We all know how frisky TSA agents get when you try to bring your Diet
Coke through airport security. But what about drones?
It’s up to each airline to decide whether or how you can fly with
your drone (most are OK with them either your carry-on or checked
luggage), but the FAA and TSA have strict rules governing the
batteries those drones need to fly.
If your drone battery doesn’t exceed 100Wh, you can carry an
unlimited number of them on the plane (per the FAA—your airline
may vary). Almost all Phantom-class drone batteries fall just under the
100Mh limit, so most drone owners can rest easy.
If you own an Inspire 1, which takes a 129Mh battery, or a larger craft
that relies on batteries between 100 and 160Wh, you’re restricted
to carrying two spares plus one battery installed in the craft. When
packing spares of any wattage, the FAA recommends covering the
electrical contacts in tape and ensuring that they’re well protected
against accidental bumps.
Thanks to their popularity, a number of bag makers o;er drone-friendly backpacks for your traveling pleasure. Now that the TSA
requires all large electronics to be removed from carry-on luggage
during security screening, a dedicated drone bag will make the
unpacking/repacking process easier. If you’re forced to check your
drone, a hard case (like the version pictured here from Nanuk for the
DJI Spark) is a must. •
Now that drones are the size of soda cans, it’s
never been easier to pack them. Here’s how to
travel with them. • ;; ;;;; ;;;;;;;;
Despite what you may have read, the Federal Aviation
Administration’s drone ruling (Part 107, in FAA regulation-speak)
wasn’t the final “all clear” for the unfettered use of drones for
commercial photography and filmmaking. In fact, there are still two
major unresolved questions hovering around drone photography: Is a
drone just like any other camera, and is airspace private property?
Many states treat drones as an altogether di;erent class of camera
and have a varying patchwork of laws that govern what you can
and can’t photograph with a drone, warns Matt Waite, professor of
practice at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He stresses that photographers
must familiarize themselves with local laws if they wish to fly and
As for private property, the FAA considers the entire U. S. airspace
as under its jurisdiction “from the tip of a blade of grass skyward,”
says aviation attorney and adjunct professor at Vaughn College
of Aeronautics Loretta Alkalay. But that contention, particularly for
airspace below 500 feet, has yet to see a precedent-setting case.
So should you feel free to fly your drone into your neighbor’s yard
for a photo shoot?
We asked the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethicist Andrew
Seaman, who gave us some straightforward advice: “If you would
cover it with a traditional camera, there’s no ethical consideration
against using a drone,” Seaman says. Translation: if your neighbors
are sunbathing, forget it. If they’re burying bodies, go for it.
There are still tricky legal questions around drone
photography—here’s what you need to know.
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BOOTHS: MANFROTTO ;#855;; NANUK BY PLASTICASE ;#170;; SKB CORP ;#1119;; OMEGABRANDNESS ;#466;
PROGRAM: DRONE+, VARIOUS CLASSES
DATES: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 8:00 AM;6: 30 PM