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Tips for Safe Recreational Drone Use

As new technology develops, so does the world of personal injury. Modern marvels like smartphones and self-driving cars are making our lives easier all the time, but each new product also has the potential to cause a new kind of injury. From cybersecurity to ridesharing insurance, novel fields and branches of law are emerging constantly. One such technological advancement that comes with as many benefits as it does potential pitfalls is the drone.

A drone (also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle or a UAV) is a small, unmanned aircraft that can be piloted remotely. Commercially, they are often sold with cameras which can be used to take aerial shots. As recreational drone use becomes more popular, it’s up to those who pilot them to ensure they do so with care. Otherwise, you might have a personal injury lawsuit on your hands. Our Florida accident attorney Wes Pittman shares some tips on how to use recreational drones safely and responsibly.

Safety Tips for Drone Use

Recreational drones may be small, but such an object falling from a great height at high speeds can seriously injure someone. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as various state and local authorities, control American airspace. However, rules for drone operation are still in development—though most states do have at least some relevant legislation in place.

Drone operation rules which apply in most U.S. states include:

  • Drones must be registered with the FAA
  • Operators must be at least 16 years of age
  • Drones must avoid aircraft and airports
  • The maximum speed allowed is 100 miles per hour
  • All drones must fly no more than 400 feet above the ground or above buildings/structures they are passing over

Below we have included some tips to avoid crashing your drone before, during, and after the flight. By ensuring your drone is stored properly when not in use and is manned correctly while operating, you can drastically reduce the chances of an accident.

Before flight:

  • Read your drone’s manual carefully
  • Choose an open environment to decrease your chances of crashing into something
  • Make sure your battery is functional and fully charged
  • Check the propellers to make sure they aren’t clogged with dirt, cracked, or dented
  • Calibrate your drone’s compass
  • Turn on your remote control before powering on the drone

During flight:

  • Always keep your drone in sight
  • Never fly over a person or moving vehicle
  • Never fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • If you’re about to crash, turn the throttle down to zero

After flight:

  • Power off your drone before turning off your remote
  • Wait until your battery has cooled to charge it
  • Remove the propellers and store them in a safe place so they don’t get damaged
  • Attach the gimbal (a pivoted support for a rotating camera) support
  • Store the aircraft properly

By following these tips and using your best judgment and common sense, you should be able to enjoy an exciting and safe time using your recreational drone.

For more information about rules and tips for recreational drone use, see the FAA’s website. If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer to represent you in the case of an accident involving a drone, give The Pittman Firm, P.A.a call at (850) 764-0383 to schedule your free consultation.

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