5 Dos and Don’ts of Flying a Drone
Drones are exploding in popularity in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and so are the news stories about someone flying too close to a commercial aircraft or shooting down a drone. These are real incidents, but with these five dos and don’ts of drone operation, you don’t have to experience one.
- Do know your drone — and your capabilities. Practice your maneuvering skills, including safe landings, in an open field or empty parking lot. You could even join a local club to learn how to fly. Once you do, be sure to stay away from people, wildlife, public events, and, yes, your neighbor’s pool party.
- Don’t forget to register your drone. In the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), your drone isn’t a toy. It’s an Unmanned Aircraft System, one you need to register with the agency.
- Don’t fly above 400 feet or within 5 miles of an airport. If you do, you’ll violate FAA guidelines. Though flying near an airport may be possible after first obtaining clearance from the facility and control tower.
- Do get authorization for commercial use. If you use a drone for commercial purposes, such as taking photos for your real-estate business, you must get FAA authorization. Just using a drone for personal recreation? No authorization is required.
- Do understand the risks. Drones can weigh up to 55 pounds, so there’s the potential for them to cause some serious damage – damage for which you might be liable. However, not all homeowners insurance policies provide liability coverage for hobby or model aircraft. Give us a call to find out what kind of coverage you might have.
Have you recently purchased a drone, or new to drone flight and operations? The FAA has plenty of resources to get you started, including rules, safety tips, and info for both recreational and commercial pilots. There are also plenty of websites and mobile apps to help guide you along, such as FAADroneZone and the B4UFLY app. We highly recommend you take advantage of every resource available.
Hey, we get it. Drones are affordable, fun to fly, and have a number of interesting uses, such as aerial photography. Just remember to be smart and safe while yours is in the sky. And, if you’re being impacted by someone else’s drone use, it’s best to talk it through. Because we here at AFS Insurance don’t want to see you on the local news!
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This material is for general informational purposes only. All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions, and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances, current policy contract language prevails. Products, services, and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting companies. Coverage is subject to individual policyholders meeting our underwriting qualifications and state availability.