Top 3 Reasons NOT to Buy a Personal Drone, Quadcopter, or UAV

Drones have been a part of my daily life for decades, whether as radio-controlled helicopters with cameras or with the first quadcopter I made years ago out of several different helicopters I'd broken over time. You can find me flying just about every day provided the weather allows it, and while doing so, a number of people will ask me questions about what I'm doing, how much it costs, and what kind I think they should buy. The answers to those questions are enjoying the best hobby on Earth, as much or as little as you want, and the list of recommended drones I put together here. In fact, answering questions such as these are the reason why I started this blog to begin with. My top 3 reasons to buy a personal drone are right here for anyone to read at any time.

However, there's one question I wish more people would ask, and that's why you shouldn't buy a personal drone. I wish more people would ask this question because there are certain people who I think would be far better off not ruining the drone experience for the rest of us, not to mention for the general population. This list is for those people! Here are the top 3 reasons not to buy a personal drone, flying camera, quadcopter, or UAV.

1. You want to spy on people

This is easily the worst reason to buy a drone, and for a number of reasons. First, it's illegal to spy on people, unless you happen to be the government. This was the law before drones and it sure didn't change once drones came onto the scene. Secondly, not only is it an invasion of people's privacy (after all, you wouldn't want someone peeking in your bedroom window with a drone), it also gives all non-spying hobbyists a bad reputation, making it more likely that restrictions will be placed on what we can do with our drones and where we can fly in the future. If you're feeling nosy, buy a pair of binoculars. I use these ones--not for spying, but for following baseball and soccer when my kids and I get the nosebleed seats.

2. You want to tresspass or visit hot spots

This is like spying, except with places. Again, you don't want to do it for legal, ethical, and practical reasons. Besides that, if you happen to trespass in the wrong place, not only will your drone get shot down, you'll get tracked down and arrested or worse. There's no reason to put yourself at risk simply to visit somewhere where you're not supposed to be without permission, such as an abandoned factory, a military base, an airport, prison, or pretty much any federal or governmental facility. And let me tell you--they aren't going to buy a simple "oops" or "I didn't know what I was doing" explanation. The same goes, by the way, with banks and hospitals. It's just not a good idea.

3. You want to scare or impress people

This reason is less likely to land you in jail than the previous two, but it can also make things get ugly pretty quickly. I know it's tempting to put some LEDs on your drone, take it up at night, and try to convince people they're about to get abducted by aliens, but not everyone's going to find it as funny as you might once they figure out what's going on. People do get beaten up for doing stupid things with drones around the country on a fairly regular basis, and there's no reason that should happen to you if you aren't doing stupid things with a drone. You don't need to impress people; just do your thing and let them do theirs. It's cool enough that we get to fly these at all, right?

What's my take-home message?

Not buying a drone for the wrong reasons is at least as important as buying one for the right reasons. When I use my Phantom 2 Vision+, I use it responsibly every single time, following my personal set of guidelines on best practices for flying drones safely. As a result, I've managed to log over 14,000 hours of flight time with my drones without problems. I hope you can log as many hours as you choose to also without problems, and serve as a role model to the rest of the population wondering if drones are a good idea or if we should ban personal drones.


Hi! My name is Mike, and I'm the author of this personal drone blog. If you find the information on my flying drone review blog useful, you can shop through Amazon here.

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