Safety Tips for Operating a Drone

Safe operation is the governing principle for all drone operations. In many cases, drones are used to perform jobs that are hazardous to people, so drones must offer a positive safety benefit.

Careful planning must be done to ensure that the system can operate safely around people, equipment, and buildings. Be cautious when transporting, charging, setting up, and operating the drone.

Safely Fly Your Mission

  • Pilots are responsible for safely collecting data.
  • Autonomous flight is required for proper data collection.
  • Refer to specific operators' manuals for protocols on flying and mission planning.
  • Fly your aircraft within the line of sight of the operator
  • Have an observer available to handle people
  • Ask people to keep their distance during takeoff and landing
  • Ask people to not talk or distract you while flying (or land to talk)

Flying Safety (DOs)

  • DO preflight checks.
    • Check prop nuts & fasteners, stability, and controllers.
  • DO fly in less crowded areas
    • Fewer people = safer and less trouble
    • NEVER fly over a crowd, dense city, or suburb.
  • DO rely on your manual skills if GPS fails.
    • Be ready to manually take over if GPS fails to avoid a flyaway or crash.
  • DO give yourself a cushion & fly before your motors cutoff.
    • Motors cutoff = unpredictable landings.
    • Motors cutoff = bad for your LiPo batteries. 

Flying Safety (DO NOTs)

  • DO NOT ignore the risks of propellers.  They are sharp!
  • Remove the props or the power to the motors when testing.
  • Beware of accidental activations, even accidental arming.
  • DO NOT carry an armed quad.
  • Hold the throttle to zero when not using it.
  • DO NOT fly linearly over major roads.
    • If you must cross them, do it quickly at a right angle.
    • It’s best to not crash onto a moving or parked vehicle
  • DO NOT fly close to humans or animals.
  • DO NOT interfere with full-scale aircraft operations.
    • Such as helicopters assisting with emergency response.
    • When not taking off or landing, all planes will normally fly over 500 ft above ground level in the US.  (Check your country’s regulations)
    • Controlled airspace reaches the ground up to 5 nautical miles around large airports in the US.  (Check your country’s regulations) 

**Please note that while Skycatch provides the above recommendations, individuals are responsible for keeping up to date on any changes or new rules.

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