Tips for Flying a Drone

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Updated August 24, 2022

Drones are quickly becoming one of the more popular technological developments of the 21st century. However, just because you’ve bought the best drone doesn’t mean you’re all set to fly. Before taking to the skies, all owners must know some tips for flying a drone to ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • All drone pilots should study their drone manual and safety measures before flying.
  • To avoid fines for flying illegally, understand what certifications are necessary and research the local rules/laws.
  • Beginners should choose an environment with few obstacles and people to avoid crashes.

One of the first steps you can take is to read about what the law is for drones and how it affects flying in your locality.

Insider Tip

Always set your return to home (RTH) function before flying. Then, if your drone gets lost or out of range, the device will automatically know where to return.

Drone Tips and Tricks

Although they’re lightweight and small devices, drone operation is an activity to take seriously, as there are safety and legal dangers that can occur from reckless practice. From ensuring you are fully certified to understanding your limitations as a beginner, there are a handful of best practices to know before your first flight.

Additionally, for those planning to use their drone for aerial photography or filmmaking, you should know how to use a drone camera before operating.

Get Your Drone Pilot License

Before even thinking about mapping your first flight path, you have to get your drone pilot certification. Every drone pilot must be appropriately licensed, whether you’re using it for recreational or commercial purposes. The certification learning process introduces and tests users’ knowledge of drone laws and rules.

Recreational certifications are easy to obtain and take only a couple of days to receive a temporary license. On the other hand, commercial licenses require a more in-depth course and testing and take a few weeks to complete. Once the certification and license are obtained, you must remember when and how to renew a drone license.

Register Your Drone

The FAA requires users to register any drone that weighs more than 0.55 pounds regardless of how they plan to use it. Anything smaller than this does not require registration.

Read the Manual

While it’s tempting to tear the box open and get your drone airborne as soon as possible, an essential rule of thumb is to read the entire manual before flying. The manual instructs users on everything they need to know about their drone model, from drone controls to safety tips, and leads to a better flight experience.

Find a Safe Flight Environment

One of the leading causes of drone crashes is beginners flying in a place with too many obstacles. To boost the chances of successful flights, start with a drone-safe area. For example, find a location without buildings, trees, mountains, rock formations, or bodies of water. Also, for a safe flight, ensure you fly in an area with few people.

Warning

As with cars, boats, and airplanes, never operate a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Lastly, it’s a good idea for beginners to know what headless mode is on a drone. The headless setting is excellent for beginners and helps users get used to the dynamics of drone flight.

STAT: To keep the battery life lasting as long as possible, experts recommend that you shouldn’t fly your drone once the battery level is under 15%. (source)

Tips for Flying a drone FAQs

Are drone rules the same everywhere?

While there are federal regulations that apply wherever you operate, there are also many local drone rules and regulations that need to be understood before flying.

Is it ok for a drone to get wet?

Most drones do not come with waterproofing, leaving them open to damage. Waterproofing your drone is a modification that can be accomplished quickly and helps avoid unnecessary and expensive damage.

How much does it cost to get a commercial drone license?

The average cost for a commercial drone license is around $160-$200.
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