As a continuation of our Drone-Waiver series, today we're going over how to obtain a section 107.31: Visual Line-of-Sight wavier. According to the FAA, a drone pilot must always have their drone in view during operation. This rule was made as a safety precaution since the drone camera can be deceiving about its surroundings.
Applying for a section 107.31 waiver can come in handy for those who want to survey large fields, forest mines and commercial properties, as well as assess emergency situations before dispatching first responders.
Since this waiver tends to be so high risk, before you apply for it, it is necessary to come up with an extremely detailed plan. As we have previously stated, the more detail you provide the FAA, the more likely your waiver will be approved.
With this in mind, there are 3 main steps that can help you succeed in obtaining a section 107.31 waiver.
Develop a plan and conduct a risk assessment. This gives you a surface-level view of problems you may run into, and also helps you lay out a clear plan of what you intend to do. Compile data about your flight plan. This includes what altitude it would be best to fly at, what speed, what you are doing, etc. A great way to do this would be at the FAA's testing facilities. It also helps to partake in an FAA pathway program.Submit your FAA waiver here, along with all your plans, research, and data. This will show the FAA you have thought through your flight and plan to abide by all necessary safety standards.
Applying for this waiver will be time-consuming. Between the testing, making plans, compiling data, and the approximate 3-4 month turnaround time, you want to make sure you apply early enough to have your waiver approved in time for the work you need to do.
As always before any flights, refer to the B4U Fly app and make sure your drone is registered.
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