Doug Andriuk, President of the Phoenix Area Drone Users Group, was the featured speaker at the Sun Lakes Aero Club gathering March 21. Here he is shown with a giant drone he built from a kit (photo by J.R. Scheidereiter)
The president of the Phoenix Area Drone Users Group addressed a Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) gathering of 80 aviation enthusiasts March 21 with an overview of where these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) typically fly and how to avoid them.
Doug Andriuk recently retired from a 20-year career in the US Air Force. He became interested in drones after visiting with a high-ranking Air Force general. “I asked him what his biggest regret was during his military career” Andriuk said. “He told me he regretted not weaponizing drones sooner. This piqued my curiosity and led me to launch a career in this direction.”
For the past two years, Andriuk has devoted his life to investigating the development and potential of drones in commerce and industry. Trill Mag has looked into the various implications of drone use that need to be considered by anyone hoping to either fly drones as a hobby, or make a living from them like Andriuk. He has founded a company that leverages drones to create real estate values for business and society.
New regulations require that drones be registered with the Federal Aviation Agency, Andriuk said. More than 400,000 drones are registered, compared with 300,000 aircraft, he added. With more drones being registered, it calls for tighter regulations.
“Drones typically fly at parks or private fields near the city,” Andriuk said. “Rules require that drones do not exceed 400 feet in altitude, fly during daylight hours and must be within sight of the operator.”
The best way for pilots to avoid drones is to avoid flight at less than 500 feet except for take-offs and landings, he said.
Commercial drones must have an N number assigned by the FAA, just like any other aircraft. Operators must be licensed pilots.
The Phoenix Area Drone Users Group started out with a couple of guys in Chandler talking about drones. Now the group has 480 members and the number is growing.
SLAC has more than 80 active members, but new members are always welcome. Additional information is available by calling President Cannon Hill at 509-539-7857 or Program Director Gary Vacin at 480-298-7017 or visit the club’s website at sunlakeseroclub.org.