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Drone Training & Purchasing

Before you invest in an expensive drone out of the box and "ready to fly" and flying lessons, there are some baby-steps you should take to save yourself a lot of time and money.  There are many places to go to learn how to fly a drone, but first, you want to educate yourself with the Drone Information Links at the top of this page.  Second, you want to research what type of drone suits your wallet, and then purchase one either from a local retail store or online. There are hundreds to choose from, pilots choice. However, prior to investing in an expensive drone platform with a HD camera I would recommend starting out with a drone that costs about $50. There are dozens of camera drones that are palm sized that you can learn flight maneuvers indoors, then excel to flying outdoors with one in the $100 range. The reason you need this flight experience is very simple. YOU WILL CRASH!!  So, investing in a drone that is not only cheap but can withstand crashing, and if possible one that's easy to get replacement parts for too, will save you thousands of dollars later.  Additionally, how embarrassing would it be to crash your $1,600 drone designed for superb aerial photography and aerial video?  The video footage of your crash can hit YouTube for others to shake their heads at, and it will hit your wallet too.  Do the math, $500 for lessons plus $1,600 for your drone, that first hour in flying lessons just cost you $2,100, and you have nothing to show for it.  If you don't believe me there are hundreds of YouTube videos out there showing drone crashes, particularly within the first few hours of ownership.  So, fly the safer baby-step route.

Next, select a safe and legal place to fly your inexpensive drone.  Find a field or a place where there are few obstacles like poles, trees, towers, buildings, and especially people.  Always get permission to fly your drone where ever you go, and never fly in restricted areas, ever.  Once you get enough drone flying time in, and you have not lost interest, and you are able and willing to risk investing in a more expensive drone, I would seriously consider purchasing a slightly used drone from someone who made a big investment and lost interest. There are some great deals out there on the web locally, if you're patient, just look.

After you have taken these recommendations, and enough time has passed that your flying skills have greatly improved, and after several crashes (see, I told you so), go ahead and pursue that really nice drone.  At this point you should not need that expensive training school to learn how to fly, and you can take that money you would have invested in that school and use it toward purchasing a nice drone. However, if you feel your flying skills would improve tremendously form attending a school then the investment at this point in your skill level is well worth it.

If this information has helped you in any way send me an email to let me know how. Enjoy, and fly safe!

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The FAA is expanding tests of an automated system that will ultimately provide near real-time processing of airspace authorization requests for unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators nationwide.

Under the FAA’s Part 107 small drone rule, operators must secure approval from the agency to operate in any airspace controlled by an air traffic facility. To facilitate those approvals, the agency deployed the prototype Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) at several air traffic facilities last November to evaluate the feasibility of a fully automated solution enabled by data sharing. Based on the prototype’s success, the agency will now conduct a nationwide beta test beginning April 30 that will deploy LAANC incrementally at nearly 300 air traffic facilities covering approximately 500 airports. The final deployment will begin on September 13. For more information, read the FAA news release here: www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=89845.