A bird’s eye view of some of the most beautiful places in the Santa Clarita Valley isn’t a view most get to see — unless, of course, you have a drone.
“Drones have a bad rep,” said David Jay, Canyon Country resident. “When you mention the word ‘drone,’ people think of these evil machines. There are many positive uses for them.”
Drones are used for both recreational and commercial use, and are part of a growing industry. In fact, the “small model hobbyist fleet” is forecast to more than triple in size from 1.1 million vehicles in 2016 to 3.55 million units in 2021 — the average annual growth rate over the 5-year forecast period is 26.4 percent.
It is flying machine and a controller, Jay said. “Often times your phone is a part of the controller; others have built in screens to the controller.”
The machine itself is generally made up of two to three parts.
While being used to capture the bird’s eye view of things, you can take both take stills and video.
“Drone stills are beautiful,” Jay said.
Drone stills and video can often be seen on real estate listings, to give a greater perspective of the home for sale.
Jay has seen them used for roof inspection, search and rescue, policing, radiation detection, or even a portable cell tower for an event to give attendees cell service, he said.
He began flying drones with his cousin loaned him one, Jay said. “I flew it, and I loved it.”
Jay flies for recreational use and has filmed videos and taken stills with a view like no other.
“It’s a hobby for me,” he said. “It is something fun to do.”
Those who fly drones are required to get an FAA registration number.
“You don’t have to own a drone to get an FAA registration number or license,” said Kavi Amarasinghe, CEO of Aerialpixels.
“Whether you’re a new drone pilot or have years of experience, rules and safety tips exist to help you fly safely in the national airspace,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
There are different rules and regulations for different types of users, go to www.faa.gov/uas/ for more information on the rules and regulations for the type of drone flier you are.
“You are not registering your drone, you are registering you,” Jay said.
“With a drone comes a lot of responsibility because it is a flying object,” Amarasinghe said. “Just because you have a drone license doesn’t mean you can fly a drone anywhere you want.”
If you are planning to fly a drone, or are interested in flying a drone, make sure you know the rules, city restrictions and county restrictions.
“Safety is the utmost concern,” Jay said. “Use them responsibly, fly safe, follow the rules,”
Aerialpixels fix about 70 drones a week, Amarasinghe said.
“A handful of residents in santa clarita that are interested in them,” Jay said.
He began a group called Santa Clarita Drones, UAV and Multi-Rotors in 2017.
The group has been fairly inactive, but he is trying to find someone who is wanting to take it over, he said. “Getting it off the ground, pun intended.”
If you are interested in the group, or taking it over, it can found at www.meetup.com/Santa-Clarita-Drones-Meetup/. Aerialpixels is located in Canoga Park and be contacted at (818)688-5088 or aerialpixels.com/contact-us/. They offer drone training for users, repairs and custom designs for commercial users.