Golden Rules For Flying A Drone Safely

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10 Golden Rules For Flying A Drone SafelyFlyby Technology

The recent chaos at Gatwick Airport undoubtedly shined a light on drones and the ramifications of improper use.

As one of the top drone training companies in the UK, Flyby Technology, are recognised experts within the industry and were able to give informed, expert comment to national and international media on drones during the Gatwick crisis.  Our instructors have more than 600 YEARS flying experience between them and we are all uniquely placed as manned aviation pilot instructors as well as drone pilot instructors. Most of our brilliant team of instructors are either former RAF fighter pilots and we have put together the ultimate list for drone operators of 10 golden rules to follow.

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Many of you may have received a drone for Christmas and it’s vital you follow these safety rules to make sure you operate them in a safe manner. Whoever used drones at Gatwick Airport deliberately flouted several of these rules. Endangering the safety of an aircraft is a criminal offence which can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years. The Government passed legislation earlier this year making it illegal to fly a drone within 1km of an airport or airfield boundary in the UK, while the USA passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Flying higher than 400ft (122m) is also banned as it increases the risk of an accident with a manned aircraft. Anyone who breaks these rules faces unlimited fines and/or up to five years in jail.

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So get clued up on your drone flight safety with these 10 golden rules:

  1. No flight above 400ft from the surface.
  2. No flight within 492ft of a congested area.
  3. No flight with 164ft of people, property, vehicles or vessels not under their control.
  4. No flight further than 1,649ft from the operator.
  5. No person inside 10ft on take-off and landing except the drone pilot or people under the pilot’s control.
  6. No flight inside 1km (a little over 1/2 mile) of the boundary of an aerodrome without permission.
  7. No drone weighing 15lbs or greater to fly in controlled airspace without permission.
  8. Never fly unless you are satisfied the flight is safe to be made and always check the weather frequently throughout the day.
  9. Always check the controls for the drone are working perfectly before every flight … even after a short break such as to change its battery.
  10. Only look at the screen on the controller to frame a shot or to check how much power the battery has remaining. Flying the drone by looking at the screen is bad practice. You should be looking at your drone and scanning for incursions by aircraft 99% of the time. Flyby Technology call the screen the ‘face magnet’ for good reason. Lifting your head is lifting safety.

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