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Heads Up! Tips for Drone Enthusiasts
2/4/2019 12:55:30 PM

Unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, have really taken off recently, with the Consumer Technology Association estimating that 1.5 million drones were given as Christmas gifts in 2018. 

But are there rules that drone-users should follow, or a certain type of etiquette that should be incorporated when using them? 

Cody Porche, owner of Porche Aerial Imagery, said there are definitely some guidelines that anyone using a drone should take note of. 

"Etiquette-wise, we suggest all drone pilots familiarize themselves with the rules of flying as well as airspace rules," Porche said. 

He said that his company flies drones nearly every day and in a variety of different scenarios or locations.
"I'd say most would be very surprised where you aren't supposed to fly without proper authorization," Porche said. "Also, if you plan to fly for anything other than hobby purposes, it is crucial that you obtain a Part 107 certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)." 

Porche said that it's important for citizens who use drones to "familiarize themselves with their drones, follow all rules and regulations, and be courteous to others while flying."

In commenting as part of a review of what it deemed "The Best Drones for 2019," pcmag.com stated: "While they might seem like toys, a high-quality drone is a serious investment." It reiterated what Porche said in advising certain users of drones to take heed of FAA guidelines - or be prepared to face potential fines or jail time. 

Buying a Drone
Some use drones for photography or just as a fun hobby while others utilize drones in their businesses. Drones have become a big-money business, with pcmag.com saying that the market for consumer drones was growing at a rapid pace and sales last year were in excess of $1 billion. The advances in flight technology, flight modes, and controls, along with the advancements in portable photography and video technology, have caused a boom with amateur and professional photographers and videographers; the appeal being that one can see things more clearly than if simply using a zoom lens. 

When pricing drones, you could spend $100 or you could drop several thousand dollars, depending on what you're looking for. There are so many models to choose from and a plethora of things to consider when deciding to purchase your own drone - everything from size and color to price and specifications. As with most things, you usually get what you pay for. If you're planning to use a drone for either consumer or commercial purposes, be sure to do some comparison shopping and seek opinions of others who have experience with using drones.

New drones are always being developed with additional features regularly being added which makes it an exciting time indeed for drone enthusiasts.

For drone safety, follow these six rules:
  1. Never fly close to any type of manned aircraft
  2. Request special permission to fly drones within five miles of an airport
  3. Maximum flying altitude for drones is 400 ft. above ground level.
  4. Your drone must always be within your sight
  5. All unauthorized drones must stay clear of fires
  6. Follow flight restrictions around racetracks and stadiums
Posted by: Brooke Lawton | Submit comment | Tell a friend


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