“Mommy, Daddy, may I please have a drone?”
You may have been asked this pressing question by your child, once or even a hundred times. Drones are the new LEGO – it’s the shiny new toy. But is it safe for your child, and what rules does he or she need to follow when flying their own toy drone?
Remote-controlled airplanes would have been a fantasy a century ago – now, drones essentially have fulfilled this dream. You may have seen one whizzing above your head, or even seen beautiful aerial shots in movies and wondered, “how did they capture that on video?” Drones are much more common and much less dangerous than are typically thought to be – with model specifications and limitations, drones are literally wired to follow stringent UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) regulations.
In this article, we’ll go over the excitement and limitations of toy drones, specifically covering:
- Licensing Your Toy Drone
- Registering Your Toy Drone
- Rules for Flying Your Toy Drone
- Best Toy Drones on the Market
Do I need a drone license for my toy drone?
The short answer: no. The FAA only requires persons that fly commercial drones to register and license their drone with the Part 107 certificate. Flying with the Part 107 certificate is actually more restricting than flying without one – when receiving the certificate, you must agree to comply with regulations not enforced on recreational pilots, such as not flying at night or over a certain altitude. Luckily, this does not encompass drone pilots who fly their drones recreationally, whether that be you or your child. Moreover, the toy drone you ultimately buy would likely not have the specs to fly at a high altitude – some toy drones are meant to be flown in very limited quarters, even indoors!
Do I need to register my toy drone?
The short answer: most likely, but it depends on the weight of your drone. If your drone weighs 0.55 lbs or more (250 grams or more), then you’ll need to register it with the FAA online. You’ll need to register it under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, as you’re planning to fly it recreationally. The registration itself is simple, costs $5, and is valid for three years. If you have more than one recreational drone, the same registration number is valid on all of your drones. You must register your drone before you can fly it anywhere.
Do I need to follow any rules to fly my toy drone?
The short answer: yes. After registering your drone with the FAA but before you take your toy drone out for its first flight, you’ll need to follow rules. With toy drones, though, their aerial coverage is probably so limited that you won’t need to worry about many of these rules.
The following rules apply for toy drones:
- Fly below 400 feet
- Keep within line of sight
- Call airport if you are within 5 miles of the airport
- Don’t fly over people
- Don’t fly under the influence
- Be aware of airspace
Best Toy Drones on the Market
Choosing the best toy drone can be difficult: there are always compromises between features, battery life, weight, and so on. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best toy drones on the market for you to consider. We’ll highlight important features and pros and cons of each model.
Techboy TB-802 One-Key Drone, (est. $26.45)
This drone is the ultimate indoor toy drone for your little one. Instead of the typical button-riddled remote controller, this drone is flown by hand motion. It comes with a motion-sensor controller – just put this on your hand and the drone will mimic your hand motions! This drone flies at only 34g, posing no threat to your beloved bases or lamps! With a flying time of 5-8 minutes, this is the perfect
toy for practicing indoor flying!
- 34 grams
- Motion-sensor controller
- Includes a pair of spare propellers
- Can be charged by a USB cable
- Remote distance of 20 meters
- Flying time of 5-8 minutes
Potensic A20 (est. $49.99)
At just 190 grams, this mini-drone is perfect for your child. It’s light, it’s small, and best of all, it’s easy to use. It has a built-in one key take-off and landing feature – your child simply has to press one button to begin flying the drone! Control this drone with the included remote controller (no iPad or a like device needed!) for up to 15-18 minutes. The Potensic A20 also includes an emergency stop feature, making it even easier for your child to play with this drone safely!
- 190 grams
- One key take-off and landing feature
- Emergency stop feature
- Intuitive remote control
- Flight time of 15-18 minutes
Hubsan X4 Quadcopter with FPV Camera Toy, (est. $150)
This is a serious toy drone for your older children. This is definitely the “cool” drone that your kids don’t need to know is actually a toy drone. With a control distance of 50-100 meters and a live video distance of 100 meters, this drone is more suited for outdoor use than indoor use. What elevates this drone is its in-controller display and its sophisticated (but intuitive) remote control. Your older child will love this advanced gadget!
- Control distance of 50-100 meters
- Live video distance of 100 meters
- Flight time of 7 minutes
- Blade protector included
- Sensitive flight pattern
Get Certified to Fly Commercially
The Dronegenuity Part 107 Test Prep Course does a deep dive into all of the topics that are covered on the FAA’s Part 107 Exam. This exam is required for drone users who intend on using their drone commercially. In other words, if you intend on making money with your drone, this course sets you up to take the FAA’s exam and get your certification. We’ll cover topics such as FAA regulations, weather, radio communications, sectional charts (of course), the national airspace system, and more. Enroll now to take your first step towards FAA certification.
We’d love to hear from you if you want to learn more about the benefits of aerial drone photography for the real estate industry. If you’re interested in obtaining your Part 107 Commercial Drone License or other drone training courses, please contact us at Dronegenuity today! We offer professional aerial photography services, performed by FAA licensed drone operators for customers of all sizes. All of the work that we do is completely customized and we make the process simple and convenient.