Are you a new drone pilot? Here are some great tips that will save on tears and tantrums

Okay, in case it had escaped your attention, drones have great potential for spectacular, and costly crashes. When we were kids it often took us under a minute to discover a new toy we were given for Christmas or our birthday wasn’t as indestructible as we first thought. Well guess what – that hasn’t changed, even though we may have. Given that you now have the added dimension of height to add to the list of things that can contribute to the destruction of your new ‘toy’ plus the fact that controlling it is not second nature or a natural instinct, and you have all the ingredients for the recipe for a disaster, unless you take just a short while to actually realize you are not a ‘natural-born- drone pilot and why there is a reason airline pilots don’t get to fly planes full of passengers the day they decide to become a pilot.

For those of you who are chomping at the bit to make the most of your new drone, perhaps the following will help ensure that you spend more time flying your drone than sticking it back together or, worse still, waiting for a replacement to arrive in the post.

  • Before you even think of flying your drone, study the rules and unless it is a drone weighing under 2oz, you have to register it with the FAA. While you are at it, do your homework thoroughly and learn all the rules that apply to flying a drone. By the way, these aren’t rules for a guideline, these rules are the law.
  • Because you will need a little time to get used to controlling your drone, do not start off in a confined space but instead choose an open area. However also make sure that the location is devoid of people – the last thig you need is to hit a passer-by and have them ‘accidentally’ step on your drone.
  • Start off with very basic movements. Before you can actually learn to ‘fly’ your drone, you have to grasp the basics. It may seem tedious, but rest assured that if you get the basics right, the rest will follow more easily. In addition, if you have a camera attached to your drone, get used to operating that in simple situations before trying to become the next Ron Howard.
  • If you have ever gone fishing, you will know that you need to take more than one hook or lure with you. If you play golf you don’t set off with only one ball in your bag. Whenever you go flying your drone, make sure you take plenty of spare parts with you as trust us here at, you’ll need them. The last thing you want is for your fun to be cut short because you have broken a propeller.
  • Depending on what type of drone you have decided to learn on, you may want to consider getting it insured. Not only that, but even the best pilots have accidents, so you may also want to check on third-party insurance as well. Being responsible is the best way to go as the drone community expands and becomes ever more present.
  • If you have any doubts about your own hand-eye co-ordination, consider buying a ‘trainer’ drone to go alongside the drone of your dreams. Just spending a couple of days with a $30.00 starter drone to grasp the basics will see you save a fortune on replacement parts with your $500.00 drone.
  • Do your research on the Internet. There is a great deal to be learned from watching videos on YouTube, and some of it is also quite funny too. Ask yourself which type of drone video star you want to be, the one taking great images, or the one involved in a spectacular crash?
  • Use what may sound very fancy and ‘pilot talk’ but remember, people who fly drones aren’t called pilots for nothing. Get yourself organized with a pre-flight checklist. Look out for passers-by. Feel what the wind is up to and see what the local weather forecast is. Check your drone thoroughly – propellers, charged battery, etc.

Flying a drone not only looks great fun, it is great fun, so make sure you maximize your enjoyment by spending a bit of time in the ‘classroom’ before you take your maiden flight.

  1. Reply Avatar for quadcopters Matt Man May 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I am going to be honest in saying that these are the best tips I have read online. I started using a drone last fall and was stupid in thinking it was easy to do stunts and all that. Well, I trashed my $450 drone in less than an hour. It is best to take things slow. TRUST ME!

  2. Reply Avatar for quadcopters Allan May 21, 2016 at 12:27 am

    What someone needs to do is start up flying classes locally. They would make a KILLING! Anyone out there who knows how to fly drones on an expert level.. Get that going! I would happily join because I am still learning myself. Great post!

  3. Reply Avatar for quadcopters Mark May 21, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Getting a cheap $30 drone to go along with a $500+ drone has to be the best advice I have read in terms of starting out with flying drones. People don’t realize that while it is easy to do once you know how to fly one, you still have to get used to it because it isn’t as simple as RC cars. These are up in the air. They don’t feel natural to control. Great advice. Going to share this one.

  4. Reply Avatar for quadcopters Dave Holguin July 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I’m Really Mixed Up Now, You Said “unless it is a drone weighing under 2oz, you have to register it with the FAA.” I Was Told 0.55#. Can You Clarify Please, Thanks.

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