How Not to Be 'Naughty' With Your Drone This Christmas

Drones must be lighter than "Ralph, the world's largest bunny rabbit," FAA says.

— -- Just in time for Christmas, we learned today that the Federal Aviation Administration apparently has its own "naughty-or-nice" list.

The FAA, which regulates civil drone use, released a holiday-themed video advising unmanned aircraft operators to stay off the agency’s “naughty list” by flying drones lighter than “the world’s largest bunny rabbit.”

(Traditionally reserved for Easter, bunnies deserve a little love at Christmas, too!)

The video, complete with animated ornaments and gift boxes, really hits its stride around 0:57.

“Don’t fly anything that weighs more than 55 pounds,” a narrator says. “What weighs 55 pounds? Ralph, the world’s largest bunny rabbit.”

Here’s a snapshot of Ralph, who used to be the world’s largest bunny until he was reportedly dethroned by a continental giant rabbit named Darius in April 2014.

Another helpful hint, courtesy of the #KnowB4UFly campaign: Don’t fly your drone higher than 400 feet, which happens to be 55 feet lower than the Great Pyramids of Giza. The FAA’s video helpfully includes a visual.

But lurking behind the animated wonders of the world -- both ancient and animal -- is a serious warning: Drones, which are widely available for as little as $20, are easy to operate, but can pose serious risks if not flown properly, experts say. Among the video’s other tips:

  • Don’t fly near airports, stadiums, or other people.
  • Don’t fly your drone beyond your line of sight.
  • Examine your drone before you fly it.
  • Don’t fly for payment unless you’ve been authorized by the FAA.
  • Don’t be careless or reckless -- or you could face a fine for endangering others.