Know the Basics of Responsible Drone Ownership Before Buying
Drones used to be a gadget solely in the purview of the military, but in recent years, drones have been released to the private sector and between 2014 and 2015, drone sales went up by over 60%. It’s estimated that between 2016 and 2020, the sales of small hobbyist drones are supposed to increase to over four million, from almost two million. There are already kinds of predictions for how widespread drone usage will affect our daily lives — from package delivery to capturing live events. If you already are in possession of a drone though, you may want to know more about practical items, such as what to do when your drone breaks or how to keep your drone properly maintained. And, if you’re interested in getting a drone, you’ll need to know what the proper steps are to own and fly one.
Why the Fascination With Drones?
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)estimates that will be around seven million drones by 2020 in the United States. Given that there were around 400,000 drones bought for Christmas in 2015, that estimate doesn’t seem so far off. The drone industry is worth a little over three million dollars currently. But why the sudden spike in interest?
One of the main reasons that drones have become more popular is that they’ve become more affordable, stable, and more accessible to the public. With more accessibility, individuals and industries have found new uses for them, from surveying farmland, monitoring herds, surveillance, delivering packages, to taking gorgeous aerial photos. They provide a unique perspective that can be controlled from a considerable distance away.
Let’s Talk About Drone Maintenance and What to Do When Your Drone Breaks
Drone maintenance is key to keeping your drone in good condition and reducing the possibility of crashes. Regular visual inspections of the motor, motor shafts, the shell, and other plastic parts are a simple but crucial first step — if cracks are present or if anything seems loose, you’ll want to look into repairs. Once your motor starts, make sure you’re listening for any unusual noises or vibrations, which could indicate that something’s off.
Making sure that screws are tight, battery cells are at full charge, and that all wiring is solid is important to do semi-regularly, as well as removing the motors and making sure E clips are secure and that all the bearings look good.
However, even regular maintenance can’t always prevent your drone from breaking, so let’s talk about what to do when your drone breaks. One of the first things to do is to check the warranty on your drone. Some manufacturers offer care programs or extended warranties that could save you money on drone repair and may even offer comprehensive coverage on drone service.
If there’s no coverage, it’s time to head to a drone repair shop to see what magic they can work.
What Do I Need to Know About Owning a Drone?
Your drone should be registered with the FAA and you should avoid flying over national parks, private property, or government space. If you should live close to an airport of heliport and own a drone, before flying, you’ll need to get in touch with the airport and control tower to let them know. It’s recommended that your drone also not be flown over 400 feet above the ground.
Furthermore, if there should be an accident that causes serious injury or damage to other property (that will cost over $500 to repair or replace), you’re required to report the accident to the FAA within 10 days.
Know what the federal airspace regulations are, what your battery capacity is, and make sure you know how to properly control your drone before sending it off on higher altitude and long range trips.
Owning a drone can open up a number of fun and exciting possibilities, but knowing what to do when your drone breaks, how to safely operate one, and keep it well maintained are all important aspects of drone ownership.