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Did you get a drone for Christmas? Here are those all-important dos and dont’s

PUBLISHED: 16:38 25 December 2017

The upper River Wensum, photographed from an aerial drone. (Picture: Submitted)

The upper River Wensum, photographed from an aerial drone. (Picture: Submitted)

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Drones are becoming more and more popular with every year that passes. And it isn’t just the younger generation who are interested in these flying machines.

According to a report by DronesDirect, 27 per cent of drone owners are 55 and over and 25 per cent are aged between 46 and 53.

With 12 reported cases of drones coming into contact with aircraft last month alone, and so many more taking to the skies this Christmas, we’ve pulled together the basics for all you new drone owners out there.

1. Don’t fly near airports and airfields. There has recently been a considerable increase in the number of reports of drones contacting aircraft, reported by UK Airprox. Furthermore, if your drone endangers the safety of an aircraft it is a criminal offence. An offence which could get you sent to prison for 5 years.

2. Do download the ‘NATS Drone Assist’ app. This IOS and Android app doesn’t just display no-fly zones and restricted airspace, but also shows ground ‘hazards’, such as powerlines and railway lines.

3. Don’t fly above 400ft (120m). Flying below this height reduces the chance of your drone conflicting with another manned or unmanned aircraft.

4. Do keep an eye on your drone at all times and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You are legally responsible for each flight, so failure to fly your drone responsibly could result in a criminal prosecution.

5. Don’t fly your drone near other people, built-up areas, and large metal objects. According to The Drone Code, you must keep your drone away from people and property, and built-up crowded areas. While you’re at it, keep it away from large metal objects, as compass interference is one of the biggest causes of drone crashes.

6. Do have fun. Drones are amazing pieces of tech that are now widely available for any consumer, so having a good time with your brand new drone is important. Not as important as being safe and following the law, but still important.

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