HomePersonal drones fun, but to be handled with care

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By: Jesse Horn


As a geography professor at UW-Eau Claire, he uses drones to help with mapping terrain, but says the legal terrain surrounding personal drones is a bit murky.”We have nothing right now,” Hupy said to WEAU 13 News on Wednesday. “And the Federal government’s inadequacy to establish that is creating a Wild West atmosphere to where the majority of users don’t want that.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has recently issued an advisory, which provides guidelines for personal drone users. FAA Advisory Circular 91-57A states:

– The aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;
– The aircraft operates in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization (CBO);
– The aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds, unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a CBO;
– The aircraft operates in a manner that does not interfere with, and gives way to, any manned aircraft; and
– When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the model aircraft provides the airport operator or the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation. Model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport).QQ截图20151217152339

Peter Menet, founder of Menet Aero, Inc. – a Milwaukee-based company which provides commercial drone services – said, despite the advisory, it remains just that.”In the eyes of the FAA, an aircraft is an aircraft,” he said to WEAU 13 News on Wednesday. “There’s no difference between a 747 and a little DGI Phantom – a 4-pound drone – and I guess that’s the position they’re forced to take right now.”

While drones may sound great as a gift this holiday season, Hupy says there are a few things you should remember before you run out and purchase a drone.”Buy that cheap Styrofoam airplane that’s under $50 and just focus on learning that you will crash it. It’s going to happen,” he said. “If you’re looking at buying something a little more expensive than that, consider buying a flight simulator for about 100 dollars.”