interviews with officials from the FAA.
          I can tell you’re shocked a news station actually reported a couple facts. A couple minutes of google-fu turns up more official FAA statements and public outreach material on the subject.

          *without getting prior permission, as with commercial aircraft. Something not likely to happen unless you’re a gov’t entity or absurdly rich && well connected

  4. Just a shout to the D.C. Maxecuters. With luck this doesn’t cover rubber or electric free-flight or indoor R/C.

    OTOH the FAA is apparently good with the kind of imbecile who flew a biz-jet into a house in Gaithersburg and incinerated a woman and her children. At least I haven’t heard of them instituting a one-strike rule for people who crashed a fully-functional plane before – at the same airport. Or the CAP guy who crashed in Anchorage but wasn’t supposed to be flying the plane at all.

  5. Does anyone know where to find actual information about this change directly from the FAA?

    I’ve spent over an hour searching around and all I can find from the FAA about this change is an email from someone named Brian Throop to the AMA copied in various places.

    If this is true, there needs to be something everyone can point to directly from the FAA that actually explains it. Also, where is the justification for such a massive change.

    It seems unlikely that this would be enforceable without some official notice (and justification.)

    1. It’s an extension of the flight restrictions already in place over the Capital https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_DC_Metropolitan_Area_Special_Flight_Rules_Area
      What do you want further explained? You’re not allowed to fly RC toys within 30 mI of DC.
      The official notice will probably be cited as the FAA’s RFC that closed in the fall. While the DC airspace and RC plane rulings came seemingly out of the wild blue yonder they did say there would be changes to how multi-rotors would be handled.

        1. What in this article is inaccurate. Are the sources it has cited insufficient? The links to the actual legislation are included should you feel the need to read legalese.
          Get over it.

    2. After more searching I came across this advisory circulator that redefines how the SFRA applies to RC aircraft. Although I wonder what kind of legal weight an advisory has, this appears to be what I was searching for.

      I’m beginning to better understand what they did. Basically, they used to have no problem with RC aircraft as long as they were operated outside of a Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) (approx 15nm radius for the DC FRZ) and they asked that you follow AC 91-57. Then, they issued this new advisory circulator (AC 91-57A) stating that RC aircraft are not allowed to operate inside Special Flight Rule Areas (SFRA) (30nm radius for the DC SFRA).

      I want to know why they changed this and what their plans are for fixing this mess they’ve created. (A real reason. Not just some lame excuse)

  6. If “drones are just toys,” then why are so many people so concerned about… their toys?

    I do think this is silly, but given the number of close calls reported by professional pilots and the general stupidity of people with fancy new toys (HaD readers excepted, of course ;), this doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    It’s only a matter of time before FAA regulations require simple beacons (with their own backup battery) and everybody will whine about that as well, but the up-side is that people will be able to recover their lost drones more easily.

    1. They are basically telling residents in a significant portion of the state of Maryland (and Virginia) that they can no longer fly RC aircraft. If this was just about idiots flying too close to manned aircraft they would be trying to do this everywhere.

  7. So what size drones does this rule apply to? Because if we are talking about the larger professional ones it’s different than just all drones.
    And although you suggest this will last forever I’m sure they are working on an effective way to intercept drones and once that is there the rule would change.
    And the reason I’m sure is that obviously everybody needs a anti-drone system, every country and branch of military (and in fact every person that is likely to be pestered by them).

  8. Charlie Brown is gonna be pissed, although that tree always gets his kites in the end.

    The only thing stopping me flying my quadcopter at the moment is the crappy weather here in the UK, 55mph gusts of wind forcasted for today.

  9. @benchoff – Can we please get away from this ‘drone’ crap? The term ‘drone’ is something that was popularized by the use of unmanned aircraft in a military context and personal quadcopters (and the like) do not deserve the demonization of the term ‘drone’.

    Leave the sensationalism to the popular media and write more directly to your target audience- the people with enough technical understanding to know that there is a difference between an autonomous vehicle and what is essentially a dollar-store r/c toy. Like the difference between making a clock and not making a clock.

      1. Not the subject, just the terminology. Hobby quads dont really qualify as what most people think of when they hear the word ‘drone’.

