Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Drone (U.S.)

Drones are a really popular piece of tech nowadays 
and in my book are one of the coolest gadgets you   can have. I've been looking at getting a DJI 
Mavic 2 to review here on the channel and   in the process of researching that as 
well as the rules around where and how you   can fly drones, I've come to the realization 
there are actually quite a few regulations   around how to fly drones here in the United 
States at least way more than there were   in 2013 when I last owned a . And 
some of these rules I think might actually   make people reconsider whether or 
not they get a altogether. So in this video, I'm gonna take you through 
all of the things that might make you reconsider   purchasing a drone if you live in the United 
States. So, let's dive in and first up let's   talk about locations where you can fly a 
drone in the US. If you just want to buy   a drone and fly it wherever you want, well, you 
actually can't, legally at least because there   are several areas in the United States where you 
are just flat out prohibited from flying a drone.

You can't fly drones in national parks. A lot 
of state parks like here in North Carolina also   prohibits flying drones within park property and 
even some cities will ban drones in certain parks   and have only a few designated areas for flying 
drones. Another thing you need to be aware of is   , especially if you live in 
a densely populated area with a major airport. Drones are generally prohibited from flying 
in anything but Class G airspace. However,   you can fly in  
but you need to have authorization   to do so. Do keep in mind that there 
are some you're   completely prohibited from flying and like 
areas around Washington DC, military bases,   areas like Camp David etc, and also there are 
sometimes special events like sporting events   at stadiums which will then prohibit you from 
flying above or near those locations as well.

The FAA which stands for 
Federal Aviation Administration,   that's the agency that's in charge of the United 
States is airspace. The FAA has streamlined the   authorization process for drones to fly in 
controlled airspaces using the low altitude   authorization and notification capability, 
also known as , data exchange system. Basically, you can use a smartphone app like 
KittyHawk to request authorization to fly in   a controlled airspace as long as you fly 
at or below 400 feet above ground level,   which is the maximum altitude for all 
drones flying anywhere in the United States.   Now within a given controlled airspace there 
are actually different altitude height limits   for drones depending on where in that 
controlled airspace you plan to fly. The FAA has a great map that you can use to check 
the location of where you'd like to fly and the   maximum height you can legally fly your drone 
within that controlled airspace.

So, for example,   if I want to fly my drone at Crabtree County 
Park here in Raleigh right near RDU Airport,   you'll see that the altitude limit 
for flying a drone would be 100 feet. I'll leave the link to this map in the video 
description below so you can check out the   areas you'd like to fly a drone to see if you'll 
be allowed to. Now, I know this has already been   a lot and you're probably thinking like why 
can't the drone manufacturer I buy the drone from   just tell me where I can and can't fly my 
drone? Well you're in luck because certain   manufacturers like DJI do this within 
their apps as well as on their website.   DJI has a geo zone map that you can check out 
to show you prohibited and controlled airspaces   and by default your DJI drone will not fly 
in these areas unless you unlock the drone.

Unlocking your DJI drone involves giving DJI 
your phone number and a few more pieces of   info basically stating that you've already got 
Lance Authorization to fly in that airspace.   So note, unlocking a DJI drone is not the same 
thing as getting Lance authorization from the FAA.   You'll still need to do that in 
a separate app like KittyHawk. Alright, so that's everything about controlled 
airspaces and how to get authorization to fly   in certain controlled airspaces. Now, let's 
talk about a couple of other scenarios you   should be aware of when flying a drone. In 
general, you're not supposed to fly over   crowds of people or vehicles, so if you're 
trying to fly somewhere like in a downtown   area you technically should wait for vehicles 
to cross a road before flying over that road.

Also, you shouldn't fly over disasters 
like wildfires or other. Emergency   situations because that can interfere with 
emergency response vehicles like helicopters   Also if you plan to fly your drone 
at night, it must be equipped with   a collision avoidance light that can be 
seen at least three statute miles away. You're also required to fly your drone 500 feet 
below clouds, which usually shouldn't be an issue,   2,000 feet away from clouds horizontal to 
your drone and 2,000 feet away from guy   wires which you'll typically see near large 
communication towers. You also need to make   sure that you fly your drone within line of sight 
invisibility of three statute miles or greater.

