This site seeks to inform the public of the dangers and abuses related to the use of drones, model aircraft and RPAS for recreation. It contains research gathered from multiple sources and asks important questions as well as exploring possible solutions to a challenging public safety issue.
What is a Drone?
There are so many names and the name drone itself can spark debate. However, what is clear is that drones are unmanned, remotely piloted aircraft. As with many technologies the use can vary but the dangers are shared. The term drone seems to be what is most commonly used to describe this kind of aircraft.
The definition of a drone is provided by Wikipedia.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (or uncrewed aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers referred to as an autopilot.
The following definition of a drone is provided on the MAAC website. Note that “model aircraft,” a term popularly used in the recreation is also referred to as a drone.
MAAC Glossary of TermsDRONE – Within Transport Canada regulations, remotely piloted aircraft systems are referred to as Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). Each nation state has adapted their own variation of this, for example the United States uses the term Unmanned Arial System (UAS). The reasoning behind TC’s use of the term “drone” in various media platforms is due to the fact that this is one of the most common and clear terms that the general public identifies and understands.MODEL AIRCRAFT - An aircraft, including an unmanned aircraft commonly known as a drone, the total weight of which does not exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures. This term has since been replaced by Transport Canada in its latest CARS documents to “Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), see UAS definition.
For the purpose of recreation, hobbyists often refer to model aircraft or RC aircraft but this can be ambiguous as the name can refer to a small model sitting on someone’s shelf or an RC aircraft which is commonly thought of as a little toy. Neither RC aircraft nor model aircraft describe the advanced technology or manner in which they are operated at RC flying clubs which is more consistent with the terms UAV or drone. The terms used by the recreation also sound benign without expressing the known risks. These aircraft today are built with sophisticated technology which can include turbine engines, auto landing and first person view. The many different names cause confusion but the risks are related because the technologies are shared.
In Canada, Transport Canada sets the regulations and refers to the use of drones or RPAS. The legal requirements refer to drones so that is the principle name used to refer to the use of UAVs in the recreation.
The following list shows some of the terms used to describe drones. The list is long and it is easy to see why there can be confusion.
Different terms used for Drones
The following content refers to the domestic use of aircraft not military purposes. As an association dedicated to the recreation in Canada, MAAC’s documentation shows many examples of aircraft used by the hobby.
Main Drone Categories Include
The Types of Recreational Aircraft
RC Jet/ RC Jet Turbine/ Electric Powered Ducted Fan (EDF) Jet
RC large model / RC Giant scale model
Glider / Sailplane
RC Floatplane / RC Seaplanes/ RC Flying Boats
RC Scale Combat
RC Scale Aerobatics
RC Precision Aerobatics