Before You Fly

So after checking reviews (hopefully on this site) and saving up your money, you finally purchased your first drone that is going to give you a birds-eye view of the world around you. You’re both excited and a little nervous to bring your drone outside and take it on it’s maiden flight. Before you do, here are a few things to put on your pre-flight checklist to ensure you have a successful first flight and you avoid crashing your drone and all the hard earned dollars it took to save up for.

  1. Read your drone’s user manual. I know it might be tempting to skip the user manual and figure out things as you go but, each drone and it’s flight characteristics are going to be different. Be sure to get yourself acclimated with your drone, it’s features and any accompanying app that it may come with. You never want to be surprised by something you could have read about in the user manual when your drone is 300 feet in the air.
  2. Find an open area to fly in. Parks and open fields are usually best to start out in. They give you plenty of room to fly and, if you make a mistake on the remote control it’s easier to recover when there are no trees or obstacles around.
  3. Check the Weather. If it’s raining or windy it’s usually best to wait for another day. If you are first starting off, you want the wind to be as calm as possible. The reason for this is so that you can completely focus on the flight and how the movement on the remote control affects your drone’s flight.
  4. Make sure there are no people around. The FAA requires that you do not fly your drone over people (without first getting clearance). This is to ensure the safety of others and allows you to focus on flying your drone. The last thing you want is for your drone to fall out of the sky and hit another person. Keep the distractions at a minimum and find a place that isn’t crowded.
  5. Make sure you are not in a no-fly zone. The FAA also restricts how close to an airport you can fly your drone (again, without first getting clearance). This is to ensure the safety of general and commercial aviation. You also are not allowed to fly within National Parks as well as near stadiums. There are two apps that I always check before I fly in a new area.
    • The first one is B4UFLY – this app was created by the FAA to let you know if you are in a ‘restricted’ zone and are not allowed to fly.
    • The second one is the Hover app. This app allows you to log your flights, check the weather and has close to the same data that the B4UFLY app has.
  1. Make sure your drone is ready to fly!
    • Are the batteries charged?
    • Are the propellers on tight?
    • If your drone has a camera…
      • Has the camera clip/mount been removed?
      • Is the storage card loaded and ready to go?
    • Is your remote control charged?
    • Is your antenna out and in the correct orientation?

I know this seems like a lot! As you get more and more successful flights under your belt this all will become second nature and automatic. You want to make sure you protect your drone and have as much fun as possible when you fly!

Do you think I missed anything that should be in a pre-flight checklist? Please comment below!

Also please be sure to like our facebook page and get updates as additional content gets added. My next post will be the first of a series on how to fly your drone! Don’t miss it!

Happy Flying!!

 

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