You Got a Drone for Christmas – 6 Things to Do Before You Fly
Don’t fly it indoors
If you’ve never before flew an unmanned plane the first few flights will be crumbling experience. Even if you have, each UAV is different and your new one may not respond the way you are used to. So seductive to take it directly from the box and begin performing aerial exercises in the Christmas tree, indoor flight is a disaster.
Apart from there being plenty of things to crash into, most normal-sized rooms don’t offer the space you need to take off and land safely, which are two things you’ll need to practice before you fly for real. Many top of the range drones have modes designed for indoor flight, such as the DJI Mavic Pro, but we still recommend that your first flights take place outdoors where there’s plenty of space and minimal obstacles.
Practice take off and landing
It goes without saying that getting used to the basic controls of your new drone is important. So that means practising take off and landing, along with simple steering manoeuvres. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a drone that handles take off and landing for you, spend some time getting to grips with the autonomous software elements.
As you can see from the video below panic easily sets in when, as a pilot, you realize that you’re no longer in control of the situation. Get yourself a wide-open space and go through the motions.
Register your drone
It’s not very exciting, but if you live in the States and your new drone weighs between 0.55 lbs. (250 grams) and 55 lbs. (25 kg), you’ll need to register it with the FAA. Other countries have different legislation on registration. Make sure to check with your national aviation authority, whether that’s the FAA in the US or the CAA in the UK.
If you’re planning on using your drone for commercial purposes, you’ll almost certainly have to register it. You’ll have to pass the FAA’s Part 107 Exam in the US.
Pimp your drone
So you’re registered, well-practiced and getting the hang of flying your drone. Things are on the up, but it still feels like something is missing. What you need are accessories. Plenty of the latest drones are compatible with FPV sets, which offer a much more immersive flight experience and are great for making flying a two-person activity.
Apart from FPV goggles, you might want to consider a case for your drone, spare batteries, propellers and prop guards. Looking for something a bit more flashy? Plenty of companies offer LEDs that can be easily attached to your new drone, just in case you want to stand out from the crowd.
Get the apps
There are plenty of apps out there that can improve your aerial photography, make piloting your drone easier, connect you with like-minded pilots and help you discover great places to fly.
Many manufacturers offer their own apps, such as DJI’s ‘GO’. But there are plenty of independent apps that specialize in improving your flight experience, whether that’s flight planning and logging, offering a list of no-fly zones or making piloting a more social experience.
Though not essential, apps are a great way to expand your drone knowledge and get more from your flights. We’ve put together a list of the top apps you might want to consider.
How are you going to manage all that media?
If your drone does not have a camera, you can skip this section. But if aerial photography is a big deal, it’s time to think about how to store and edit video. Some unmanned aircraft manufacturers provide platform media storage, such as revenue and still loaded. You may also want to look outside the industry to provide storage Dropbox, Microsoft and Apple.