There are several things you should pay attention to before buying a drone.
Indeed, although drones seem harmless, their speed, the fact that they can carry a payload, as well as the hazard they might cause to civil or military aircraft flying at low altitudes, leads authorities to define rules and regulations, to ensure safety.
Aside from those security concerns, there are also financial, energy, privacy-related and really practical considerations to take before buying a drone.
First of all, it is fundamental to ensure you have registered at your local Aviation Administration Agency (it only cost $5). For the United States, this agency is the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). That registration is only mandatory if unmanned aerial system’s weight is somewhere between 250g and 25kg (or 0.55pounds to 55 pounds). Should you forget that mandatory step, you could be fined up to $27,500 (civil penalties) and up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment (criminal penalties). Given the very low cost of registration ($5) and the fact that it can be done all online (Here’s the link), you should really not miss that step.
How High & Where Can I Fly?
It is essential that you stay below 400 feet, and, in any situation, 5 miles away from nearby airports.
Once that crucial step is taken care of, you will need to carefully choose a spot where to actually fly your drone. Simpler said than done: indeed, there happen to be fewer and fewer locations where you can fly drones, and depending on your county and municipal parks, rules will vary.
If you live in the US, it is really important that you check with the FAA that the location you chose complies with their very strict regulations.
What’s About Privacy?
Now that you have chosen your flying spot, you are free to fly your drone. But never underestimate the impact of such devices on privacy.
People are increasingly cautious about those drones, and many of them think they are being spied at. It is thus really important that you ensure you are using your flying toy within the limits of the law, and that you truly respect people’s privacy: never cross any private property’s fence, and do not take pictures or movies of people/land, that would be outside of the public perimeter. Unless, of course, you have a prior written agreement.
What Are The Different Types Of Drones?
Drones come in many different sizes and prices.
Depending on their battery capacity, weight, power, speed, and many other features, such as being able to be tracked, being autonomous, or being able to take pictures or movies, drones’ price can easily reach $1,000. Don’t forget that this is the initial price.
Any Drone Recommendation?
Here’s A Really Great Drone For A Reasonable Price – On Amazon
What Extra Stuff Would I Need?
It is really common for drone owners to buy extra batteries, extra spare parts, a quick charger. The Wind also has a strong draining effect on the battery, and you should take wind speed into account when you want to estimate the duration of a planned flight session.
The numerous customization options lead us to give you the following advice: also include the miscellaneous accessories in the price of your drone, even if you won’t buy them from the start.
How Long Can I Fly?
To be more specific about flying times, even in 2016, they are pretty short. You can expect your drone to fly anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes, depending on all the afore-mentioned conditions.
This can sometimes be too short for some usages, but hydrogen fuel cells are on their way ;), and should allow for much higher flight time for next-generation drones.
What About Safety?
Last, but not least, is the safety issue: drones have blades spinning at very high speeds, are accidents can always occur. To hedge yourself against a truly costly trial, should your drone inadvertently hit a person, it would be wise get a membership at the renowned Academy of Model Aeronautics.
Thanks to that membership, not only will you obtain a comprehensive general liability insurance, accident, and medical coverage, but you will also be able to get a coverage against accidental death or fire, theft, and vandalism.
Woah, But I’m A Beginner I Don’t Think I Need All That
Ok, don’t worry. Since your still a novice you won’t need all of that, but you need to make sure that you are still being safe. Only fly in an open space away from any other person and remember to stay at least 5 feet away from the drone on takeoff and landing.
To finish this account of the things you should know before buying your drone, it is very important to realize that smaller drones are not necessarily the easier ones to fly. They might include a remote control that have fewer options or be far more sensitive to the wind.