The weather’s improving and the days are getting longer, this can only be a good thing for drone enthusiasts. This summer we’re going to see more drones in the sky than ever before.
So whether you’re new to the hobby and flying for the first time or a veteran drone pilot, here are some useful resources before you take to the skies and best of all they won’t cost you a penny.
And at 3pm Friday afternoon we’ll be doing a Facebook Live broadcast to answer your questions about drone safety. If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment and make sure you tune in at the time.
- uavforecast.com – wind, rain and drones are three words you don’t usually hear together. This is a great site for checking the local weather for your flying site. It allows you to enter limits for you and your drone such as wind speed, temperature and GPS signal to determine if it’s suitable for flying. When it comes to wind speed remember to consider your limits as a pilot as well as the drone – they might not be the same!
- skydemonlight.com – you should never fly a drone near an airport or close to aircraft and it is actually a criminal offence to endanger the safety of an aircraft in flight. Skydemon Light is a free online tool that you can use to identify airfields and controlled airspace to avoid. If you need to get in touch with the airfield, use the NATS IAIP (Integrated Aeronautical Information Package) to find airfield contact details.
- gov.uk/low-flying-in-your-area – if you’re planning to fly in an area where low level military aircraft may operate, call the relevant number on this page with information about your flight (locations, heights and time/date) to check there are no conflicts with your activity.
- maps.google.co.uk – There’s nothing worse than turning up to a new site and finding there’s a huge mast – a potential source for interference – in the field next door. Use the Street View feature of Google Maps to check out your flying site before you leave. It’s also an ideal resource to identify congested areas, roads, schools etc. which are all areas that drones shouldn’t be flown near.
Finally, drones these days tend to have a built in Return to Home (RTH) fail safe feature, this ensures the drone will return home if the signal is lost or battery is low. Many people have been caught out with this feature either watching their beloved drone smoothly fly into a tree or worse yet fly away all together! So before you take off ensure that the RTH location is where you expect it and secondly ensure that the RTH height is set higher than any obstacles that might be between the RTH location and your drone.
For tips like this, help with becoming a commercial drone pilot and much more check out our RPAS Training course. And if you’ve got your own tips or questions about flying drones safely don’t forget our Facebook Live session on Friday afternoon.
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