If you are a lover of all things technological and have to have your hands on the latest gadgets, then you’ve probably had your eyes on drones for a while. Drones have been rising in popularity and as more models come out and prices become affordable, it is likely that they are not going anywhere, anytime soon.
Anyone who wants a drone has to also, of course, learn how to fly a drone. After all, nobody possesses the natural knowledge to do so, and those people who try without learning usually have to suffer the consequences for it. If you want to learn how to fly a drone, this article will help you by offering some tips and tricks for a newbie.
Drones can be super fun to use in your free time whether you are alone or with a bunch of your friends. You may have received one as a gift recently, or maybe you decided to treat yourself and purchase one on your own. Either way, you may not have realized the steps it takes to fly one. But, do not worry. You do not have to know everything off the bat.
Luckily, with some practice and careful reading, anyone can learn how to fly a drone safely for personal use. Once you know the basics and how to maneuver your cool new machine, you will be capable of doing whatever you want with your drone.
What Is a Drone? A drone is a flying device that does not have a human pilot. In other words, you control the drone using a remote or other device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This is convenient in many different applications since the device can fly around in the air with minimum input from you, leaving you free to do other tasks. There are also military drones, which the government can use in warfare since they do not require humans onboard. But more recently, and likely the reason you are reading this article, commercial drones have become available. In 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) started allowing commercial drones for sale and use at home. This means that everyday citizens can use smaller drones for certain uses. These small unmanned aircraft machines are fun and not difficult to direct around in the sky once you learn the basics.
Is There a Need for Drones? Drones have already proven themselves to be useful for a number of uses, and as drone technology increases and regulations stay up to date, there will be even more ways for drone operators to fly their machines. In general, drones are currently used in a number of applications, from companies using them to the government and civilians. The government uses drones for the militar and even in space, but also for weather purposes. For instance, drones can safely monitor weather such as tornadoes or hurricanes, without endangering human lives. The government has also used drones to help them look at the land and survey it, the same way some construction agencies like to use drones for this reason. On the other hand, the people who use drones at home are often doing it for other reasons. Typically, and probably the main reason you want to use your drone, it is for photography or photos. Drones are great for videography and photography, because you can get stunning aerial shots that are otherwise impossible. The ability to direct the drones using a remote or app is also convenient for the user, since you can still direct the photo from the ground. You can also use a hands-off approach or have the drone follow you while you’re participating in different activities. Users have enjoyed drones for this purpose for years. Whether you have a drone that uses a separate camera or comes with one built in, you can get some extremely high-quality videos and photos. High-definition photos from up in the sky are now possible for most people without breaking the bank, thanks to drones.
Valuable Tips on How to Fly a Drone Now that we have established the basics on what a drone actually is and gone over some of the potential uses you may have with your drone, we are sure you’re itching to get your drone in the air. First, let us go over some helpful tips for you to get started with your new machine.
1. Make Sure Your Drone Is Registered As we mentioned earlier, the Federal Aviation Administration recently made drones available for commercial use. That said, there are still rules and regulations in place for the safety of the drone operators and everyone around them. You must register your drone with the FAA before flying it for the first time. You must also make sure you only operate your drone during the hours between dawn and dusk each day, and the drone has to stay within the eyesight of the operator as you fly it. All of these regulations make sure there are fewer accidents than would otherwise happen. You should always make sure to read up on your local laws before flying your drone. Laws and regulations concerning drones are changing all the time, and you would not want to be caught by the government illegally flying an unmanned aircraft. You also need to know where you are using your drone, as they are prohibited in many places.
2. Start by Reading the Instructions As with everything in life, it is always wise to read the instructions of your drone before you even begin practicing with the device. Even professionals who are very familiar with drones should take this necessary precaution. After all, just like cars or other modes of transportation, each manufacturer and model of drones is different. What works easily with one drone might not work so well with another. It is also crucial that you know how the manufacturers tell you to control your device. To familiarize yourself with the different controls, this is the easiest way to go.
3. Practice Makes Perfect Again, nobody knows how to direct a drone right from the start. While it may seem simple to direct a flying device using a remote or app of some sort, this is not always as straightforward as it seems. Some drones may even come with practice functions on their apps. If so, this is a great way for you to “fly” your drone using a virtual tool. For those who do not have practice apps, and even after you have mastered the virtual practice, you will need to get some real-life practice in as well. For this, we have more tips following so you know what to look out for, even in the practice stages. If you follow these tips, you will have a stress-free practice experience that will give you the confidence and skill to really use your drone for photography in no time.
4. Pay Attention to the Weather This may seem obvious since you are using a flying aircraft, but weather is going to be an important factor when flying your drone. You should never fly your drone in very windy conditions. This will only lead to damage to your drone, and this could potentially damage other belongings or hurt people too; so refrain from flying in extremely windy areas. Taking off is notoriously difficult to do in gusty weather, so it is better if you wait for a time when the air is calm to start using your drone outside. Even when avoiding strong gusts, you are bound to deal with some wind and air patterns while flying your drone. It is important to know that your drone will use more battery strength when it is moving against the wind than when it is flying downwind. You will also drain more of your battery when you fly your drone in very cold temperatures. If you want to fly your drone during the colder seasons, it is a good idea to warm your battery up ahead of time for increased performance.
