Your Drone Questions. Answered. podcast

YDQA: Ep 46 - "What are the rules and regulations when it comes to alcohol or drugs and flying drones?"

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Welcome back to another episode of "Your Drone Questions Answered" where John Dickow, alongside David Young, founder of Drone Launch Academy, tackles a critical topic – the rules and regulations surrounding the consumption of alcohol and drugs while operating drones

David begins by emphasizing the potential dangers of combining drones with substances like alcohol or drugs, emphasizing that such a combination is never a good idea. He proceeds to break down the regulations for commercial drone operators under Part 107, drawing attention to the specific provisions outlined in section 107.27. These regulations encompass factors such as the time frame within which a pilot must abstain from alcohol before operating a drone, the prohibition of flying under the influence, and the restriction on using drugs that affect judgment or coordination.

David delves into various scenarios to illustrate how these regulations may apply in real-life situations. For instance, he discusses the implications of having even a single drink within eight hours of drone operation, the risks associated with having a blood alcohol level of 0.04 or higher, and the consequences of appearing under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a flight.

Transitioning to the recreational side of drone flying, David introduces the 44809 exemption, which governs model aircraft and recreational drones. He points out the importance of operating under the rules and policies of model aircraft organizations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Even in recreational settings, the administrator of the FAA retains the authority to enforce actions against individuals operating drones in a manner that endangers the national airspace system.

The episode also touches upon the potential penalties and fines for violating these regulations, emphasizing that fines could apply to both recreational and commercial drone operators. David stresses the severity of consequences, especially when mixing drugs or alcohol with drone operation, urging all drone enthusiasts to prioritize safety and adhere to established guidelines.

John and David discuss the potential loss of licenses and the release of medical records to the FAA, highlighting the gravity of breaking these regulations. They emphasize the importance of understanding and following the rules to ensure safe and responsible drone flying.

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