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New drone owner? Check out this video before you fly

With drones once again expected to be a hot-ticket item over the holiday season, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a safety campaign urging new pilots to follow the rules and take care.

The effort includes a video (below) highlighting the basics and a “12 days of drones” social media campaign with posts featuring various drone-related safety rules.

Holiday Drone Messaging

The FAA reminds new recreational flyers that any machine weighing 250 grams or more needs to be registered at the FAADroneZone website before it takes off, and that an FAA-issued registration number needs to be displayed on the outside of the aircraft.

After that, head to this website to find out how to take the free UAS (unmanned aircraft system) safety test that all new recreational flyers are required to take.

FAA rules for safe flights include operating your drone at or below 400 feet and keeping your aircraft within your line of sight at all times.

Respecting other people’s privacy is also important. In other words, don’t go flying it over someone’s yard or close to people in a private space.

With a few rogue drone pilots causing problems in the skies over the years, the FAA feels compelled to point out what’s obvious to the vast majority of pilots who operate their drones responsibly. And that is: Don’t fly your drone near other aircraft, regardless of their size. Crowded stadiums during major sports events are also off-limits.

The FAA also warns drone pilots to stay well away from wildfires as the presence of such aircraft could hamper efforts to tackle the blaze from the air.

Finally, as with any vehicle, only operate your drone with a clear head and definitely not after guzzling booze or taking some other brain-befuddling substance.

Follow the rules and you’ll have a safe environment in which to enjoy your drone and refine your flying skills, thereby lowering your risk of a calamitous crash.

Looking for a new drone? The Mini 2 is a solid budget option from DJI, while the Mavic Air 2 offers a few more bells and whistles at a decent price, as does the Air 2S with its larger sensor. There’s also the advanced Mavic 3 drone, released by DJI just recently. For current deals on drones under $500, Digital Trends has you covered.

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Trevor Mogg
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