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The Best Drone Parachute — Your Key to Flying Over People

BY Isabella Lee
20 November 2019

ParaZero is the first company to have an ASTM F3322-18 compliant drone parachute system for the DJI Mavic 2 and Phantom 4 series.

Come again? What does this mean exactly?

With ParaZero’s drone parachute, you are more likely to be approved for operations over people.

Image: ParaZero

ParaZero has put its parachute system through the rigorous testing requirements of the standards organization, ASTM International, which gives regulators like the FAA, and other aviation authorities, confidence in the system. It’s one of the best drone parachutes available.

Use code UAVCOACH50 to get $50 off a ParaZero drone parachute system and to receive your FAA Part 107.39 Waiver. ParaZero helps with the application, and receiving the FAA waiver gives you a 4-year blanket clearance to fly your drone over people in Class G airspace.

ParaZero Helps You Get FAA Approval to Fly Drones Over People

When you purchase a ParaZero parachute, they help you put together your FAA waiver for flying over people — so far they have a perfect track record of getting approval.

In fact, the company just celebrated 40 approved waivers for flights over people. The waivers were obtained by companies in a variety of industries including construction, photography/cinematography, news/media, real estate, survey/mapping, inspections, solar, wind, engineering, government, and security.

best parachute for drone

Image: ParaZero

When you buy a ParaZero system, you’ll get the parachute, ASTM compliance and testing documentation, and a Waiver Safety Explanation document with instructions about how to submit your waiver application. UAV Coach readers get $50 off with the code UAVCOACH50.

Why would you want or need to fly your drone over people? The ability to operate over, or close to, people is critical as it opens new verticals and business opportunities that were previously unattainable.

Here are some common use cases for flying over people:

  • rescue and emergency response efforts
  • newsgathering
  • documenting sporting and cultural events
  • filming on closed sets
  • collecting data on construction sites
  • urban inspections

The list goes on. The ability to operate a drone over people enables commercial pilots to expand their operations, to accomplish more with their sUAS, and to generate new aerial solutions for their clients.

Increase Your Chance of Getting FAA Approval with ParaZero

A waiver to operate over people (technically called a Part 107.39 Waiver) used to be virtually unattainable. During the first year of Part 107’s enactment, fewer than 10 were approved out of thousands of applicants!

But, that’s all changing now.

ParaZero is really helping to streamline the process. Their parachute system has allowed public safety departments, construction companies, and sUAS professionals across many different verticals to expand operations safely in compliance with the FAA regs. For example, Hensel Phelps, a general contractor out of Colorado, successfully secured a 107.39 waiver using the new ParaZero SafeAir + ASTM Professional Kit earlier this year.

Here’s more information about the FAA waiver to operate over people:

  • The applicant must demonstrate adequate mitigations for risks (e.g. a parachute system)
  • The FAA takes about 60-90 days to approve waiver requests.
  • The waiver provides a four-year, blanket approval to operate over people in Class G airspace.
  • All other restrictions under Part 107 continue to apply, such as not flying over moving vehicles, unless otherwise stated in the waiver.

Flying Drones Over People Will Become Commonplace

It’s not a question of “if,” but rather of “when” drone operations over people will become a regular occurrence.

In January 2019, the FAA shared a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed to make operations over people (and at night) legal, under certain circumstances, without a waiver.

Under the proposed rules, FAA-approved flights over people would fall into three categories:

  • Category 1—all sUAS less than 0.55 lbs. permitted to fly over people
  • Category 2—sUAS greater than 0.55 lbs. can be flown over people if the manufacturer has proven that a resulting injury to any person will be under a specified severity threshold. Additionally, the sUAS must have no exposed rotating parts that could lacerate skin or have any FAA-identified safety defect.
  • Category 3—sUAS greater than 0.55 lbs. can be flown over people if the manufacturer has proven that a resulting injury to any person will be under a specified severity threshold, but the severity of the injury can be higher than what’s permitted in Category 2. Like Category 2, the sUAS must have no exposed rotating parts that could lacerate skin or have any FAA-identified safety defect.

When the waiver process ultimately goes away for flying over people (this likely won’t happen for a few more years), we have a strong guess that sUAS approved for Category 2 and 3 operations will benefit from using an ASTM-compliant parachute system, like ParaZero.

For now, drone operators can increase their chance of obtaining a 107.39 waiver to operate over people by investing in risk-mitigating technologies such as the ParaZero parachute system. You can purchase a ParaZero drone parachute system on their website, and use the code UAVCOACH50 to get $50 off.

Check out the ParaZero Safe Air parachute system in action with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro in the video below.

ParaZero's SafeAir Mavic

Have you tested the ParaZero parachute system, or do you think you might try it out soon? Let us know in this thread on our community forum.

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