By Jonathan Vanian
July 7, 2017

Calling all drone owners, you may be entitled to some cash.

The Federal Aviation Administration is now offering refunds to drone hobbyists who have previously paid a $5 dollar fee to register their drones in a federal database, which debuted in Dec. 2015.

The reason for the refunds stems from a May federal appeals court decision that nullified the FAA-mandated rule that all drone hobbyists must register their drones or face penalties and in certain cases, jail time.

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The Washington, D.C appeals court judges sided with plaintiff and drone enthusiast John Taylor who argued that the FAA lacked the authority to regulate model aircraft, which the appeals court said includes drones flown for recreational purposes.

Now, interested drone owners can seek to have their money back and delete their information from the registration database. Still, the FAA said it “continues to encourage voluntary registration for all owners of small unmanned aircraft.”

To be entitled to the refund, people will have to download and fill out a document from the FAA’s website that they will have to mail to the FAA’s Civil Aviation Registry in Oklahoma City.

Drone hobbyists need to indicate that they are flying their drones for recreational purposes and away from piloted aircraft. Their drones must not weigh more than 55 pounds, unless they have been approved and certified by a “community-based organization,” and they must notify airport operators if they fly their drones within five miles of an airport.

People also have the choice to remove their information from the database and decline the refund, in case they want their money to remain with the FAA.

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