Experts say consider safety when buying drones as gifts - WSMV News 4

Experts say consider safety when buying drones as gifts

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Drones are flying off store shelves as the holiday shopping season begins, but experts say parents may want to think twice before giving one as a gift.

The remote-controlled unmanned aircraft come practically pre-assembled and ready for flight, but many don’t realize piloting a drone takes skill.

“Even though it’s a small aircraft, it still requires registration with the FAA,” said Dan Carbone, chief instructor pilot for Avion Unmanned Solutions

Carbone and his colleagues say they’re a bit nervous about drones being this year’s hot gift.

“They can cut a finger off. They weigh probably two or three pounds. Maybe you can get one of those flying at 50 mph, it crosses into a windshield, it’s going to do a lot of damage. It hits a person, it’s going to do a lot of damage,” said Stephen Cope with Avion Unmanned Solutions.

Danger aside, there are also rules when it comes to drones.

“You can’t spy on people using them. You can’t fly over people with them. You can’t fly over property that you don’t own if you don’t have permission to fly over that property,” Cope said.

All drones must be registered with the FAA. The owner is responsible in the event of a crash.

“It’s the owner of the vehicle and the pilot that’s flying,” Cope said.

While Cope said drones are useful, challenging and fun, people should first make sure they’re getting one for the right person.

“It’s not a toy. It has to be respected and has to be trained for safe operations,” he said.

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