FAA reminds U.S. shoppers to fly their UAS' safely

By Ann Bailey | December 02, 2015

 The Federal Aviation Administration is reminding holiday shoppers that a UAS is more than just a toy.

The agency released on Black Friday a reminder to Black Friday shoppers heading to the stores to buy a UAS equipped with a camera that besides taking photographs, they are pilots.

“When you fly your drone anywhere in the nation’s air space, you automatically become part of the U.S. aviation system,” the FAA said in a news release. “Under the law, your drone is an aircraft. So while the rules for drones may be different, you have the responsibility to operate safely, just as a Cessna or 747 pilot does."

The agency includes with the news release a link to a safety checklist it developed for UAS pilots.

The pre-flight checklist, which it calls “I Fly Safe” reminds UAS pilots that:

-          I fly below 400 feet.

-          I always fly within visual line of sight.

-          I’m aware of FAA airspace requirements: faa.gov/go/uastfr

-          I never fly over groups of people.

-          I never fly over stadiums and sports events.

-          I never fly within 5 miles of an airport without first contacting air traffic control and airport authorities.

-          I never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires.

-          I never fly near other aircraft.

-          I never fly under the influence.

 “We want you to fly safe and have fun,” FAA said in the news release.