We mentioned in our last drone article that governments were becoming more relaxed about farmers using drones and were writing into the legislation specific drone related clauses to facilitate the use of these highly useful unmanned aircraft in an agricultural setting.
That being said, it is absolutely vital that farmers fly their drones safely to ensure that they don’t fall foul of local regulations as well as making sure that smart agriculturalists aren’t given a bad name. Unfortunately, it sometimes only takes one to spoil it for all.
Here are our top 8 drone flying tips.
1) Try to stay below 400 feet. Anything higher is not only dangerous but it is likely to be wholly unnecessary. Most farmland can be surveyed safely and effectively at altitudes of 100 to 200 feet. For smaller farms even lower.
2) Keep your drone in sight. If you can’t see it, you have no idea what it is about to hit. Make sure you have a clear line of sight to your drone at all times.
3) Stay clear of other drones and aircraft. Your neighbour may have his drones up? Is it best to wait for him to do his work? Not only is crashing your drone going to cost you money but it could also be an expensive claim on your insurance.
4) If you are anywhere near an airport or congested flying-zone make sure you contact the local air traffic control to get permission. You may be required to maintain radio contact whilst operating your drone.
5) Stay away from people. Drones are relatively easy to use, but accidents will happen and occasionally you may have to bring your drone down quickly. If there are people below this can be extremely dangerous.
6) Fly sober. Don’t use drink or drugs whilst operating your drone. A drone coming down at full speed could seriously injure someone so always operate it responsibly.
7) Stay up to date on local regulations and weather. Make sure you know what the aviation guidelines are for drones and also make sure you know what weather to expect during any given flight. Weather can have adverse effects on the control of a drone, especially windy or blustery weather.
8) Always be considerate. Last but not least, always make sure when your drone is up you aren’t causing someone else undue stress. Always think to yourself, “would this annoy me?” If the answer is “yes” it is best to address that situation immediately.
Drones are fantastic farm tech and we encourage you to get out and have fun with them. Of course, as with many things in life it is important to ensure the safety of yourself and others around you, the last thing you want is a liability insurance claim coming in. So by all means, take to the skies with your drones but don’t forget to stay safe!