How to Operate a Drone Like a Pro

How to Operate a Drone Like a Pro

Are you a current owner of a drone or considering buying one? Now is the perfect time to invest in one since they’re becoming increasingly popular.

Did you know that that Amazon is considering drones for shipping medications and medical equipment?

In this article, explore how to operate a drone like a pro. Read on to discover these useful tips and tricks, and before you know it you’ll be a drone expert!

Shop for the Right Model

Did you know that Boeing is creating a spy drone that can stay in the air for 5 years without landing?

When shopping for the right model, keep your needs and budget in mind. This might bring you to a specific manufacturer or supplier, such as DrDrone.

Check online to find high-powered options and different choices. If it’s your first time flying a drone, you’ll want to stick with a more affordable option until you’re more comfortable.

If you’re looking to take pictures, ensure your drone will have a good camera option. Consider a small device when you’re just starting out. Check out toy-class options for beginners.

Choose a drone with less power when you’re a beginner.

Feel comfortable with less power and more control before upgrading to a professional drone. It’s also more economical to choose a more budget-friendly option in case it does crash while learning.

Learn the Rules of Flying

Once you have your drone, you’ll want to become aware of all the rules and regulations for owning and operating one.

Before learning how to fly a drone, you’ll first need to register with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if you’re in the U.S.

They’ll also require you to obtain pilot certification.

The rules for recreational drones are:

  • Don’t fly from a moving vehicle
  • Yield right of way for aircraft
  • Stay under 400 feet
  • Stay at a speed of 110 mph or lower
  • Fly during the day
  • No flying over humans
  • Follow community-based guidelines
  • Keep it within sight
  • Has to be 55 lbs or less
  • Let airports know if you’ll be within 5 miles of them

You can also download apps that will tell you about no-fly zones. Some good no-fly/not-good-flight-condition apps are:

  • Tesla Field Recorder-Lets you know about magnetic disturbances
  • Hover-Gives you weather reports, fly zones, and no-fly zones
  • B4UFly-Developed by the FAA, lets you know no-fly/fly conditions
  • UAV Forecast-Tells you weather conditions in the area

If you fail to avoid no-fly zones you could receive a fine.

Become Well-Acquainted With Your Drone

Before you begin to fly a drone, it’s important you understand the different settings, controls, and battery performance.

Drones are often operated with a transmitter or remote controller. These are similar to joysticks used in the gaming community. More advanced drones will take more time to learn the different controls.

Many models will have simulators and beginner mode options to get used to the controls. These are great choices to keep your drone safe when you’re first starting out.

Right Stick

The right stick will be to move the drone along the x-axis. There’s what’s known as the pitch, which is forward and back movement. There’s also the roll, which is moving side to side.

To pitch, you’ll need to push the right stick along the y-axis (up and down).

To roll, you’ll need to push the right stick along the x-axis. This is great to know for avoiding any obstacles or trees. It also won’t change the position or altitude of the y-axis.

Left Stick

The left stick is for controlling the throttle and yaw.

The throttle is for changing the drone’s altitude. To control the throttle, you’ll push the left stick along the y-axis (up and down).

The yaw is the drone’s rotation. To yaw, you’ll push the left stick along the x-axis. This will make your drone move counterclockwise or clockwise. This is a great option for when you want it to stay in the same spot but change direction.

Camera Settings

You should also feel comfortable with the controls of your camera.

Ensure you know how to record videos and take pictures. Take a look at your drone instructions in the manual to understand the different controls.

When you’re in bright conditions, you’ll want to add a neutral density filter to your camera. For pictures, you’ll want to freeze movement for still shots. For a clear picture, you can use short shutter speed.

Where to Practice Flying?

When you feel comfortable with the controls, you’re almost ready to practice flying. Before flying, always take a look at your surroundings and find an ideal location.

Notice any power lines, trees, and buildings that could be in the way. You’ll also want to know where heliports and airports are since you don’t want to fly by them.

Also, take a look at the weather conditions for that day, and the terrain of the area. If it’s windy or rainy that can impact the flying of your drone. A rainy day can also affect visibility.

Before beginning, always take a look at the battery level. You always want to ensure you’ll have enough time to return your drone to land.

Day Before Flying

The day before you head out to fly, you’ll want to verify your planned location. Make sure there are no flight restrictions.

Check the weather. Ensure sure the memory card is working correctly and is attached.

Install any available drone firmware updates. Make sure the remote control and flight batteries are all charged.

Pre-Flight

Before flying, always take a look at the rules and regulations in the area. Make sure that your batteries are fully charged.

Ensure your controller is connected to the drone. Check that the area is good for take-off and landing.

