Dos and Don’ts of Flying a Drone
Drones are exploding in popularity in the Northeast and so are the news stories about someone flying too close to a commercial aircraft or shooting down a drone. These are real incidents, but with these five dos and don’ts of operation, you don’t have to experience one.
- Do – know your drone — and your capabilities. Practice your maneuvering skills, including safe landings, in an open field or empty parking lot. You could even join a local club to learn how to fly. Once you do, be sure to stay away from people, wildlife, public events and, yes, your neighbor’s pool party.
- Don’t – forget to register your drone. In the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), your drone isn’t a toy. It’s an Unmanned Aircraft System, one you need to register with the agency.
- Don’t – fly above 400 feet or within 5 miles of an airport or military base. If you do, you’ll violate FAA guidelines. Though flying near an airport may be possible after first obtaining clearance from the facility and control tower.
- Do – get authorization for commercial use. If you use a drone for commercial purposes, such as taking photos for your real-estate business, you must get FAA authorization Just using a drone for personal recreation? No authorization required.
- Do – understand the risks. Drones can weigh up to 55 pounds, so there’s the potential for them to cause some serious damage – damage for which you might be liable. However, not all homeowners insurance policies provide liability coverage for hobby or model aircraft. Give us a call to find out what kind of coverage you might have.
- Do – fly only in good weather. Fly your drone only on sunny days without strong winds. Wind, rain, and snow can seriously affect the connectivity and range of communication between you and your drone.
- Do – keep the drone within you line of sight. It is good practice to always have visual contact with your drone so it does not become lost, out of range, or crash anywhere hazardous.
- Don’t – fly over roads or crowds of people. Be sure to keep your drone away from thruways and highways – in the event of a crash, you could be responsible for serious accidents.
We understand that UAVs are affordable, fun to fly and have a number of interesting uses, such as aerial photography. Just remember to be smart and safe while yours is in the sky. And, if you’re being impacted by someone else’s drone use, it’s best to talk it through. Because we here at Kinney Pike don’t want to see you on the local news!