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Frequently Asked Questions About UAVs

  • What is a RC Model Aircraft?

    A UAS used by hobbyists and flown within visual line-of-sight under direct control from the pilot, which can navigate the airspace, and which is manufactured or assembled, and operated for the purposes of sport, recreation and/or competition.

  • Do I need to get approval from the FAA to fly a model aircraft for recreational use? No. FAA guidance does not address size of the model aircraft. FAA guidance says that model aircraft flights should be kept below 400 feet above ground level (AGL), should be flown a sufficient distance from populated areas and full scale aircraft, and are not for business purposes. FAA Fact Sheet for  Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

  • Are their restrictions for model airplanes?

    Yes! Although a hobbyist does not need a license of COA to fly RC model RC airplanes and helicopters must also obey FAA Rules and Regulations.  See UAS Aviation Rulemaking CommitteeDOT Model Aircraft Operating Standards; FAA Regulations.

    And, Model Aircraft operations that are conducted in accordance with an FAA accepted set of standards established and administered by a community based association as discussed in Section 2.2, shall otherwise be exempt from the requirements of any Special Federal Airworthiness Regulation (SFAR) that results from this recommendation as long as they are operated by:

  • What is a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)?

    An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) also referred to as an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is a helicopter or aircraft, which can operate under its own control or under the control of a remote human pilot. An aircraft (as defined by 14 CFR 1.1) that is intended to navigate in the air without an onboard pilot. More Information

  • What is a Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

    An unmanned aircraft and its associated elements related to flight operation which may include Control Stations, data communications links, support equipment, payloads, flight termination systems, and launch/recovery equipment.
     More Information

  • What is a VTOL UAV?

    A VTOL UAV is a Vertical Take Off Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which has the ability to take off and land without a runway. Because a VTOL UAV does not need a runway to take off or land, they can be easily be deployed in locations that conventional aircraft can't.  More Information

  • What is the difference between an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), a Remotely Operated Aircraft (ROA), and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)?

    ROA and UAV were terms previously used to identify unmanned aircraft. Currently the FAA and most of the international community uses the term “UAS."

  • Do I need to get FAA approval for commercial use of a UAV?

    Current FAA Regulations prohibits the use of an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes.  FAA Rules for opening the National Air Space (NAS) in 2015 for commercial usage.

  • If I fly a UAS for business purposes, such as new technology development, am I required to get approval from the FAA?

    Yes. There are presently two methods of gaining FAA approval for flying UAS: Special Airworthiness Certificates - Experimental Category (SAC-EC) for civil aircraft, and Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for public aircraft.  

  • What’s the difference between public and civil aircraft?

    A public aircraft is one that is only for the United States government or owned and operated by the government of a state, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the U. S. or a political subdivision. Operators of public aircraft include DOD, DOJ, DHS, NASA, NOAA, state/local agencies and qualifying universities. Civil aircraft means other than a public aircraft.

Commercial Grade UAVs Need FAA Approval?



DJI Phantom IREO with IR Camera
Ghost L RC Quadcopter
SYMA X5C RC Quadcopter
TALI H500 RC Multi-Rotor
Yuneec Tornado H920
Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K
Yuneec Typhoon Q500+
Yuneec Typhoon Q500 G
Yuneec Video Tutorials
914 Rotax Manned/Unmanned
Alliance HD UAV Drone
Alliance UAV Drone
Avenger UAV Drone

RDASS Q1000 4 Rotor UAV

UAV Sprayers

AG-VA Multi-Rotor Sprayers
AG-Hercules UAV Sprayer
AG-RH-01 Heli UAV Sprayer
AG-80-1 Heli UAV Sprayer
AG-HCD80-15 Heli UAV Sprayer
AG-MRCD Multi-Rotor UAV Sprayer


AG DeltaFW70 Fixed Wing UAV

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