NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you received a drone for Christmas and already crashed it, you’re not alone.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, often the first flight doesn’t end well and can be costly.
Barry Morris, a licensed pilot and instructor, loves just about anything that flies — including drones. He and his business partners recently launched Drone University USA, one of the companies now offering classes all over the country on how to fly a drone.
“We’ve been around about a year,” he said.
The company is hoping to cash in on a new generation of drone enthusiasts. Sales for the unmanned aircraft are growing. The FAA said 1 million drones were given as gifts over the holidays.
Morris said the downside to the growing market is it could become a safety hazard if skies are cluttered with unskilled drone pilots.
Some of the aircraft can even reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
“These things are pretty powerful and that’s the reason we need to train them to be able to operate them properly,” said Morris.
Insurance companies see the potential for disaster too. The question is, are you covered?
Some insurance companies might include drones in your homeowner’s policy, others could lump them in with other items classified as high risk, Baker reported.
Things like “Bad dogs that tend to bite people; trampolines that tend to break arms and legs; swimming pools that are unguarded and don’t have a fence,” explained insurance expert Mark Hanna.
New drone operators should call their insurance agent to see if they have coverage. The policy should pay for the cost of any property damage or injuries and additional coverage could also cover repairing your drone, Baker reported.
Drone owners are required to register their device with the Federal Aviation Administration by Feb. 19. Registration is free through Jan. 21, after that it’s $5.