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Can I fly a UAS that weighs more than 55 pounds within my own private property if I stay below say, 200 feet? I do not have 333 exemption

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    $\begingroup$ It may help to list (generally) where you are. Airspace regulations extend to the surface and the type of airspace you are in may effect the answer. $\endgroup$ – Dave Feb 28 '18 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ Even on your own property, a UAV can lose the control signal, or malfunction, and travel well outside of your property before impacting heaven knows what. The larger the UAV, the more damage from the impact, the propellers, or the resulting fire if the liquid fuel ignites or the li-ion batteries short circuit and ignite. I believe that's the FAA's concern over large UAV's... not like a hobby quad copter that will just bounce off of a building or a car, and not like a land based vehicle that usually won't go far before impacting something in an uncontrolled situation. $\endgroup$ – tj1000 Feb 28 '18 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ The FAA regulates the airspace from the surface to 60,000 feet regardless who owns the land property beneath it. $\endgroup$ – Steve Kuo May 19 '18 at 13:12
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TL;DR

According to the FAA Part 333 rules, all UA aircraft (> 55 lbs) must register with the FAA with an N-number before flight. As far as I can tell, the rules don't specify zones or altitudes where the regulations aren't in effect, so I think it is highly advisable to register.

My personal rationale

Being safe just in case is far better, at least in my mind, than choosing to avoid registration. I know people in my RC Quadcopter possee that fly sUAS aircraft but don't have Part 107 licenses. I have one, (I would rather be safe than sorry) but I could see how as long as you are careful, flying a small sUAS without a Part 107 license isn't such a terrible option.

In my mind, UA aircraft are an entirely different story, as they are inherently significantly larger than sUAS aircraft, and if something does go wrong, damages would be more severe. The risks (not to mention the responsibility) involved are far more substantial, and I would never consider flying a UA aircraft without a license even if I was only flying on my own property.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you mean "never consider flying a UA aircraft wit no liscence" at the end, but didn't want to suggest edit for something potentially involving meaning. $\endgroup$ – StarWeaver May 18 '18 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @starweaver yes. Thanks for the suggestion! $\endgroup$ – ifconfig May 18 '18 at 17:05
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Flying over your own property doesn't matter. As soon as you leave the blade of grass, whether at 1 inch or 1 mile, you are under FAA domain.

Therefore in your case, you would need to comply with appropriate regulations.

If you have a special application, or you are doing some specialized development, you might look in to a waiver. But in general, expect that all the rules apply to you even if you are over your property. This includes prohibitions about flying over people, night operations, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ No one considers "flying while touching the ground somehow" to be flying, so the opening soulds contradictory. $\endgroup$ – StarWeaver May 18 '18 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @StarWeaver, good point on English usage, and I have edited the answer per your point. $\endgroup$ – mongo May 18 '18 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ IDK about that 1 inch. I mean, if I imported a Flymo en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flymo would I have to register it with the FAA? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 18 '18 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf: The Flymo (my dad had one) is connected to the ground by the pilot, if that makes any difference. Now a ride-on Flymo ... Do hovercraft fall under FAA in the USA? I was intrigued on a jetfoil journey between Ostende, Belgium and Dover, Britain, many years ago to have a pre "take-off" briefing by the cabin crew. $\endgroup$ – Transistor May 18 '18 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Transistor: Well, how about a remote-controlled Flymo, then? Or one that's purely robotic? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 19 '18 at 2:01
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Sure. In the eyes of the FAA, a UAS over 55lbs is no different from any other aircraft operating in the national airspace system and subject to the regulations under Title 14 CFR.

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