As most of my readers know, I fly drones and love it. Recently I have been getting questions on my opinions about licensing drones.
First of all, I do not like to call them drones, when people think of drones they think of something bad, evil or destructive. The military uses drones to shoot at things. I prefer either quadcopter or multi-rotor. I do not even mind if you call a hexacopter a quadcopter.
This may surprise a lot of people but I am all for licensing multi-rotors. There are a few people that do not respect what a multi-rotor can do. It is these people that give the bad name to this hobby.
Of course there are times that a multi-rotor can fail and as anything man made that is in the sky, it WILL come down. But if you respect and prepare any damage can be minimized and probably avoided all together.
I would hope the licensing process would help distinguish the true hobbyist from the weekend terror creator. I would also hope that the license comes with some kind of training. I really think that so many multi-rotor owners do not know there is such a thing as a five mile no fly zone around an airport. Not to mention the no fly zones like say Washington DC.
Many of the smaller multi-rotors that are sold today also have a very limited control range. Those lower end "toys" do not have features like return to home, etc. So most when they go out of range keep going further and further out of range until... The battery dies and then.... They fall back to earth.
I have also heard so many people worried about their privacy. There are cameras everywhere these days. That includes on multi-rotors. Most of the "toy" multi-rotors have a terrible cameras so not much need to worry about that. I would be more worried about someone crashing one of those toys into your car.
I do use a multi-rotor to do arial photography and videoghraphy. By the current rules it is illegal to do that and charge for it. I hope that in this license process, those rules change because there is a lot of beautiful things on this earth that are even more beautiful with a bird's eye view.
You will find there is a lot of sport around the multi-rotor hobby these days. There are multi-rotor battles that is done in a square arena, there are races that are officiated that use slalom flags to create a race track and path to follow. There are non official races that race through woods, etc. I am sure this sport will continue to grow.
As part of this growth there does need to be "regulation" around the hobby. I am not a fan of the government getting involved into things like this but, just like had to be done with JetSki's here in Maryland on the rivers. You have to stop the idiots from hurting themselves and other people. It is sad that it has to be done, but unfortunately I think it does.