I mentioned previously that I have not flown since last year. This is partly because of the new FAA registration rules (not wanting to be on a public database), irate bystanders, and of course winter. I finally decided to register with the FAA and power up my birds.
First off I wondered if my 250 racing drone even worked. I had crashed it in the snow and wondered if the electronics were fried. I just did some light hovering in the back yard with a little strafing of the grass. It seemed to be fine. I did have one small crash landing in the grass.
I was looking at the 250 and getting ready to fly it again when I realized that the FPV transmitter antenna was gone.
This is similar to some situations I’ve had on my own. People who are completely paranoid about drones exaggerate and extrapolate these incredibly insane scenarios where the drone flyer who is doing nothing wrong is accused of all sorts of wrong doing and dangerous behavior. In the video below a small racing drone crashed 100+ feet away from a lady who then told the police it hit within four feet of her. This is what we are up against.
The great thing is that most of us drone flyers are honest folks and when some freak like this makes up stories they are exposed. This is especially funny when the technology assists in proving that the paranoid person is lying.
I’m fighting with this right now. My last two major flights have had episodes similar, where an irate bystander who was nowhere near the flight path got in my face about privacy and safety and such.
The last time I flew any of my birds was last year. I was SO excited to build and fly, and capture amazing videos and photos from above. Winter hurt a bit. Wet snow and rain, wind and cold make it very difficult to enjoy flying. But worse than that, I have found that I’ve lost my mojo for drones and flying because of the new FAA registration and because of clueless idiots getting in my face every time I fly.
I have yet to fly commercially, but that’s a dream for me. I’d love to get hired to fly for any number of reasons like photography, video, surveying, real estate etc. But I have not had the time, or the funds to hire an attorney to draft me up a “Section 333” request for a commercial drone license.
So that leaves non-commercial, or “hobby” flying. To do that now the FAA requires registration as well, which is I think only $5.00. Fine. But the problem I have with that is that the FAA puts the registrant’s name and personal information in a public database. That policy grounded me.
The last time I flew I was taking pictures of my neighbor’s house, at his request. A person who lived in an apartment a block away saw my bird flying and tracked me down. Despite my assuring him that I was not invading his privacy and not breaking any laws, this guy got in my face and threatened me, all the while with a beer in his hand. He’s breaking the law with an open container of alcohol and getting in my face. That’s just one of many situations where paranoid people have gotten irate at me and simply assume I’m there to invade their privacy.
Perhaps I’ll get the bug to fly now that the weather has finally improved. I’ll re-evaluate and probably get the hobby license to fly, but I’m considering just giving it up as well.