A pair of drones hovered in the sky, about 75 feet above the ground, near a pavilion at Heritage Park on Saturday afternoon.
They mostly minded their own business.
Each was about the size of a basketball — if a ball was square. The four whirling propellers that make a drone move sound a lot like a swarm of angry bees getting ready to attack.
“The only animal that gets bothered by them is a horse, because they do sound like bees,” explained Cliff Franks, of Buckeye Drone in Canal Fulton, who used a hand-held control to operate his DJI Phantom 4 drone.
Jeff Holbury, Sr., of Drone Ohio, in Macedonia, guided his drone around the same patch of park, as part of a demonstration organized for the third annual International Drone Day.
The first Drone Day attracted more than 40,000 people in 150 countries. Saturday’s event also included a simultaneous live video stream from participants all over the world.
The theme: Drones are good.
“People have the misconception that drones are used for Peeping Toms,” said Franks, whose company provides flight training, consulting and sales, adding that the camera-equipped Phantom 4 retails for $1,499.
Franks’s Buckeye Drone is an aerial photography and video business, serving everyone from real-estate agents to farmers. His projects in the last few years include bird’s-eye images from the recent children’s Jack Cullen Trout Derby, Northwest Local Schools’ Safe Kids Community Day and Arhaus Furniture’s new headquarters in Summit County.
“The drone is merely a tool,” he said. “I could teach you to fly a drone in 15 minutes … but that’s just a piece. I’m a photographer … so it’s the art of turning those videos and photos into something.”
Attendance for Saturday’s display and demonstration likely was dampened by the rain and cool, windy weather. It wasn’t a good day for watching, or even for flying for that matter.
Organizers of International Drone Day hoped to educate those outside of the drone community about positive ways drones are used in society, such as helping farmers monitor vast herds of livestock or assisting safety services in rescues or in fighting fires.
In partnership with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the worldwide day of activities included drone racing, aerial photography and videography instruction, and search and rescue demonstrations, according to a press release. The idea was hatched by Sarah and David Oneal, of “That Drone Show.
The Federal Aviation Administration considers drones unmanned aircraft systems.
Those who fly for fun are not required to have a remote pilot airman license but are subject to a variety of other requirements. Those who fly for work or commercial use must have a license and are subject to even more regulations. For a primer on those requirments, visit: www.faa.gov/uas