If you have bought an RC helicopter recently, I can understand the excitement and joy you are feeling right now. But before flying the chopper, the first question that must come to your mind is– do I need to register my RC helicopter?
I know this situation because I had to face the question as well when I decided to buy one for myself. Although registering your RC helicopter varies from one country to another, you should make sure to fulfill the requirements before flying it in the open sky.
In this article, I will try to inform you of everything you need to know about registering your RC Helicopter.
Eligibilities for Registration:
For the USA and any other country in the world, registering the traditional helicopter is a must. But in the case of an RC helicopter, it can be varied country-wise. According to the USA Federal Aviation Administration, you need to register your RC helicopter under the below criteria.
If you are flying an automated radio-controlled aircraft for commercial or recreational purposes, you need to register the aircraft for your safety. After completing the registration process, you will be given an N number. You can use the same N number in all your RC aircraft as you are a registered pilot now.
Commercial RC Aircraft:
The following will be considered commercial uses:
- Using an RC helicopter for shooting birds-eye view with a camera,
- Using the chopper for any photographic purpose from above,
- Delivering goods with an RC helicopter,
- Using for spraying pesticides on a large scale
For safe flying and staying out of trouble, it is better to stay under the FAA’s radar.
If you own an RC helicopter and are using it for commercial or recreational purposes, you need to weigh your helicopter before flying. The RC helicopters up to 55pounds/250g are not eligible for registration.
But if your RC Chopper weighs between 0.55pounds/250g up to 55pounds/25 kg, you need to fill up the registration form under the updated regulations by FAA.
Validity of the registration:
You will need to renew the ID/N number every 3 years. After that, the validity will be over. But once you are a registered pilot, you don’t need to register for another aircraft again. You can use the same N number for all of your aircraft.
Fees And Age:
The online registration process can be completed through the official website of the FAA. The fee is only $5. You can pay with a debit or credit card.
For any sort of recreational or commercial RC helicopter, you need to be at least 13 years older to register. Or you can take help from your parents with this.
Registered RC Helicopters:
The RC helicopters from the swift stream- XL-8CV, Blade from Horizon Hobby, and many other companies, who manufacture RC Helicopters for commercial use, are needed to be registered. Some suppliers these days are registering their RC chopper before marketing to the buyers.
However, in my opinion, you should register your own chopper to avoid any confusion.
Does The FAA Regulate RC Planes?
Answer: Aircraft that fulfill certain criteria are under the regulations of the FAA. That includes- RC planes, drones, helicopters, etc.
What Happens If You Fly A Helicopter Above 400 Feet?
Answer: According to the FAA, you should fly your RC Helicopter within your line of sight. If you fly your helicopter above 400 feet, you will lose sight and will be fined by the administration.
Can The FAA Track Your Aircraft?
Answer: Yes, they have the full authority to track the location or activity if something suspicious happens with the N number of your chopper.
How Long Do You Have To Register An Aircraft After Purchase?
Answer: In every three years.
Now, you have the answer to your question- do I need to register my RC helicopter? You should take measures according to the law of the area you are living in. That’s because it’s better safe than sorry.
In my opinion, you should register your RC helicopter. It will keep you safe because it can be used in illegal activities. Especially, the ones with cameras can put you into the position of fault and you can be accused of spying. So, before flying your helicopter, register it if you have the opportunity.