Registration and Flying Quadcopters in 2016

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Quadcopters were supposed to be the big gift item for the 2015 holiday season, but I haven’t seen any flying around my neighborhood. People and stores that I’ve asked about quadcopter sales say that most of the ones sold were the smaller toy type that is mostly used indoors or in the backyard.

When I mention to people that I have a DJI Quadcopter the first questions are usually about registration, legality and if people complain about my flying it when I’m in a public place.

Legally you need to register any Quadcopter between .55 and 55 lbs. Registration is easy and costs $5 at the Federal Aviation web site. You are issued a registration number that you can put on your Quadcopter in case you lose it, like I did. The registration asks you to acknowledge that you know the basic flight rules for height and safe distances from airports and people.

People often come up to me when I’m flying. They are always curious about how it fly’s and how much fun it looks like I’m having. I’ve never had anybody complain.

I made labels with the registration number, my name and phone number for my Quadcopter along with offering a $50 reward. This came in handy a couple of weeks ago when I lost control of my Quadcopter and it got stuck 30 feet up in a tree. I couldn’t get it down and I had to leave the next morning on a two-week trip. Luckily a neighbor saw it in the tree, knocked it down and put a note on the bulletin board in the park. I was more than happy to pay him the $50 to get it back.

Mirrorless Micro Four-thirds cameras for Quadcopters are beginning to show up. I hope this is the year that I can do some serious photography from the sky.