The usage of drones is on the increase. Anyone, even a teenager, could take a drone out to fly. Because of how easy purchasing a drone is, there is now a lot more younger pilots than there need be. There’s no problem with having a fifteen-year-old fly a drone; if they find it fun, then we better let them be. But the problem is, most young pilots don’t know the ins and outs of drone flying. How humans control drones is a matter too important but is often overlooked. When mishandled, drones could crash into anyone, anywhere, yet no one cares about the number of amateurs handling these dangerous devices and how they do it.
Drones are considered the future of aviation and they offer countless benefits. But using them requires more than just the will to hold a remote control. One has to know when, where, and how they can only be used.
The Problem with How Humans Control Drones
How humans control drones isn’t without any issue. If anything, the way drones are used has become one of the main reasons why there has to be legislation and a whole organization to monitor drone-related activities. Below are just some of the instances the way humans control drones has caused problems.
Drone Collisions with Commercial Airplanes
There has been an ever-increasing number of near collisions of drones and aircraft. Birds are dangerous to aircraft, never mind drones, which can weigh several pounds heavier and move at dangerous speeds. The drones could shatter the windscreens of planes and hurt flight crew. They could even damage the airplane engines.
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Drones are not allowed near airports, but a lot of owners do not stick to regulations, and it is very hard to keep track of each drone to know who the offender is. It is believed that if suitable measures are not put into place, a plane crash resulting from a collision between a plane and a drone is bound to occur. Hence, the question still lies whether humans control drones.
Drones have been involved in numerous flyaways that have been reported on the internet. The last videos recorded by the drones are usually uploaded online and are fast becoming a favorite of many. They have been recorded crashing into fields and highways, crashing into lakes and rivers or even smashing into buildings.
No one seems to care that flyaway drones could kill, but the reality is that even though they are fun to fly, they could hit pedestrians or even cause damage to landed properties.
Drone makers are working on solutions to flyaway drones, such as GPS tracking device. Drones are now being fitted with fly home mechanisms that could return them automatically to their origin point if there is any fault. Frank Wang, the owner of DJI, the largest drone-making company in the world, told the New York Times, “We have to make something that cannot go wrong in any scenario.”
Some drones even have parachutes. But all these measures are not 100 percent guaranteed to work. So how can we say that humans control drones? ALPA’s David Reynolds says no technology is fail-safe, and the risk of a flyaway causing damage or harm remains serious.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has decided that at the moment, the risks posed by flyaway drones aren’t much of a concern currently.
Drone Regulations and Fun Seekers
A lot of fun seekers are attracted to new technology and many don’t take proper precautions and regulations.
Skycam’s Tim Brooks believes the New Zealand drone regulations “are some of the best in the world. If you follow the guidelines . . . you can operate very safely.”
“Just like full-sized aircraft, just like driving a car, if you follow the rules, everything is good.”
On the other hand, there are some who believe that the regulations aren’t strict enough, as no one has been prosecuted yet for breaking a drone regulation.
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