You’ve got these neat drones flying about, and they’ve piqued your curiosity. Now you are thinking about buying a drone yourself.
Like any other significant purchase, some research should be done first. Here are some things that you should know to determine if you really want a drone.
- Things you can do with a drone.
- The flying area that is needed for drones.
- Maintenance and upkeep that is required for a drone.
- Drone laws and rules.
Why you should consider these factors
All of us have been victims of impulse buying from time to time. And it really depends on our own personal interests and weaknesses as to when we purchase something.
However, purchasing a new shirt or jacket on impulse is far different than buying a drone on impulse. Purchasing something like a drone needs to be carefully considered because they are a few factors that a beginner would easily overlook.
Not only that, but conducting some pre-buyer research will also help your make a better decision when it comes to finding the perfect drone – should you decide to go forward with the purchase.
What kinds of fun things could I do with a drone?
Isn’t fun and entertainment a big factor in getting a drone? Most of us would answer with a resounding ‘yes.’ But there are a few of you considering one for professional reasons (which we may discuss in a feature article).
The cool thing about having a drone is that its uses are endless once you learn how to fly one. It really depends on your own creativity. Keep in mind that drones with cameras and video will multiply your enjoyment as a drone owner. Here are a few examples:
- Let your drone escort you overhead when jogging, walking, or going for a hike.
- Record and video picnics and family events from overhead. Then send attendees some clips.
- Take part in drone racing. There are even racing leagues in some areas.
- Inspect the roof of your house or map your property.
- Take selfies of you playing softball, go kayaking, or some other recreational event.
As you can see, the sky’s the limit (pun very intended) when it comes to fun ideas with drones.
What kind of flying area would a drone require?
As a rule of thumb, authorities require that you maintain an unenhanced vision of your recreational drone at all times when it is in flight. Please note that ‘authorities’ differ and depend on where you live.
If you live on a farm or any other rural area, you will most likely be free to fly your drone most anywhere on your property. However, residential and urban areas are much different.
Neighbors and people, in general, grow very uneasy about drones flying in the neighborhood. They are usually paranoid about being spied upon. You must bear this in mind where you live.
Drone owners who live in congested areas drive to remote locations to use their drone. You’ll need to find areas where you won’t be flying over people or over public places.
How much maintenance and upkeep is needed for a drone?
Not much maintenance is required at all for a recreational drone.
Probably the biggest thing that needs to be regularly managed is caring for the battery. Like all batteries, they must be properly stored and charged per the manufacturer.
The next most important maintenance item is how well you store your drone until its next use. Advanced drone users recommend getting a hard shell storage case to protect your device.
Bear in mind that there could be a few bumps and bang-ups that require some extra parts when you are learning. This will only be temporary, and your dealer will know which parts are most needed for back-up.
Do I have the time to learn to fly a drone?
This really depends upon your schedule, but if you could spare at least 5 -10 hours a week for flying, then it is probably worth your time.
If you have a great plan for learning the basics of drone flying, you will surprise yourself with how quickly you learn. It’s like other things we’ve learned – like driving a car, using a computer mouse, typing on a keyboard, using a smartphone – it just takes a little time.
Drone enthusiasts claim that once you ‘get the bug,’ you’re hooked and will love flying them.
Are there are many laws and rules that govern the use of recreational drones?
There are lots of laws out there that govern drones, but most of them focus on commercial drone usage and public safety. Rules for recreational drones are more or less common sense.
Here are the most basic guidelines for drones:
- Never fly your drone over 400 ft.
- Maintain visual line of sight.
- Never fly over people.
- Don’t fly after dark.
- Stay way clear of airports and aircraft.
- Never fly near traffic.
- Stay away from public events and disaster locations.
- Never fly while under the influence.
- Operate your drone following your local community guidelines.
PLEASE NOTE – The above statements are basic guidelines; they may or may not be in accordance with your local laws. Do the diligent thing and check with your local authorities.
Paul Aitken, Rob Burdick, Rob Burdick. Livin’ the Drone Life: An Insider’s Guide to Flying Drones for Fun and Profit. Lioncrest Publishing (December 1, 2016).