Like most people I’m sure, the pandemic, being home, and wanting something new in their lives, a distraction or whatever, I found myself looking at Amazon.
“Things you might like” it touted, showing me every variety of electronic device, books, kitchen helpers, drones, video cameras, SD cards, 3d printer filament, drones, tools, networking gear, drones…. the pattern is clear, it’s reading my mind and I’m not anywhere prepared to admit it.
Jump back to say, 1989-90; the last time I flew a balsa wood RC airplane, with a nitro powered 2 stroke engine and a sketchy AM radio. Since, I’ve dabbled in nitro RC cars and some children’s “quad-copters” to limited success, usually rationalizing the purchase to the amount of money I’m prepared to let a kid stuff up a tree.
Appealing to my weakness for 4k/60 video, and a lack of competitive models, a DJI Mavic Air 2 Combo was carted and checked out. Seemed almost reasonable at the time. “This should do.” I thought, but little did I know what I was up against. I even cleared it with my girlfriend between carting and checkout, “Hey what do you think about this…” and she agreed, it seemed cool and she was positive on the idea. I mean we don’t ask each others permission to spend, more so maybe a chance to get talked out of it or to reinforce that I was making a really dumb decision. If only she knew then…
My son and I headed out to a nearby park, threw a battery in it, and up we went. Easy. An eight-year-old can fly it. We tooled around, recorded a bunch of video a stayed pretty close in, retaining visual contact. Uneventful, but super fun as we enjoyed a perspective on our local surroundings that we’d never seen or appreciated before.
Hindsight being what it is, I wondered how far Ottawa International Airport was from us, and while the following Google search should have taken place in and around the time the Mavic was added to the cart, “Drone laws in Canada”; it happened after we got home from it’s maiden flight.
I have a 250g+ drone, unregistered, no license, right on the edge of controlled airspace. “Great.” I thought, having accepted that now ignorance is no longer an option now. They didn’t care too much about this in the 1990s, hell, we shared a runway and we basically instructed to clear-out when manned aircraft came in or out and to watch for wake turbulance with the operators being concerned about breaking our models.
The title of this initial post is “late as usual”; I feel this sums up a few things. One, my adventure on whole process of legal flight in Canada, and two, I’ve come quite a long ways in this already and this blog is, at least at first, in hindsight. I expect I’ll have multiple posts to catch you up to where I am today, then we can lock-step and you’ll remain more up-to-date.