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I want to buy DH a drone for Christmas, inexpensive, a training one so we don't get to upset when we lose it. The main item I want is for it to return home by itself when the battery runs low. I don't know what words to use to make sure I have that option. Please provide a translation. Suggestions on drones readily accepted.

 

Thanks

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To get a drone with Return to Home (RTH) function you are going to have to have an onboard GPS.  In general these tend to be more expensive that the simpler models. 

What do you consider to be "inexpensive"?  Are you primarily looking for an aerial camera platform or something else?

Also be aware that the Federal Government (FAA) is really starting to crack down on the RC hobby, mainly because of folks who have done stupid things with their "toys".  There have been significant new regulations put in place in the past year with more to come.  For instance, you can't legally fly a drone beyond line-of-sight without getting a specific license. That means that the pilot, or their spotter, must have eyes on the drone at all times.  Of course people are violating that every single day, but the issue with losing sight and control of a drone are potentially serious. 

In addition to needing to register yourself with the FAA there will be a required test (currently under development) that will cover knowledge of airspace restrictions, regulations, etc.  Essentially you now need to be able to read the same sectional charts that pilots use (or, get the app!!) to determine where, or even if, you are allowed to fly. 

So I recommend that you look into the rules and regulations to be familiar with them before making a purchase.  

FAA Drone Information

Edited by mptjelgin

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Wow, I didn't know any of this. Our thoughts were along the lines of looking for boon docking sites rather than unhitching the car. I didn't now all this was coming down the pipe. Regarding I was looking for something inexpensive so that he could learn how to control it before getting a good one.

I guess I will skip this idea, not worth the hassle. Thanks

 

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26 minutes ago, SWharton said:

Wow, I didn't know any of this. Our thoughts were along the lines of looking for boon docking sites rather than unhitching the car. I didn't now all this was coming down the pipe. Regarding I was looking for something inexpensive so that he could learn how to control it before getting a good one.

I guess I will skip this idea, not worth the hassle. Thanks

 

The FAA is trying very hard to put an end to the practice of people casually flying their drones around to see "whats over there".  With Amazon and others planning to roll out their Drone Delivery services the airways are going to get more crowded, and therefore more controlled. 

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In addition, the new FAA regs require you to have a sUAS (small Unmanned Aircraft System) license/certificate of registration to operate a drone that weighs in excess of 8 oz ("stick of butter" reg).  You can read about the regulations at the following FAA sites....pretty much the same as mptjelgin  listed above.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/ 

https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/

I was flying at a field in Florida 2 years ago and had a local FWS Conservation Officer stop and watch me.  He ended up asking me if I was trying to spot deer or wildlife with it (not allowed); I told him no and he asked if I had my FAA sUAS registration with me and if my model was labelled with it.  I said I did and it was; I landed and showed him the label and my certificate and he was happy.  He stayed around for a bit talking to me about flying and then left.  I have flown in many places around the country; many flying fields ask to see my AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) card and ask if I have an FAA sUAS number but that is the only time I have ever had a law enforcement officer stop and check me out.

Edited by mb36912
added FAA link, referenced mptjelgin

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You are required to register any drone that weighs more than 0.55 lbs with the FAA.  This is a simple on line form that you complete and pay the registration fee.  The FAA then gives you a registration number that must be affixed to the aircraft.  It took me about five minutes to fill out the form and pay the fee.

You are not required to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (pilot license) unless you plan to use the drone commercially.  If you intend to only use it for private/recreational purposes, then the registration I described above is all you need to do.

Most drones capable of returning to home (gps enabled) will also have software built into them that prevents you from flying them in restricted areas.  They will not even let you take off if you are in a restricted area.  

I do have my Remote Pilot Certificate because I fly drones at my work and run my agency’s drone program.  However, when I am flying my personal drone for recreational purposes I do not need my license.

There is a lot of misinformation about drones out there.  The biggest things to remember are all drones over 0.55 lbs must be registered, you must fly within line of sight (you need to be able to see the drone in the air), and you cannot fly higher than 400 feet above ground level.  There are some other restrictions, but these are the basics.

If you have some specific questions, I’d be happy to help, if I can.

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I think the biggest gotcha to this is the line of site requirement. I had thoughts of our scoping out boon docking sites. Need to think a little more about this.

Does this registration of the drone that Chad mentioned provide the sUAS license?

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7 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

If you have some specific questions, I’d be happy to help, if I can.

Could you post a link to the current information on these regulations and also to the place that you need to register?

I keep looking at drones with cameras and while the prices have begun to come down, I still have difficulty in justifying the cost.  😏

EDIT:   Oops! I just found the link in the post above yours.  😡

Edited by Kirk W

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3 hours ago, SWharton said:

I think the biggest gotcha to this is the line of site requirement. I had thoughts of our scoping out boon docking sites. Need to think a little more about this.

Does this registration of the drone that Chad mentioned provide the sUAS license?

There are two paths of registration.  The first is for recreational flyers. You get a registration number for the pilot (not the individual drone), pay a small fee, and then place that number on each of your drones and fly following the rules for recreational flyers. These rules include flying below 400 feet (where allowed), not flying at all in restricted areas, and staying within line-of-sight.  A knowledge test is coming soon and will become part of this process. 

The second path is intended for commercial operations and is often referred to as Part 107.  This does require that the pilot obtain a Remote Pilot Certification from FAA which involves a significant amount of paperwork and testing. This path does allow beyond line-of-sight flights but is a much more complex path and really beyond what most hobbyists are willing to undertake. Once the Remore Pilot Certificate is obtained each individual drone to be flown under that certificate is registered and labeled. 

