Drones - Soaring in popularity

The skies over Britain are already very busy with helicopters, birds and planes, but there is a relatively new sight, small craft zipping about; not UFO’s …but UVA’s or drones. These unmanned devices are everywhere and they can do everything - from saving lives to delivering pizza. But as they have taken off in popularity, the number of problems associated with drones is also on the rise.

In April 2016 the police launched an investigation after a drone crashed into a British Airways jet over Heathrow in what is believed to be the first case of its kind. The pilot of the BA727 flight from Geneva, carrying 132 passengers and five crew members, reported to police that the front of the aircraft had been struck by the unmanned object shortly before it landed, the aircraft landed intact without any permanent damage.

The number of reported near-misses between drones and planes is on the rise. In the first four months of 2016, there were 15 reported near-misses, according to a Freedom of Information request.

However it is not all bad news, drones have the potential to transform the world for the better. In the UK, the emergency services have started to use them to help people in danger, insurance companies are using them to assist in assessing claims and the defence industry is exploring how drones can improve security.

Around the world, wildlife conservationists are embracing the technology to monitor animals and any potential threats against them by using drones.

Drones are so popular now that the Civil Aviation Authority has developed a drone code; here are some of the main pointers;

The Drone Code

  • Keep your drone within your line of sight and at a maximum height of 400ft (122m)
  • Make sure your drone is within 500m from you horizontally
  • Always fly your drone well away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields
  • If fitted with a camera, a drone must be flown at last 50m away from a person, vehicle, building or structure not owned or controlled by the pilot.
  • Camera-equipped drones must not be flown within 150m of a congested area or large group of people, such as a sporting event or concert

Contact us today for help and advice on arranging insurance for your drone.