WASHINGTON — Drones are small airplanes. Most are just a few feet in size. There are no pilots inside to fly them. Instead, some are flown by onboard computers. Others are controlled by a person on the ground.
Drones are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
More drones are now in the skies. There are worries that one could crash into a jet airplane.
More than 1 million drones have been sold in the last few years. Drones have been seen near planes, helicopters and airfields. People see drones each day and send in reports. Most are seen by pilots in the air.
The number of reports has shot up since two years ago. Back then, drones were new. Reports were still unusual.
The reports are filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is in charge of the nation's skies.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Idaho farmer Robert Blair is watching his crops from the sky.
He is using a remote-controlled airplane, called a drone, to watch over his 1,500 acres. The drone comes with a camera. The airplane is about the size of a turkey. It weighs 10 pounds and is 5 feet long. Blair uses it to get a bird's-eye view of his cows and fields. He grows wheat, peas, barley and alfalfa.
"It's a great tool to collect information to make better decisions," Blair said. He added that farmers are just starting to see what drones can do. Blair built his drone with a friend. Drones are also called UAVs. They are piloted by onboard computers. A person on the ground can also fly them with a remote control.
Experts say farming will be the best business use for drones. The technology is a perfect fit for farms. It is also great for areas far away from cities. Privacy and safety are less of a concern there.
By Teri L. Hansen
Posted Jul. 21, 2014 @ 2:54 pm
Read more: http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20140721/News/140729936#ixzz3Nh5oU7Hn