With the Christmas holiday behind us, plenty of people are spending their well deserved time off this week doing a little R&R, and likely, pulling all the toys and gadgets they received out from under the tree.  Over the past few years it seems like drones have been a popular gift for the holidays, so let's make sure that you know the basics when it comes to drone operation here in the Hudson Valley.

In a facebook post from the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office this week, information was shared about the Dutchess County Sheriff's Unmanned Aerial Systems Unit, and their hope that anyone who received a drone as a holiday gift will learn to fly safely, and understand the basic FAA rules before taking flight.  There's even a Drone Safety Campaign that was recently released from the FAA to educate drone pilots about the rules, regulations, and best practices for operation.  Appropriately named the '12 Days of Drones' Safety Campaign, you can find out more information, tips, and requirements here.

It is important to keep in mind that drone registration is required for all recreational drones weighing 0.55 pounds or more, and ALL drones flying under Part 107.  Part 107 includes commercial, government or non-recreational flights, to find out more about the criteria to fly under Part 107, click here.  Recreational flyers, which are those who fly purely for fun or personal use, can register and get more information here.

While i'm sure most of us just want to have a bit of fun, grab some aerial photos from up above, and perhaps play a prank or two on our neighbors and friends with our new toys, it's important to do so safely, and within the regulations set out by the county, state, and especially the FAA.

Happy flying!

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