Dear Drone Pilot (A Case For Registration)
Joshua Ziering

Let me offer a compelling counter argument.

Registration is ridiculous and so are the reasons you’ve cited above

Foremost, to suggest Hobbyists aren’t in the crosshairs is an absolute blindness. There has to be an understanding that vast majority of incidents the FAA squawks about in their press conferences regarding drone sighting near manned aircraft are finger waggles at hobbyists. As put forward in the article there are millions of drones out in the skies from the simple palm sized toys sold at Target which are a favorite of elementary kids to the larger Phantoms and Solos for that 20 something and Millennial crowd that fool around with them and like to post their exploits on YouTube and Vine. The number of users who’ve started to solicit for paid gigs in incredibly small by comparison and few of them would risk their money making assets. You better believe that the FAA is pinpointing the casual flier as much if not more than the budding commercial entrepreneur.

The next misstep is to look at the use of “very large and powerful drones”. The premise is without basis in that very large and powerful drone above the size of a DJI Inspire are incredibly few and far between. They would represent less than one half of one percent of the drones in the sky currently and will continue to be that way for a very long time to come. If ever there were a concern of a lawnmower in the sky, look to some of the jumbo nitro gas model aircraft that AMA fliers put in the air that have huge turning radius, combustion engines, and need landing strips. To suggest that drones are unsafe has no merit when looking at the actual accident and injury data.

I love how you’ve suggested that there is trouble under the tree. It re-emphasizes the above. The present under the Christmas tree for Johnny is going to be a Syma X11, Hubsan, or best case scenario a Phantom or Solo, not some car sized multirotor. Again, if you start with a poor premise, you’re only going to dig yourself a deeper hole.

Next, Four Wheels does not equal four Propellers — yes, that is absolutely true, yet in the remainder of the paragraph you argue that four propellers should be treated exactly the same as a car. Can you say irony??? How about equating a drone to a bicycle. After all, a bicycle shares the road with cars, does not need registration, etc., etc.. You’d have a much better example to draw from and I suspect your conclusion would come out much differently.

Finally, the comparison to an 18 wheeler… Really? Once again the absolute VAST majority of drones are under 5.5 pounds and do not have the capability to harm in the ways you infer. Case in point, you’ve cited that “bird strikes are significant events that often kill pilots and down airplanes.” That is indeed a very frightening statement, too bad is isn’t terribly factual. The FAA has significant amounts of data on bird strikes and the damage they can and do cause. Bird strikes are in fact fairly common, vastly insignificant, and are extremely rare to cause either the downing of airplanes or even rarer yet cause fatalities. The statistics on bird strikes over the past 70 years do not float your terrifying assertions.