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The FAA’s new Small UAS Regulations  (Part 107 of the FAR’s) which include operating rules and pilot certification, are in effect as of August 29, 2016.  A small unmanned aircraft is defined as an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds on takeoff, including everything onboard or otherwise attached to the aircraft.

A remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating is required to act as a remote pilot in command.  Eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • English proficient
  • No known physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS
  • Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either passing a test or, if a licensed pilot meeting FAA currency standards and completing a training course available online

Part 107 also spells out accident reporting requirements unique to small UAS’s.  An accident is defined as any operation of a small UAS involving serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness; or damage to any property, other than the small UAS, unless the cost of repair does not exceed $500, or the fair market value of the property does not exceed $500 in the event of a total loss.  Accidents must be reported to the FAA within 10 days.

Certificates of waiver authorizing a deviation from the following Part 107 requirements are available:

  • Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft
  • Daylight operation
  • Visual line of sight operations
  • Visual observer
  • Operation of multiple small UAS’s
  • Yielding right of way
  • Operation over people
  • Operation in certain airspace
  • Operating limitations

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