Dear Cousin Tim,
If you are planning to do any flying as a means of escaping the holiday dinner table, be aware of the FAA 107 rules. They apply to both drones and turkeys flying under cover. You know which one you are!
If your drone is over 55 pounds, you are a prime target. (If it weighs that much you are going to have some flight issues to begin with.)
Aim for real early take offs, because traffic picks up 30 minutes before sunrise, and your landings must be later than 30 minutes after sunset when the drones have to leave the sky.
Avoiding flights over people is always a good idea and specifically prohibited by the FAA. Should you find yourself in a hunting situation and you opt to dive bomb, all bets are off because hunters are considered as participants and do not have to be avoided by the drone community.
Flying through a national park is strictly prohibited.
As are military installations, airports, crowded football stadiums, demonstrations, and disasters.
However, be on the lookout for the pilots waving the waivers. These sanctuary sites may all of a sudden become flight paths for some mean looking prowlers of the sky.
You asked me about delivering some extra gifts for the relatives. All I can tell you is to keep your total weight under 55 pounds, and keep the gifts from swinging back and forth. You will get dizzy.
Some exceptions apply to Hawaii, but if that becomes an issue, you are way off course and probably over tired.
Wish you the best of flying and look forward to seeing you this season.
P.S. May your wings save you and your wishbone not be on someone’s dinner table.
Ned Matich is the VP of Administration for DroneAscent and a part 107 licensed drone pilot.