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A couple quick newbie questions
509 5 2016-12-26
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fansaf17e990
lvl.1

United States
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Hello all,

My son just got a Phantom 3 for Christmas.  We've done a couple quick flights at our house but nothing more than just a bit of hovering.  I am now trying to make sure we fulfill all of the legal requirements before doing any real flying.  Just a couple questions for some clarification on those requirements as I am finding that they are a bit ambiguous.

First, my understanding is that we are supposed to register the drone.  All I could find was the FAA site where I entered my information and paid $5 to receive a certificate.  There was no where to enter information about the actual drone.  Is that all there is to it or do I have to register the specific drone - and if so where do I do that?  Also, should I have entered my son's information since he will be the actual pilot most of the time?

Second, according to many websites we are supposed to request permission before flying within 5 miles of ANY airport, airfield or helipad.  When looking on the B4YFly app there is virtually no where to freely fly near our house - and we live in the country.  There are small private airfields located all around us as well as a small public airfield that seves private planes in the vacinity.  Is it required that we notify them or are these regulations concerning only major airports?  Also, do we have to request permission everytime we want to fly or is it a one-time deal?

Thanks for any help.  As I mentioned, this is my son's drone and he is going to be the one flying most of the time.  However, I will likely get a drone for myself in the future and will be flying as well.

Thanks,

Matt

2016-12-26
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WilliamM
First Officer
Flight distance : 904364 ft
United States
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First, It's the person that is getting the certificate, not the drone. That's why there's no drone info, once you get the cert it covers all your drones.
Next on the airports, here's a copy of a Q+A from the FAA site.

"Do I have to notify all airports within five miles of where I want to fly recreationally?
Yes, you must contact any airports (including heliports and sea-based airports) and air traffic control towers within five miles of your proposed area of operations if flying under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95, Section 336)."
Lastly, your son can get the certificate in his name if at least 13.
2016-12-26
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
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United States
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1st question, since you paid the $5, you are all registered.
And the 2nd, Your aircraft has GEO software built into it and will not let you fly with certain distances and altitudes of the airport. As far as notification to the nearby airport facilities, the above post addressed it what you should do.
2016-12-26
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Hoomi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 231394 ft
United States
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Be sure, per the FAA rules, to put your FAA Registration number on your drone as well. It can placed anywhere that it can be seen without using tools, which includes inside the battery compartment. I used a label maker to print it clearly, and attached it to the underside of my Phantom.
2016-12-27
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Maurice Marques
lvl.1

United States
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Excellent question and very important for new pilots. Learn before you fly.
I have the same experience, when opening the app it tells me there are several airports around but most of them are heliports and not even operational, so you should try to contact them all at least once to see if they are operational and if they have a control tower.
2016-12-27
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fansaf17e990
lvl.1

United States
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Thanks for the replies everyone - I appreciate it.  I thought the thread got buried by all of the activity on the forum at first but saw today that there were these responses.  The first part seems pretty straight forward.  I'll just grab a label maker or sharpie and get that number on the drone.  

As for the second question, I understand it but as we found yesterday it doesn't make things easy.  My son decided to bring the drone along on our drive into Portland (about an hour away) to film some of the great sports we would be driving by along the way.  Turns out that pretty much everywhere he thought about flying was restricted by Multiple  airfields and/or airports - and once we got into Portland it was just a jumbled mess of restricted circles.  Just doesn't seem realistic to contact all of them before flying.  I understand and respect the reasoning and importance of the airspace requirements, but in the back of my head I wonder how many drone flyers really contact anything but a major airport before flying.  As mentioned, we live in a rural area and it would be odd to see more than 1-2 small planes flying in any given day and they are always WELL above 400'.  Nevertheless, for us to fly at our house we would have to make at least five calls every time we want to fly.  Can't imagine how anyone wanting to fly in a larger city would possibly be able to notify every airport and airfield around them each time they fly.  We have every intention to follow the rules and notify the airports, but I was hoping there is an easier way.  It would be great if there was a website with a very simple online form that could be completed to indicate that your are flying a drone in a certain area and then forward that information to any relevant airports - or maybe a centralized website that would show a bubble indicating that you are flying a drone in that area.

Thanks again!

Matt
2016-12-29
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