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  • Writer's pictureTom David Frey

Drone Etiquette: Top Etiquette Tips for Operating a Drone

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Drones are loads of fun to fly.

But if you're not careful, operating a drone can get you in trouble real quick.

Or you damage the already now patchy images that our hobby (or profession) has.

If you want to keep your drone in the air without driving everyone around you crazy, keep reading for a closer look at a few important drone etiquette tips.

Always Ask for Permission

Before flying your drone anywhere, it’s important to check and see if it’s acceptable to fly in the area.

Even public places like parks or federal land may have a restriction on when and where drones can be used.

If you’re not sure if it’s okay to fly, always ask for permission.

Checking for and staying away from air- and heliports, military- and police buildings, hospitals and power plants is already a good start, even if you don't stick to other rules.

When Operating a Drone: Avoid the Crowds

Another important piece of etiquette to follow when flying a drone is to avoid flying over crowds of people.

As reliable as drones typically are, serious accidents have occurred with drones flying over crowds.

What you see in the video is not a normal drone going down, it had something attached to its body. Usually, they don't crash and are very trustable.

But still: stick to open areas when flying your drone, no matter how fun it might seem to circle a group of people.

Be Careful on Private Property

One place to be especially cautious with your drone is when flying over or near private property.

Many property owners are not particularly excited to see drones flying over their home or land—some have even taken extreme measures.

Again: if you can't resist crossing private property during a flight, at least keep a measurable distance (I recommend a minimum of 20 meters and the use of low-noise propellers).

Know Your Drone and How it Works

It should go without saying that before flying a drone in any public place you should know how it works and how to control it.

Drones can do serious damage to property, people, and animals if they get out of control.

Therefore, keep on watching my videos and you'll stay up to date. Always. 😉

Never Fly Near a Disaster Zone

No matter how cool the photos or video might be, never fly your drone in or near a disaster area.

A drone could distract rescue workers or create more damage if it gets out of control.

Just to be safe, keep your drone away from emergencies of any kind.

Don’t be Disruptive

When operating a drone, try to be aware of your surroundings.

If you're in a particularly scenic area, try not to ruin the landscape for others.

While getting the perfect shot from your drone might seem perfectly normal to you, it can be very disruptive to other sightseers.

Avoid Stupidity

Drinking, or other mind-altering activities, rarely pair well with expensive, high-speed machines. And drones are no exception.

Don't drink when operating your drone and make every effort to avoid risky maneuvers in crowded areas or in places where you might damage nature or someone's property.

Common Sense

Above all else, when flying your drone be cautious.

If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.

Drones are still fairly new and many people are still highly suspicious of these exciting machines.

Don't be the guy (or girl) who turns everyone off to drones because you just had to get the right shot.

Your Turn

Want to make the most of your drone photography?

Check out our recent article on getting the best shots with your drone.

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