Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), have taken centre-stage in recent times, creating new industries and shaping major ones.
Business owners now use them for commercial purposes in various industries.
In a recent report, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that the number of commercial drones in the United States is expected to grow by a factor of 10 over the next half-decade; that is from 42,000 drones in 2016 to more than 420,000 by 2021.
What does this mean?
Commercial drones are the fastest growing part of UAV technology market. In fact, the drone industry is reportedly valued at $3.3 billion presently and is expected to grow to about $90 billion by 2025.
The Safety of Drones: A Concern for Experts
Aside from the sprout of drones, their safety and that of pilots who use them for personal and business purposes is a source of concern to many. In the US, two organizations which are responsible for the safety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems partnered with the FAA to create an awareness which is known as the “Know Before You Fly”.
This is to educate those who own and plan to have a drone on how they could be more safe and responsible when flying the US skies. Not only that, but it’s required that anyone who wants to fly a drone in the US is registered with the FAA.
When You Fly a Drone: 10 Safety Tips You Must Observe
Do you plan to make use of a drone for a recreational activity? Are you expecting it as a gift from a friend, colleague, or family member soon? Is your business in an industry where the use of drones has now become inevitable?
Then, you must observe these safety tips so as to fly smart, fly safe, and have fun.
1. Fly Within Your Sight
Don’t be tempted to think that you’re flying a helicopter or aeroplane. For this reason, you must make sure that you fly within a reasonable distance from the ground as much as you can see.
The FAA recommends flying below 400 feet in order to achieve this.
2. Stay Far Away From People
When flying a drone, it’s good practice to stay far away from people. To be able to do this well, the FAA recommends that users should avoid flying over groups of people, stadiums, and sporting events.
Likewise, you need to stay away from emergency response teams, other aircraft, and airports.
3. Don’t Drink and Fly
Flying while on drugs or alcohol is a dangerous practice. Not only is it harmful to the pilot, but it could also be disastrous for other drone users, and the community too.
If you want to fly at all, then you shouldn’t do so after using drugs and alcohol.
4. Choose the Right Environment for Take–Off
The environment you choose for your drone matters a lot, especially when taking off. If you’re not careful, this could be disastrous and you may crash your drone.
Some great options you can choose from include open areas and those with minimal signal interference.
5. Charge Your Battery Fully Before Use
Don’t ever make the mistake of using a faulty battery that hasn’t been charged for long. You should make sure that your battery is fully charged before you think of using it.
If you have a battery which has been stored for long, it won’t last much.
6. Ensure That the Drone Is in Good Shape
Not checking the drone to see if it’s in good shape will have negative effects on your flight. It’s only when you do this that you’ll be able to ascertain if your drone is a good fit for the skies.
Some of the things you should check for are the propellers and compass. For the propeller, you have to check to see if it has any dents, cracks, or dirt on it. The compass, on the other hand, determines the orientation of the flight, so you have to calibrate it well so that it won’t malfunction.
7. Switch On the Remote Controller First
It’s a great mistake if you switch on the drone first. Before you power on the drone, you have to make sure that the remote controller is turned on first. After powering the remote controller, you can then switch on the drone.
8. Power Off the Drone First
After landing, you have to switch off the drone first. Immediately after this, you can then switch off the remote controller.
The reason for doing this is simple. When you power off the drone before the remote controller, the drone will always be under control.
9. Leave the Battery Uncharged Immediately After a Flight
As soon as you’ve completed a flight, it’s expected that the battery’s temperature should be high. So what do you do, immediately after a flight?
Charge it, so that you’d be able to use it next time when you want to fly? Well, you can’t do so because of the temperature detection sensor that the battery has. So, it’s better you leave the battery for some time, say when its temperature is above 40 degrees before charging it.
10. Keep Your Drone Safe After Use
Not taking good care of your drone could make it malfunction when you want to use it. So, it’s highly recommended that you take good care of it to ensure its safety after use.
First, you need to remove the propellers from the drone and keep it safe. This is because, when you’re on a flight, it’s the propellers that get affected most from bumps and knocks.
Next, you should ensure that the gimbal clamp is attached to the drone after the flight. Finally, your drone should be kept in a place that is dry, cool, and non-magnetic. When you do all these, you’ll avoid damages that may hamper your drone from flying the next time.
On a Final Note:
The recreational and business-related benefits that are enjoyed from using a drone shouldn’t make you neglect those things that will ensure your safety when flying one. The tips shared in the post will help you a lot when you’re flying a drone.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.