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Just because many of us are stuck at home as a result of COVID-19, it doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun with our drones! Participating in National Drone Safety Awareness Week is a great way to have fun with your drone. Drones are a great way to connect with family and friends, and – dare we say – learn. Here are some ideas to try before, during, and after National Drone Safety Awareness Week:

Virtual Art Gallery Submission Themes & Guidelines

[email protected] Challenge

Obstacle Course Instructions

Supplies:

  1. Unmanned aircraft of your choice with a camera
  2. Obstacle A – approximately 15 inches in height (i.e., a 5-gallon bucket, small trashcan, box, etc.)
  3. Obstacle B – a standing object of at least 6 feet in height (i.e., pole, patio umbrella, tree, etc.)
  4. A landing pad
  5. Timer
  6. Tape Measure
  7. A visual observer
  8. A camera person

Instructions:

Step 1
Ensure your location is a safe place to fly.

Conduct any necessary flight planning activities and make sure the visual observer understands their role. All Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations suggested here must be done in compliance with current law and regulation. Information about these laws and regulations can be found at http://www.faa.org/UAS.

Step 2
Set up your course.
Establish a landing pad that is:
10 feet way from Obstacle A; and 10 feet away from Obstacle B

Step 3
It’s time to fly! Place your drone on the landing pad. The timer starts when your camera person tells you to go.

Go up 350 feet and take a 360-degree video of the landscape.

Come back down to the landing pad, hover at 3 feet, and then proceed to fly over Obstacle A, turn the camera to look down at Obstacle A from 5 feet above it. Turn the camera downward and take a photo of Obstacle A. Turn the camera towards you, smile, and take photo of yourself.

Hover over Obstacle A and fly up 250 feet.

Proceed directly to Obstacle B (but don’t fly over any people). Orbit Obstacle B once.

Fly back to Obstacle A. Fly up to 100 feet and take a 360-degree video. Descend to 25 feet and take a selfie of your team.
Descend to 10 feet and do your best “drone dance” with the (drone) camera on you for ten seconds.

Return to the landing pad and stop the camera. This concludes your flying time!

Step 4
Post either your full video or any videos or pictures taken during the challenge on social media with your time and challenge someone else to take the FAA [email protected] Challenge. Be sure to tag us @FAADroneZone and #DroneWeek.

[email protected]

Skill Drills

Always begin by ensuring your location is a safe place to fly and conduct any necessary flight planning activities. All Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations suggested here must be done in compliance with current law and regulation. Information about these laws and regulations can be found at http://www.faa.org/UAS.

Flying skills improve with practice! So test your skills with these drills.

Fly the Pattern: Establish a square and fly the pattern, with the camera pointed away from you, three times. Then fly the same pattern in the opposite direction. Too easy? Turn the camera so it’s facing you and fly in reverse orientation. Still too easy? Change the pattern to a circle or a figure eight.

Drone Pong: Rig up your drone to drop ping pong balls into cups, boxes, or buckets.

I Am Bat Drone: Install small LED lights on your drone – preferably, a very small model – and turn the lights off in your home. Set up course throughout your home and test your skills in the dark.

[email protected]

Scavenger Hunt

Supplies:

  1. Unmanned aircraft of your choice with a camera
  2. Timer
  3. Visual Observer

Directions:

Step 1
Ensure your location is a safe place to fly.

Conduct any necessary flight planning activities and make sure the visual observer understands their role.

All Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations suggested here must be done in compliance with current law and regulation. Information about these laws and regulations can be found at http://www.faa.org/UAS.

Step 2
Each team or pilot is tasked with gathering pictures of the following items with the drone. The team or pilot who completes the list, with the best time, wins.

A mailbox
An animal
A fire hydrant
An outdoor grill or barbecue
A red car
Any holiday or seasonal outdoor decoration

[email protected]

Create a Video Greeting with Your Drone

Always begin by ensuring your location is a safe place to fly and conduct any necessary flight planning activities. All Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operations suggested here must be done in compliance with current law and regulation. Information about these laws and regulations can be found at http://www.faa.org/UAS.

Drones offer a creative way to reconnect with friends and family.

    • Video Messages: The options here are limited only by your imagination. For example, you could use your drone to take video of you, your friends, or your family doing an outdoor hobby like hiking or biking. Film your family gathered around a barbecue (“We’re saving a burger just for you!”) or poking your heads through the windows of your house (“Hi Mom! Send money!” or “We’re home alone! Still!”) Maybe have the drone film itself being chased by your friends
      wearing ugly sweaters (“It’s the attack of the walking dad!”). Put your on-site and post-production creativity to the test and share the results with your distant and not so distant friends and relatives.
    • Wish You Were Here. Or Not: Hooray! You managed to take a family vacation. Take a video or photos of yourselves on the beach, on the slopes, or on a hike. Then send the visual evidence to friends, family, and long time, no see colleagues.
    • Snowmageddon: Live in or visit a place that gets snow? Send the drone up to capture photos of the kids having a snowball fight or birds eye view video of building a snowman or going sledding.

Try not to over complicate things, practice with your participants to get the best timing, and leave room for those bursts of inspiration and spontaneity. As we said, the possibilities are endless. What do you want to do?