Flying a drone gives a sense of freedom, a way into a world we can’t experience on our own. This freedom is great, but it is important to be aware of the restrictions that come with flying a drone. These tips are here to maximize your flying time, making it safe for you and the people around.
There are different ways to fly your drone that are best for your drone. Wide open space means avoiding crashes into objects. Learn about your drone to understand if it does well in places with a lot of obstacles, like through trees. There are drones that come with sensors that warn you before it reaches an object.
There are other intelligent drones that will stop in front of any object if it hasn’t been commanded to move out of the way. If you are flying a quadcopter and you know it is going to crash into the ground, turn off the propellers before so there is no damage to these parts.
Use drone etiquette while flying. If you are in public places, be sensitive to the people around you. It is not recommended for a beginner flyer to fly a drone where there are a lot of people. It can be dangerous if a drone has an issue and crashes on or into someone. Go for spacious parks or isolated areas for great views and no risk of hurting someone.
Bring extra equipment with you to your flying site. Drones have short battery lives, so have the battery fully charged before flight, and bring spare batteries. Same goes for other electronics involved in your flight; charged smartphone or tablet, charged controller, and charged transmitter.
Here is sort of a pre and post-flight check list for flying your drone. Make sure the location is clear and if let people around you know you are flying a drone, check if you are in a fly zone, check all equipment, turn on all devices (transmitter, controller, smartphone app, drone), hover drone before flying to check its stability. Post flight, power everything off, inspect drone for damage, clean drone, dismantle drone properly and pack it safely.
Register your drone. Since recreational drones are a pretty new thing, there are a lot of gray and new areas in the laws of flying drones. And since the hobby/sport/profession of drone flying keeps changing, so do the laws. Make sure your drone is registered properly before flying. Learn about areas you can’t fly; government buildings, stadiums, airports, etc. Some drones use GLONASS, and will avoid and warn you about areas you can’t fly into.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) states that a Small Unmanned Aircraft System, sUAS must be registered if it weighs between 250 grams (0.55lbs) and 25 kg (55lbs). There are rules for the flyer’s specific use, for example, if you are using it for pleasure, a flying license is not needed, but if you use it for work, there are pilot licenses you may need to get. You can find more information on their site https://registermyuas.faa.gov/. Their site easily outlines the rules on where you can and cannot fly and how to go about registering. If you don’t register your drone, you are subject to criminal penalties.