The story of a drone operator going to great lengths to save his Phantom 2 is entertaining, especially when the video is set to the right music. But it also underscores the importance of safely and responsibly operating unmanned aerial systems, no matter how large or small. Had the same incident taken place over someplace like a populated area or highway, the end result and repurcussions may have much more severe ranging from property damage to serious injury.
There are some basic guidelines that all drone operators, hobbyists and commercial pilots alike, should follow to ensure safe operations:
Know your flight environment -- be aware of hazards like power lines, parked vehicles, buildings and proximity to airports/airfields.
Manage your fuel (power) reserves -- think like pilots of manned aircraft and make sure you have the fuel to complete your flight safely.
Avoid risk to people -- ensure that all individuals in the flight area are aware of the hazards of being in the area and where they can safely observe the flight.
Most of these are common sense, but the fact that incidents involving drones range from people being injured by drones to dangerous close calls with manned aircraft, there is a clear need to educate the public and when necessary, prosecute drone operators who act recklessly.