Whole country heard about the news that a drone ‘almost collided’ with a Lufthansa aircraft. It started with one article, then other media picked it up, especially the social ones. As an active done supporter who sees them as a chance for passionate people, filmmakers, creators and the economy – both in terms of broad use and production – I feel the need to show my outright protest and anger caused by this situation and also give some advice to beginner drone enthusiasts.
The official statement isued by Polish Air Navigation Agency reads as follows:

Monday’s actions taken by the air traffic controllers after the intervention of pilots of Embraer 195 flying from Munich to Warsaw regarding a dangerous approach of a unmanned aircraft – a drone, resulted in  alterations of flight courses of more than 20 aircrafts and informing the police about the event. Instantaneous intervention of PANA controllers allowed safe landings of  arriving planes. […more…]

The most tempting thing about drones is the price that keeps going down. They tempt displayed in shopping centres. They tempt with beautiful movies. Everybody wants them – the old and the young, girls and boys. Everybody wants a drone nowadays and drones are a hot topic in the media. Something that used to be a gem available for selected modeller’s only now is offered instead of a smartphone when you sign a contract with a GSM operator or as a prize in a summer competition where all you have to do is drink some orange juice.

It all looks great but we forget that drones are not toys. Even though you’ve been told so in order to increase the sales. Every – and I’m pretty sure about that – drone enthusiast who treats the matter seriously must have thrown a facepalm thinking ‘What a moron’ after he heard about the event at Chopin Airport.

An idiot and a moron

You just can’t describe it otherwise. The levels of the lack of imagination when it comes to flying models vary but this exceeds any scale. I just can’t imagine what the guy was thinking when he launched his drone. Despite of what those who don’t fly drones may think, all drone enthusiasts think about safety. I really hope that they find the person responsible really quick and apply harsh punishment to serve as an example for others.

At the same time we cannot join the discussion about regulation, forbidding and prohibition right now. That’s not the right way. It won’t work for people lacking imagination. Education is the most important thing along with regulations that support it, in this order and not the other way. That’s why I put together some good advice that will help you avoid most of the problems. Just in case you’re thinking about starting the fun with a drone, or have already started.

  1. Always use the greatest gift mankind has ever received – the imagination.
  2. Firstly – think about others, secondly – about yourself, and in the end – about the drone. That’s the only right order.
  3. If there’s an airport nearby – don’t fly!
  4. If you’re in a city – don’t fly!
  5. If you want to film a group of people – don’t.
  6. If you look at the sky and think that it belongs to you, then you’re wrong. Apart from passenger aircrafts, there are military ones, civilian, emergency and police helicopters, gliders, parachutists, paragliders and other drones.
  7. If you’re looking at your remote control and still don’t know what do ALL these buttons, knobs and levers do – keep practising. On a meadow.
  8. If you’re on a meadow and are still afraid of starting being 20 metres from a tree – keep practising. On a meadow.
  9. If you think that CTR is a weird keyboard shortcut – keep practising.
  10. National Parks are supposed to protect nature. Don’t fly there.
  11. If you still can’t pilot in manual mode on a meadow – keep practising. On a meadow.
  12. If you have any questions – write me, attend a training or ask any other drone enthusiast.

These community helps each other – starting with a training and practical advice and ending with law counselling. And yes, your first movie may not be an awesome YouTube viral with the Palace of Culture and Science in it but in time you will also become a drone enthusiast.

And not a moron.

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