Book review: Drones: Their Many Civilian Uses and the U.S. Laws Surrounding Them

jonathan rupprecht drone book lawWhat are drones even used for? Is this legal, what I’m doing with drones?

“Drones: Their Many Civilian Uses and the U.S. Laws Surrounding Them” is a handy primer on drone use and laws, suitable for anyone ranging from the drone novice to the drone expert seeking legal clarification.

With the media buzzing about drones and an uptick of drone users (and accidents), this book couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time (and we needed it years earlier). And it’s not just drone enthusiasts who need to read this. It should be read by ill-informed media reporters, police officers using drones, policy makers and everyone else trying to make their footprint in the drone world.

Written by Jonathan B. Rupprecht, a lawyer and a commercial pilot, the 100 page book defines nearly every facet of drone laws, serving as a handy reference guide for drone enthusiasts when faced with a legal question surrounding drones.

Despite its brevity, ‘Drones’ is still the most comprehensive and authoritative book of its kind to date, updated to reflect the  latest in drone regulation, or lack thereof.  And the brevity is the beauty here. It is clear, concise and to the point, an antithesis to the current state of drone laws. ‘Drones’ is excellently and clearly sourced to allow for further reading for the most curious minds.

Nine sections are organized according to topic, ranging from a brief overview of unmanned aircraft (that can be quickly skimmed by the more knowledgable drone enthusiasts), to must-reads for even the most knowledgeable drone enthusiast, including the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the Future of Unmanned Aircraft.

The best owner’s manuals or guidebooks do keep the unexpected into account, which is where ‘Drones’ falls flat. While it provides exactly what a drone user expects they need, it fails to deliver the uncanny or surprising. There are no personal anecdotes, no charming highlights of creative drone use, no thought-provoking solutions to the real-world problems drone pilots are faced with.

That isn’t to say the book isn’t worth a spot on your bookshelf or Kindle. At $3.99, the book is a low-priced foot in the door to legal guidelines that even the most casual drone pilot needs to be aware of. It’s a must-read for knowing your rights when flying.

‘Drones’ is available for $3.99 via the Amazon Kindle store.

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  • prkralex says:

    UAS integration is playing an important role in the FAA’s NextGen ATC project. All the commercial drones on home turf represent a huge opportunity for business and a significant risk for air traffic control. While some countries forge ahead with new commercial drone regulations, the US Federal Aviation Administration has been criticised for its slow progress.

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