The popularity of drones has skyrocketed
“Last I heard they were selling 10,000 autopilots a month,” said Chad Frazer with the North Texas Drone User Group.
It’s no surprise that some folks are willing to fly by the seat of their pants and break the rules.
“You’re always going to have that segment that shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing,” Frazer said.
Yeah, like one guy who was charged after flying one of his unmanned aircraft during the U.S. Open. Bad apples like those folks aren’t limited to stadiums. In fact the FAA says so far this year, pilots have reported almost 650 close calls with drones.
“People start to think that drones are crazy-out-of-control, but the fact is, if you look up at the sky, what do you see? There`s nothing there.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics says that number may be overblown. They say the sightings could have been anything from balloons to birds.
“A pilot happens to see a drone in the air, he reports it, the FAA pushes it out and it get interpreted any number of ways, ” Frazer said
He also says there are folks who fly near airports, and they’ve hurt the hobby for everybody. Drone groups who follow the rules use the skies to look for critically missing people and to go where cops can’t.
So the drone debate continues, as new regulations get proposed for these flyers next week. This is one issue that won't be left up in the air.