So you’ve decided to start flying drones. Congratulations!
You’re in pretty good company. Sales of drones are predicted to jump from 2.5 million to 7 million by the year 2020. But don’t rush into flying just yet.
The skies aren’t always as friendly as you might think. Your $300 dollar drone is running the risk of collision with trees, a building, other aircraft, or even a bird. Not to mention, you’ll have to keep an eye on the local laws to make sure you’re flying in an authorized area.
If you’re looking for some tips to get started or you just want to hone your flying skills–you’ve come to the right place. Here are some drone flying tips to help you keep your drone in the air.
6 Drone Flying Tips to Keep Your Drone in The Air and Clear of Crashes
Drones aren’t exactly the cheapest technology out there, and the last thing you’d want to do is crash it on your first flight. It could do more than lose you money–a drone crash could hurt you or other bystanders.
You need to know exactly what to do when you head out to fly your drone. Check out these tips for flying a drone–so you can learn how to handle your drone with confidence.
1. Prep for Takeoff
Before you even think of taking off, you need to take some initial precautions to make sure everything goes as planned.
Here’s a pre-flight checklist you should go through before each flight:
- Search for a flat area with lots of open space
- Avoid obstacles like trees, buildings, poles, or power lines
- Check to see if there are people or animals nearby
- Ensure conditions are ideal–precipitation less than 10% and wind speed less than 20 mph
- Inspect for any abnormalities in aircraft frame and motor
- Make sure registration number is clearly displayed
- Double check your paperwork
- Fully charge the battery before flight
- Take off at eye level first and inspect for malfunctions
When it comes to paperwork, be sure that you’ve registered with the FAA as an Unmanned Aircraft. Registration is simple, online, and costs $5. You’ll be covered for 3 years and get a personal registration number to mark on all your drones.
2. Pay Attention While Flying
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but the most common reason for drone crashes is people getting distracted by flying.
You might start out with laser focus, but don’t lose any of that attention as the flight goes on. Don’t engage in conversation with others, check your phone, or engage in any other task while flying a drone–at least not unless you’re very experienced.
Stay vigilant while flying your drone. All it takes is a few seconds lapse in attention for it to crash right into an obstacle or go veering out of sight.
3. Hover Before You Start
Take about 30 seconds to a minute before your flight to just allow your drone to hover a few feet of the ground.
This will allow you to check for any strange movements or sounds that might indicate that something is wrong. It also gives you a chance to stabilize the aircraft and prepare for flight. Once you’ve confirmed that the drone is safely under your control, then you can take off.
4. Get to Know Your RTH Function
Your Return to Home Function (RTH) is what allows you to program your drone to return to a set location without you directing it. This is essential for if you lose track of your drone or lose signal–your drone will be able to come back to you.
Make sure you’ve set the RTH to the appropriate location. You don’t want your drone to go flying straight into a building because you accidentally set it to the wrong “home.”
Also be sure you’ve set it to the right altitude. If you send your drone home but it’s flying too low, it’ll smack into whatever obstacle comes in its way.
The GPS signal and battery need to be strong for the RTH to work. Be sure that your drone has a good signal before trying to use the function.
5. Don’t Fly Aggressively
When you’re using the controls, try to avoid sharp or aggressive movements. Gently ease your drone into the direction you want it to go.
Jerking the controls is more likely to send your drone spiraling out of control. When you move the controls slowly, it allows you to make minor adjustments to the drone’s path, which helps you avoid accidents.
Drones are often more reactive than people would think. It doesn’t take much to get the drone to move sharply in another direction–so exercise caution when steering.
6. Know How to Crash
Learning how to fly a drone is one thing. But you need to know how to crash safely in order to handle a drone well.
No matter how experienced you are at flying drones, a few crashes are inevitable. Drone flying is a tricky thing to master, and there are always confounding factors that could get in the way of a safe flight.
The best thing for you to do is to learn how to lessen the potential damage.
As soon as you realize your drone is going to crash, turn off the throttle. If the blades are spinning when it hits the ground or an obstacle, they could break off.
If you have the time, try to steer the drone onto a safer place to land. A soft location with grass or other plants would be ideal. Avoid trees, rocks, and hard pavement at all costs.
In the event that you end up crashing your drone, you have a lot of options for drone repair. Read more here about finding replacement parts for your drone.
The Bottom Line
Mastering the art of drone flying takes more than just reading about it.
It’s pretty easy to figure out how to take off, but it takes time and training to get a feel for the responsiveness of the buttons on your remote control. Before you take to the skies, you need to know your drone well.
With these drone flying tips and a lot of practice, you’ll be ready to fly your drone with full confidence (and hopefully fewer crashes).
Looking for more tips, tricks, and news on the latest tech? Check out our blog for more.