With the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) drones across the country on the rise, it’s helpful for operators to know what to do in case of a drone accident. By knowing how to repair the drone himself or herself, the operator can cut down on time and money needed to get their drone back where it belongs – flying. In some cases, however, the extent of the damage might be such that it’s necessary to get in touch with the drone manufacturer for help.
The drone industry has become increasingly regulated in the United States, which is an indication of the rising popularity of the use of these devices. Did you know that in the United States there are more registered drone users than there are registered general aviation aircraft? Some 325,000 Americans have registered drones compared to “320,000 piloted aircraft,” according to USA Today. Plus the average drone owner has more than one unit, according to data cited in the article.
Much of the popularity is for the non-professional use of drones, evidenced by a prediction by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2015 that one million drones would be purchased around the holidays.
With the higher adoption of drones beyond the U.S. and around the world, however, comes a greater need for safety measures. Drones can malfunction, which leads to unintended consequences such as crashes. The important thing to remember is how to respond when there is a drone accident.
Report the Crash to the FAA
The FAA, in its recently issued Part 107 guidelines, defines the threshold at which any accident must be reported. The agency requires that remote pilots report any incident that causes damage in excess of $500 and pilots must report the incident within ten days of occurrence. The official form can be found here.
One of the first things you should do upon becoming a drone owner is to affix your contact information on the drone itself. This way in the event of a crash, you are less likely to lose your UAV altogether. Include both your name and your best contact number; in the event your drone is lost following an unforeseen accident, the chances increase that someone will find your drone and contact you.
There a YouTube Channel for That
Before looking for the customer service number provided by the maker of your drone, industry participants suggest you try the do-it-yourself, or DIY, method. The most efficient way to begin is consulting with the Internet. DroneLife.com points to a few YouTube channels that address this very topic, outlined below.
The camera is one of the most vulnerable pieces of equipment on a drone. If your drone crashes, chances are the camera won’t come through unscathed. There is a video outlining the steps to take to repair a damaged camera on the iRepair YouTube site.
In this example the camera was moving in a “jerky” motion rather than smooth movements. This was a result of the camera becoming partly separated from the drone.
By using a common set of tools such as a screwdriver, the teacher goes to work as though he is performing surgery on the drone. If your camera is damaged in a drone crash, try this video:
Another YouTube channel with do-it-yourself drone fixing strategies is Jack’s Drones, where you can learn about a shell replacement here:
We mentioned vulnerability that comes with the territory following a drone accident. One way to troubleshoot this is following your drone’s repair, tether your drone with the use of a rope so that you can avoid what one instructor calls a “fly away.” Drone Camps RC walks you through the tethering process for drones once your drone has been repaired following an accident.
There are certain events in life or in business that require the professional use of a drone to capture these milestones for you. By using a professional the chances of a drone accident can be reduced. Contact us at Dronegenuity today to discuss your drone photography needs.