Drone

A Phantom 2 drone owned by Spectrum Education flies over East Central Elementary’s playground.

Plenty of kids, and adults, likely tore open Christmas wrapping this season to find shiny new drones underneath.

The question now is, how do you fly them?

That’s led the Bartow County Model Aviation club to host a “Drone for the Holidays” event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 3 at 150 Allatoona Dam Road in Cartersville.

Drone owners will learn how to fly safely, as well as a few rules of piloting the popular unmanned aircraft.

“The key thing is flying safely and responsibly,” said Greg Roper, president of the aviation club. “You should fly them in a controlled environment.”

Roper said many new drone owners may have little experience flying the machines. He hopes new owners will attend the free event where they’ll learn the basics from pilots with years of experience. No registration is required to attend.

“We’ve got quite a few members of our model club flying the quad copters,” he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration has some rules pilots may not know, Roper said. Drones must be flown under 400 feet and remain in the pilot’s line of sight. Pilots also should always be aware of airports in the area.

“The manned aircraft in the skies have priority over the unmanned aircraft,” he said.

The local “Drone for the Holidays” event is one of many across the country scheduled for Jan. 3. Those interested should visit www.dronefortheholidays.org for more information.