If you’ve recently purchased a drone, you’re probably pining to get out there and start flying, exploring, taking pictures, and recording eye-popping videos. However, it’s in your best interests to take heed of some general tips and tricks before you take off, especially if you’ve invested a few hundred dollars into a high-end drone and wish to avoid the most common mistakes and mishaps.
Shown below are the seven most important considerations before your first flight.
- Learn About the Legalities, Regulations, and Rules
Although the stipulations will vary slightly from region to region, it’s in your best interests to take note of some of the widespread laws associated with contemporary drones:
- Pilots must pass a written test and be at least 16 years of age
- You must register your drone into the FAA national database
- The aircraft must be flown below 400 feet
- You are not permitted to fly at night
- Your flight path must be at least five miles away from any airports
- Read the Entire Manual
Almost one million drones have been sold in the US during the past year alone and each one comes with its own distinctive set of features, which is why it’s so important to learn as much as possible about your unique aircraft before taking to the skies. You’ll be able to learn about its functionality, safety provisions, engine capabilities, and other integral aspects.
- Inspect Your Drone
Before you can start zipping around and snapping pictures, you have to carefully examine your drone and pay attention to the following aspects:
- Any signs of damage or physical issues (usually due to careless shipping)
- Check the propellers, ensure a steadfast connection
- Assess the camera for any imperfections
- Look for loose screws and attachments
If you are able to ascertain any flaws, be sure to contact the supplier as soon as possible.
- Acquire a Secondary Battery Pack
When it comes to flying a drone for the first time, there are few things more heartbreaking than having to deal with a faulty or defective battery, so be sure to order a tertiary power supply before you head out for your first flight. You’ll be able to fly for longer periods of time and rest easy knowing that you always have a spare at your disposal.
- Start Out Small
Although it might be tempting to take your drone to an ambitious, magnificent location, you should avoid this idea at all costs, particularly during the early stages of the learning process.
Instead, you should start small by visiting a simple, open field away from any trees, power lines, and other potentially dangerous obstacles. Focus on learning the controls and getting a feel for the device at low altitudes–the fun stuff will come later.
- Don’t Test the Collision Avoidance System Early On
In addition to avoiding tight, obstructive spaces, you’ll also want to train your muscle memory and reaction speeds with regard to the controls, especially when considering the nuanced, somewhat complicated skills required to fly drones. Thus, you should exercise extreme caution and avoid relying on the built-in avoidance features–practice makes perfect.
- Respect Mother Nature
Because drones tend to struggle significantly with rainy settings and high winds, it’s important to pay attention to the local forecast and avoid flying in troublesome conditions. Even if your drone features waterproof capabilities, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the aircraft before truly testing Mother Nature.
If you take all of these bits of advice into account before your first flight, you’ll be able to confidently soar and explore with nary a concern, because after all, proper preparation prevents poor performance!