Important information on drones
Background information

Important information on drones

Oliver Stulz
Zurich, on 12.11.2015
Find out about the most important rules and regulations for flying your drone.

General information

Flying a drone is a lot of fun but keep in mind that you are not dealing with a toy. For safety reasons, drones are not allowed to be flown over gatherings of people. In Europe and Switzerland, all drones must be CE compliant and tuned accordingly. FCC only applies to North America.

Basic information by the FOCA

Before you get started

Charge the batteries, place full batteries in the remote control and find a good spot for take-off with as few obstacles as possible. Switch on the remote and then the drone. Consult the manual for take-off details.

Pilot safety

Rotating propellers can cause serious injury. Please ensure that the propellers have been correctly mounted and that they are free from defects. Propeller guards protect the blades from snapping if they should hit an obstacle. However, they do not protect from injury – should your fingers get caught in between the rotating blades, for example. Remember that even a very small drone can cause injury.


Start the engine and gently accelerate to get the propellers going. All propellers need to be rotating properly and must not graze anything. When everything’s ready, accelerate (left lever up, mode 2) and take off. Don’t try to start slowly. Lift off the ground at least two drone lengths (about 30cm for small drones and 1m for larger drones).

First flights

At first, it is best to fly close and practice landing and taking off. Avoid flying for any length of time but instead focus on doing as many take-offs and landings as possible. After you’ve attempted your first few flights, start focusing on specific points. Try manoeuvres including lateral flight, turning and precision landings.

Flight zones

Drones can take off and land everywhere. For this reason, it’s important to abide to flight zones. Flying drones and flight models close to airports is restricted. E.g. it is prohibited to fly them within 5 kilometres of runways. So always double check that you are not in a no fly zone before you start your flight. Furthermore, refrain from flying over gatherings of people, scenes of accidents and military installations.

Regional restrictions

In some regions, additional rules apply to model flying. Contact the local police In case of doubt.

Extended flying

The pilot must have the flying object within his/her field of vision at all time. Autonomous flights and flights using a first person view (FPV) are only permitted if the pilot can see the drone and is able to intervene at any time.


Drones weighing 500 grammes or more must be insured. Ask your third party liability insurance about terms and conditions.

Photo and video recordings

To get an impression of what the world looks like from a drone’s perspective, all you need is either a built-in camera or a fixed mount to attach your camera. A brushless gimbal is recommended for steady aerial filming. Perfect your flying and keep your images in check by live streaming the footage. Whenever you are not recording your own property or house, you will need the respective owner’s permission. The same applies to people who are recognisable in the footage.

Special permits

Professional photo and video recordings often require additional permits. FPV flying and flying over gatherings of people must be authorised by the FOCA. More information

Flying within no fly zones in proximity to airports requires a special permit from air traffic control: See document

Filming private property requires the permission of the owner. Check with the local police if you want to film public areas.

Further links

All our drones at a glance

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Oliver Stulz
Oliver Stulz
Product Manager, Zurich
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been crazy about scale modelling – this enthusiasm has stuck with me to this day. I also love technology, construction and anything I can invent or build. Apart from being a techie, I’m also a true travel fanatic.

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