Standards of Conduct

(Updated Feb 15, 2018)

All DroneUp® UAV/Drone Pilots, community volunteers, and other mission participants (hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘Operators’).

Guiding Principles

  1. The future success of the unmanned systems industry is directly impacted by how professionally our community operates its vehicles and systems.
  2. The fear, uncertainty, and doubt that exists among government agencies and communities will gradually diminish only if we maintain the highest ethical and operational standards.
  3. We utilize our unmanned vehicles: (a) For-profit ONLY when appropriate and correctly authorized; (b) To assist our communities WHENEVER needed.
  4. Federal, state, local, and FAA regulations are not just guidance or suggestions; they are laws that govern our behavior.
  5. We hold ourselves and others within our community to these standards.

FAA Guidelines for safe recreational sUAS operations

  • Follow community-based safety guidelines, as developed by membership organizations.
  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
  • Keep your sUAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
  • Contact the airport and control tower before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport. (Read about best practices here)
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission.

DroneUp Operator Requirements

  1. Operators are solely responsible for understanding and abiding by the rules implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  2. Operators are solely responsible for complying with all applicable legal requirements for the operation of any aircraft, including the detection and avoidance of other aircraft.
  3. Operators must at all times comply with all applicable local, state, national, and international laws and regulations related to the operation of unmanned aerial and other devices, including any applicable laws with regard to property and privacy.
  4. Operators are solely responsible for obtaining and maintaining all necessary licenses, consents, and authorizations of any kind.
  5. Operators are solely responsible for their actions and any consequences of their operation and behavior.
  6. Operators and site users are solely responsible for any posted user content and the consequences of posting their user content on/in the sites, apps, or other locations associated with our services.
  7. Users are solely responsible for any posting or action that results in a violation of any individual’s or organization’s privacy rights.
  8. Operators must always be in command of their aircraft, fly line-of-sight, and always be ready to assume direct control when necessary.
  9. Operators will operate safely and at appropriate distances from people.
  10. Operators must ensure all software, firmware, and reference systems are current.
  11. Operators are aware of hazards, including terrain, obstructions, wind, rain, and temperature which can negatively impact the performance of their drone and battery.
  12. Operators must have adequate insurance to protect themselves and 3rd parties who may be impacted by the operator’s actions or potential hardware failures.

Guidelines for Neighborly Drone Use

We also adhere to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications Information Administration’s (NTIA) recommended voluntary best practices as follows:

  1. If you can, tell other people you’ll be taking pictures or video of them before you do so.
  2. If you think someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy, don’t violate that privacy by taking pictures, video, or otherwise gathering sensitive data, unless you’ve got a very good reason.
  3. Don’t fly over other people’s private property without permission if you can easily avoid doing so.
  4. Don’t gather personal data for no reason, and don’t keep it for longer than you think you have to.
  5. If you keep sensitive data about other people, secure it against loss or theft.
  6. If someone asks you to delete personal data about him or her that you’ve gathered, do so, unless you’ve got a good reason not to.
  7. If anyone raises privacy, security, or safety concerns with you, try and listen to what they have to say, as long as they’re polite and reasonable about it.
  8. Don’t harass people with your drone.

Safety Guidelines

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
  • Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of a dedicated visual observer (VO) in close proximity to the pilot. The flight operation may use a VO but that is not required.
  • First-person view (FPV) goggles can be used by the pilot only when a VO is also present and in close proximity to the pilot.
  • At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not be operated over any persons not directly participating in the operation who are not under a covered structure or not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Daylight-only operations: small unmanned aircraft must operate in daylight or may operate in civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Unmanned aircraft operators must yield right of way to other aircraft.
  • Maximum groundspeed of the unmanned aircraft is 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station with 500 feet of visibility below the clouds and above the aircraft and 2000 feet horizontally between the clouds and the aircraft.
  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required Air Traffic Control (ATC) permission.
  • Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission.
  • No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
  • No operations from a moving aircraft.
  • No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is over a sparsely populated area.
  • No careless or reckless operations.
  • No carriage of hazardous materials.
  • Requires preflight inspection by the remote pilot in command.
  • A person may not operate a small unmanned aircraft if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.
  • The pilot and the aircraft cannot endanger the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS).
  • DroneUp pilots responding to DroneUp flight missions that may be near emergency responders will monitor the DroneUp mission communication channels to ensure they are following the orders of the emergency responders. If there is any doubt about possible interference with emergency responders, stay on the ground.