Drone Pilots Grit Your Teeth the Questions are Coming

Mt. Rainier looking over Eatonville WA

How Far, How High, How Fast, How Much?

Everyone who flies a drone gets asked the same questions. You know which ones I’m talking about. Because drones are new to the public, all over the world, people want to know the same things. It’s a little annoying, funny, and strange that across cultures, languages, and countries everyone shares curiosities. This has become a running joke in the drone flying community. We want to answer the public’s questions, yet it becomes irritating to answering them--especially while flying a drone. Therefore, as I prepared to fly for a local event I decided to print out the frequently asked questions and their answers. How have you answered “the questions”?

FAQ for Inspire 1 drone.

We all get the same questions, but give different answers

This questions are so common that they should be a t-shirt.

I shared the FAQ with my Inspire 1 Facebook group. Not everyone agreed with my answers (surprise!). Some thought the answers should be longer and others thought they should be shorter. Some didn’t like my choice of distances and speed or disagreed with my use of the Imperial System measurements. Mostly, though, the group thought is was brilliant. Many agreed that a sign was an excellent idea and some said there should be a t-shirt. (I’m having one designed). It’s critical that we politely teach the public about drones. For most folks, when they encounter me, it’s their first experience seeing a drone and meeting a drone operator. It’s do-or-die for the success of the industry that we make good first impressions. How do you treat people when they ask you about your drone?

Download your FREE copy of the UPDATED FAQ PDF here:

You might be obsessed with drones

Getting that classic top-down view from a drone.

I love drones! I’m utterly obsessed with them. Ask my friends or strangers that I’ve met and they’ll confirm: all I talk about is drones. But not everyone shares my love of drones. Many are frantic and crazily horrified by drones, causing them to behave irrationally. Therefore, I’m devoted to share the uplifting news of drones. I’m an ambassador. Do you love drones the way I do?

One of the ways I teach the public about drones is to fly for events. I don’t charge, because I’m not a commercial operator, and people love “FREE”. Therefore, I receive many invitations to fly. Recently, I flew for a local church event celebrating the beginning of summer and the opening of a new building. Prepared, I brought along my FAQ and unveiled it for the first time. During the event many people approached, as usual, full of curiosity. Most read the sign, but some folks ignored it and continued to ask “the questions”. But I don’t mind answering, because I have a healthy obsession of drones. The FAQ was especially nice, because it answered all the simple questions and allowed me to discuss more advanced subjects.

Classic Cars at the event viewed from Inspire 1 drone.

Like it or not, You're a public educator

New building for Center Point Church from Inspire 1 drone.

As a drone community we must teach the public. Many drone pilots are angered by people and treat them poorly when they ask questions. Some ignore them entirely or tell them something snarky like, google is your friend. This negative behavior will be the demise of our industry, because people will turn against drones. They will encourage lawmakers to create regulation against drones, as if, lawmakers needed any excuse to expand the bureaucracy. The fear mongering mainstream media already demonizes drones for profit, despite all the good things drones are doing throughout the world. This dismissive attitude on the part of drone pilots comes from the people who feel like they can fly wherever and whenever they want. It’s a dangerous attitude that will get someone killed or seriously injured.

Panoramic view of Eatonville, WA from Inspire 1 drone. 

It's true, not everyone likes to talk. I’ve flown with other Inspire 1 pilots in public, which really draws a crowd. Usually, I’m the one talking, greeting, and shaking hands. I’m told I have the “gift of gab”. Not really, I just love drones. Yes, not every drone pilot wants to be an ambassador to the public, but like it or not, you are. Every single drone pilot represents every other pilot throughout the entire world. An incident that happens in Mexico or Texas is instantly international news. Therefore, for the sake of drones pilots worldwide, be kind to the next stranger that asks you, how far, how high, how fast, how long, how much?

SOUND OFF: Leave a comment and tell us, what do you say when they ask "The Questions"?

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