What is a Reportable Crash?
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For More Information, go to the NASA ASRS Program.
(1) The cost of repair (including materials and labor) does not exceed $500; or
(2) The fair market value of the property does not exceed $500 in the event of total loss.
§ 107.9 Accident reporting.
No later than 10 calendar days after an operation that meets the criteria of either paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, a remote pilot in command must report to the FAA, in a manner acceptable to the Administrator, any operation of the small unmanned aircraft involving at least:
(a) Serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness; or
(b) Damage to any property, other than the small unmanned aircraft, unless one of the following conditions is satisfied:
Reports are often submitted because a rule was accidentally broken. The FAA's immunity policy encourages submission of all safety incidents and observations, especially information that could prevent a major accident. If enforcement action is taken by the FAA against an accidental rule violation that did not result in an accident, a reporter can present their ASRS form as proof that the incident was reported. The FAA views the report as evidence of a "constructive safety attitude" and will not impose a civil penalty nor certificate suspension. Immunity can be exercised once every five years, though an unlimited number of reports can be filed.
The Aviation Safety Reporting System, or ASRS,
is the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) voluntary confidential reporting system that allows pilots to confidentially report incidents in the interest of improving air safety. The ASRS collects, analyzes, and responds to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports in order to lessen the likelihood of aviation accidents. The confidential and independent nature of the ASRS is key to its success, since reporters do not have to worry about any possible negative consequences of coming forward with safety problems. The ASRS is run by NASA, a neutral party.
I am not a lawyer. Do NOT rely on me, or the web, for legal advice
(b) Damage to any property
This part of the rule is pretty straightforward. If your drone causes $500 or more in damage to property, it's reportable. If you crack a car window and the repair costs $400, then it is not reportable.
But, what if it is your own property? For example, you are flying in your back yard and crash into your own home causing $600 of damage? Is it reportable? The letter of the law says it is as pilot-owned property is not excepted.
Also, damage to your aircraft, regardless of how much, is specifically exempted.
(a) Serious injury
CFR 49 §830.2 contains the definition of “Serious Injury” that the FAA and NTSB use.
A “serious injury” is defined as “any injury which: (1) Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date of the injury was received; (2) results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); (3) causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; (4) involves any internal organ; or (5) involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.”
There have been more than a million hours of flight of small drones, yet there is not one verifiable report of a drone crash in the U.S. that resulted in a serious injury as defined by the NTSB to someone not connected to the flight. Not one. It is a safety rate that all other segments of aviation would be jealous to have. There is also not one verifiable report of a collision between a small drone and a manned aircraft. Not one.