Now let's say you're fine with 
the restrictions and you want   to move forward with getting a 
drone to fly it recreationally,   meaning that you're not going to use that drone 
in any way to further a business or to make   money with it. One other thing you should 
be aware of is how much your drone weighs. If it weighs more than 250 grams like a DJI 
phantom, Skydio 2, or DJI Mavic Air you're   required to register that drone with the FAA which 
costs $5 and is valid for three years and you   must be at least 13 years or older to register. 
You can register your drone online or by mail. And I'll leave a link to where you can register 
online in the video description below. Now let's   say somebody is willing to pay you to fly your 
drone over a building to get some footage or   if you want to upload your drone 
footage directly to YouTube and then   monetize your channel so your drone 
footage can start making some money.

Well legally in order to do any of those things 
you'll need a remote pilot certificate from the   FAA under the small UAS rule part 107. 
To qualify you need to be at least 16   years old be able to read, speak, write, 
and understand English, be in good mental   and physical condition to safely fly a drone, 
and pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam The certificate is good for two 
years and certificate holders   must pass a recurrent knowledge 
test every two years. Now,   the knowledge tests must be completed 
at an FAA authorized testing center;   these can typically be found near an airport and 
the cost is anywhere from $60 to $150 US dollars.

The knowledge test doesn't just cover the 
obvious things you need to know about flying   drones that we've already gone over a bit 
but dives deeper into general aviation where   you'll be expected to know how to read 
section charts, METARS weather reports,   know how airports work with wind directions etc 
Also if you get that certification from the FAA   to fly drones for commercial purposes, you're 
also expected to have a pre-flight checklist   for your drone before every flight as well as 
do regular maintenance checks on your drone. Alright, so those are a lot of things that 
might keep people from flying drones within   the US. It's just not as simple as buying a 
Mavic Air on Amazon, charging it up, and then   take off. And when I first learned about 
all of these restrictions myself, I was a   bit put off in order to review a 2 here on 
YouTube I'd have to get a part 107 certificate. But the more I thought about it the 
more I think it makes sense especially   for YouTube. By making people go 
through a certification process   and actually know how to properly 
fly a drone in all the rules around   drones in general, it should help weed out some of 
the idiots out there that are just looking to do   dumb and reckless things with their drones just to 
try to get as many views as possible on YouTube.

Drones have the ability to cause serious 
property damage or bodily injury if they   just fall out of the sky, or if they hit 
an airplane or get sucked into a jet engine   that could turn catastrophic. By having these 
rules it allows the FAA to go after bad actors   as well as just educate flyers who may not 
even be aware they're breaking the rules. Now, I'm still anticipating getting a drone at 
some point and going through the certification   process to get my drone certificate so I can 
review the drone here on this YouTube channel.   Now, if you've seen everything in this video and 
have thought to yourself, oh my gosh, this is just   this is a lot, I don't know if I want to go 
through all this especially doing the commercial   stuff like I don't blame you at all.

I’ve done a 
lot of research for this video and they're just   way more rules and regulations than I originally 
thought around drones in the United States but   at the end of the day all the FAA is trying 
to do is make sure that our skies are as   safe as possible and make sure that the 
people out there who are flying drones   are the ones who are doing so responsibly 
and know the rules to keep everybody safe. Now, if you're interested in learning more about 
drones or want to take the pilots certification   exam the channel Tony and Chelsea at Northrop 
did a great part 107 study guide video, which   I'll link below and there are other really great 
drone channels out there as well like 51 drones.

Let me know in the comments if you still plan 
on getting a drone. I hope you found this video   helpful and informative and if you did and 
liked it, make sure you hit that thumbs up   button below and subscribe to the channel to see 
more tech related videos like this one. Well,   that's gonna do it for me, for 6 Months 
Later, I'm Josh Tedder, thanks for watching..

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