Flying drones at night - FAA 107.29 Explanation

Flying a drone or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) at night offers tremendous possibilities for enterprise markets and public safety. There are numerous uses with thermal and standard cameras for inspections, search and rescue, surveillance, and more. While flying at night does provide incredible real time information, there are some risks, hazards, and limitations that need to be understood and overcome. Night flight is any flight that takes place 30 minutes after the sun goes down (civil twilight) and 30 minutes before the sun rises (civil sunrise), or anytime between.

UAV Night Flight Challenges

One of the biggest night flight challenges is the inability to see potential obstacles like power lines, tree branches, and wires. Any contact with these obstacles could produce accidental and potentially catastrophic damage to the drone along with property and/or persons in the area. This challenge can be overcome by properly scouting the area in the daytime, conducting pre-flight inspections and using a spotlight to help illuminate these hazards.

Another challenge is preserving night vision. It takes 30 minutes for your eyes to fully acclimate in the dark, so accidental exposure to light pollution such as looking at your cell phone will impair flight ability for at least that long. The use of red light on the ground in the launch area allows the pilot and observers to still see while preserving their night vision. The use of red gels and sunglasses can also help prevent accidental exposure to light pollution.

UAV Night Flight Certifications

Under Part 107 (Commercial Flight), remote pilot certificates require waiver FAR 107.29 to deal with night flight operations. Here is the official language:

107.29 Daylight Operation:

- Except for Alaska, a period of time that begins 30 minutes before official sunrise and ends at official sunrise

- Except for Alaska, a period of time that begins at official sunset and ends 30 minutes after official sunset

- In Alaska, the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac.

The FoxFury Rugo 2 lights meets the above requirements for 107.29. In fact, they are visible from a distance of 6 statute miles. The Rugo Quick Swap Power Pack with Strobe strobes at a rate of 90 times per minute, which is within the FAA requirement of 40-100 times per minute.

Assuming you have fulfilled the above requirements, you still need to have technical proficiency to fly a drone. Flying at night is stressful and practice is important.

The pilot also needs a night waiver when flying under section 107. Waivers for night flight need to be written correctly to help the pilot get access granted.The most important thing to consider when your waiver is that you have considered all possible problems that could arise and you are prepared to deal with each every one of them.

The approval process can take days to weeks, so it is critical to get it submitted and approved on the first attempt. The majority of 107.29 waivers are rejected by the FAA for a variety of reasons, yet the greatest cause of rejected waivers falls into two categories:

  • Incomplete waiver application
  • Copy / pasted waiver application and explanation of various procedures

 

To learn more, visit the Complete Guide to Drone Lights

 

Drone with Rugo Light illuminates path during inspection
Drone with Rugo 2 Lights illuminates path during inspection

 

Two Rugo Lights on a Drone meet 107.29 requirements.
Rugo 2 Lights mounted on a DJI Inspire

 

If you need anti-collision lighting that meets 107.29 requirements, the FoxFury D3060 and D10 are great options.

FoxFury D3060 drone light
FoxFury D3060
FoxFury D10 light
FoxFury D10

If you need 107 training, night flight instruction, or assistance with waivers, please reach out to Sundance Media Group (SMG) or other drone trainers and consultants. SMG has also written several books including The Pilot’s Manual to UAS Night Flight and The Drone Pilot’s Guide to Real Estate Imaging.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR
NEWSLETTER

#FoxFury

Join the FoxFury Community
CALL US
OFFICE HOURS
Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 5:00PM PST
ADDRESS
3528 Seagate Way #100
Oceanside CA 92056

Follow us

Our Products

FoxFury builds portable LED headlamps, flashlights, shield lights, scene lights and area lights.

Our application-specific LED lights are used in firefighting, police, military, industrial safety, hazardous area, filming, and photography. 

FoxFury products are designed in California and manufactured with the highest quality USA and foreign parts.

*In-stock and online products only will ship within 24 business hours, unless weather or other outside situations delay processes.

Information

FoxFury uses the newest LED technology from OSRAM and others. White light and multi-color / wavelength-specific forensic light sources (from UV to IR) are available.

Our compact LED lighting tools are tough, waterproof and impact resistant. We also offer fire resistant and intrinsically safe / explosion proof lights.
© 2021 FoxFury LLC. All Rights Reserved.
map-markerrocketchevron-right
0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Apply Coupon
      Available Coupons
      antonio2021 Get 10% off
      david2021 Get 10% off
      jason2021 Get 10% off
      jasont2021 Get 10% off
      m19 Get 10% off MES Fire Discount
      maria2021 Get 10% off
      michael2021 Get 10% off
      mike2021 Get 10% off
      test Get 100% off
      Unavailable Coupons
      chris10 Get 10% off
      linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram