Popularity Of Drones Brings Some Problems

drone isu extension agricultureNorthwest Iowa — Drones are becoming more and more popular, and are being used for everything from aerial photography, to examining farm fields, to simple recreation.

Dave Herbert of Sibley is a long-time model aviation enthusiast, and a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and he says one of the reasons for the popularity of drones is their ease of operation.

Unfortunately, Herbert says, the ease of flight, as well as the occasional irresponsible drone operator, have caused problems with drones interfering with regular full-size aircraft.

He says as a result of some problems, the Federal Aviation Administration now requires you to pay a $5 fee, and register your drone.

Herbert says that drone pilots must notify airports if they plan on flying nearby.

He says the FAA has a free smartphone app for drone pilots that shows who they’re supposed to call if they’re going to fly.  Herbert says it even includes hospitals with heliports.  To find out more about the FAA’s B4UFLY app, click here.

He says the FAA is starting to levy some serious fines for drone pilots who don’t comply with the regulations.

Herbert says one of the problems for pilots of full-size aircraft is that drones are very hard to see, oftentimes looking like a bird in the distance.  He says, in fact, that the FAA has talked about requiring regular aviation lights to be displayed on drones and other model aircraft, just as they are on their full-size cousins.

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