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UAV Pilot Training Basics 101

By January 22, 2016Education
UAV Pilot Training

Learn Tips From Our Professional Flight Team of the Safety Rules and Guidelines Associated with Flying

There is a lot of information out there about UAV or drone systems. With drone technology it changes every month in some cases, making it hard to keep up.  Proper UAV pilot training is so important and very necessary to ensure the safety of your drone and anyone else it may come into contact with. Even with the rules and regulations changing, every flyer needs to know their rights.  Soaring Sky’s professional flight team has described some of the most important things to take into consideration.  

Before Flight

Many states just recently passed new laws for drone use in their state. So before you head out to fly, be sure and check your state’s newest laws on flying drones in your area. Remember if you’re traveling to another state to check those rules as well because what may be alright for one may not be ok for another.

One of the biggest things is to know your limitations. What are you capable of doing with a drone. Can you safely fly the vehicle of your choice? Before you buy a drone, what do you want do with it? It is purely hobby flying. Or do you wish to capture video and still images from the drone? Once you have determined what drone to fly, then follow these basic set of rules to fly your new UAV safely.

Just as any pilot, thoroughly inspect your drone before and after each flight. Make notes of anything that looks out of the ordinary, such as cracks in the framework or the shell of the UAV.  Pay attention to detail, such as noticing any variations in the sound of the motors.  Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the  UAVs.

During Flight

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has set guidelines for drones being used for hobby or recreational purposes.  Everyone is strongly encouraged to follow the list of rules below when flying.  

  • Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
  • Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
  • Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
  • Don’t fly in areas with over 500 people or more
  • Don’t fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
  • Don’t be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft

In addition to the first point on the list, you should not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.  This can cause issues with the Wifi and connection between your drone and transmitter.  If you want your drone to survive more than a few flights then I would take this pretty seriously.  You should also avoid flying over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.

This may seem self explanatory but another important fact is to not fly in harsh weather conditions. Make sure you know the capabilities of your drone. There are a bunch of free apps which can assist with current weather conditions in your area.  Along with weather it is also unsafe to fly around at night.  This goes with keeping your UAVs in eyesight at all times and using an observer to assist if needed.ASME

This is one of the most important rules to remember!  It is extremely important to not interfere with manned aircraft operations, you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times. Most drones are equipped with software built in which will not allow a person to fly their drone in restricted airspace. For example, with our DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus, we cannot lift off within a specified range of major and regional airports.  Living in a place like Fort Myers Florida, there are many airparks which may not show up on any map. Knowing the area you are flying in is vital to make sure no mistakes occur.  If you encounter an airfield, you may want to contact the control tower and let them know of your intentions and flight path.  There has been so much bad press recently about drones near airports, but it is such a simple rule that no one should ever break!  

Keeping a flight log is also a very good idea. Not only will it provide you with valuable feedback, but also in case you are asked by local authorities about your activities you can show the documentation of your flight hours, locations, and details about each flight.

The last rule is to never use your UAV to conduct surveillance or photograph people in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission. In some states, not only is it illegal, but civil cases can be brought against the operator.  It is also important to not operate a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Having the proper knowledge before flying a drone and knowing your limitations is very important and can help avoid any accidents.  Reserve your spot and sign up now for the Soaring Sky UAV pilot training at our facility today!