The Recreational Flyer process is simple and inexpensive, but quite restricted in what is allowed. Part 107 is intended for commercial operations and is predictably more extensive, but ultimately less restrictive. I don't think that things are going to get any simpler going forward. In fact, it is likely to become tougher for hobbyists and casual users as the airspace becomes more crowded and restricted.  

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show me your papers..... please.

just another way for the over reaching government to control your life.

a couple airports that drones were said to have been at, (both in england), none in the USA.

but one was found out after a none airport police investigation, it was the airport police drone, they tried to hide and cover it up.

the other one there was never a drone seen, or could be proven to have been there. it was just a report from a busy body lady, off airport property.

 

sure i am not in the loop, but as i have known, no drones have even been involved in a "problem" at any commercial US airport, but then even a grass field where old gramps used to fly his biplane out of (now unused in 50+ years) is call a airport. heck even a rc field can be registered as a airport. the faa never removes them from there listings. even if that spot is now a housing development, shopping mall, hospital, other building, etc.

as to home delivery of things, drones can only carry so much weight, and are limited to a very short flight time.

and like everything else the fcc says, everything must accept any rf. including harmful rf. so how many delivery drones are going to fall out of the sky hurting people? O and they can not fly within 5 miles of a "airport", hospital (helo pad thing here). jail, prison, government center, anyplace that has to do with power generation, or water pumping, etc. (more places???).

 

https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-united-states-of-america/

 

https://www.faa.gov/uas/

 

http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/learn-the-drone-laws/

 

https://jrupprechtlaw.com/drone-laws-state/

 

then the county's, citys, and communitys can tell you what to do, and how to do it.

Edited by packnrat

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As someone who has participated in the Radio Control (RC) plane/helicopter community for many years the recent explosion of consumer drones, the incidents, and the backlash have all been very frustrating. Consumer drones are viewed as toys by most who own them, and have been used by a tiny minority to do some monumentally stupid things.

The danger that they pose is infinitesimal compared to many other everyday activities, yet they have become a threat in the eyes of some. Unfortunately, the reaction by federal, state and local governments has swept the entire RC hobby up into the same basket as consumer drones and started to impose licensing and restrictions that may well end up making the entire hobby too difficult to continue with. Too bad...

Edited by mptjelgin

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Now that I have stirred everyone up over drones I don't think I will have Santa bring him one. Mainly because of the line of site restriction.

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note to  dutch_12078

video link does not work.

but by the numbers most did not happen in the USA.

1: anything puts the white house into lock down. heck just someone who wanted a photo........and just lost control. No body hurt.

2: yes bad people, so NOT a drone anything.......... do cars cause drunk driving?  not a hobby thing here.

3: bad flying by the operator, and i bet there was a legal permit for this fight...... not a hobby thing here.

4: sounds like someone tried to just steal a drone from another..... not a hobby thing here.

5: another loss of control, ran out of juice in the  batteries, here is why delivery drones are a bad thing. maybe a hobby thing? and here is a bad pilot.

6: just a word here, any video? it was a news helo, so they do have cameras on them. nobody got hurt except the feelings of the helo pilot. did the drone operator break any laws? none listed.

7:  how close is "close" i am not a pilot, but i guess they have better things to do than look out for a drone. flock of birds, etc. bad choice for a drone operator if there was one, and NOT a deal in the USA....hobby? or just a fool?

8: DRUGS, the mexical cartel's have used far worse ways to smuggle DRUGS into the USA....not a hobby thing.

9: a cheap fool wanted to watch a game free, we got's to pay over priced fares to the very rich for this privilege. just a fool, flying in a no go -for profit-- area. hobby? or fool? both? nobody hurt.

10: same as number 9.    and only the so called "reporter" said anything about a drone set up to hurt anybody. hobby fool? nobody hurt?

11: the nat park service never found one. even after there drone and a helo searched for it. but even i say some places drones should not be. not even where the park service is the control.

12..14..16: fly near wild critters, pay the cost, but for the birds... they were the attacker. heck even the monkey attacked the drone, none the other way....hobby? fools lost there drones, money is the only thing hurt here.

13: again why drones should not do deliveries.

15: crashed on a return to home program. so a computer error. again why drones should not do deliveries. as to the owner and operator. heck a tower is a magnet for videos. and again bad control thinking here. hobby, most likely, bad judgment yes.

17: again Not in the USA. as here a fifth story window would be made of a far harder glass. heck even the best computer in a drone can not see glass. hobbyist, most likely. a bad controller yes. prohibited area??

 

now with all this said.

NO i do not condone any BAD or ILLEGAL flying.   

give them a ticket and there day in court, if in the USA.

other countries, do as per there laws not a problem here.

if i was a spokes person for any of this, yes i would encourage prosecuting all who break the laws. but would also, rally for less government intruding in our lives.

like the alleged event in Yellowstone. sure i got into flying a drone, running a gen for juice. riding a dirt bike. (both pedal and motor), driving a quad, driving a jeep. but there are places best suited for this activities. and places best to just not be. i for one do not want a drone flying around in a "special" place. of see a fool driving there 4X4 through a open meadow.

so put away your flame throwers. i do agree to prosecute on some listed here. others the loss of there drone can be enough. (well over $1,000-$2,000. USD).

 

 

Edited by packnrat

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