Hey there, and welcome to another episode of Tips & Tech Talk. I am your host, Ron. We’re on location today in Shelby Township, Michigan at Premier Sports and we’re flying our UAVs. Today, I’m joined by Steve Durecki. So what I wanted to talk about today, Steve, was how people interact with drone pilots while they’re flying because it is something that happens from time to time. Talk about most of the interaction that you get when you’re capturing aerial photography in Michigan.

Steve Durecki:

Most of the time it’s friendly. People want to know what you’re doing. They want to know how high you can go, how fast you can go and they’re just curious.

Then you get the young kids who in come and they want to know if they can fly the drone. That’s not going to happen.

Ron Robinson:

No. Well that’s one of the things – that’s why I just got this shirt, it answers all the questions that usually you get when you’re approached by somebody while you’re flying your drone.

You might ask what are these vests we’re wearing but essentially, what does it say, Steve?

Steve Durecki:

On the back it says, FAA licensed drone commercial UAS pilot, please stand clear.

Ron Robinson:

When you’re flying that drone, you’re responsible for the drone and essentially, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with aerial photography. I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of tension. As fun as flying your drone is, in some locations, more than others, it can be a very tense situation.

The last thing you need is someone to come up and kind of interrupt you when you’re doing it because they think it’s just a hobby. But can you think of a specific situation where you’re spotter (your’e wife) was able to serve as a buffer so that you wouldn’t be interrupted during the flight?

Steve Durecki:

Absolutely, yeah that happens quite often. On nice days when everyone’s out doing yard work or you’re filming at a festival, everyone will walk up to you and my wife is really quick at getting to them and stopping them before they come up and interrupt me.  I do not like to be distracted while flying my drone.

It can be very dangerous when people come up and just start interrupting us.

Ron Robinson:

But if someone came up to you aggressively, and it wasn’t someone that your wife could talk down and this person was very aggressive, how would you handle a situation like that? What would you do first?

Steve Durecki:

First of all, I would ask them to step back. I will land and have a conversation with them, but I need to land safely and then we’ll go from there.

Ron Robinson:

Most FAA licensed pilots are not going to be confrontational. So if you come up to a pilot and start asking questions either in a positive or a negative manner, any pilot worth their salt is going to try to dissolve that situation. When a pilot is capturing aerial photography, he or she is responsible for that flight. So be respectful of that if you are approaching a drone pilot and pay attention to these vests. Drone pilots are not wearing them for a fashion statement – I can assure you.

Any other advice not just Michigan drone pilots but everyday citizens, if they come upon someone flying a drone?

Steve Durecki:

Please just give us the right-of-way until we land and if you have questions we’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Ron Robinson:
Hey, I wanna thank my guest today, Steve from Great Lakes Arial for joining me today on Tips & Tech Talk. I hope you learned something. If you did please like this and also share it with your friends. Go to my YouTube channel to see more videos. Click that bell icon to make sure you see future videos. And of course you can see more of my work at ronrobinsonstudios.com. Until next time, thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time right here on Tips & Tech Talk.

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