We have a special guest post for today’s article! Gavin from Today Best Drone put together a list of drone apps you can use to choose a safe flying location. As we’ve mentioned previously, choosing a safe flying location ensures a consistent place for you to fly, and makes you a positive representative of the hobby to your local community. These apps can help take the guesswork out of finding the right spot to get that practice session in.
Take it away Gavin!
The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation has very strict rules and regulations on when and where to fly unmanned aerial systems (UAS), unmanned air vehicles (UAV), and drones. These regulations are governed nationwide and they get stricter down to the states and counties. This is why it is important to know the rules for your area so you do not get slapped with any fine or even worse, serve some jail time. Also, while government regulations are indeed important, choosing a safe place to operate is equally important for the safety of others and your drone. With that said, here are four apps to help you know the rules for your area to help keep others safe and you out of trouble.
Although some drones can fly higher and further than others, like mentioned before, some states have different rules that are not so clear, unlike the obvious stay clear of airports and military bases. This means that even a small toy drone that can only fly up a number of feet in the air, can bring you some unwanted attention. How to avoid such a predicament? Let’s take a look at a few apps.
#1: AUV FORECAST
What draws drone pilots to this app is the extensive coverage of no-fly zones provided throughout your area. This app guarantees you will not ask yourself the question, can I fly my drone here? Another distinction is that it provides you with current weather situations with additions such as maximum wind, the wind altitude, and temperature, which are all very important to know when flying a drone. Available for both Android and iOS devices, no drone pilot should go without trying this app. To learn more, visit the UAV Forecast website.
B4UFLY is widely accepted because it is the Federal Aviation Administrations own drone safety app. You can check it out for yourself on their website. Why not get an app that is straight from the source? B4UFLY was mainly designed to help you fly within the boundaries and regulations of your area, making sure you do not break any laws while flying. In addition, the app itself has many cool features for pilots. Like the other drone apps on this list it has its own unique interactive map that shows fly and no-fly zones in your area, links to other FAA resources to keep you up do date on any rule changes and, an awesome clear “status” indicator that immediately informs the operator about the current or planned location. Also available to Android and iOS users alike, this app is definitely worth checking out.
For many, one of the major issues with drones was that they had the ability to fly as high as airplanes, causing many airplanes and airports to call for emergency landings because of them. AirMap took an initiative to help solve this problem and has over 75 airports on board with this application. With this application, airport officials along with air traffic controllers can now look out for you by granting clear areas and times when it is safe to fly.
Features provided by AirMap include viewing airspace data, viewing nearby public flights, a pilot profile view, and being able to toggle between four helpful map styles. Although it is used more so commercially than recreationally, there is no doubting its significance when it comes to safety. Although its available in the US only, it’s worth checking out, and is available on both the App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android. For more information on this app, check out the AirMap homepage.
If the name does not give it away already, Hover might be the simplest yet most well rounded go to app for drone pilots across the world. Along with its easy to use and interactive interface, Hover provides many other features, some of which are exclusive to Hover alone. With Hover, not only do you get national sky coverage, you also get an international feed for if you want to travel abroad with your drone. It also lets you track your own flight logs and provides you with a flight readiness indicator so you know exactly when it is safe to fly. Needless to say, this app might be the most universally known and used.
Bonus Drone App: Drone Assist
For those who might have felt bummed out about number three on this list only being available in the United States, here is an app for those living in the UK, or for those planning a visit. Strictly giving the user data on UK airspace, Drone Assist displays an interactive map that is always up to date. This app also guarantees you are not asking yourself, “where can I fly a drone in the UK?” Other cool features include warnings to the pilot of when to be extra cautious while also giving information on any nearby hazards.
A unique feature for this app is one that warns the pilot of any ground hazards that may harm your drone. Additionally, Drone Assist provides warnings of security or privacy risks when flying into any restricted area. Without question, Drone Assist provides the user with lots of features for safety and entertainment purposes while flying in the UK. For more information on Drone Assist with links for free download, feel free to visit the Drone Assist home page.
Final word on drone apps
To recap, there is a variety of apps to choose from when it comes to drone apps. Most importantly, they all help you answer the question of, where can you fly your drone? This list provides apps for wherever you are in the world. They each provide important safety features like air traffic, as well as ones more important to the safety of your drone such as weather updates.
To understand which one best fits your style and your drone, why not try them all and stick to your favorite. If you want to be a bit more cautious and interactive with your drone, you could use all 5 apps. They are free, after all. Also, beware of the fact that not all rules and regulations are the same throughout any given area. That is the importance of this list, to make sure you do not get yourself into trouble and slapped with a fine or jail time. Make sure you involve these apps when flying.
Gavin is an electrician from Albuquerque, New Mexico and co-founder of TodayBestDrone.com. He is truly a geek when it comes to gadgets and machines and has always been fascinated by flying saucers.
Thanks Gavin for guest posting for us today!