Go for a walk in an open space anywhere in South Africa and more and more frequently you’ll see someone flying a drone. One retailer reported selling 25 000 over the festive season, so one can only imagine how busy our skies will soon become. They’ve quickly become the ultra cool techie purchase and they’re on gift wish-lists more and more, especially for kids keen to experience the latest in techno-sport meets adrenalin rush.
But there’s a high degree of uncertainty around which drone to buy, how to fly it properly and importantly, where to get it repaired when your flying skills aren’t that hot yet! Today, we’re rather stoked to announce an exciting partnership between weFix and Drone Racing Africa (DRA), so drone enthusiasts can get all of their drone needs met at any of our 36 weFix stores across the country.
DRA, one of SA’s leading youth and adult training providers brings formal drone operating skills together with our expert distribution of DJI drones, technical support and back-up. This means you can buy your drone, train and get certified in how to fly it properly, get it fixed and purchase all of your drone enhancements all under one roof. Truth be told, the drone marketplace has been needing something like this since it started.
On Thursday 1 June, we hosted a launch event for the partnership in which some of our key influencers and big media names could take a New Pilot Experience and experience a live test flight through the latest goggles, inside a 10 square metre cage on top of Bree Street Studios. As the flight started, the roof automatically opened up and the drone flew up into the night sky looking over the city and Table Mountain for us all to witness on a panoramic screen. Breathtaking.
This dynamic partnership is also solid in championing safety first and both weFix and DRA are committed to helping people understand the important rules around flying a drone. While the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has published rules around the flying of drones, most people are unaware of where they can fly their drone legally and of the various options for certification to fly.
The reality is that children as young as eight are flying drones but there is little awareness of the need for education and safety awareness and certification. It’s best to check out the SACAA’s website for the latest rules but here are a few of them.
How many of these did you know about?
- 1. Did you know you may not fly a drone within 50m of a person or groups of people (think sports field, road races, schools, social events)?
- 2. Did you know you may not fly a drone within 50m of any property without permission from the property owner?
- 3. Did you know you may not fly a drone near manned aircraft?
- 4. Did you know you may not fly a drone 10km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad, airfield)?
- 5. Did you know you may not fly a drone weighing more than 7kg?
- 6. Did you know you may not fly a drone higher than 150ft from the ground?
So if you’re in the market for a drone, come chat to us and you’re in safe hands – in fact, the sky’s the limit!