Just Opened: NYC’s First Drone Store Takes Off

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Is the remote control Millennium Falcon the kid got as a gift last holiday season not quite cutting it? Looking for a cool new techy hobby for you and the family to enjoy outside this spring and summer? Then you might be interested to know that New York City’s first all-drone store opened on March 5, and is ready to serve all your drone-related needs, from equipment to education to field trips.

rt-brooklyn drones

photo: Brooklyn Drones NYC

Drone HQ
Tucked away on the increasingly buzzing Fourth Avenue in Gowanus, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Drones NYC is the brainchild of Bay Ridge native Roger Kapsalis, a drone enthusiast and hobbyist-turned-expert and entrepreneur. (His impressive landscape photos captured via drone photography adorn the walls of the shop.)

Brooklyn Drones NYC only stocks what Kapsalis describes as “reliable, proven aircraft,” which means drones from companies such as DJI, Yuneec and Parrot, with possible models from GoPro to come. You can get a professional-grade drone here (the type used in movie and television production), but the store specializes in the microdrone market, which includes any drone under 4 1/2 pounds. Your basic, starter drone, DJI’s Phantom 3 Standard will run you $499, and you can get the Phantom 3 Standard Everything You Need starter kit for $589.99. (We never said it was an incredibly inexpensive hobby.)


Safety & Education
Brooklyn Drones NYC wants you to be an educated and safe pilot. In addition to posting FAA regulations and flight rules on its site, the store will also be offering classes and tutorials, and prospective pilots can stop in and take a practice flight via an in-store simulator or in the back yard flight cage. (If you do buy and fly a drone, you should familiarize yourself with all of the regulations, but some basic rules include: don’t fly over 400 feet, don’t fly at night and don’t fly within five miles of an airport. And you can’t fly anywhere in Manhattan. However, there are NYC Parks-designated Model Aircraft Fields in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island where you are free to take flight.

Beyond basic Intro to Drones classes, the store will also offer drone photography workshops, covering how to capture and then perfect shots with editing software.

drone flight

Field Trips & Shows
Later this spring and into the summer, Brooklyn Drones NYC will also be conducting trips upstate, where drone pilots and photographers will have free rein at ski resorts in the off season. Additionally, the store plans to hold exhibits of photographs taken via drone.

Brooklyn Drones NYC
315 Fourth Ave.
Online: brooklyndrones.nyc

Does drone flying as a family sound like a recipe for fun or disaster to you? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

—Mimi O’Connor