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Learning about drones in Malta

It's hard to imagine how you'd get a photo like this without a drone. Most of the pictures I put in my blogposts are my own photos, but this one definitely is not!

In my novel, Possession: a comedy of wrong belongings, the protagonist is hit on the head by an object that falls from the sky - quite mysteriously, for she and her family are out at sea on a yaht, far from anywhere that an object might fall from. Some of the characters theorize that it might have been dropped, by accident, from a drone.

Could that happen? I needed to know rather than guess, since certain plot points turn on this possibility. So, to research!

I don't know anything about drones, other than being annoyed by them buzzing around a few different times. They can definitely be quite noisy! I learned that the noise level can vary quite a bit, though, and that once a drone gets to a certain height, it won't be heard by most people. That was useful to know. It opened certain possibilities for my story.

Next, I needed to know who is allowed to use drones, when, and how. What are the rules? The Malta Civil Aviation Directorate has some very specific requirements and you need a permit from them. There are various clubs and training groups that you can join, too. All this was very helpful to know for my story. As well, the research led me to numerous tourist promotion videos shot with drones, like the one, below. If you're interested in Malta, click through. It's great eye candy!

Enjoy! I have a better appreciation for drones, but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground with my iPhone and snap photos that way. Like the one, below, looking up into that clean, blue sky. That blue, those glowing buildings . . . ah, Malta . . .

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