One of the biggest limitations in drone operations today is the ability to fly over people, drone parachute systems are turning these limitations into possibilities. Enabling operators to fly near and over people not involved in their operation.
• Transport Canada defines flying over as “operations in which the drone will fly within 5 metres (16.4 feet) or directly over any person not associated with the operation”
• FAA Part107 107.39 defines “The term "over" refers to the flight of the small unmanned aircraft directly over any part of a person”.
These systems are rigorously tested by manufacturers to meet ASTM F3322-18 standards in order to mitigate risks as required by aviation regulators such as Transport Canada and FAA. The ASTM standards require 45+ parachute successful deployments in various flight failure scenarios.
Parachute systems are meant to slow the descent rate of your drone system in the event of a failure, minimizing damage upon impact. These systems should be used as a last resort failsafe, on top of other operational safety measures. A common misconception that we have seen is that parachute systems will “save” your drone from all damage, however from our research, when deployed some drones receive minor damage from impact such as a broken landing gear.
When choosing a parachute system for your drone, here are key points to consider:
Transport Canada is the drone regulating body for Canada, users must choose from systems with the RPAS safety assurance declared. The list can be viewed here: https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/choosing-right-drone.html
Using parachute and drone systems that are not on the approved list will invalidate your RPAS certification.
In the United States, Part107 operators are required to apply for a Part 107.39 waiver.
Drone Parachute systems will not necessarily “save” your drone from all damages upon impact.
Some systems require a minimal height for successful deployment.
Some systems require an independent remote triggering system.