While Federal laws and regulations are still being hammered out, here are some guidelines from the FlySafe Course, a rigorous certification workshop for commercial and hobby operators of unmanned aerial vehicles. (Source: http://flysafetraining.org/the-guidelines/ )
FLYSAFE recommends certified pilots maintain current flight logs and log a minimum of 4 flights at least 5 minutes each per month to maintain proficiency. This may not be accomplished by simulator.
Operators must at all times have their flight safety checklists present for all official flying. The FLYSAFE flight checklists include preflight, flight, and post flight information. This is acceptable in paper or digital form.
To maintain FLYSAFE current, you must always have a general liability insurance that covers any incidents including property and personal. No less than a $1 million dollar umbrella policy is acceptable. If you are flying for someone, you must list them as additionally insured.
Flying above 400 feet AGL is prohibited at all times. UAV Aerial Photography has its uses primarily as low-range flight. If you must fly above 400 feet AGL, use full sized aircraft to accomplish the altitude. It is recommended for many reasons that you stay below 300 feet AGL, however is required you always stay below 400 feet AGL.
You may not fly over 100′ AGL within 3 miles of an airport without special pre-arranged communication with that airport's operator. In no instance may you fly over, around, or off the ends of any runway. If you must fly at an airport, it must be pre-arranged, and written permissions must be given with specific times and locations as well as altitudes. You must also be equipped with a transceiver to monitor the air traffic frequencies of that airport. It is preferred to have a liaison from the airport supervising. If flying in close proximity to airport guidelines, you must have in your possession a sectional chart outlining the information pertaining to that airports proximity to your shoot location.
First Person View (FPV) is a FLYSAFE approved method of flight with a spotter. The pilot may use the flight monitor (FPV) as reference but there must be a trained designated spotter watching the aircraft via line-of-sight at all times with no exceptions. The most suitable and most encouraged method of flight is direct line of sight. This requires the pilot to fly the aircraft by looking at it directly, unassisted except for corrective eyewear.
Flying while Intoxicated
You may not in any instance act as pilot in command under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Blood alcohol maximum for flight is 0.00.
Flying Over People
(Closed Production Set)
People you fly over or near, must be fully aware of it in advance and must sign an individual release of liability with the understanding that their activities and involvement may result in injury or even death. *Extreme caution must be taken at all times.
Flying over or near people or crowds is to be avoided whenever possible and only permitted in the following circumstances:
1. Client understands and approves of all activities.
2. You have current liability insurance for personal and property damage listing the client as additionally insured.
3. All participants are aware of the activities and have signed a liability release form.
4. You are operating at your own discretion and accept all responsibilities that pertain to your activities
*Extreme caution must be taken at all times.
Flying Over Roadways
It is strongly discouraged to fly over active roadways. When possible, use closed roadways. Flying over roadways is permitted at the pilot's discretion but should never interfere with normal roadway activity (landing on a road, stopping traffic, chasing vehicles, distracting drivers,, etc...). Hovering directly over a roadway is strictly prohibited at all times.
Use for Surveillance or Spying
It is damaging to the reputation of UAV Aerial Photography to use your abilities for surveillance or spying. That is why FLYSAFE prohibits your flight for this purpose. The only exception to this is if you are assisting police, or public safety for official business and remain FLYSAFE compliant on all other flight conditions.
Flying At Night
You may fly at night only if you have a clear understanding of surrounding obstacles in advance as well as suitable exterior aircraft orientation lighting. It is required that all aircraft flying at night must be marked at a minimum with RED lighting on the rear and BLUE lighting on the front. You must also land with (2:00) minutes of reserve power.
Takeoff and Landing Zones
To remain compliant you must choose areas where safe takeoff and landings may be conducted. This is defined by a space no smaller than (10) feet by (10) feet and clear of overhead and lateral obstructions. The Pilot/Remote Control Operator in Command shall check the location to determine if there are any potential radio frequencies or electrical transmissions that could interfere with or affect the safe operation of the aircraft. The aircraft must be checked for proper balance before each flight or after any alterations to the aircraft such as new camera or lens alteration. The area should be cleared of debris. Never, under any circumstance, throw anything such as grip tape, clothing, paper, etc. around the aircraft, whether running or not. Loose clothing, trash, or anything that may hinder the operation of the aircraft, shall be cleared. If there are people in the area of takeoff they are to be made aware, and asked to remain clear of the 10' x 10' area.