Why a drone?

My new “Blueangel” is a drone!


My previous “Blueangel” was a Piper Cherokee 180 which needed to be registered with the FAA. It had propellers, gps nav system, 50 gallon gas tank, altimeter, and various other instruments, but no belly cam and no autopilot.  It required expensive AV fuel, upgrades, repairs, insurance, a hangar and flight lessons. I could fly it and land it  at airports. My life was in jeopardy every time I took off or landed it. After buying it, it’s ongoing costs were at least $1000/mo.  What is the cost to replace the propeller at a certified repair location?  Don’t ask!   I named it “blueangel” because of its color scheme. It was a blast to fly, but I sold it when I moved to Prescott.

My new “Blueangel” drone needs a new blue decal that was provided in the package to have the correct blueangel color scheme, but so far it has not been installed.  It also needs to be registered with the FAA.  It has many of the same instruments as the Piper Cherokee as well as an outstanding belly cam that shoots 4K video or 12 megapixel stills, an autopilot, and a lithium battery to replace the 50 gallon gas tank. It required a carrying case and in the rare event that it crashes, I will not be in it. No flight lessons were needed, but it can be flown virtually on my IPAD. After buying it, the ongoing expenses are close to zero.  What is the cost to replace a propeller?  It can be self installed for $3.50.  It cannot take off or land within 5 miles of an airport, but it does not need one.   It is also a blast to fly.

What is not to like?


4 thoughts on “Why a drone?

  1. Hi Jim, Glad you now have $1000 extra a month … and a new “aircraft”. haha

    Merry Christmas to you both !


  2. My life was in jeopardy every time I took off or landed it. That’s why some of us like to fly RC planes instead (I fly at Case de Aero and the Williamson Valley Trailhead). As for drones I only (so far) fly the virtual ones in my two flight simulators.

  3. Interesting comparison…. does it speak to the devaluation of a human pilot (and costly, risky plane), or the appreciation of what technology can do for us? I believe the latter. I am biased, because I was lucky to participate in bringing to life billion-transistor integrated circuits that not only had logic capabilities, but began to acquire sensors (magnetomers, accelerometers, angular momentum for gyros, pressure, temperature, light, etc, etc.) such that one can begin to believe that they can be programmed to be aware of their surroundings perhaps even better than the human beings that designed them ……

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