Drone safety should be every flyer’s number one priority.
Drones are great fun to play with, a super tool to create movies with and can take some stunning still images. But at the same time they can cause injury and damage. So here are a few tips to help you.
Where you fly;
- As a general rule do not fly anywhere near people and (especially) pets. Cats and dogs are easily spooked by the noise and can react to seeing something flying around them.
- If you are flying a small drone indoors, ensure anyone else in the room remains still and watches the drone at all times in case you lose control. Put away anything breakable and anything valuable – just in case.
- If you have a small drone (like a Hubsan) and are flying indoors or close to ground level (in an area with space) – FIT BLADE PROTECTORS. This will protect people, plants, animals and possessions from being damaged by your drone and also protect your blades from damage.
How you fly;
- When you first get the drone you might find it hard to control – you should try and learn to fly in an area with plenty of space and with no people around. See our section on First Steps In Learning to Fly A Drone for some simple drills to practice that will get you familiar with the controls of your drone.
- If your drone has a conventional two-bladed propeller, see if you can buy three-bladed replacements. These tend to make the drone a lot more stable and more forgiving on the controls, making them much much more controllable. See our example starter kit with the Hubsan with the three-bladed props. You may notice a reduction in battery life as a result of the extra power the motors draw so get a few spare batteries too. But it will be well worth it when you’re able to enjoy controlled flights rather than constantly crashing.
Everyone Is Responsible
- If you have a larger drone (typically, greater than 250g), you MUST be familiar with the requirements outlined on the DroneSafe web site and the Drone Code – you can download a copy by clicking the image ==>
- The guidelines set out here are for everyone’s safety. If pilots flout these rules and people are hurt or aircraft are put at risk, the government may be obliged to introduce stricter regulations on the drone industry and we will all suffer as a result so please fly responsibly. This is particularly important when flying near airports where the potential consequences of irresponsible flying are too horrific to contemplate.
- As responsible drone flyers (as I’m sure you are or will be), we all have a responsibility to educate new pilots. Don’t be afraid to challenge anyone you think is doing something unsafe or contrary to the law. Make sure you report anyone spotted flying dangerously close to people or airports (you can use that Drone Alert app for this). If you see such behaviour on social media, tell them that they are being stupid. Dangerous flying needs to treated the same way as drink-driving and be just as socially unacceptable.
Flying Professionally (i.e. getting paid)
If you want to fly professionally and earn money from your video or still images, you need to be fully accredited and undertake professional training including passing an exam. You will also need insurance, a log book, a flight manual and a host of other things.
The success of the drone industry depends on people behaving responsibly and professionally – do not undertake work that you are knowingly likely to be paid for, unless you are qualified.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK has lots of information about what you need to do and links to approved training provider.