Everybody seems to be in love with drones these days. These flying robots controlled by a remote controller are used for fun and entertainment all over the world. Designed like a quadcopter, with or without a camera, these machines look amazing and offer powerful functionality to the user. However, before you attempt to fly such an aircraft, you need to read the guidelines carefully otherwise you might end up hurting yourself or someone else. Furthermore, there are some legal implications of such type of an unmanned aerial vehicle because it might land over unknown territory and infringe on somebody’s private property.
Personal Use of Drones
The use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles can be divided into two categories: personal and commercial. Personal use means you want to fly such a machine just for fun and do not have any intention of selling the content you collect when you fly your drone here and there. Commercial use means using the data for the purpose of making money or selling it to a third party for profit. In the United States, commercial use of drones requires special clearance from the FAA. However, personal use is allowed under certain circumstances considering that the user follows some well-defined guidelines.
You just need to remember that personal use of drones is not accompanied by many strict rules and regulations. You can fly a drone for enjoyment and even take photos and record videos for personal use. However, there are a few safety guidelines that have to be followed in order to ensure a safe and totally enjoyable experience. Moreover, you need to be aware that there are some no-fly zones everywhere in the world and you must at all costs avoid those areas when flying drones.
Want to Pursue Drone Flying as a Hobby?
Here are some safety and legal guidelines for a beginner in order to enjoy this pastime to its fullest:
· Make sure you don’t take your machine to an altitude higher than 400 feet otherwise it might go out of sight and become difficult to control.
· Your drone should remain in front of your eyes all the time.
· Unmanned aerial vehicles are not allowed to interfere in the activities of manned aircraft so make sure you keep your device away from that kind of aerial vehicles.
· If you think you cannot follow your drone everywhere, arrange for an assistant who will keep an eye on the drone all the time so that it doesn’t disappear.
· Try to find an open space for pursuing this pastime where there are not many individuals especially small children.
· Even if you do see people around, try to keep your distance and maintain it at 25 feet away to avoid collision and damage.
· Avoid flying a drone when you are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
· Drones are not easy to fly especially for a novice user who has no prior experience of flying such a machine. So, make sure you gain ample knowledge on its operation and how to fly it safely before you attempt to fly a drone.
· Avoid flying over private property in order to stay away from legal issues of intruding, eavesdropping and the like.
· If you are using a camera-fitted drone, make sure you don’t photograph individuals without their explicit permission. Also, avoid going to public areas where people expect a certain level of privacy and they don’t want to see an unmanned aerial vehicle flying over their heads.
Commercial Use of Drones
Organizations like Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) have developed some safety guidelines in order to ensure nobody gets hurt when drones are used on a commercial or personal level. It is highly recommended that you read and strictly follow these guidelines especially if you want to use a drone for some commercial use. This is to make sure that you don’t encounter any problem with regard to personal injury or damage or intrude on somebody else’s property. You should also be aware if a certain type of commercial use requires clearance from the FAA.
There are companies in the US and the UK that are currently using drones for commercial purposes. If they have taken security clearance from the FAA, they are not doing anything illegal. Some examples of individuals or businesses that have been given exemptions to fly drones include farmers, medical facilities, security agencies, and railroads. The companies also have to mention the type of aircraft they will be using and the location where those aircraft will be used. Most of these companies only require clearance for photography, videography and cinematography. Some other commercial uses include aerial mapping, inspections, data acquisition and collection, search and rescue, sales demonstrations, crop surveying, and traffic accident reconstructions.
Certainly you do not require any of the above-mentioned uses of drones when you fly such a machine for entertainment. So, there is no need to be afraid of legal repercussions when you are attempting to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle with the help of a remote controller without any intention of hurting someone. Whether you want to fly drones for the sake of fun or some commercial use, just make sure you gain enough knowledge about these small yet powerful machines in order avoid getting into trouble. Just keep in mind the above-mentioned guidelines when you attempt to fly a drone just for the sake of fun next time and you are all set to go!