If there’s anyone close by, let them know you’re about ready for take-off.

Have a memory card if you plan on taking videos or pictures.

Check your drone for any cracks in the propeller, signs of wear, etc.

As you’re flying, always closely monitor your drone.

Before take-off, you’ll want to make sure your push throttle is down. You’ll also want to turn the transmitter on.

Take-Off and Landing

When you’re ready for take-off, you’ll just need to use the left joystick. You’ll first want to move it forward slowly while keeping a close watch on it.

When you’re ready to land, it’s similar to take-off, just the opposite direction.

When you’ve found a good landing area, you’ll want to move the left joystick back toward you. Check the area before landing or take-off to make sure there’s enough room.

You can even consider a landing pad. This will help with surface problems such as uneven surfaces, tall grass, etc.

To practice, repeat landing and take-off a few times.

After you land makes sure you turn the transmitter off. Also, ensure you disconnect the drone’s battery.

Flying Tips

For drone basics, study maps to find different locations to fly your drone. This is a great way to find open areas or landmarks to get pictures of.

Always have a protective bag or hard case to carry your drone in. You can also keep your chargers and batteries with you.

You can explore, hike, and travel with your drone. It’s also a great way to find new locations.

When you’re ready to explore, always keep spare batteries as back-up.

If you’re just beginning, consider having another person help you. This is a great way to keep track of your drone.

Never try to go past your drone’s transmission range.

Always avoid all animals. Keep your drone away from birds so they don’t attack it. The ultrasound can make animals uncomfortable.

Always avoid other people so you can decrease the chance of an accident.

Avoid Flying Aggressively

When using the control stick, use gentle movements. This will allow you to make any adjustments necessary to avoid an accident.

Never Fly in Reverse

Avoid flying in reverse since your device can crash into an unnoticed obstacle. This is especially true if your drone goes out of sight.

But, you want to avoid your drone going out of sight at all times.

Pay Attention

It’s easy to crash a drone if you get distracted and look away from it.

If you get distracted by someone else talking, or something going on, it could be fatal to your device. Always pay attention to it.

Practice Without GPS

You should always practice flying without GPS enabled. While it’s essential to use, it’s important that you can navigate without it.

Your GPS could always fail while your drone is in the air so it’s best to prepare for that.

Turn off Your VPS

Birds can cause serious damage to your drone. If you turn off your VPS (vision positioning system) this will make it less likely that it’ll collide with birds.

Animals can hear different frequencies than humans can. Your drone’s VPS could give them a sign that they’re moving onto their territory.

Drone Photography Tips

Checking the weather isn’t just for visibility, but photography quality as well. A sunny day will offer you higher-quality photos.

Choose a non-windy day for the most control over your drone’s photography.

Consider taking pictures during the sunrise and sunset for some of the most beautiful colors and vibrancy in your pictures. This is great for shooting aerial city views or landscapes.

Try out different points of view to see what works best. This will lead to the best options when it comes to pictures.

You don’t just need to capture still shots, but also movement as well. You can increase your shutter speed to add movement to your pictures.

This can be done by choosing lower light conditions or decreasing your Aperture. Also, sunrise, sunset, or cloudy days can help with better pictures.

Identify Where the Sun Is

While your main source of light will be the sun, you need to know where it’s located. If you shoot the sun on your side, it can cause shadows in your pictures. It can also cause flares on your drone’s lens.

Your best bet is to have the sun behind you. Also, be cognizant of the drone’s shadow. The shadow can get into the picture.

If you face the sun, it can cause trouble with contrast in your pictures.

Return to Home Altitude

When you choose RTH (return to home), the drone will fly to a preset altitude and return to the home point. This is always a good idea to set up before flying.

It’ll make sure your drone doesn’t knock into any obstacles as it heads back.

Avoid Staying Too Close to the Ground

It’s common to see pilots flying a drone too close to the ground. While it may seem safe, it’s actually a less stable flying condition.

When the propellers spin, they move downward with enough force to take off from the ground. This force, when close to the ground, will cause air to bounce back up on the craft.

Being close will give your device an extra boost. It’ll keep your drone up but won’t have enough throttle to maintain flight.

Never do what’s called a propeller wash either. This is where a drone will spin upside down.

Stay Within Range

Your drone will have a recommended operating range. Always stay within the range listed and go toward your craft if it goes outside of this.

Taking Care of Your Drone

Always be careful with your drone including take-off and landing. Make sure you have enough battery before you land.

After using it, make sure to always clean it. Follow all instructions in the manual.

Exploring How to Operate a Drone

Now that you’ve explored a complete guide on how to operate a drone, you should feel more comfortable out there!

Would you like to learn more about technology and other products? Check out our other articles today.