All types of remote controlled / unmanned vehicles can post a danger to both the operator and the public. We’ve put together this page to help keep you, your drone, and the general public safe during your flights.
We suggest that you always wear eye protection when operating a drone. Spinning propellers can do significant damage and may cause blindness if you are struck by an out of control craft.
We would also advise that you wear full-length shirt/trousers to protect bare skin from contact with the drone.
Oliver from My Dear Drone says that it is always better to power down before a crash. By doing it, you may find your propellers and motors last a lot longer, and you are much less likely to damage something else.
Where and When to Fly?
As per the guidance, you must not fly your drone:
- Within 50 meters of people, vehicles, structures or buildings.
- Large gatherings or over congested areas such as sports events and concerts.
The above is to safeguard both your own and the safety of the public. In case, you are in any doubt, then do not fly.
If you are a beginner or testing a new craft, we would suggest choosing a location such as a large playing field or other open space to prevent any incidents or loss of the drone if anything should go wrong.
Classifications of UAV Drones
Class 1 and Class 2 rated drones are going to be extremely safe. They don’t weigh much, and their blades aren’t spinning that fast. However, they can sting a bit if you power up when holding them, and they can knock over all sorts of things.
Class 3 and Class 4 multi-rotors are much more dangerous and require a more careful pilot and crew. We do not recommend flying a DJI Phantom or especially and Yuneec Q500 indoors. There are plenty of cases of people cutting themselves pretty severely and occasionally requiring stitches.
In the story of poor 18-month old Oscar Webb, he lost his eye to an idiotic drone pilot flying a 250mm size FPV racer. Being responsible is always necessary when operating any remote-controlled craft.
Have a Helper
If possible, we suggest that you have a helper to assist you with your flight to check for things such as:
- Change in Weather / Wind conditions.
- Position and orientation of your drone.
- Possible contact with the public who have strayed into your direct flight path.
- Unforeseen obstacles such as trees, power lines or structures
- Other craft or drone operators who may have different transmitter frequencies.
- Movements of other unexpected aircraft
No Fly Zones
There are numerous areas around the US which are deemed no-fly zones for drones and other unmanned craft. It is for both your own and the safety of others. For more information and a map of the United States showing such areas, please refer to the Know Before You Fly website.
Drones inherently are very light craft and are easily affected by the wind. It can cause an aircraft to go off course or even lose control completely.
Always check the weather before your flight. Weather conditions are very changeable and can lead to complications in your trip very quickly. If in doubt or if you have any concerns then we suggest that the flight is terminated or canceled until a more suitable time.
Lost & Missing Drones
Help locate your drone in the event of an accident or lost craft then we suggest that your name, address and telephone number marked. It will help increase the chances of your drone getting returned in the event the worst happens.
LiPo batteries are a serious safety concern as well. Always make sure your transmitter and drone batteries get fully charged before use.
Beware of the flight time your drones batteries are capable of and make adjustments for camera/video use if required. We suggest that you have a stopwatch or timer to make sure the craft can be landed safely before battery power becomes critical.
You should always be present when charging, and be careful with puffy batteries. If a cell is punctured, it is best to discharge it and dispose of it.
Pre and Post Flight Checks
Pre Flight Checks:
- Visual check of all the moving and non-moving parts.
- Ensure the propellers are adequately secured.
- Ensure battery/battery door is secured tightly.
- Check that the motors and ESC are secured onto the frame and spin smoothly.
- Check landing frame is secure and is not cracked.
- Ensure craft lights are functioning and lenses are clean.
Post Flight Checks:
As per the pre-flight checks, we suggest that you carry out some post-flight inspections on your drone. These should include:
- Visual examination of all the moving and nonmoving parts, i.e., rotor damage from a collision or crash
- Ensure the propellers are appropriately secured.
- Ensure battery has not swelled or shows signs of decoloring.
- Check battery levels and efficiency.
- Check that the motors and rotors are secured to the frame and spin smoothly.
- Check landing frame is secure and is not cracked, i.e., damage from a collision or crash.
- Ensure craft lights are functioning and lenses thoroughly cleaned for the next flight.
It is essential that you understand how dangerous the drone you are purchasing. Be careful out there no matter what and always fly responsibly.
If you have any further suggestions on safety measures, then please get in touch.