Photo Courtesy NASA

Drone operators are being urged to exercise caution if using their aircraft to view the Feb. 9 Antares rocket launch and avoid flying over the public and NASA Wallops Flight Facility property.

Drones, also called unmanned aerial systems (UAS), should not fly over NASA Wallops Flight Facility property, the marsh areas between Wallops Island and the mainland, and over the Atlantic Ocean east of Wallops Island. A Temporary Flight Restriction and other Special Use Airspace will be activated by the Federal Aviation Administration.  Fines and penalties are applicable and will be enforced.

There will be several thousand people in the area viewing the launch. Public safety is paramount and drones should not be flown over crowds.

The Wallops Range is committed to making sure that the viewing public is safe and that drones do not pose a threat to the success and safety of launch operations.

Below are links to FAA fact sheets for UAS pilots:

Recreational UAS Pilot (Hobbyist)

https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/

https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/where_can_i_fly/airspace_restrictions/flying_near_airports/

Commercial UAS Pilot (Non-Hobbyist)

https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=20516

Pilot Handbook (32MB just for chap 14) https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak

Smart phone applications for UAS pilots can be found in the App Store:

B4UFLY

AIRMAP

These applications show Special Use Airspace and let the pilot know whether they can fly and what approvals they need at their location.

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