Be safe, drone pilots

Tuesday, July 11, 2017|2 a.m.

View more of the Sun’s opinion area

These days, drones are all over– in the news, on tv and in the skies above Nevada. Lots of people are flying leisure unmanned aircraft, frequently described as “drones,” for the first time. And as Congress thinks about reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration, it is essential that it takes a close take a look at the curricula that community-based organizations like the Academy of Design Aeronautics supply.

I’m one of 1,785 AMA members in Nevada and nearly 200,000 members of the Academy of Design Aeronautics, the largest company of design airplane lovers on the planet. Flying model aircraft has belonged of my life considering that I was 24 years of ages, when I discovered how to fly model airplanes while serving in the United States Flying force. I joined my very first AMA club in 1974 and have taken pleasure in flying ever since.

Given that its founding in 1936, the AMA has been devoted to informing members and those brand-new to the pastime on how to fly design aircraft and drones securely and in the best places, through a community-based set of safety standards. AMA’s years of experience have actually revealed that the very best method to promote safety isn’t really to impose brand-new guidelines on leisure users; it’s to educate them about finest practices and safe operation.

Safe flying includes following the safety guidelines developed by community-based companies like the AMA. The community-based set of security standards that AMA offers helps all lovers guarantee that they’re flying where and how they ought to be, consisting of those enjoying the pastime in Nevada. New to the hobby? Intrigued in taking to the air? Here are a couple of simple standards:

– Fly no greater than 400 feet and stay below any surrounding obstacles when possible unless operating within an established community-based safety program or through a waiver from the FAA.

– Stay well clear of, and do not interfere with, manned aircraft operations. You need to see and avoid other airplane and obstacles at all times.

– Do not intentionally fly over unprotected individuals or moving vehicles, and stay at least 25 feet from people and vulnerable residential or commercial property.

– Contact the airport or control tower before flying within 5 miles of an airport.

– Consider seeking assistance from a regional community-based company, like AMA, to learn to fly.

As part of AMA’s ongoing dedication to informing hobbyists, and recognizing the growing interest in the flying of model aircraft and drones, AMA expanded its educational efforts to reach even more brand-new people in 2014 by helping launch the “Know Before You Fly” campaign. This campaign, created in partnership with other UAS market leaders and the FAA, works to put safety details and flying tips in the hands of newcomers to the hobby from throughout the country, even those that are not members of a community-based company like AMA.

As members of Congress deal with FAA reauthorization, I urge them to preserve the Unique Rule for Model Airplane, which affirms the importance of a community-based approached to managing the design aviation community. I want everybody to experience the joy of flying like I have, but that will only be possible if our longstanding hobby is maintained and we are able to fly without difficult guidelines.

Guido Terzo, of Henderson, is president of the Las Vegas Radio Control Club and the associate vice president of District X the Academy of Design Aeronautics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *