Recreational Flight in U.S. a couple of doubt for my DJI Spark

Hi folks,

I'm an italian certified UAV Pilot, I'll be for vacation in US (California, Illinois and Washington) and I want to take with me my DJI Spark to make some videos where is possible.

Now FAA website is clear about what to do for a personal, recreational flight,  to follow 336 Section and to register the drone if is more than 0.55lbs and, of course, Sparks weight more than this

Now what I cannot fully understand are these two points I found during my lurking on FAA website registering my drone:

  1. The registration link on the official website says: "to register my small unmanned aircraft to fly with an aero modeling club....  following special rule for Model Aircraft"
  2. Then, in the dots group in this pageis reported Fly a drone under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization (again, the drone has to  be certified or the pilot?)

Now, it seems that you can't use a DJI Spark using the 336 Section without beloging to an aero club or have it "certified by a community based organization".

Can someone help me escaping from this maze?

Can I fly in U.S. with my Spark for recreational flight only registering my drone to FAA website and respecting the flight rules (Ex. visual line of sight, 5 miles from aerodrome etc.) or not?

Thank you in advance,


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Just avoid crowds and Urban areas and you will be fine. Do not use it in National Parks and check State Parks. But basically noone is going to care much as long as you are sensible.

Thank you for your answer Marc,

I only need to know if is it legal or not, I do not want to be arrested :-)

Do you mean I can fly (obviously not where is prohibited) using the 336 Section with my spark just registering it on the FAA website ?

I do not need to use the Ma I 107 right ?

And what about an insurance? it is needed? (I'm asking since in Italy you MUST have the drone insured)

You are over thinking this. This is a tiny, tiny quadcopter. I fly a lot in the USA and I assure you if you do not fly where it is prohibited you will be fine. As for insurance, forget it. If you belong to the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) in theory you have insurance.

If you fly it in a park of any sort where it is prohibited you may encounter police. Just avoid those areas. Otherwise just fly it in open areas and LOS. The only people that get arrested are people fying in areas where it is prohibited.

Thank you so much!

I'm overthinking about this because in Italy regulation is a little bit more complex.

the are two cases, in both cases you must register your drone and you must have an insurance:

1) drones that weight less than 66lbs, you have to it to be certified by the our FAA as "inoffensive" and you do not have to be a "drone pilot"

2) more than 66lbs, you have to be an certified drone pilot.

there is a third way, if you use your drone not as UAV but as aero model, but the regulation says "if has any payload you can use for a specific scenario, it can't be an aero model". So a Spark without a camera is an aeromodel, a Spark with the camera is a UAV! :-)

For this reason I'm over thinking... I was just wondering if there is something I do not understand reading the U.S: regulation :-)

Thank you so much for your answer


Drone regulations in Europe generally are more strict but I still fly all over Europe. I just avoid Urban areas and places where drones are prohibited.

In the US noone will trouble you if you do likewise. I do think Urban areas are a bad idea but even in an wide open space a quick pano over your head or selfie is usually possible without anyone caring. The key is avoiding areas where local ordinance bans drones. Nobody enforces Federal Regulations unless you do something silly like crash in a crowd.

Thank you Marc :-)

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