There is a lot of misinformation regarding drones weighing less than 250 grams after the reveal of the DJI Mavic Mini. Many drone users are under the impression that a quad weighing less than 250 grams is exempt from all FAA rules and regulations.
Take, for example, this awful video of Casey Neistat fumbling his Mavic Mini around. At roughly 2 minutes into the video, he calls a friend and asks him about the Mavic Mini and how it relates to the FAA. “They don’t really have any oversight as to what you can do.”
The FAA regulates airspace over the United States and anything in that airspace is within the jurisdiction of the FAA – not your State, not your local county, not the city you live in, and definitely not a Casey Neistat YouTube video.
“You are considered a recreational flyer if you fly your drone for fun.”Taken directly from the FAA website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/
That’s it. It has nothing to do with the weight of the drone or sUAS. The only thing the FAA wants you to do as a recreational flyer if your drone weighs 250 grams or more is register it. Otherwise, regardless of the weight of your drone, it is still subject to the same safety rules as drones weighing between 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and 55 lbs.
So, if you buy a Mavic Mini, please stay 5 miles away from airports, don’t fly over live traffic, don’t fly over people, and stay informed on rules and regulations. Don’t ruin the hobby for everyone else. I always strongly urge any and all drone operators (whether you’re flying commercially or for fun) to abide by Part 107 safety rules.
We all know that the second a drone causes a massive accident, government bureaucrats will jump on the opportunity to ban drones altogether. Don’t be that guy. Fly safe.