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Things you should know before flying a drone in Michigan

Things you should know before flying a drone in Michigan

(WXYZ) – Flying a drone as a recreational pilot or as an FAA-licensed flier is a privilege and comes with a lot of responsibility.

Drones have become an important tool for law enforcement to track suspects and for news stations and for film crews to obtain aerial shots.

Steven Durecki is the co-owner of Great Lakes Aerial Video Services and an FAA-licensed UAV pilot. he has been flying drones for 10 years

“You need to know what’s going on inside an airport on the take-off and landing areas and the signs so you’re informed about everything,” Durecki said.

There are two types of drone pilots. One is a recreational pilot and the other is an FAA licensed drone pilot. But regardless of status, all drones are required to be registered with the FAA and flight plans are required to be filed before they can fly. Commercial drone operators can fly above 400 feet. Recreational pilots can’t.

“Most jobs, if I’m not sitting in a residential area and doing houses for real estate, I’ll have a spotter with me at whatever location I have one with,” Durecki said.

Many universities, such as the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Oakland University, have strict policies saying that you cannot fly a drone on campus even though it is public property. Flyers still require permission from special university committees to be a commercially licensed UAV pilot.

Durecki says as an instructor and FAA-certified pilot, he’s had a problem with the tracking software, but he won’t push the limits.

Here are some resources for understanding drone laws and drone use.

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