As a responsible quadcopter owner, you have to take the necessary steps to make sure your flying passes muster based on the rules and regulations of the municipality where you fly and live. You don’t want to be in the news…
1. Learn how to fly proficiently
The very first rule for safe and responsible quadcopter operation is learn how to fly proficiently. You can follow the rule book to a “T” and know all the rules by heart. But if you’re not proficient with your quadcopter, you essentially negate all that. Because the quadcopter will always be one step ahead of you. You control the quadcopter, not the other way around.
2. Don’t fly within 5 miles or anywhere near an airport
The basic rule is don’t fly within 5 miles or anywhere near an airport. I’ll extend that to say, if you can see an aircraft on approach, don’t even think about flying in that area. There have been too many incidents in the news regarding pilots of commercial airliners visually coming in contact with drones. That’s unacceptable for the quadcopter and drone community. Why ruin it for everyone else?
3. Stay below 400 ft
Many civil aviation authorities mandate that drones stay below 400 ft, while regular aircraft are required to fly above 500 ft. This requires no explanation. Just do it.
4. Keep 30 feet away from people
The basic rule is to keep drones and quadcopters at least 30 feet away from people. That said, don’t fly over crowds, don’t buzz that annoying neighbor, and don’t use it to chase his dog. This also applies to privacy concerns. If you fly too close to a building and your drone has a camera, people will assume the worst. So, stay clear of your neighbor’s house and windows.
5. Don’t fly with carbon fiber blades
If you need carbon fiber blades you probably don’t need to be reading this list. You should be reading FAA or CAA NOTAMS or something, because you’re operating on a commercial level and should have been flying quads for like 10 years. Basically, you’re a pro. If you don’t fit that description, then you don’t need them, even if you can afford it. Because those rotating blades are like flying lawnmowers and someone’s bound to get hurt.
6. Adopt a checklist
Adopt a checklist to make sure your drone is airworthy with all screws tightened and batteries properly charged. That way your quadcopter is less likely to behave erratically.
7. Don’t drink and fly
An adaptation from “don’t drink and drive,” because an inebriated pilot can quickly become dangerous. Also, friends don’t let friends drink and fly.
8. Don’t let your drone out of your sight
Last but not the least, don’t ever let your drone out of your sight. Line of sight it’s called. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got that sweet first person video consul mounted on the remote controller. Keep your quadcopter within your sight, and you can make the required snap judgments in case of an emergency.