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Safety first and foremost!
#1
Greetings all….
 
I had a little incident happen this weekend that brought to mind the necessity of being safe, as it relates to quad copters.  I was not injured badly and what I was doing was not unsafe, but it emphasized to me how easily we (or someone else) can be injured if something goes wrong.  Many times it’s nothing we can control (accidents DO happen), but accidents due to poor or nonexistent safety habits we CAN control.  So the reminder of the post is just going to be a list of safety items/ideas that we do have control over.  Please feel free to add the ones I’ve forgotten, or make any improves or corrections you see need to be made.  This is just my take on the subject and should by no means be taken as gospel.

KNOW THE MECHANICS OF YOUR MACHINE…..Most of us built the machines we are flying and thus are pretty familiar with them.  However, for those that were purchased pre-built, take the time to learn how they’re built and what parts they have.  Read the owner’s manual if it came with one.  This will make you better able to spot and fix potential mechanical problems.

MAINTAIN YOUR MACHINE…..Ever heard the expression, “Racing is rubbing”?  Well, flying is crashing and crashing takes a toll on your equipment.  Regularly go over your quad(s) looking for cracked arms/frames, loose screws/fasteners, frayed Lipo straps, worn connectors/wires and fractured/bent or stressed props.  Failure of any of the above can make your quad fall out of the sky like a brick.

KNOW HOW TO FLY YOUR MACHINE…I think all of us push the envelope a bit when flying….it’s how we learn and improve.  Pick your time and place to do this.  Use a little common sense ...... don’t try three flips in a row for the first time directly over a family having a picnic in the park.  I know none of us here at IntoFPV would EVER do such a thing….but just in case. : )  Never outfly your ability to be point of comprising safety and putting yourself or others at risk.

KNOW HOW YOUR MACHINE OPERATES….I have found that the safest policy is to never put your quad on the bench to work on it without first removing the props.  The question then becomes, “well, why…all I am going to do is check the video connections, or tighten some screws…..”, which then becomes, “OH, let me just plug it into CF for a second to check…..”, which could turn into many stiches, or property damage and/or destruction of your quad/laptop.  Extreme case……yes it is.  Could it happen….yes it could, so why take the chance?  Are there exceptions to this, yes of course….stability test come to mind, but make sure all tools/fingers and other body parts are well away from spinning props and that machine is securely restrained.  Always turn the radio on before plugging the lipo in and always unplug the lipo before turning the radio off.  When retrieving your quad please be sure it’s disarmed….don’t be like me and pick it up and then have your belly (maybe not a problem for most) bump the throttle and the damn thing try to eat you.

PICK YOUR FLYING AREAS CAREFULLY….In this day and age in many areas, it is getting more and more difficult to find open unoccupied areas to fly in.  Ideally, one would have an unpopulated, unimproved area to zoom around it.  Unfortunately it’s not an ideal world.  That said, try and find a place that has as few folks as possible and as little infrastructure as possible.  For many of us that will be just about impossible, so fly smart!  Pick times when there are as few people as possible.  Use a spotter, particularly if you’re flying with goggles.  They can see things that you can’t and let you know of impending situations that will affect your flight path.  Avoid extreme acro maneuvers when the area is heavily populated.

CHILDREN OPERATING QUADS……No.  There are exceptions or course, but in most cases children should not be allowed to handle or attempt to fly a quad UNLESS they know what they are doing and are accompanied by an adult who does know at all times.

ASK PERMISSION…..If you happen upon that perfect area to fly, restrain yourself until you’ve had a chance to get permission to use it.  It doesn’t matter who it belongs to, you know it doesn’t belong to you, so you need permission.  Also, make sure the person giving you permission is authorized to do so.  Even if its public land…..in some cases ESPECIALLY if it’s public land, be sure to talk to the governing authority before you fly.

GET ALL NECESSARY LICENSES…..Be sure to obtain all necessary licenses/permits from local and federal authorities for both radio and video frequencies you happen to be using.

FOLLOW ALL LOCAL AND FEDERAL REGULATIONS…..In the US, you may not fly above 400 feet or closer than 5 miles to an airport.  I am sure other countries have their own regulations and whatever they are, follow them!!!

I many areas of the world, multirotors “enjoy” a dubious reputation.  All of us here as stewards of the sport have a responsibility to try and educate as much as we can, the uninformed public.  One of the ways we can do that it is to have uncompromising safety habits, leading by example. Smile
[-] The following 12 users Like sirdude's post:
  • PaulMek, fudashi, Tom BD Bad, 2strokesmoke, Xtopher98, romvesen, BigglesFPV, Grisha0, HamsterFPV, KonradS, M1m3R, sloscotty
#2
Very well written, and some very good advice in there for us all. Great Write up
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#3
Great post SirDude, its all so helpful
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#4
(08-22-2016, 10:22 PM)BigglesFPV Wrote: Very well written, and some very good advice in there for us all. Great Write up

(08-22-2016, 11:36 PM)Xtopher98 Wrote: Great post SirDude, its all so helpful

Thank you both gentlemen, much appreciated! : )
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#5
Good read. Sometimes we ignore the safety rules because we want to fly. Which is not recommended.
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#6
(08-23-2016, 01:56 AM)Miguel Arr Wrote: Good read. Sometimes we ignore the safety rules because we want to fly. Which is not recommended.

