If you've flown a drone or any kind of remotely controlled aircraft in a public place before, you might have encountered the situation where someone comes over and asks you questions. This can sometimes be a little distracting even if the individual has nothing but the best intentions. Knowing how to speak to these members of the public when you're out and about is all part of drone flying. To help you to get prepared, here are four top FT tips!
1. Take a friend with you!
Flying a drone can be quite attention consuming. It's always best to put your undivided attention into flying an aircraft. You are responsible for it, remember! If you have a friend with you, they can answer the questions you get all the time, such as, 'how high does it go?'.
2. Always be polite
You're probably thinking, 'you don't need to tell me that!' but it's worth mentioning. Unfortunately, there have been many instances of people confronting drone fliers, sometimes with hostility. Don't worry though, most of the time all it takes is a little diplomacy with a non-confrontational attitude to defuse a bad situation. Land your aircraft, happily explain why you can fly and ask if there's still a problem. If you've done your homework, you should be able to demonstrate why it's ok for you to fly.
3. Land the drone first
If you're flying without a friend and someone approaches you, let the person know that you need to land the drone before talking to them. As mentioned, flying the drone is your priority! You are the pilot in command. The safest thing to do is to get down before answering questions. Of course, if the individual has just come over to say 'nice drone!', just say 'thanks!' and then continue flying.
4. Answer all of the questions with enthusiasm!
If someone wants to know about how far your drone can go, tell them! If they want to know how long the battery lasts, tell them! Tell them everything about drones and use the interaction as an excuse to show how this new technology is great when flown responsibly.
To summarise, always act in a way that is professional to promote the practice of drone flying in a positive light. Drones get a lot of bad press so it's up to us as pilots to reassure and educate. The next time someone comes up to you, finish your flight and tell them everything!
If you found this article helpful, remember to give that recommend button a like!
Article by James Whomsley
Editor of FliteTest.com