They are everywhere. They are everywhere, whether they’re zipping through the sky, performing aerial acrobatics indoors or lovingly stalking your every move from a distance defined by you. A rapidly changing technology base and increased consumer interest mean that drones will be dominating the airwaves for many years.
Now is a great time for you to join the drone revolution. There are so many options for consumers that you can choose from to get your drone pilot license.
UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are available in many sizes and shapes, with varying performance and costs. All of these options can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. We’ve put together a list with useful tips to help you get in the air.
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There are so many options available, so it is important to have an idea of what your drone will be used for. Do you want to do aerial photography? Or just stunt through the park. Do you plan to fly your drone indoors or outdoors? Which is more important, a drone with a built in camera gimbal, or the ability to perform preprogrammed barrel roll?
These are the questions to ask before you make your first purchase of a drone. Although you don’t have to know your call-sign, having an idea of what you want to do with your drone will help you narrow down the options and make the right choices.
RTF versus DIY
Once you have a general idea of the type of drone you want, you can now learn about RTF. Simply put, RTF (Ready-to-Fly) means that your drone is ready to take off right out of the box. Everything you need to fly your drone is included, including props and transmitters.
This distinction is important to make when buying a drone. Not all models of RTF are the same. You might need additional equipment or assembly for some drones, such as a radio controller or flight battery. You can practice makes perfect
You won’t be able to beat the feeling of excitement you get from flying your drone. It’s a unique experience. The speed, the tricks, and the graceful maneuvering are all amazing. It doesn’t happen overnight. It can take time to master your drone’s flight controls. This is why it is important for new pilots to practice in low-altitude environments.
When learning how to fly a drone, a good rule of thumb is “Keep it low and keep it slow.” You can also use a cheaper UAV indoors for practice. Once you feel comfortable with the controls, it will be possible to transfer that knowledge to a more advanced version for an unparalleled experience.
Stock up on spare parts, accessories
It’s always smart to keep spare parts for drones close at hand. Pilots will tell you that drones are unpredictable and can cause major damage. Sometimes, that excitement can lead to a bent prop and a fried motor.
Although it is often not true, it is better to be safe than sorry. Before you go, make sure to have extra rotary blades on hand and a backup battery.
This will ensure that you aren’t grounded while your primary battery recharges. If you plan to take your drone with you, make sure you have a backpack or protective case.
The rules regarding drones and UAV flying are still being reviewed as of the writing. Make sure you are up-to-date on the rules and regulations regarding what you can do with your UAV before you buy it or fly it.
Make a plan.
Drones are a lot of fun because you can do so many things with them. The possibilities are almost limitless, regardless of whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional. There are many things that can go wrong with drones. It’s smart to plan ahead. Planning for contingencies can help you ensure that your flight plan is executed, whether it’s arranging the perfect photo-op or checking the daily forecast for severe weather.
Safety first (and always)
- Hamilton Lee summarised it well: “There are bold pilots and old pilots, but not old, bold pilots.” Although he may not have been referring to UAV pilots at the time, his words still apply. Drone use should be safe. Drones can be a great and useful tool, but they are also dangerous and should be handled with care.