Flying Drones on the Outer Banks

Drones seem to be everywhere these days. YouTube is full of beautiful videos taken by drones and vacationers seem to be one of the biggest users of drones. Who can blame anyone? The Outer Banks of North Carolina is stunningly beautiful, with miles of pristine beaches, historic landmarks, and loaded with adventure. However, recently there have been several changes to the laws regarding the operation of a drone. This week we share with you all the info you might need to make sure you have the resources to fly your drone legally. Remember, if you have any questions please give your local law enforcement agency a call to make sure you comply with state, federal, and local rules. 

Federal Aviation Administration Rules

Did you know that drones weighing between .55 to 55 lbs must be registered with the FAA? I sure didn't. But have no fear, there is a simple process for registering your drone as well as being in compliance with all Federal rules and regulations. For the basics take a look at the video above. You'll also find a helpful chart below that can help guide you in the right direction. The primary thing you need to determine is if you are flying under Section 336, which is mainly recreational use, or Part 107 which can be recreational or commercial use. This is where all you professional photographers or wedding videographers will fit in. Of course, if you have any specific legal questions make sure to consult an attorney. 

Fly under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft
(Section 336)
Fly under the FAA's Small UAS Rule
(Part 107)
  • Fly for hobby or recreation ONLY
  • Register your model aircraft
  • Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization
  • Fly a model aircraft under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
  • Fly within visual line-of-sight
  • Never fly near other aircraft
  • Notify the airport and air traffic control tower prior to flying within 5 miles of an airport
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts
  • Fly for recreational OR commercial use
  • Register your drone
  • Get a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA
  • Fly a drone under 55 lbs.
  • Fly within visual-line-of-sight*
  • Don't fly near other aircraft or over people*
  • Don't fly in controlled airspace near airports without FAA permission*
  • Fly only during daylight or civil twilight, at or below 400 feet*

* These rules are subject to waiver.

For more information, see:
Fly under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft
For more information, see:
Fly under the Small UAS Rul

Know Your Local Rules

Many places in North Carolina that have restrictions on when and where drones can be flown. For example Nags Head has several ordinances pertaining to drone operations. This isn't all gloom and doom, and you certainly have places that you can fly your drones, but you should be aware of the rules. One place you can always fly is on or over your own private property. For more information on Nags Head's rules check out the video to your left. For other towns like Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Kill Devil Hills make sure to give them a call to get the latest information regarding local drone regulations. 

Be Aware Of North Carolina's Special Rules

Many states have enacted new rules and laws regarding drone operations. North Carolina has been one of the most prominent in legislating drone use. There are several resources you can utilize to comply with North Carolina state law. For a quick shakedown of the key rules click on the NC DOT's official video regarding drone operations. This quick video will help you have fun and stay within the law. For more information from the NC DOT click here. 

No Drones

National Parks Special Rules

Even though Kill Devil Hills is the birthplace of aviation, sadly, drones are not allowed within the Wright Brothers National Memorial. However, there are so many fun aviation exhibits and things to do and see you won't even miss your drone. 

It is also important to note that drones are not allowed in any National Park or over the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Fines and penalties are stiff so, it's best not to take your drone in these restricted areas. 

Where Can You Fly?

There are places that you can fly. Of course, it is always best to check with the local authorities, RC and Drone Clubs, to get the most up to date information. However, as a general rule, you can fly your drone on and over your own property or on another person's property if you have their permission. There is a great App called B4UFLY which is very helpful as it warns you of restricted areas. The App even has a "planner" function so you can plan your future trips like your Outer Banks beach vacation. 

Still haven't booked your Outer Banks beach vacation for the summer? There is still plenty of time left in the season. We have a great inventory of homes to choose from and our friendly staff of reservationists are here to help you find just the right one for you. Give us a call today at (866) 760-3526 or click the button below to start your adventure today. 

Have a favorite drone tip? Leave a comment below and let us know about it. 

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