Drone Club in Frampton Cotterell will show owners the right way to fly
THEY have been in the headlines for the wrong reasons recently – but a new club in Frampton Cotterell will show drone owners the right way to fly.
Millions of the high-tech remote operated flying machines have been sold in the UK, some for commercial use but most for fun, and they are becoming an increasingly common sight above parks and other open spaces.
However the problems of misuse came into focus late last year when a drone was deliberately flown over Gatwick Airport, grounding more than 1,000 flights on one of the busiest weekends of the year and leaving 140,000 passengers stranded. While most owners use them responsibly, 117 near-misses with aircraft were reported across the UK last year.
New laws governing drone use are set to be introduced later this year but anyone who owns one and wants to learn from an expert can get ahead by joining the Frampton Community Projects Drone Club, which is starting up this spring.
The will be run by the village charity, with indoor and outdoor sessions for all ages taken by an experienced drone pilot.
It aims to show drone owners the joys of drone racing, aerial photography and other activities, in a safe environment.
Andrew Walker, above, the man behind the idea, said: “You can fly for fun, to take awesome photos, or race them.
“We look to introduce all of these within our club – start with the basics and grow.”
The law on drone flying was last updated in July last year, when they were banned from flying at over 400ft and within 1km of any airport. But another update is due to come into force in November this year, requiring people who use a drone weighing more than 250g to register with the Civil Aviation Authority and introducing online safety tests.
Andrew said: “Drones can be dangerous, but if shown the right way and in a safe environment, it really is a lot of fun.
“We want to give that opportunity to others."
If you’re interested in being involved with the club, which is due to be up and running by Easter, you can contact Andrew via firstname.lastname@example.org.