Father-son duo opens drone-flying experience in Altamonte Springs
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – There's a new fun experience around town that's not exactly your typical attraction.
Top Dronz in Altamonte Springs was created by a father-son duo. It's a place where children and adults can try out their skills st flying a drone, a piece of technology that's on the rise as a means of entertainment.
Founder Mario Pino said the indoor facility teaches anyone who wants to learn how to fly a drone through a first-person view.
"As we looked at the business, over the last six months, I started looking at this and said, 'Wait a minute. There is no organized indoor drone flying FPV destination business in the country,"' Mario Pino said.
Marc Pino is the co-founder and also serves as a drone instructor. He said first-person view, or FPV, drone racing is growing in popularity as both a hobby and sport.
He said beginning guests can opt for a basic training packing that includes simulator time and one-on-one personal training.
"They learn to fly. Then they can sort of move through the different experiences and even on to full-on racing," Marc Pino said.
Drone racing began in 2014 as an amateur sport. Today, it's a worldwide sport with championships held all over the U.S. and in cities such as Dubai, Munich and London.
"Drone racing is very competitive. There's an international drone racing association, the drone racing league, DR-1. There is a whole new sort of movement happening in the drone world to fly these drones," Marc Pino said.
In drone flying, the pilots use special goggles so that they see only what the drone sees. At Top Dronz, the Pinos included an obstacle course track that's used to learn how to fly a drone.
If you own a drone, the owners said there are a few factors to keep in mind.
"The second you want to make money with a drone, whether it's a little drone or a big drone, technically you, need to get an FAA 107 license," Mario Pino said.
They also said to be careful with what the drone records. A Florida law prohibits the use of a drone to capture an image of privately owned property, the owner or a tenant without their consent.
In the city of Orlando, there are ordinances concerning when and where drones can be flown.
For more information about Top Dronz, click here.
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