Thank you and agreed!
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#7
Need to move this to Useful FPV info! Must read for everyone in the hobby!
Don't be a LOS'er, be a FPV'er :) -- My Fleet
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#8
Great post and very good advice.
I'm guilty of being excited showing people my quad and forgetting the safety protocols sometimes.
I had the same thing happen to me. I had my remote around my neck and I reached down and picked up the quad and my belly hit the throttle and the damn thing came alive and tried to eat my hand. I didn't loose much just the very top of my finger. But oh man was it painful and I always make sure I disarm the quad before I pick it up. Infact I disarm as soon as I land or crash.
Lets all try to keep our fingers on our hands Smile


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#9
Excellent post sirdude
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#10
(08-27-2016, 05:52 AM)NimhBot Wrote: Great post and very good advice.
I'm guilty of being excited showing people my quad and forgetting the safety protocols sometimes.
I had the same thing happen to me. I had my remote around my neck and I reached down and picked up the quad and my belly hit the throttle and the damn thing came alive and tried to eat my hand. I didn't loose much just the very top of my finger. But oh man was it painful and I always make sure I disarm the quad before I pick it up. Infact I disarm as soon as I land or crash.
Lets all try to keep our fingers on our hands Smile

Owww.....damn man, that LOOKS painful. You're not alone, I did the same thing a while back and I too now have a healthy respect for what these "toys" can do. Hope the healing goes/went alright.

(08-27-2016, 06:35 AM)2strokesmoke Wrote: Excellent post sirdude

Thanks 2stroke, appreciate it! : )
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#11
I have just given a positive rating to sirdude as good safety is always positive! Yes I'm English!

I had my H8 mini try to eat my hand, pretty much the same scenario, but balancing the toy remote on my arm using both hands to disconnect the battery didn't get it disconnected before the remote slipped. Obviously only a very slight ouch but on day 1 of flying quadcopters it was a good lesson and will stay with me. Same with my chainsaw, burnt my hand on the exhaust the 1st time I used it, lucky that is the only injury it has ever given me!

Regarding drone law in South Africa -
Hobbyists may operate a 'drone' or 'RPAS' (Remote Piloted Aviation System) of up to 5kg's and only at a registered 'Drone Zone' or aerodrome.
You must NOT fly within 10KM of an airfield. Even at a private airfield with permission from the owner you are NOT allowed to fly!  
You are not allowed to fly further than 500m or higher than your closest obstacle within 300m!
Cannot fly within 50M of roads, residential property or 'uninformed' people.

You are not allowed to fly FPV at all..! Any aerial footage captured cannot be used for financial gain or promotional purposes.

However the use of 'toys' (so eg. packaged with 'ages 14 and over' written on it) specifically designed for use by children is not regulated.
5.8ghz signal is restricted for TX output over 1000mW or 1W, so realistically you could probably receive a 5.8g video feed from the next province and still be legal!
I didn't say fly your drone to the next province because there is a 100mW limit on 2.4g signal, this is also on the output from the antenna rather than the power supplied to it so using the 100mW directionally is also not allowed! Basically almost anyone with a wifi router is currently breaking the law here so the authority have chosen to deal with specific cases of complaint rather than attempt to police the law as it is written!


You cannot fly over game reserves either, so if anyone is thinking of taking aerial images of their safari holiday, sorry but think again!
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#12
(12-13-2016, 10:00 AM)Tom BD Bad Wrote: I have just given a positive rating to sirdude as good safety is always positive! Yes I'm English!

I had my H8 mini try to eat my hand, pretty much the same scenario, but balancing the toy remote on my arm using both hands to disconnect the battery didn't get it disconnected before the remote slipped. Obviously only a very slight ouch but on day 1 of flying quadcopters it was a good lesson and will stay with me. Same with my chainsaw, burnt my hand on the exhaust the 1st time I used it, lucky that is the only injury it has ever given me!

Regarding drone law in South Africa -
Hobbyists may operate a 'drone' or 'RPAS' (Remote Piloted Aviation System) of up to 5kg's and only at a registered 'Drone Zone' or aerodrome.
You must NOT fly within 10KM of an airfield. Even at a private airfield with permission from the owner you are NOT allowed to fly!  
You are not allowed to fly further than 500m or higher than your closest obstacle within 300m!
Cannot fly within 50M of roads, residential property or 'uninformed' people.

You are not allowed to fly FPV at all..! Any aerial footage captured cannot be used for financial gain or promotional purposes.

However the use of 'toys' (so eg. packaged with 'ages 14 and over' written on it) specifically designed for use by children is not regulated.
5.8ghz signal is restricted for TX output over 1000mW or 1W, so realistically you could probably receive a 5.8g video feed from the next province and still be legal!
I didn't say fly your drone to the next province because there is a 100mW limit on 2.4g signal, this is also on the output from the antenna rather than the power supplied to it so using the 100mW directionally is also not allowed! Basically almost anyone with a wifi router is currently breaking the law here so the authority have chosen to deal with specific cases of complaint rather than attempt to police the law as it is written!


You cannot fly over game reserves either, so if anyone is thinking of taking aerial images of their safari holiday, sorry but think again!

Thanks Tom.  Good information in your post!  Every time I get nicked, bumped, bruised etc., I always think I should follow my own advice! : )
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