Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fly Right...Back To The Basics

Written by Contributing Writer Desiree Ekstein

Hi, I'm Drone Diva Desi. I fly for fun and for profit. I do have a FAA section 333 exemption, but I always can learn more. Safety and integrity are most important to me, so I want to teach people to "FLY RIGHT."  

For simplicity I refer to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) terminology UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) as a "Drone". Please don't freak out. I have heard at several seminars conducted by the FAA members that they too will refer to them as a "Drones". Also, because my goal is to reach out to all the people... Drone is a term that most people can identify with.

With the holidays right around the corner it's more important than ever to learn how to "fly Right".Take the time to learn how to use your specific drone and the rules set forth by the FAA. The FAA web site has a  source for this,  They also have a great site " Know before you fly" that will guide you on the rules, restrictions and guidelines for flying an UAS, no matter the size. Different rules will apply based on how you intend to use your drone.  My focus here is for enjoyment or hobby. 

If you plan to operate as a hobby or for recreational purposes, the FAA guidelines are found on
  • It's recommended you fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
  • Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
  • Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
  • Don't fly near people or stadiums
  • Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
  • Don't be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft - you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft
Sounds like a lot of "Dont's", but there is also a section of "Do's" that says to enjoy yourself. (I like that part).
  • Do Fly a model aircraft/UAS at the local model aircraft club
  • Do take lessons and learn to fly safely
  • Do contact the airport or control tower when flying within 5 miles of the airport
  • Do fly a model aircraft for personal enjoyment
Drones can be so much fun, and it is amazing what some of the aircraft are capable of doing. That doesn't mean go out and do everything and push beyond the limits. Since there are so many different styles and sizes of drones, learn what yours can do. Depending on what type of drone you have, some of the larger companies offer courses on how to fly. They explain the basic fundamentals and what the drone is capable of. DJI has a fly safe program. It can be found on their website also offers Fly Safe on their website  

This is just the basics to learning how to "fly right". I'm sure you know someone that would benefit from learning where to start. Forward this to friends and family that are just starting out flying. If you have any specific questions let me know and I will try to answer them or find a direction to try to get answers. We need to keep our airways SAFE!

Digital Aviators recommends this book to acquaint yourself with US Laws Surrounding Drones.

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