Traveling with your drone.
You have a drone, and have been practising your skills for a while now.
Holidays are coming, and of course you want to use those skills to film and photograph stunning scenery at your holiday right?
This could be a high hurdle to take depending on the way of transport.
First and foremost, you should be aware of the rules!
You might have no height restrictions in your country, in other countries this could be different.
In Belgium for instance, you cannot fly higher than 10m! without a license.
Here is a great site that could help you getting up to speed with the local rules.
If you are living in Europe as I do you will have a lot of countries around you.
Apart from a lot of different rules, every country has it’s own unique scenery, and all of these countries are very good to travel to by car.
If you are planning your trip with a car there is not too much to take care of, you basically just put your drone bag or case in the boot and off you go.
But, be aware that you are also traveling with very dangerous LiPo batteries on board.
Here is an article showing how dangerous LiPo’s are compared to normal batteries if you are not treating them right.
Traveling by car:
If you are leaving the car on your trip, make sure your drone is not in the car when it’s parked in the sun! take it out, and take it with you, and if it is to big to carry along, at least make sure the LiPo’s are with you.
As we all know cars will heat up very quickly when they are in the sun, and drones, but especially LiPo’s don’t like that.
If you have left your drone in the car, and want to check if all is good there is one simple thing to check.. If you LiPo is puffed up, it’s gone!
You should not use it, it will get you in all sorts of trouble you don’t want to be in.
So, the easiest way to take your drone on a holiday is by car, even when you take a ferry to a different country there is nothing to check in. they might search your car, but it should not be an issue.
With a car you have nothing to check in, and no problems with airlines, and you can stop on your trip as well to take that shot you want!
That brings me to the following part, traveling by plane.
This is a whole different mountain to climb.
Traveling by plane:
I have been searching the internet, and I have found a great article that problably sums up all you need to know about traveling with your drone on an airplane.
The only thing the airliner cares about are your LiPo’s
In short, if your LiPo under 100Wh then you should be fine on most airplanes.
Consumer drones like the Phantom or Mavic are well below this value, and as long as you take the batteries in your hand luggage, there should be no problem at all.
But if you want to be 100% sure, call your airliner, explain them, and make sure you write down the name of the person you talked to as a reference.
Like I said, I have found a great site that dives deeper into this matter.
You might have an insurance on your drone in the country where you live, but that might not be sufficient enough for traveling.
Imagine, you crashed your drone at your holiday, and the insurance company does not cover it because you were not insured for it. that would be a bad end of an otherwise great holiday.
So, before you leave, call your insurance company and ask them if you are insured, and if not, what you need to do to be insured.
Some countries even require you to be insured as well, so it is important to check before you leave.
Insurance might even cover theft!
A drone LiPo’s needs to be charged, we all know that.
But when travel to a different country, our charger might not fit in the wall socket.
Check before you leave what kind of power, and plug is used in the country you travel to, and if your charger can handle that.
A drone might be normal for you to have, there are still many people that have never seen one.
Flying a drone always attracts people, and most of them are interested in what you are doing.
Even if you don’t speak the language, try to interact with them. they might be in your “working area” but try to explain them that they will have the opportunity to look at it as soon as it comes down. we don’t want accidents, and distraction from the serious task of flying a drone is an accident waiting to happen.
Once the drone is on the ground it’s also a great tool to help you bind with local people. it’s an easy way to connect with people. they will ask you 100 questions, but as a drone flyer you can handle that.. it are always the same questions… 🙂 always tell them how good a drone is, and that things are not as bad as the media want us to think.