What are the FAA recreational drone safety guidelines? - The Drone Trainer

FAA Recreational Drone Safety Guidelines

As a recreational drone pilot in the USA, you need to follow the FAA’s community-based set of safety guidelines. What are those though? A quick google search will come up with a bunch of conflicting information about the FAA recreational drone safety guidelines, so one of our members went straight to the source to find the real answer. Remember, this is geared strictly towards recreational flight, which is far different from a commercial operator flying under a FAA Part 107.

Our question to the FAA

Our friend Phil asked the FAA directly, what does “the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization” really mean? Luckily for Phil, and you, the FAA responded with a clear cut answer to this question.

The FAA’s response

Thank you for your inquiry. You don’t need permission from the FAA, or membership of the AMA, to fly your UAS under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, but you must always fly safely. You may elect to register your UAS to help in the recovery of lost equipment. Whenever you are flying, please follow these FAA safety guidelines:

·        Fly at or below 400 feet

·        Be aware of airspace requirements and restrictions

·        Stay away from surrounding obstacles

·        Keep your UAS within sight

·        Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports

·        Never fly over groups of people

·        Never fly over stadiums or sports events

·        Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires

·        Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol

I would also encourage you to review the FAQs on our website.

There you have it!

With Phil’s question and the FAA’s response, you shouldn’t have to guess what you can and can’t do with your drone as a recreational pilot!

What do you think?

Do you think that these guidelines all make sense? Anything that you don’t think is appropriate or easy to follow? Let me know in the comments, or as always if you have a question or comment be sure to contact me directly here and I’ll get back to you asap!


  1. According to Part 107 you have to register a UAS if it’s over .55 pounds whether or not it is used for hobby or commercial purposes. Interesting how he says you may “elect” to register it. Maybe he made the statement before the rules changed.

    1. @Jan. Is that a typo? Not one half pound (i.e., “.55 pounds). The FAA says 55 lb. “If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly for work or business by following the Part 107 guidelines.”

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