As the 4th of July approaches, it’s tempting for drone hobbyists to strap on a GoPro camera and get a bird’s-eye view of the situation. In fact, if you check YouTube, you can find evidence of people who have not only flown around and near the fireworks but all the way into the explosions, as well.
This topic represents yet another area where the public has been torn over safe drone usage. The FAA has made attempts to deal with the new airspace issues; however, with the technology so new and the growth and interest ever blossoming, it has been difficult for regulators to keep up with the various ways in which people are using their drones.
Obviously, a drone flown into fireworks could result in an accident where the drone is disabled and crashes into spectators. Alternately, the drone and fireworks could collide and cause unexpected results.
Either way, it’s best to avoid flying directly into large firework displays. And while there may linger some doubt as to what is legal with regard to the airspace itself, there is little doubt that the pilot is (at the very least) placing the drone at risk. Even neighborhood fireworks pose a risk because of the congested nature of the area.
All that said, there are places outside of regulated safety zones where drones can capture clear views of exploding fireworks from the sky. And since we all know what fireworks look like from the ground, it does indeed provide a unique perspective to see fireworks from the sky view.
So if you are tempted to fly a 4th of July drone this year, make sure it’s legal, and make sure it’s safe. Check with local authorities before proceeding. You don’t want to lose your drone or (even worse) harm property or people in the process of having a little fun.
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