        Average American thinks of planes the size of a mid-80’s Cadillac that drops bombs and stays airborne for days at a time covering thousands of miles per flight.

  10. I live in this zone. i will not move. I will write my representation. Such edicts are overreaching and to apply it to all craft is just crazy. If I owned a quadcopter (which I don’t but have considered it) to photograph my property and help in maintaining my forested acre, and fly it at no higher than a set amount of feet and keep it within my property line or property lines of people I have gained permission from, then they have no legal leg to stand on.

    How much longer will we as citizens allow the government to curtail the legal use of devices while they do little to punish those who use these products illegally?

    1. It appears as though they realised they don’t have the necessary resources to properly police the skies in regards to rogue RC fliers so took the easy option and set a blanket ban on them.

      Makes you wonder what further steps will be taken against RC fliers in other states.

      Really sucks, not just for you but for the rest of the world too as other governments will be watching with a keen eye to see what’s being done to tackle rogue RC fliers.

  11. I was thinking along these lines yesterday when reading one of the other UAS/FAA posts and wondering if anyone has made a complete US map with 5 mile circles drawn around every airport and further counted the population in those circles. As an example I looked at a former home town of mine, small ruralish place (15-20k population now) with an airport a couple miles north, turns out almost the entire town is a prohibited zone due to the airport, including some places one would think there would be desire to use a UAS for videotaping, i.e. HS Football field, a small automobile race track and fairgrounds, 2 State Parks and numerous city parks.

  12. “Sorry, Mr. X. We cannot let you on this airliner because you’ve been placed on the no-fly list. Apparently you registered a drone with the FAA and we consider all drone owners terrorists.”

    1. Exactly! I live in Rockville too. There’s no way my little 250 size quad would get even a few hundred feet away from my house before I lost sight of it. Even the FPV gear would give out due to the trees. It’s really just ridiculous. I thought the registration rule was alright because it helps hold even good people accountable for their actions in case they accidentally make a stupid move like flying over a group of people/road and losing control but the fact that me flying my little RC quad in my back yard is considered a threat to national security is utterly obserd.

  13. So if I put a transponder on my non-commercial, radio controlled quadcopter, the FAA could track it at their liesure, so that should satisfy any and all concerns, right??

    Agree with the comments about using the word “drone” for any hobby-use, radio controlled quadcopter. The term drone denotes a certain level of autonomy and implies flight outside of visual range. If I fly a quadcopter in my backyard below 200 feet with a radio control system in my hands and my eyes are on the aircraft, it is NOT a drone.

    FAA’s map site for TFRs: http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr_map_ims/html/index.html

  14. DJI Geo-fencing will require a cellphone # or Credit card # to unlock in the SFRA.

    The Washington D.C. FRZ and SFRA

    The 15-mile-radius Washington D.C. Flight Restricted Zone is categorized as a Restricted Zone in GEO. The 30-mile-radius SFRA is not a flight-prohibited area but instead involves special training and procedures by manned aircraft pilots. The regulation concerning the SFRA does not refer to model aircraft or unmanned aircraft systems even though it specifically references ultralight vehicles. See 14 CFR 93.339. There are long-standing model aircraft club locations within the SFRA. We are also aware of at least one DJI customer who has received an FAA certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) for operations within the SFRA. The SFRA, excluding the FRZ, is approximately 2,120 square miles in area and includes many indoor locations where operations do not raise a concern. For these reasons, the SFRA is currently categorized in GEO as an Authorization Zone. As with all operations, it is the user’s responsibility to obtain any required authorization and to comply with any applicable regulatory requirements.

  15. I moved from Alexandria to 25 miles south of D.C. to get away from it’s madness and over legislation. D’oh! Now I have over $1k in hardware that’ll sit around an do nothing. Thanks, FAA.

    Before someone points out that I can drive 5 miles south and fly it there, that’s not why I bought it. I bought it, along with my house and property, to enjoy in my limited free time in a sane, fun, and non-dangerous way. Somehow, that’s no longer legal.

  16. in chicago their b4ufly app is listing every defunct heli pad as a full fledged airport with a 5mi exclusion zone. what this means is you can no longer fly in chicago legally. (same as dc , different method though)

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