Time for another PSA (Public Service Announcement) and success tip for all eager rocket scientists! The FAA, AUVSI, AMA, and Small UAV Coalition have created a program called “Know Before You Fly” for all of you personal UAV owners and pilots out there.
If you want to stay an amateur or a hobbiest, you might think it’s ok to ignore this information. That would be a mistake. This video is less than 2 minutes long, so cool your jets (or charge your batteries) long enough to watch it.
But since you are reading this blog, you want to be more than an amateur or hobbiest anyway, right?! I don’t necessarily want to to discourage us from having more amateur rocket scientists. But we definitely need more professionals! So get yourself off to a safe, reliable, and long-term start by knowing the basics before you fly your new UAV. Then you can turn your fun toy into a rewarding tool for a future career.
The folks in this collaboration were smart enough to register and establish both the .com and .org for this name. Remember and use either one–it doesn’t matter!
Here’s a bonus tip and connection, one of the 7 habits of highly effective people from Steven Covey: begin with the end in mind.
If you keep flying, building, testing, and expanding your skills and capabilities, you’ll need to know this stuff. Right? I hope you will be one of the people pushing the envelope of capability or value with UAVs someday. It would be a shame for all of us (but mostly you) if you choose to push one of the legal boundaries out of pure ignorance or stubbornness.
If you are really serious about being a leader with UAVs, pick at least one of these groups and join them: AUVSI, AMA, and the Small UAV Coaltion. I joined the AMA when I was in high school. That’s when I started building and flying radio controlled aircraft. Back then it was gasoline-powered balsa wood fixed wing aircraft…ah, the great memories of superglue, fuel exhaust, and loud engines!
Anyway, my point is, don’t think you are too young to join one of these groups. The sooner you get plugged into the professional networks and information, the sooner you’ll have a serious advantage over all of those other amateurs. You will still have incredible fun. You’ll also have it longer, safer, and cheaper in the long run. Fines and stupid (“I shoulda known that”) mistakes will be very costly.
Enough of the lecture…enjoy your new flying machines from the holidays! Upward and onward!