Quick answers to the most common questions and doubts about the drone, its use, the rules to which it is subject, the flight areas, the insurance, etc.
What is a drone?
A drone is an aircraft that is piloted remotely through a radio control. A drone can be used as a hobby (to take photos, videos), to carry out professional activities (surveys, inspections, etc.), for competitions (racing drone).
How many types of drones are there?
Three types of drones can be identified, based on use:
- professional or work drones (used to carry out professional activities),
- leisure drones (used for leisure, photos, etc.),
- racing drones.
Professional and leisure drones are then divided into two other sub-categories:
- fixed wing drones (where the wing has the classic lift function and the propellers provide the thrust to the drone),
- drones with rotors – tricottri, quadricotteri, hexacottecri, octacopteri – (where the wing and the propeller coincide and perform the function of lift and push).
What is the difference between: drone, UAV, UAS, APR and SAPR?
The drone is the aircraft. This name is often used to indicate the drone and its remote pilot system (radio control or ground control).
UAS, UAV, SAPR, APR are synonyms used to indicate only the drone or the drone and its pilot system or the remote control. Proceeding in order:
- UAS, English synonym of Unmanned Aicraft System and indicates the drone and the radio control / ground control,
- UAV, English synonym of Unmmaned Aerial Veichle and indicates the drone in the strict sense;
- APR, Italian synonym of Remote Piloted Aircraft and indicates only the drone;
- SAPR, Italian synonym of Remote piloted Aircraft System and indicates the drone + the radio control / ground control.
How is a drone made?
A drone, in the strict sense of the aircraft, is composed of several components, ranging from propellers to electronic devices with specific functions, such as the speed control regulator (ESC), etc. The figure below is an explanation of the main components of a drone:
How do you pilot a drone?
The drone is piloted remotely through a radio control. The remote control allows all typical operations: take-off, landing, yaw, roll, pitch. In addition, for various drone models the radio control is equipped with functions such as RTH (Return To Home), telemetry control, camera management and real time view (real-time vision of what the drone camera sees).
Do I have to have a license to fly a drone?
Yes, absolutely if I use the drone for work. On the other hand, if I use the drone to take pictures or for leisure time, not at least until next July 1st, 2020, when it will be necessary to have the ENAC certificate (license in Italy), to fly with the drone. The certificate is necessary to fly with drones whose weight is greater than 250 grams.
Do I have to observe rules for flying with the drone?
Yes. Each country has its own rules.
At european level there is the Commision implementing regulation UE 2019/947.
For Italy, the ENAC regulation “Remotely piloted aircraft” Ed.3 of 15/12/2019 and the ENAC ATM-09 circular are in force. The ENAC regulation will remain in force until 1st July 2020 on this date (if confirmed) of the entry into force of the European regulation.
However, it is good to remember that in Italy:
- you have to fly on sight (VLOS),
- you can’t fly on crowds of people,
- the maximum flight height is 120 meters above the ground (AGL),
- you cannot fly in urban areas (except for work where you must ask for permits),
- you can’t fly within 50 meters of urban areas,
- you cannot fly less than 150 from congested areas (roads, buildings, etc.).
Do I need the insurance to fly with the drone?
Yes, to fly with the drone this must be insured against third parties, even if used for recreational-leisure purposes. Insurance for the pilot is necessary when he carries out work with the drone.
What is a payload?
The payload is the load that the drone can carry. For different work drones, the payload is configurable, that is, it can be chosen according to the needs of the flight (multispectral camera, professional camera, thermal camera, etc.). There are limits to the maximum transportable payload for each type of drone.
Do I have to respect privacy while flying with the drone?
Yes. Privacy must always be respected, therefore it is not possible to take pictures and / or photos of people without their written consent. It is therefore a good idea not to frame people during the flight.
How do I know where I can fly with the drone?
The areas where it is possible to fly with the drone are defined and available by the national authorities (in Italy through d-flight). However, there are apps for iOS and Android that allow you to know if in a certain area you can fly with the drone or not.
Remember that is not allowed to fly:
- in the national parks,
- near or inside the airports areas,
- in the cities,
- upon the crowd,
- on the beaches from 1st June up to 30th September.
Note regarding the images: The image in the post (basic photo) is taken from the Eachine store (drone Eachine BAT QX105), which is its legitimate owner, has been reworked by 4mydrone for the purposes of the article. The use of the images is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents of the article. The highlighted image is taken from pixabay.com free for commercial use and without attribution request, the author is Florian Pircher.
Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento – 28/07/2020