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The joys and dangers of drones

Drones are increasingly popular presents but they come with their own problems Credit: PA

One of the most popular gifts this year - and for the last few years - has been a drone but there are dangers to flying the remote-controlled aircraft. If you make a serious mistake - you could end up with a five-year prison sentence.

It is probably not a good idea to fly your new drone in your home - particularly if people are sat there.

  • See what happens next:

If you're flying outside - which you should be - then watch out for high things like lights.

  • The pictures tell the story:

Ash Hall has been flying drones for years. He reviews new models for his website - and knows what he's doing. And how to not crash.

  • Hear it from the expert:

Flying drones - particularly ones with cameras - can offer incredible sights. These are some of the images we at ITV have filmed just this year

Images shot by our drone pilots for ITV News West Country stories in 2016 Credit: ITV News

As pilots, we at ITV News have passed tests, are licensed and carry out strict risk assessments before we fly. The Civil Aviation Authority is deeply concerned about amateur pilots.

Don't fly above 400 feet. Don't fly near airports. Don't fly near aircraft. There are also rules about close to people and property to make sure you don't hurt people and don't damage people - so 50m from people and property and 150m from built-up areas and large amounts of people.

– Jonathan Nicholson, CAA
59
Near misses with drones reported by aircraft pilots in 2016

There are many expert and responsible drone fliers out there. But the air is getting more congested. Aircraft pilots have reported 59 so-called near-misses this year - an increase on 2015.

If you want a safe place to fly a drone, you might consider joining your local British Model Flying Association club.

Drones can produce amazing pictures - but you need to be responsible at the controls Credit: ITV News