Why it’s important to have an official, certified drone pilot

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, are looking for an idiot who crashed his drone into a Bank of America building in downtown Charlotte. I’m going right ahead and calling him an idiot because these guys make the rest of us look bad.

Police are looking for him because his drone was unregistered. If I crash my drone into a building downtown, you’re gonna find me fast because my drones have their registration number printed on them in plain view. That number is connected with me.

But flying an unregistered drone isn’t the only thing this guy did wrong. Downtown Charlotte has flight restrictions from Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, WBTV, Carolinas Medical Center, and Presbyterian Hospital. Know how I know? Because I know how to look it up, and before I fly anywhere, I’m gonna do that. If I wanted to fly in downtown Charlotte, I would need at the very least a waiver from the FAA for the Class B airspace around the airport, which does indeed cover downtown Charlotte. That’s another way to find a pilot who is following the rules: Who has that waiver?

Also, in North Carolina, pilots have to have a separate certificate from the state’s Department of Aviation, and yes, I do have one.

You don’t want an unregistered and UNSAFE drone pilot working for you. You want someone who knows the rules AND FOLLOWS THEM. Those rules are there to keep everybody safe.

I hope they find this guy and fine him. He makes it harder for the rest of us to do our jobs properly, and makes it unsafe for everybody else.