Be Safe or Give Blood – MultiRotors, Safety, FAA Regulations

Please be warned, the video below is very graphic, so if you have a weak stomach – skip it.

As more new people get into MultiRotors and drones a very important topic needs to be addressed – Safety. The two videos on this page illustrate in a very blunt manner, just a few of the risks involved in operating these machines. Simply put, if safety practices are not learned very early on – a person can easily injure themselves or someone else. In the top video, the poor fellow essentially injures himself by forgetting to unplug the battery before picking up a faulty machine. He was left with stitches and nerve damage. In the video below, a photographer flies a small quadcopter into the groom’s head while filming at a wedding. Only minor injuries with this one, but it could have been worse. Both accidents would have been avoided if basic safety protocol was followed.

MultiRotor manufacturers are working overtime to put user friendly MultiRotors in the hands of more of the mainstream populous because it’s good for their business. The are readily using phrases such as “can be flown by anyone”, without really considering that they may in fact be placing a lightweight weapon into the hands of an idiot who possesses little to no judgement. The problem for us non-idiots is the same as it has been since the dawn of man…some idiot is going to ruin the fun for the rest of us, and soon. There needs to be some sort of safety education that occurs whenever a new person decides they want to put a MultiRotor into the air. I would say that part of the responsibility to provide this safety education should rest with those companies who decide to build and sell “easy to fly” MultiRotors. The rest of the responsibility rests with our government and with our current community of flyers. To do my part, I finally got down to starting the learning section of this website — and guess what the first part covers?

I am certain that when the Federal Aviation Administration gets down to making laws/regulations surrounding the commercial usage of drones and MultiRotors, they will leave very little to an individual’s subjective judgement. Get ready for that if you plan to operate your copter or drone for business. Now I dislike new rules just as much as the next guy, but in the case of things that fly around in the sky, rules are a necessary evil. Why? Well, because you cannot trust your fellow human being to exercise good, sound judgement. I know, it’s a shocking fact that people must be told things like – NO it’s not ok to fly long range FPV at 4000 feet in airspace used by commercial and private aircraft because if you have a midair collision you could flame out a jet engine or cause a pilot to lose control of their real aircraft and that may kill real people. Sadly, that’s the kind of stuff people do when there aren’t any consequences for their actions. So big brother has to take their little hand and guide them. The laws/rules/regs are coming – stay tuned.

The government will make these laws to insure public safety, or to at least make the public feel safe. I am certain that some of the regulations they’ll create will govern the type of aircraft that may be flown and the equipment those aircraft must carry. This will open up some new doors for businesses interested in cashing in on this new realm. Things we may see in the near future regarding FAA aircraft equipment requirements go are items like redundant computer and thrust systems, automatically deployed ballistic recovery parachutes, and propeller guards. Manufacturers have already begun working on these features, but we are some way off from having these be standard safety items included in every MultiRotor that is flying for business or pleasure.

So when you hear about the tacocopter, pizza delivery, or the laughable textbook delivery service that someone is attempting to start-up in Australia. Please realize that we’re a long way off from having MultiRotor aircraft that fly around without a human watching their every move and that we are nowhere near the power to weight efficiencies needed to make any of those business models anywhere near viable. Those folks are just looking for attention from the mainstream media and other fools that will listen to them.