Busted! The Great Drone Myths
Last Christmas, we were all told how drones would be taking over our skies, and that soon they’ll be a part of any household in the know. We’ve been told they’re a menace – not helped by recent news of a drone colliding with a British Airways plane – and that they’re dangerous.
However, anyone who has used a drone – whether for a hobby or for their business – knows the truth. We take a look at common drone myths to debunk the fears…
Myth 1: Drones Are For Military Purposes
Debunked: Well, technically this is true – but actually, the drones we’re talking about are not. For a start, they’re in a smaller weight class, which means they fall into the ‘civil aircraft’ regulation band. Yes, drones started out as reconnaissance and remote weapon deployment in the military, but the drones sold at COPTRZ and any other supplier are for civilians.
The use of the word ‘drone’ often has negative connotations, though, which is why you’ll usually hear other phrases used to describe civilian unmanned aerial vehicles. These include: unmanned aerial system; remote piloted vehicle; and small unmanned aerial vehicle, among others. Whatever the name, it remains the same: UAV technology started out as a military tool, but now is allowed, accessible, and affordable for hobbyists and businesses alike to make the most of the aerial photography and survey possibilities provided by drones.
Myth 2: Drones Are Dangerous
Debunked: Just like cars, motorbikes, even bicycles, drones are not inherently dangerous. It’s the responsibility of the pilot (just like a driver or rider on any other vehicle) to make sure they are competent to fly their UAV.
The pilot of a drone is responsible for knowing the local and country regulations. For example, airspace regulators such as the CAA and the FAA have specific rules regarding how close you can fly to an airport (five miles), and your drone must always be in line of sight. Any responsible drone pilot will know the rules off by heart, making the skies a safe place to be.
There have been calls to tighten regulation on drone pilot legislation, and with good cause: at present, you only need a license if you’re flying your drone for commercial gain. That means if you’re a hobbyist who just likes gadgets, you can take it out of the box to fly straight away. Of course, this also means that eager beavers who want to get into the skies immediately are like learner drivers – potentially dangerous to others.
At time of writing, no accidents involving civil drones have caused any deaths – compare this to cars, vans, motorbikes, bicycles, aeroplanes… you see our point? At COPTRZ™, we fully support further legislation to help regulate the civil aircraft industry: you take a driving test to be allowed to drive a car on the road, so it would make sense to ensure the skies are just as safe!
Myth 3: Drones Are Expensive
Debunked: With small drones starting out at under £800, UAVs are becoming increasingly affordable. Payment plans are available, too, so if you’ve got your eye on a more advanced model it’s entirely possible to have one!
Sure, the big badass drones like the NEO are more expensive: that’s because they’re specialised, highly technically advanced, and used for commercial purposes such as making films in Hollywood.
If you’re starting out as a hobbyist, or your business is dipping its toes in the drone water before going for the big guns, the smaller drones are where we’d recommend you start out. If you’re serious about aerial photography for your business, it’s well worth investing in a more advanced piece of kit that will act as a workhorse, fly in a wider range of conditions, and deliver exactly what you need.