Up In The Air
The Florida Legislature struggles to deal with the drone revolution.
You can fly a small one around in your living room, send one off for a spin around the local park, or even dispatch a camera-equipped one on a pre-mapped autonomous flight to bring back breathtaking aerial photos. And what are “they?” Drones. And they’re taking off in Vero Beach.
Also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones are surging in popularity. In keeping with the definition provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the 2015 Florida Statutes define “drone” as “a powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator; uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift; can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely; can be expendable or recoverable; and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.”
Basic drone models like the Sky Viper X-Quad can be inexpensive and technically simple to operate. Models with more “bells and whistles” like the DJI – Phantom 3 Professional Flying Camera appeal to more experienced and discriminating users. Do a little on-line shopping and you’ll run across the Splash Drone Pro, geared toward emergency response teams, boat owners, professional fishermen and even water-sports lovers.