We get asked this question a lot. The answer is really not any different for drones than any other pieces of mechanical equipment.
Drones are inherently safe as long as they are operated by skilled professionals who follow the proper protocols before and during flights.
Here are a couple of tips that we follow to ensure our flights are safe:
- Practice and practice some more – Find a remote and clear area to fly your drone and practice as much as possible. We recommend over 100 hours of practice time before ever taking the drone to a public area.
- Do a preflight check – Make sure that the batteries are charged, that there is no damage to the propellers or body of the drone and that you have strong satellite signal.
- Be aware of your surroundings – Check for any obstacles in the area you plan to fly. Especially look out for power lines, buildings and trees.
- Check the weather – Before you fly, make sure the weather is conducive to flying. That means that wind speeds do not exceed 20mph and there is no rain in the forecast.
- Do NOT fly over people – This is actually a law imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration with the safety of bystanders in mind. Exceptions can be made to this rule but those can become complicated.
- Stay away from tall buildings – Most professional drones rely on signals of over ten satellites to help them maintain attitude and identify direction. Often those signals can become corrupted by tall buildings resulting in fly-aways and crashes.
- Pay attention to your battery – It is imperative to always be aware of the remaining charge of your battery and initiate landing procedures when battery life meets 30%. While drones have built-in mechanisms to return to their take-off spot when battery power gets low, they often don’t make it back and simply fall from the sky.
These are just a few tips on how to operate a drone safely. There are countless of other measures that a professional company like our own adheres to.
Public safety is always a priority when flying and the best way to operate safely is simply to continue improving your skills as a pilot. Experience is key.