If you're thinking about flying drones, it's important you understand the different parts of a drone and how to properly use one. Here is your ultimate guide on how to fly a drone for beginners.
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So you've just bought a brand new drone.
As soon as you register your device, you'll be ready to head out and take it to the skies. But one of the hardest parts about owning a drone is actually learning how to fly it.
The pros might make it look simple, but flying a drone takes a lot of practice. If you're having trouble getting started or you're looking to hone your skills, you've come to the right place.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through how to fly a drone. From learning about the controls and getting it off the ground to controlling your flight pattern, we got you covered.
How to Fly a Drone
The last thing you want is to have a serious crash on your first flight. Drones aren't exactly the cheapest technology out there, and a bad crash could do more than just lose you money - it could get you or other people hurt.
It's crucial that you know exactly what to do the first time you head out with your new drone.
Follow these steps to learn how to fly a drone with confidence.
1. Master the Controls
Before you start, it's important that you have a good understanding of the controls.
The box you use to control the drone is called the transmitter. It comes with two different joysticks, each for different kinds of directional control.
The right joystick controls the "roll" and the "pitch." This means that it controls the forwards, backward, and side-to-side movement.
The left joystick is in charge of the "yaw," which is the clockwise or counterclockwise movement of the drone. It also controls the throttle, which is the up and down movement.
Let's get into the specifics of this terminology.
The roll is in charge of the movements to the right and the left.
This control is pretty simple to understand. If you move the stick to the left, the drone will move to the left. If you move it to the right, the drone will move to the right.
A lot of drone crashes are caused by rolls that fly too far to the right or the left. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this control so you can keep your device on track.
Also controlled by the right joystick, the pitch handles the forwards and backward movement of the drone.
Just like the roll, you can move the drone in the direction that you push the joystick - forward or backward.
Now that we've covered the right joystick, let's move on to the movements controlled by the left stick.
Yaw is for spinning the drone in either direction. If you move the joystick to the right, it moves in a clockwise direction. If you move it to the left, it moves in a counterclockwise direction.
This is especially useful if you're taking pictures or video. Some drones are even measured by their "yaw rate," or the speed at which the drone is able to spin.
You might have heard of the term "full throttle" in relation to cars. With drones, it's a similar concept.
Throttle gives your drone the power necessary to get off the ground. Pushing the left joystick up will cause the drone to fly up. Likewise, pushing it down will cause it to descend.
Unlike the other controls, you have to keep pushing the throttle in order to keep it in the air. If you stop pushing the stick during flight, your drone will lose power and begin to fall.
2. Prepare for Flight
Before you take off on your first flight, there are some precautions you need to take to ensure that everything goes well.
Here's a handy pre-flight checklist you should go through before each flight:
- Find a wide, flat area with lots of open space
- Check for obstructions like trees, buildings, or power lines
- Look out for people/animals nearby
- Make sure chance of precipitation is less than 10%
- Ensure wind speed is less than 20 mph
- Make sure the registration number is clearly displayed
- Fully charge the battery before take off
- Check for any abnormalities in the aircraft frame and motors
- Take off at eye level to double check functionality
3. Get Off the Ground
Now that you understand the controls and basic safety procedures, it's time to finally get your drone off the ground.
All you need to get your drone in the air is the throttle. Push the left joystick up very slowly to get the propellers going, and then stop.
Do this several times until you feel comfortable with the speed. Next, push the joystick a little bit further each time until the drone is off the ground. Repeat this process a few times.
If the drone is naturally rotating to the left, right, forward, or backward, press the trim buttons next to the joystick. These buttons are small and located next to each stick
Keep adjusting the trim until your drone is stable when it lifts off the ground.
4. Learn How to Hover
The hover is one of the most important and difficult parts about piloting a drone.
Before you practice hovering, make sure your drone is at least five feet off the ground. If it's too close to the ground, the downdraft from the rotors will push your drone off balance.
Once you get your drone in the air, it won't be easy to keep it in the same spot. But maintaining a steady hover is vital if you're taking video or trying to pilot around an obstacle.
As soon as your drone's controls are stabilized, practice keeping it on the spot with both your joysticks.
5. Try Beginner Techniques
Once you've learned how to get your drone into the sky and keep it steady, try these beginner techniques:
- Hover in one place
- Hover while rotating the drone to different directions
- Fly your drone in a square
- Fly your drone in a circle
- Pick targets on the ground and land on them
6. Know How to Crash
The first thing you need to understand is that a crash is going to happen. No matter how experienced you are at flying drones, crashes are inevitable. All you can do is to learn how to crash safely and minimize the damage to your drone.
As soon as you realize your drone is going to crash, turn off the throttle. This will keep the blades from spinning during impact and breaking.
Try to find a good spot to land. Ideally, somewhere soft with grass would be best. Avoid trees, rocks, pavement, or asphalt.
Practice, Practice, Practice
No matter how much research you do, you can't become an expert at flying a drone just by reading about it.
The next step in learning how to fly a drone is just going out and practicing. If you're a complete beginner, it's best to start out with some easy training exercises. This will allow you to hone your skills before moving to more advanced techniques.
Looking for more tips and tricks on taking your drone expertise to the next level? Check out our blog!