Today

Last Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules for hobbyist drone pilots in an effort to keep the national airspace safe and available for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer exempt under Section 336 and are now required to follow these new FAA rules and regulations. Unfortunately, for the time being, this means that hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer able to fly in controlled airspace at all, with the exception of these designated areas.

Later this summer, when the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system will be made available to hobbyist drone pilots, they will be required to obtain approval for their flights in controlled airspace through the LAANC system. If this sounds to you like the FAA is putting the horse behind the wagon, then I would agree. However, this is the situation that we are dealing with for now. Keep in mind it will only be temporary until the FAA makes LAANC available to all pilots.

However, this is not all. The FAA will also require all hobbyist drone pilots to take an electronic aeronautical knowledge and safety test. And, you will be required to show proof of you successfully passing the exam to any FAA official or police officer upon request.

Keep reading for all the details of these new rules and what it means to you. If you prefer to watch a 12-minute video instead of reading, I suggest you watch the one below from 51drones.

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The DJI Osmo Action is off to a very good start. Many people seemed to doubt if DJI’s action camera could stand up to competition from GoPro’s Hero 7 black. However, many of the initial reviews show that the DJI Osmo Action is actually quite an amazing little action camera. The electronic image stabilization, RockSteady does an amazing job and, of course, having two display does make recording a lot easier. If you bought a DJI Osmo Action over the weekend, be sure to update it to DJI’s latest firmware before using. The new update brings some final touches and improvements to things such as the sound system, RockSteady, the WiFi connection, and improved Timelapse and HDR video quality.

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DJI Mavic Pro

May 18

Not too long ago, we wrote that DJI was about to release their software development kit (SDK) for the DJI Smart Controller. Well, they did so earlier this week. The SDK allows third-party developers to build their applications fully integrated with the DJI Smart Controller. Expect Litchi to be one of the first apps available on the, now even more expensive DJI Smart Controller.

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May 17

The FAA dealt a serious blow to hobby drone pilots when they released these new rules that restrict them from flying in controlled airspace over many American cities. Hobby drone pilots were allowed to fly in controlled airspace with a notification to air traffic control, or by flying at an AMA Field.

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Alphabet’s Wing expands drone deliveries to Helsinki, Finland starting in June

Alphabet’s Wing drone delivery service is slowly spreading. Following its debut in Australia recently and approval for service in Virginia, Wing has just announced that it’ll be making deliveries in Helsinki, Finland starting next month.

Are you looking for a real estate drone? Aerial real estate photography is becoming more popular all the time. In some markets, it is almost a requirement that a listing has photographs, and often video, taken from the air. Professional pilots today can earn fees starting at $200 for a 30-minute job. So what is the best drone for the job? And what do you need to know before you fly? We are here to help. expand full story

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