Drone Selfies and Aircraft Safety

Drones serve so many purposes these days—surveillance, entertainment, even military strikes (though some in the armed forces are quick to distingush drones from UAVs). The newest and probably strangest though is the drone selfie.

Yes you read that right, drones are now being used by everyday people to take pictures of themselves.  Drone selfies. Just let that phrase sink in for a second before we move on…

As if drones weren’t causing enough legal headaches, we can now add this to the list. There’s even new technology geared specifically for this technologically advanced selfie and she has a name: Lily.

Lily is a self-piloting drone that can follow you around to take photos and videos while you’re hiking a trail, surfing, or just hanging around the backyard. The “selfie taker” wears a water proof wrist band that controls the drone. Lily will cost you a cool $999 when it officially goes to market early next year.

New Drone Registration

But don’t put away that selfie stick just yet because changes are on the horizon for casual drone users.

Just last week federal officials announced it will require drone aircrafts to be registered. This is in response to a new report that found pilot sightings of drones have doubled in the past year (some of which have interfered with things like wildfire-fighting operations). The FAA says it receives about 100 reports a month from pilots who say they’ve encountered a drone flying near planes and airports.

No accidents have been reported but some believe it’s only a matter of time.

These reports signal a troubling trend.  Registration will increase pressure on drone operators to fly responsibly.  When they don’t fly safely, they’ll know there will be consequences.

~Michael Huerta, Federal Aviation Administration Chief

A special task force made up of government and industry officials and drone hobbyists are expected to deliver a report next month with more details, including what kind of drones will require registration.

The report will arrive just in time for the holiday season where experts say drones are showing up on many a wish list this year.

Stay tuned for next Monday’s post when we take a look at specific drone regulations for Nevada and why the Silver State is quickly becoming a hot bed for the new technology.

What do you think about the new drone trend?  Is it dangerous or harmless fun?


Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or zach@p2lawyers.com.