Safety Sense
SAFETY SENSE: Responsible Use of Drones


While a majority of drones are considered toys, the use of drones for business purposes has skyrocketed.

Small, unmanned aircraft systems, known as “drones,” have been rapidly gaining in popularity. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that more than 1 million were sold during last year’s holiday season.

While a majority of drones are considered toys, the use of drones for business purposes has skyrocketed. Drones are used to film movies, aid in surveillance, help emergency personnel and electric line right-of-way. Real estate agents use drones to take aerial photos of their listings. Drones can also take over tedious tasks for farmers such as walking rows of crops to check for weeds, bugs or other causes of distress. 

bullet

Under current regulations, drones may be operated for hobby and recreational purposes under the FAA’s Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which includes a community-based set of safety guidelines that are administered through a nationwide community-based organization such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).

bullet

Despite the number of benefits — and hours of fun — that drones can provide, their use can also present some serious safety and security concerns. Because the presence of drones is likely to increase in coming years, keep these safety tips in mind whenever you fly a drone or are involved with one’s use:

bullet

Read up first: The website www.knowbeforeyoufly.org contains helpful information for all categories of drone users, including answers to frequently asked questions.

bullet

Don’t fly near electric-distribution lines & equipment: Flying a drone too close to a power line is a major safety hazard. If you accidentally lose control of the drone or misjudge distance, you could hit a power line and leave hundreds of people without electricity. Even worse, it could cause a downed line, which is extremely hazardous. Also keep drones well away from any substations or electric-generation facilities.

bullet

Keep drones in your line of sight: You should be able to see your drone at all times while you are flying it. Be aware of your surroundings and keep control over where your drone is headed to avoid running into anything.

bullet

Don’t fly in bad weather: Check the weather conditions before you fly your drone. Low visibility, high winds and storms could affect your ability to control your drone.

bullet

Avoid crowds: Steer clear of crowds while flying your drone to avoid the risk of injuring someone.

bullet

Stay away from airports and aircrafts: The last thing you want to do with your drone is crash it into a plane. That could be dangerous for you and anyone on the aircraft. To be safe, never fly your drone higher than 400 feet above the ground, or anywhere near an airport.

Source: www.knowbeforeyoufly.org

Make sure your drone is registered!

The FAA requires all owners of small unmanned aircraft weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds to register at www.federaldrone registration.com before taking to the skies. The owner will receive a unique identification number that must be affixed to any drone operated exclusively for recreation. Failure to register an aircraft can result in civil penalties up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 under 18 U.S.C. 3571 and/or imprisonment up to three years. Once registered, owners will be able to renew their registration or update their information as circumstances require (e.g., transfer or sale of drone to another owner).

 

 

Home ] Up ] Cover Story ] Comm. Kitchen ] Crossroads ] Happenings ] Rural Living ] [ Safety Sense ] Say Cheese ] Viewpoint ] Web Talk ]