Drone Enthusiasts Demand Clearance to Fly

Drone users and would-be users gathered at the National Press Club on Wednesday to urge the government to issue rules for what they hope will be a booming business.

“It’s like yelling at a closed door that has ‘keep out’ written on it,” Parker Gyokeres, secretary of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists, said.

Gyokeres is a former U.S. Air Force photojournalist who decided to combine his two passions – photography and aviation. He started Propellerheads Aerial Photography, which provides commercial and residential photography and video services. He said he’s been tentative in marketing his services because he doesn’t want to attract attention from the FAA.

“I’ll follow the rules, but there aren’t any,” Gyokeres said.

To manage safety, Gyokeres said he always flies his drones within his line of sight and keeps them under 400 feet – which follows a 1981 FAA operating standard for model airplanes.

Whenever he’s shooting in a neighborhood, he knocks on doors and lets neighbors know why he’s taking photos with a drone. More often than not, they ask for a demonstration.

Gyokeres said he expects to receive a cease and desist letter from the FAA, “Then I’ll pick up the phone and call Brendan.”


Parker Gyokeres

In addition to being the owner, vehicle builder and pilot at Propellerheads, Parker Gyokeres is an active duty U.S. Air Force Photojournalist and the current Chief of Public Affairs for the 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Gyokeres has 22 years of worldwide expeditionary experience, to include three deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. He has been active in remote control flight for ten years and has extensive experience with the construction and operation of both multicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.