Flying drone at night what you must know.

Posted by Iva Milanova on November 18th, 2020

If you are a drone pilot and you are interested to fly your drone in the Night hours, you should read this article. There are specific rules for performing such a flight and you have to be up to date with the latest drone regulations. 

First of all - here comes the question - Are drone night flights allowed?

The answer - is Yes.

But this comes with some specific conditions. They concern the Night Waiver. The Night Waiver is absolutely obligated to flying a drone at night. 

A waiver is an official document issued by the FAA which approves certain operations of aircraft outside the limitations of regulation.

You may request to fly specific drone operations not allowed under part 107 by requesting an operational waiver. These waivers allow drone pilots to deviate from certain rules under part 107 by demonstrating they can still fly safely using alternative methods.

The exact Rules for flying drones at night are:

⦁ Always give way to the Manned aircraft. 

⦁ Keep visual contact with the drone during hall flight. 

⦁ The night flights are only for hobby or recreational purposes. 

⦁ Follow a community-based set of safety guidelines.

⦁ The drone weight must be at a max of 55 lbs. Otherwise, you have to be 

Certified by a Community-based organization. 

⦁ Air traffic control towers are always with priority. Keep the distance to any air-tower at least 5 miles.

The FAA has upgraded its LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) system to allow recreational flyers to request automated airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace.

Learn how to request automated airspace authorization through the AirMap apps here.

Do you need a License to Fly your Drone At Night For Commercial Purposes?

⦁ Yes. 

To legally operate a small UAS under Part 107, you will need to have a remote pilot airman certificate. Or as another option, you need to have a supervisor who has such a certificate.

In order to qualify for such a pilot certificate, You need to be at least 16 years old. There are two options for applying for the certificate:

⦁ You can pass an aeronautical knowledge test at a knowledge testing center which has been FAA-approved

⦁ When you already own a Part 61 pilot certificate, other than a student pilot certificate, you must have completed a flight test in recent 24 months and you must take a UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

Once you have your pilot certificate, you need to apply for a Night Waiver from FAA. In order to get your night waiver, you can read all FAA drone Regulations. 

Once you get all the needed documents to fly your drone at night, it's good to think about the flight. What you should prepare in advance?

Here we give you a list of good practices about that:

⦁ Choose and prepare all your needed equipment. Make sure all batteries are fully charged. This is valid about all your devices - tablets, phones, etc. 

⦁ Choose very carefully the place where you will perform the night flight. It's good to be a well-known place where you had already fly at day time. This will help you and shall prevent your drone from any unwanted incidents. 

⦁ Your ND filters must be taken off.

⦁ The front LEDs - turn them off.

Our final advice is always read the official websites of the responsive authorities for up to date info and the latest drone rules and regulations. 

Have a happy drone time!

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Iva Milanova

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Iva Milanova
Joined: April 26th, 2020
Articles Posted: 4

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