The Mavic Mini & Drones Under 250g

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:

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.


Can the Skydio R2 Shake DJI?

When Skydio announced the R2 and began making the first round of deliveries, lots of drone flyers and YouTubers were thrilled to see a competitor to DJI make an affordable, high quality drone worthy of challenging the Chinese drone giant.

Skydio, an American company, is advertising the R2 as one of the safest drones on the market. The R2 carries a plethora of sensors and cameras detecting nearby objects making it extremely difficult to deliberately crash.

While the Skydio R2 has 4k video capabilities, it’s still images are limited to 12MP, making it comparable to the Mavic Air but lacking against the Mavic Pro 2’s 21MP camera.

For more information on the Skydio R2, be sure to check out the video below:


The DJI Mavic Mini – First Look

One of my favorite YouTubers did a little preview of the new DJI Mavic Mini, which effectively is the Spark 2.0 – in fact the camera and gimbal looks almost identical to the one on the Spark.

I used to have a DJI Spark until it autonomously decided to start a landing sequence on its own and disconnect from my controller right over some electrical wires because it “thought” an airport was nearby (hint: there was no airport nearby). This new Mavic is particularly interesting because it allegedly weighs less than what the FAA requires for a drone registration. The Mavic Mini might be a good drone for beginners and kids as it lacks some of the fancier technology found in other drones and its price point is well below the Mavic Pro, Parrot Anafi, or Autel Evo.


Fly-In on a Mountain

I love hiking. And I love flying drones. Mash the two together and you get this video:


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