Will drones be under your tree?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on November 29, 2015
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Syncro Radio Controlled Quadcopter drone

One of the hottest and most mysterious gift ideas for 2015 seems to be the Drone. It seems the drone is not just for government surveillance anymore.  I remember when my boys were fascinated by remote-controlled toys that could drive, fly and entertain them for hours. But times are different, and technology has made it possible for people to own and fly their very own drones.

For a mere $1,300, you could give your loved one a live video camera drone, that sends live video to a smartphone from up to one third-mile away. A 5.8 GHz radio remote controls the drone, displaying live video on an iPhone or Android smartphone connected to the remote’s dock. Drones can also be had for under $50, like the Syncro Radio Controlled Quadcopter being sold at Target, Fleet Farm and many other retailers.
But one U.S. Senator is telling shoppers to be careful about their purchases. The Hartford Courant newspaper reports that:
Richard Blumenthal, the former state attorney general, says the explosion in popularity of the flying drones could push sales as high as 400,000 in the upcoming holiday season.

This week, new proposed rules by the Federal Aviation Administration say that consumers would be required to register any drone weighing more than half a pound – a relatively low threshold.

Noting that drones should be flown only below 400 feet, Blumenthal says consumers should be able to see their drones at all times and “steer clear of planes, helicopters, airports,” dangerous weather and people.

“Before purchasing a drone this holiday season,” Blumenthal says, “consumers should make sure they understand the proposed registration process, and the straightforward steps to prevent a non-returnable legal headache or heartbreak. Recreational drones may be fun, but they are not toys—requiring close supervision. Following common sense safety precautions and obeying the law will help ensure that everyone is safe this holiday season.”

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