After what seemed like an eternity of contemplation, you finally decided to give in to your heart’s desire and splurge on a drone. Congratulations on your new hobby! As a beginner, you might be overwhelmed with so many choices available to you. So we drafted a few guidelines to help you get started.
On Buying A Drone
Even if your pocket is ready, as a newbie drone enthusiast, admit it or not, your skill is not yet there. So for your first drone, we recommend that you pick a model with basic features at a couple hundred dollars at the cheapest up to a thousand dollars for a more sophisticated flying machine. But it really boils down to what your personal preference is and how deep is your pocket.
Factors To Consider
Here are the things you need to consider when buying your first drone.
Flight and Charge Time
On average, drones can stay up in the air for at least 15 minutes before the battery runs dry. Of course, you would want a drone with a longer battery life, but remember, the larger the amount of power your battery can store, the longer its charge time.
If you like taking aerial photographs, that would not be a problem since even low-budget drones are now equipped with a basic camera. But if you want better-looking shots from above, you will need a good quality camera or at least a good mount.
Even with a camera, some drones are not capable of feeding live video to your remote control (a.k.a. FPV or first-person view). Without this feature, you will be taking aerial photos blindly. Make sure to check out this feature when you buy your drone.
Adding a brushless motor is a good investment. For a couple of hundred dollars, you’ll have a quicker, smoother and faster unmanned aerial vehicle than the other regular flying machines.
Another factor worth considering is how your drone is protected against collisions. One example is propeller guard. This drone accessory not only will make your drone standout and easily seen in the sky but also protect it. In case of a crash, propeller guard will take the first impact and get broken all right, but your drone’s body will be less hurt.
While we are on the subject of drone crashing, (it can’t be helped, nobody is perfect even machines like your drone, ever heard of flyaway drones?) it would also be wise to know if certain spare parts, especially those easily broken, are available and how much it cost.
These are the basic features your first drones must have, but should you wish for more, the list continues below with advanced features found in most modern and expensive copters.
Return To Home — This will help your drone return home if it gets lost.
Automatic Obstacle Avoidance — This will help your drone dodge an obstacle on its path avoiding a crash.
Follow Me Function — This function enables your drone to follow you around and capture every moment of your adventure.
On Flying A Drone
Now that you know what to look for when buying your new drone, it’s time learn how to fly! Don’t be too excited you still got work to do before you get to fly your newly bought drone. First, read the user manual included in the box and follow the instructions. Familiarize yourself with the modes and flight controller as well as their functions.
You’ll find two main sticks in the controller. One for the throttle, the other is for direction control. There will also be some switches which you can use to shift between various flying modes, turning on and off of LED, etc.
Throttle — Use this to make your drone ascend or descend in the air.
Pitch — Use this to tilt your drone forward or backward.
Roll — Use this to tilt your drone to the left or right.
Yaw — Use this to make your drone rotate clockwise or counterclockwise.
There are different flight modes depending on the flight controller or drone type you have
Having a drone doesn’t give you the right to fly it anywhere you like for any reason. So before flying your drone, make sure that you know the rules to flying safely. Not following these rules can get you and your drone into trouble.
First, register your drone with FAA. It’s a requirement for all recreational drones that weigh between .55 and 55 pounds. You will need an email address, mailing address, and a credit card to complete this process. Once you are issued with a registration number you can now fly your drone.
General Guide to Safe Flying:
- Choose a good day to fly. A windy day is not one of them.
- Fly only in large open spaces where there are no buildings or power lines near the area.
- Keep your drone on sight at all times. Have someone to monitor your drone if necessary.
- Avoid flying within 5 miles of airport zone, near private properties and in public places.
- Don’t fly over an altitude of 400 feet.
- Don’t fly when drunk or in a drugged state.
- Install a GPS drone tracker like Trackimo so that in the event your drone crashed or you lost sight of it, you’ll be able to find it.
If your quad doesn’t perform as you expected, don’t get frustrated. Remember, it takes time and patience to master drone flying, so whenever you have time, go and practice basic maneuver like taking off and landing until you learn how to do it smoothly. Then you can move on to a more advanced technique, holding your drone in position. Once you master the basic movements, it won’t be long before you start creating your own maneuvers and tricks. Good luck.
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