5. Avoid All Other Obstacles When purchasing a drone, you will want to pay attention to its sensor capabilities. Some drones come with sensors that are able to detect obstacles better than others, meaning it will automatically avoid many things in the air so it does not get damaged. That being said, it does not ultimately matter how strong your sensor is. Due to the nature of technology, your drone will always miss smaller objects such as telephone lines, whether it is thanks to the weather or the size of the object itself. Because of this, it is important that you always pay attention to your drone with your own eyes and divert it away from any nearby obstacles. You will always want to be diligent with your drone, since accidents can be costly mistakes.
6. Stay Away From Crowded Areas This is true even for professionals who are quite familiar with drones, but it is even more important advice to follow when you are just starting out and learning how to fly a drone. It is never going to be a good idea to try flying your drone out in public and crowded areas, like parks or on the streets. To learn how to fly a drone safely, you are going to want to find a space with a large empty clearing. This way, you can figure out how the drone moves and get used to it without worrying about people nearby. People can also be distractions, and you will not want anyone to watch you or make you nervous while you learn, especially considering how much attention drones typically get when you are in public. To make sure that bystanders and your device are both safe, practice flying in large open fields. National parks and monuments are not allowed for users to fly their drones around, and you also cannot use them at large events like concerts or festivals.
7. Avoid Flying Near Animals This is something that most people probably would not think about when considering how to fly a drone. Do you remember learning in science class how some animals use sonar to get around and communicate with others? Well, the ultrasound technology that is emitted from drones can irritate and mess with animals nearby. While it is common knowledge to want to avoid hitting a bird, you probably did not consider how the bird would potentially interpret the frequencies your drone is putting out.
8. Do a Pre-Flight Check First Now that you have a drone, you should start to think of yourself as a pilot of sorts. Even though you do not actually have to get on the drone to fly it, you are in charge of steering it and directing where it goes. You are even following regulations by the same agency that airplanes obey. With that said, you should be as cautious as a pilot that mans an airplane. This means that any time you want to fly your drone around, you should do a pre-flight check on your machine. There are a few things that you should be sure of before flying. This includes making sure your calibration is accurate, since this will keep your drone on track. Be sure to also charge your battery, and make sure all parts and pieces to the drone are properly installed. If anything is off, you are at an increased risk of damaging your drone or hurting others. Make sure your app or remote control is working and communicating properly with your drone before you start flying it.
9. Do Not Use Aggressive Controls Look, we understand better than most people how exciting it can be to finally get your hands on a drone. You are probably excited to get to practice so that you can become a pilot of sorts, and that makes sense. But even so, you still have to make sure you are not being aggressive when first starting out with your drone controls. When learning how to fly a drone, if you take it slow and be sure to make gentle movements with the controls instead of harsh, jerky movements, you will be more likely to keep your drone in the air and away from obstacles or crashes.
10. Pay Attention to Your Battery Levels Do you pay attention to your car battery when you are driving it? Or how about your cell phone before going out in public? You should always pay attention to your drone’s battery levels in order to maintain safety standards. Charge your drone fully before you intend to take it out and use it, even for a quick period of time. As aforementioned, certain weather conditions can have an impact on your battery and how it is performing for your drone. If the weather is too cold outside, your battery will likely suffer and not maintain a charge for as long as usual. Likewise, if you are trying to fly your drone in windy conditions and you are attempting to fly against the wind, you will drain your battery much faster than if you were to go with the wind. The reason you have to pay attention to your battery is to avoid unnecessary collisions. Read your instructor’s manual to be sure of your model’s battery life before you use your drone. After charging it, your drone will probably have anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes of flight time. Keep in mind that this flying time does not take into account harsh weather conditions. You need to also remember that you need your drone’s battery to still have some juice in order to safely land your drone. Pay attention to how long you have been flying it so that you can return it to yourself safely.
Conclusion – How to Fly a Drone Now that you have taken the time to read a bit more about the nuances of drones, you probably realize that there is more to them than you originally thought. But even though there is a lot to be learned about flying and operating drones, it is still an accessible activity that anyone can learn to do as long as they put in the hard work. Safety is of the utmost importance, as you should notice from our tips and tricks. Simply being cautious and careful while flying your drone will keep your drone from being damaged, and will make sure you and all surrounding people are safe. Regardless of your drone model or your level of starting expertise, we are sure that these tips and tricks will help you more easily learn how to fly a drone. Not only that, but once you have the knowledge yourself, you can share this with your friends and family and teach them how to have fun with your drone too. When everybody knows how to properly use the machine, everyone can feel comfortable about using it. In time, you will grow even more familiar with how to fly a drone and will be able to take more advanced trips. Now that you know how to fly a drone, you may even want to get a professional drone someday!