December 17, 2015
Larry Cogdell, Public Relations Officer, Rogue Eagles RC Club
Recent media stories have reported that just in time for Christmas, many of you (perhaps 700,000) will be receiving a gift of a new DRONE. They have become a very popular gift item but before you even take it out of the box, there are some very important things you need to know.
First, on December 14, 2015, the FAA released this statement. “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.” Therefore, before you fly your drone, you must register with the FAA. Failure to do so could result in a civil fine of up to $27,500. You can register online, starting on December 21st by going to www.faa.gov/uas/registration. Another resource you should read completely is the frequently asked questions page about this issue located here. http://www.faa.gov/uas/faq/.
Second, although many drones are somewhat easy to fly, I suggest you contact someone experienced in these aircraft (yes, the FAA classifies them as aircraft, specifically UAS – Unmanned Aircraft System) to walk you through the setup and testing of your drone before you ever try to fly it. If you do not know anyone, consider contacting a member of a chartered club of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The AMA currently has more than 180,000 members around the country. One of the largest RC clubs in Oregon, the Rogue Eagles, is located in Eagle Point, Oregon with more than 160 members, many of which have experience with these types of aircraft. You can contact me at (541) 840-1514 or check out their web site at www.rogue-eagles.org for additional information.
Third, there are several specific rules and guidelines you must follow to fly your drones legally and just as important, safely. Rather than bore you with a list, comedians, Jeff Dunham and Bubba J. have made an educational video that will give you rules you need to know and also direct you to additional resources. Check them out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay7iKzN5Pxs#t=173.
Fourth, now that you are registered, trained and informed, go FLY and have FUN safely! Merry Christmas.
Larry Cogdell, Public Relations Officer
Rogue Eagles RC Club