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Class G Airspace, The Drones are Coming – Daily Blog #8

Speaking of Vlogs, (Dat segway, doe!), I think that one of the major purchases I’ll be making in 2017 is going to be a drone – specifically the DJI Mavic Pro or Phantom 4. The footage people are getting with these little devices is incredible and the tech driving them has exploded in the last few years.

Just today for instance I saw a video of a guy who flew his from a mountain back to his home, which is fine until you realise it’s 8 FREEEKING KILOMETERS away. I’ve legit been on helicopter flights that are shorter then that. Crazy when ten years ago we didn’t even have internet on our phones. Nothing shorting of amazing.

That said, coming from an aviation family, the rate at which tech is advancing and how accessible they are is somewhat scary because they are more then capable of getting into the same airspace private aircraft use for day to day operations.

The DJI Mavic has a max operating ceiling of over 16,000 feet – that’s high enough for commercial jets, never mind private, short haul helicopters. And sure, the go-to argument by drone pilots is that the software limits altitude to 500 meters or so, just over 1,600 feet, but that’s relative to the take off site, not sea level – meaning if your using it up a mountain, you’re automatically operating above that.

It also doesn’t help that 1,600 is already in that zone where private aircraft, in Ireland at least, will be flying.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me saying that drones should be banned or anything like that. As a hopeful future owner I don’t want to have to go through a big ordeal to buy one, but I do think the next few years will be interesting when it comes to the laws surrounding this amazing tech.

Let’s just hope the forces that be do it in a way that protects pilots and aircraft, while also keeping drone flying enjoyable and accessible.

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