Joint Base Langley-Eustis

 
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Flying safe with smaller aircraft

By Airman 1st Class Tristan Biese | 633 Air Base Wing Public Affairs | December 04, 2017

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

While the pilots of Joint Base Langley-Eustis are flying helicopters and jets daily in support of the mission, some individuals fly aircraft on a much smaller scale such as unmanned aerial systems, better known as recreational drones.

While flying UASs it is important to be safe, know your surroundings and follow the rules, especially on or near a military installation.

“It’s important that someone operating a piece of equipment like this (UASs) does it with responsibility and part of that responsibility is operating within the rules and the authorized parameters,” said John Musser, Felker Army Airfield airfield manager.

According to the JBLE Integrated Defense Plan, all UASs must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration at www.faa.gov before flight and all operators must be at least 13 years of age.

The JBLE IDP also stated in that UASs are permitted to fly at any time between 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset.

While flying on JBLE, operators are only allowed to fly at the Bethel Family Camp and Murphy Field and are not permitted to fly higher than 100 feet, and must fly below surrounding features like flagpoles, trees, etc.

“As the operator you must maintain your (UAS) within your line of sight,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Gene Walker, 1st Operation Support Squadron airfield operations flight commander. “You cannot fly it if you lose sight of it and if you do, you must call Airfield Management to say that you lost sight of your drone and where the last known location was.”

If an operator wishes to fly outside or within five miles of JBLE or an airport, that individual must contact the locations air traffic control tower to ensure they are disrupting any operations. However, if a UAS is being flown at the two authorized locations on JBLE, that individual does not need to contact the control tower.

“Unauthorized use of a UAS can have multiple negative consequences,” said Musser. “The safety of maned aircraft operations conducted at Felker Airfield or at the Langley Airfield is very important. If you have an unauthorized flight in our airspace or a flight not following the rules, you can risk manned aircraft operations and lives.”

For more information or to speak with someone about flying at Langley Air Force Base, call 757-764-2508 or Fort Eustis, call 757-878-2865.


Air Force Army drone drones JBLE Joint Base Langley-Eustis safety UAS

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