Can You Fly A Drone At Night | Expert’s Answer

can you fly a drone at night

Drones are awesome and they seem to be all the hype these days. Whether you are using it for recreational purposes or commercial, flying a drone is fun! If you want to fly it around and record things from eagle’s eye perspective then buy an FPV Goggle to control drone at any time, day or night. 


The question is, can you fly a drone at night? Well, that is exactly the question that we are going to answer in this article so let us not beat around the bush anymore and start answering all of the major queries you may have regarding drone flying at night.




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Can you fly a drone at night?

The simple answer is yes, yes you can. As long as you are flying for recreational purposes, as a hobby, you can fly your drone at night. Go out and fly your drone for fun without worrying about any legal consequence.

This is a point of controversy in the drone community as drone pilots that went through the trouble of getting a license to fly a drone for profit reasons and got all the legal complications sorted feel rather dumped on when many people illegally do the same under the disguise of “doing it for fun.”

can you fly a drone at night

So, coming back, can you fly a drone at night? As long as you are taking off for fun, you can fly your drone after dark.

Guidelines for flying a drone at night

There are some guidelines you must follow to fly a drone at night, they are

1. Stay below 121 meters or 400 feet

To avoid any conflict with aviation authorities, it is recommended to fly your drone below 121 meters or 400 feet. Above this range, airplanes and helicopters fly so naturally, you must stay below that level. The limit may vary from place to place, so check the limit in your country before taking off.

2. Do not fly over people or private property

I do not think this point needs any explanation. Despite filming in public is legal, flying over someone’s head or private property certainly is not acceptable and you should avoid it.

I do not think this point needs any explanation. Despite filming in public is legal, flying over someone’s head or private property certainly is not acceptable and you should avoid it.

3. Keep your drone in your line of sight

You do not want your drone out of your sight. Always make sure that it is in plain sight. You do not want to lose your drone and you certainly do not want your drone to hurt someone or their property.

Flying a drone at night for commercial reasons

The drone industry has opened the flood gates of all the creative photographers and videographers out there. Being able to click pictures and make videos like never before, drones seem like the future. After all, they are a billion-dollar industry at this point.

We established that you could fly a drone at night as long as you are doing it for recreational purposes. Same cannot be said for commercial reasons. You can fly your drone at night for commercial reasons, but there are some extra steps to doing so.


Note: These regulations and licenses are for flying a drone in the USA. Thankfully, in most other countries, you do not need any special license to fly a drone for commercial or personal reasons.

How to get the Remote Pilot Airman’s Certificate

First if you want to fly a drone for profit/commercial use, you are going to need a license to do so. People that wish to use their drones for commercial reasons are going to require a Remote Pilot Airman’s Certificate which will be issued by the FAA.


Some of the regulations governed are

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • You've to Pass the Aeronautical Test (also called the Part 107 test) at any one of the 700 FAA-approved knowledge testing centers across the country.
  • Apply for a Remote Pilot Certificate. Get it using the FAA's online IACRA system 48 hours after taking the Aeronautical Knowledge Test.
  • Get approval from background check by the Transportation Security Administration.

Post getting your license, you are also obligated to do the following:

  • Update your drone registration every 36 months and keep the registration card with you whenever you are flying your drone.
  • Be sure to report any accidents that may occur whilst fly to the FAA within 10 days of any incident that results in injury or property damage over $500.
  • Before all flights, it is necessary to conduct a preflight inspection in-order to ensure the drone is safe for operation.
  • Keep renewing your license up to date by passing a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.

Things to keep in mind while flying your drone commercially

can you fly a drone at night
  • Drones that are used for commercial purposes must weigh less than 55 pounds.
  • They cannot be flown at night, over people, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), or from a moving vehicle without a waiver.
  • Drones cannot be flown in controlled airspace without prior authorization.
  • All commercial drone pilots must hold a Remote Pilot Airman’s Certificate (what we spoke about above).

Conclusion

I hope this article provided you with all the information you required. If all you want to do is get out there and fly your drone with your friends, maybe shoot 1 or 2 eagle eye shots, go for it without the fear of any legal consequence.


Keep in mind some basic rules like not entering a private property or shooting videos of strangers, but as long as you are doing it for fun, you are set! As wanting to use your drone for commercial reasons, at least in the USA, you are going to need special licenses for that and waivers for flying at night. It is rather troublesome, but it is what it is. Happy flying!

can you fly a drone at night
Stefan
 

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