The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is asking all UAS operators to be aware of agricultural aircraft operations this growing season.
The organisation has said that UAS operators should know that agricultural aviators fly as low as 10 feet off the ground when making an application, meaning they share this low-altitude airspace with UAS.
Andrew Moore, executive director of the NAAA, said: “With the proliferation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems over the last few years, it is critical for UAS operators to be aware of agricultural aircraft. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for manned aircraft to see UAS while conducting labor-intensive aerial applications 10 feet off the ground at speeds as fast as 140 mph.”
He added: “We encourage both professional and hobbyist UAS operators to keep this in mind to ensure a safe 2019 growing season.”
The NAAA has recommended UAS operators equip drones with tracking technology, get certified and well-trained in operating a UAV, contact local agricultural aviation operations before flying.
It added that equipping UAVs with visible strobe lights, giving right-of-way to manned aircraft, landing a UAV immediately when a low-altitude manned aircraft is nearby and carrying liability insurance is also important.