Three big don’ts for using a drone at a private event

The development of drone technology has greatly expanded the possibilities when it comes to capturing special moments and occasions. Be it a wedding, a birthday party, an anniversary celebration or even a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, private events can now be shot and forever immortalised from a dramatic aerial vantage point at a reasonable cost, and with minimal effort.

But as drones can be dangerous and disruptive, the act of operating one is now regulated in South Africa by key restrictions and basic rules of etiquette, and there are a number of dos and don’ts that are worth remembering if you want to stay on the right side of the law while still obtaining powerful footage. In today’s post, we consider a few big don’ts to bear in mind when shooting from a drone at a private event.

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USING A DRONE AT A PRIVATE FUNCTION? REMEMBER THESE THREE DON’TS

1.DON’T FLY TOO CLOSE TO THE CROWD

While it may look fairly simple, flying a drone is, in fact, something of an art, and there’s always a chance that something might go wrong – crashes are not uncommon, after all. To avoid injuring anyone on the ground, it’s therefore always best to keep a safe distance between the drone and the people attending the event. In fact, local law stipulates that special approval is required if you want to fly a UAV within 50 metres of a crowd for this exact reason. What’s more, if you fly your drone too close to event attendees, you also run the risk of annoying them with its incessant buzz.

2. DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR DRONE

It’s important that whoever’s operating the drone at your event is able to see it in the air at all times – not just for safety reasons, but also to ensure that it hasn’t moved into a no-fly zone or drifted over private property. If need be, it might be worthwhile recruiting a spotter, or co-pilot, so that a second pair of eyes is glued to the UAV while it’s in flight. Plus, remember, because safety and visibility are issues at night, you’re not permitted to fly drones at private events after dark – something to keep in mind if your celebration runs into the evening.

3. DON’T GO INTO THE EVENT WITHOUT A PLAN

Like for most things in life, it’s best to do a little preparation beforehand if you want to use a drone at a private event. Get permission from the venue owner to fly a UAV over their land, scout the location to look for potential hazards and to get a feel for the best shots and angles, and take note of the surrounds – drones are prohibited in many national parks and within 10km of an airport, so if the event is happening close to either of these no-fly zones, you might have a problem. Having a solid plan in place will also help to ensure that you capture high-quality footage of the special occasion and make the most of a drone’s capabilities.

To play it safe, when considering using a drone at a private event, it’s always best to work with a reputable operator who is familiar with the key dos and don’ts of the industry. Looking for a reliable supplier? Talk to us! We at Drone Media specialise in aerial media solutions for all types of events and can connect you with a trustworthy service provider who’s registered, compliant and equipped with the latest aerial capture technology.

Want to know more about how Drone Media can assist at your next event?