Updated: Feb 21
Calling Potential Pilots: Per My Research Report
My new favorite gadget in 2021 was the DJI Air 2s Drone. I'll admit that I'm a latecomer to this recreational pastime, so there was a lot to take in. I initially mistook drone piloting for a straightforward and enjoyable activity, but I rapidly discovered otherwise. For some people, flying is much more than that. It's a sport with many dedicated pilots of various ages with expertise to teach, as well as an opportunity for older retired pilots to relive their past flying days. I have a newfound admiration for you.
"I had no idea that organizations like the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in California protect the rights of drone pilots in the same way as motorcycle and recreational vehicle organizations do. Your AMA membership offers liability and basic damage insurance for your drone, as well as access to thousands of AMA authorized club sites where you can fly. Your AMA membership alone demonstrates that you are serious about UAS flight and may help you avoid an unexpected visit from the local cops. We all know that additional restrictions come with covered protections, and our Unmanned Aircraft Systems are no different."
Many pilots use drones for commercial or government purposes, so the "rule of use" is more important. Some UAS pilots are simply hobbyists who enjoy flight or, like myself, love to create drone footage for my own personal photo or video library to share.
Now that I've lived it, I understand why folks take their drones as seriously as they do their cars. Drone living, like riding a bike or driving an RV, can draw criticism from a variety of circles.
You must register what is referred to as "your aircraft" with the FAA as a UAS pilot. The genuine government agency, to be precise. You'll need to use the app to keep track of changes in airspace and discover safe takeoff and landing zones. Once you've registered, you'll be given four stickers to identify your UAS, which should be visible on the body of your vehicle. This is serious business!
You'll also need a license to fly in specific situations, such as for commercial photographers or while flying above the allowed altitude in airspace. You are permitted to film for payment as a commercial UAS pilot. You can sell the footage or use it freely with the right license, but it won't stop the harassment on the streets. You'll also get a placard with your part 107 drone license and registration to show your license and registration to others, which will help.
When it comes to registration and even licensing, you'll still be stopped by uninformed cops who will lie to you in order to persuade you to leave your zone. They are aware of the law regarding drone flight, but they will assume you are unaware of it and will just leave because they express dislike for the activity. The best protection, like with anything, is to know the law and follow it.
The FAA is mandating all UAS crafts to be "Remote Use ONLY" by 2023, which is the most pressing problem in the community right now. That is, the FAA, a police agency, or another government body might seize control of your drone for their own purposes, with your unspoken approval. Needless to say, many people are outraged. Manufacturers are already required to comply, but all pilots must comply by 2023. Giving access for remote usage of your personal item is unsettling enough, but requiring any current drone that does not have the right access to only fly in FAA designated areas is unfair and very restrictive, and fellow pilots are pushing back. It's a never-ending battle, so keep an eye on the FAA Regulations and any forthcoming revisions if you want to fly.
Droning seemed like the finest substitute and the closest I'd ever come to realizing my dream of piloting a helicopter. I had no idea how many people were opposed to drone use. It's beyond me how or why some folks believe they're important enough that all we want to do with a highly expensive flying camera is photograph complete strangers in their houses. Just so you know, we fly above residences to film communities for real estate brokers and even find blockages for utility providers. We're not very interested in what you're having for dinner. People, give us a break. People have been chased away with dogs, water has been sprayed on their drones, and rocks and other objects have been thrown. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with something similar.
Conflicts over drone flight are as plentiful as those involving loud but beautiful motorcycles and even unknown RV owners going about their business and living their best lives. What people don't understand isn't accepted. It can be as simple as disliking you for doing something they've always wanted to do, or it can be more. Let me give you an example. Inside my authorized zone, I had two people call the cops on me, but knowing the drone regulations and acting pleasant can generally keep the cops at bay. They don't want to be bothered, but they have no choice. In most circumstances, they'll merely conduct a knowledge and registration check and then leave it at that; happily, this was the case in both of my cases.
Everyone else is irrelevant because your altitude is exclusively managed by faa.gov. You most definitely have an issue if the FAA sends an agent or a governing authority. Become a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) to protect yourself.
We read up on the details on the website where I purchase and insure my equipment in an attempt to discredit me, and we did it together. I had no idea he had always wanted to drone but he had assumed it was forbidden because we lived so close to the airport. He was relieved to learn otherwise and eagerly purchased his first drone.
We read up on the details on the website where I purchase and insure my equipment in an attempt to discredit me, and we did it together. I had no idea he had always wanted to drone but had assumed it was forbidden because we lived so close to the airport. He was relieved to learn otherwise and eagerly purchased his first drone.
He now has the same same drone as me, and I've spotted him flying in the same places as me, demonstrating the importance of registration and labeling. I enjoy a good teachable moment, and since I want to join a community that is much closer to my home, I might be able to persuade him to make a new zone. In order to authorize a new fly zone, your governing body will normally require two or more pilots reside in the zone. Wish me luck!
"Droning is such a fun family pastime that it's a shame it's not getting the right exposure. I'm trying to inspire future pilots from all around the world. GO FOR IT! Get a drone for fun or for profit; either way, it's a good investment. If you have questions about California State regulations or about the DJI Air 2s drone, just leave them below."
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