Today, drones have practically become standard production equipment for professional photographers/filmmakers as well as photography enthusiasts. They are a hot trend for those who are keen to invest in such expensive flying machines, be it for professional purposes or for leisure. If you’re also one of those who want to take up drone photography as your cool new hobby or even a lucrative career, this post is meant for you.
In this guide, you’ll discover everything about how to fly a drone. It will be especially useful for beginners in drone photography, or someone who has just bought a new drone and is wondering how to start off their drone piloting journey.
So, let’s get started.
How to Fly a Drone? – Understanding the Drone Controller
For drone flying, the single most important thing that you need to be well-versed in is the Drone Controller. All drones come with a handy device to control them. They may be called a remote controller, a transmitter, or simply a drone controller. While the basic drone controllers come with simple buttons and joysticks, the more advanced and professional drone models may feature controllers with complicated controls that take time to get fully accustomed to.
If you’re just starting out and looking to purchase the ideal drone for an enjoyable flying experience, be sure to explore the following article: 10 Best Drones with Camera for Beginners.
However, one thing is similar in almost all drones – the joysticks. The drone pilot can push or pull the sticks to make the drone go up, down, left, right, and even diagonally.
Here are the four most important functions of any drone controller:
The left stick controls the yaw (rotation) and throttle (altitude). The right stick, on the other hand, controls the drone movements along the x-axis: the roll (side to side) and the pitch (forward and backward).
Let’s understand these four functions better. Have a look below:
Yaw refers to rotation. When you push the left stick along the x-axis, that is, left or right, the drone rotates clockwise or counterclockwise. The rotation lets the drone face different directions without leaving its current spot.
Throttle adjusts the altitude of your drone. Your drone’s altitude depends upon how much power you give to its motors. When you push the left stick along the y-axis, that is, up and down, the drone’s altitude changes likewise.
Roll refers to the left-right movement of your drone. When you push the right stick along the x-axis, that is left or right, your drone flies along the left and right sides. This function is specifically useful to avoid trees and other obstacles from your drone’s path without affecting its altitude or position on the y-axis.
Pitch refers to the forward or backward tilt of your drone. When you push the right stick along the y-axis, that is up or down, the drone moves forward and backward accordingly.
While, in theory, controlling these functions seems incredibly easy, using all of them together makes it challenging. Therefore, it’s necessary to spend time on practice for achieving perfection in drone piloting.
How to Fly a Drone? – Step-by-Step Instructions
Now that you know about the basic commands to use for piloting your drone, let’s discuss how to put them to good use by actually flying the drone.
Here’s the step-by-step guide that you can follow for a safe drone flying experience:
Step #1. Find an Open Area
The first step before you plan to fly a drone is to find an open outdoor area that’s safe and free from obstructions, like a tree or a wall, so that you don’t end up crashing your new drone onto them. Also, ensure that you have a permit for the usage of drones so as not to break any laws.
For those who enjoy flying their drones in outdoor areas with rough surfaces, a landing pad can be an essential accessory. A drone landing pad provides a flat and stable surface for your drone to take off and land on, helping to protect your equipment and ensure a safe flight. If you’re looking for a drone landing pad, check out the article: 5 Drone Landing Pad for Safe Take-Off & Landing (GUIDE) for more information and product recommendations.
Step #2. Position the Drone
Finding a good takeoff spot is very important. Have a look at the instruction manual that your drone came with to know more about the ideal place to position your drone for takeoff. Ideally, the takeoff spot should be a flat surface, and the drone should be positioned to face the same direction as you.
Step #3. Connect the Transmitter
Once you’ve positioned your drone, perform the next step very carefully. Also, make sure to keep the sequencing right. You need to prepare your drone for take off. So, first, push the throttle way down. Then, turn the transmitter on. Lastly, connect the drone’s battery in order to connect the transmitter to the drone.
Step #4. Take-Off
After you do the above steps, your drone is ready for take-off. To do so, slowly push the throttle (left stick) upwards and watch your drone lift off. Once your drone has successfully reached a few feet above the ground, you can practice hovering.
Step #5. Hover
Once the drone is a few feet above the ground, hold it as steadily as you can. It may seem pretty tedious for beginners since it requires a lot of concentration. So, practice hovering for improving your flying skills.
Step #6. Rotate, Roll & Pitch
When you get comfortable with hovering, the next step is to learn how to rotate the drone. For this, slowly push the left stick right or left until the drone rotates to face you. Now practice roll and pitch by using the right stick (as mentioned above).
Step #7. Land
After you’re done, it’s time to land your drone safely. Try to land it as smoothly and steadily as you can. Slowly push the throttle (left stick) down until it reaches the same spot on the ground. That’s it, the landing is done! Now, disconnect your drone’s battery and then turn off the transmitter. Again, take care that you follow these steps in the same order as mentioned.
7 Tips for a Hassle-Free Drone Flying Experience
Here are the seven tips that will prove to be helpful in your drone flying journey:
- Get used to the controls until you no longer have to look down to see how to fly a drone.
- Keep the drone close enough so that you can see whether it’s safe from obstacles.
- Ensure that your drone’s battery is fully charged so you can enjoy undisturbed flights.
- Register your drone with the FAA by creating an account on its website.
- Download useful drone apps for important information like weather conditions, no-fly zones, etc.
- Read your drone’s Instruction Manual Carefully.
- Do not fly above 400 feet.
Finally, Practice to Achieve Perfection
As they say, “Practice makes a man perfect!” So, now that you’ve learned all of the basics of drone piloting, it’s time to combine your knowledge and experience so that you can fly your drone confidently to capture some spectacular aerial shots. Practice flying your drone to gain perfection.
Still haven’t decided what drone is the best one for a beginner? Check out this article with a list of 7 best user-friendly drones.
If you’re just starting off as a drone pilot, I would recommend that you get a drone that’s relatively simple to control. It’s a great idea to practice on a basic model with simple controls in a wide-open environment. And, once you’re skilled and confident enough to operate a drone without errors or accidents, you can upgrade to a more complicated model.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this guide helped you learn all the basics of how to fly a drone. 🙂
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