Drones have become increasingly popular over the past few years for professional users and recreational users alike. They offer us with the ability to capture stunning aerial footage, and have become an essential tool for photographers, videographers, and even hobbyists.
That said, flying a drone can be intimidating, especially for beginners. It’s a completely alien experience for most users. Today, we are going to walk you through everything you need to know about how to fly a drone safely. We’ll cover choosing the right drone, to understanding the regulations.
Choosing the Right Drone:
The first step in learning how to fly a drone is choosing the right one. There are many different types of drones on the market, each with its own features and capabilities.
Here are just a few bullet points to keep in mind when you’re seeking out your new drone:
- Purpose: What do you want to use the drone for? If you’re looking to capture aerial footage, you’ll want a drone with a high-quality camera. If you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a more basic model.
- Budget: Drones can range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Consider how much you’re willing to spend before making a purchase.
- Size: Drones come in all shapes and sizes. Think about where you’ll be flying the drone and how portable you need it to be.
- Features: Some drones come with features like obstacle avoidance, GPS tracking, and automatic return-to-home. We recommend that you make a list and prioritize what’s important to you,
- Check reviews, make sure the drone (regardless of the price) has positive reviews such as controllability, how long it holds its charge for and its range.
Before you can start flying your drone, it’s important to understand the regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has guidelines for flying drones in the United States.
Keep these regulations in mind. It’s so important that you follow your regions protocol. For example, these rules are pertinent to those in the USA:
- Register your drone: If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, you’ll need to register it with the FAA.
- Follow airspace rules: Drones are not allowed to fly over certain areas, including airports and national parks. Make sure you’re familiar with the airspace rules in your area.
- Fly below 400 feet: Drones are not allowed to fly higher than 400 feet.
- It goes without saying, but you should always keep your drone in sight: You must be able to see your drone at all times while flying it.
Learning to Fly:
Now that you’ve chosen your drone and familiarized yourself with the regulations, it’s time to learn how to fly. It’s important that you finesse this skill as drone injuries are becoming increasingly more common.
Here just a few pointers for beginner fliers:
- Start in a wide-open area: Choose a large, open space with few obstacles to practice flying your drone.
- Begin with basic maneuvers: Start with simple maneuvers like taking off and landing before moving on to more complex movements.
- Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become with flying your drone.
- Be patient: It takes time to master flying a drone. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the hang of it right away.
Q: Do I need a license to fly a drone?
A: If you’re flying a drone for recreational purposes, you do not need a license. However, if you’re flying a drone for commercial purposes, you do need to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA.
Q: Can I fly my drone at night?
A: According to FAA regulations, drones are not allowed to fly at night unless they have special lighting.
Q: What should I do if I lose control of my drone?
A: If you lose control of your drone, immediately stop flying and land the drone as soon as possible in a safe space.
Learning how to fly a drone can be a fun, exhilarating, and rewarding experience. By choosing the right drone and understanding the rules and regulations, you’re setting yourself up for a great drone flying experience!
Technology has definitely improved our lives in so many ways — drones have revolutionized photo taking opportunities, for example. Want to learn more? See some other ways that technology has made life better.