Outsmarting Murphy’s Law

  1. Airspace/Operating Environment: How can the risk to people on the ground or other aircraft in the air be reduced? Can you avoid densely populated areas and dense airspace? Can you avoid adverse weather? Can you avoid areas where GPS and radio signals are degraded?
  2. Aircraft Risk: Have you conducted a safety analysis of your drone? What damage would it do if it crashed? Does it employ a parachute or other mitigation that reduces its impact? Did you follow all manufacturers’ maintenance instructions? Is your firmware updated? Did you preflight your aircraft? Do you have a pre-programmed response to lost-link, lost GPS, and geo-fence boundary break? Did you ensure the drone’s battery was charged? Did you ensure the command-and-control link was adequate?
  3. Operator: What type of operation are you planning? What is your flight path? Can you route your aircraft to limit air and ground risks if something malfunctions? Are you familiar with the regulations or laws (e.g. part 107, part 91, 49 U.S.C. section 44809 you are operating under? Are you familiar with your aircraft systems and software? Did you check the airspace using the B4UFLY App?
This article was originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of FAA Safety Briefing magazine.



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Official FAA safety policy voice for general aviation. Part of the national FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam).