What drone owners need to know before liftoff

Investigations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Drones are becoming more popular in Central Pennsylvania. There are more than 3,000 drones flying in the Midstate. 

“There has been a big, big, uptick of purchases of drones in the last several years,” said Attorney Frank Mroczka. “Anybody can buy a drone.”

Experts say there are steps you should take before liftoff. The Federal Aviation Administration requires drones between .55 pounds and 55 pounds to be registered. 

“You have to have that number somewhere on your drone because if something happens to the drone, they want to know who is the certificate registered to and the owner,” Mroczka said.

If you don’t register your drone, you could face up to three years in prison and a $250,00 fine. There are also many rules and regulations to where you can and cannot fly a drone. The FAA has an app called B4UFly to help you find open air space.

Experts say you also have to be careful about flying in your neighborhood, as there are rules that apply to those areas as well.

“Regular, normal, state laws kick in that include privacy. Harassment, even a nuisance, because drones with those blades going they’re not quiet either,” said Mroczka.

You also have to report any damage your drone causes, or if you lose the drone during a flight.

“You don’t know if you get some tech guru out there who finds your drone, they want to fly it for their own fun and they figure they got something free, they can cause damage,” said Mroczka.

A drone registration certificate is $5. Click here for more information about drone rules and regulations. 

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