Drones are the hottest new toys. They are militaristic and remote-controlled, and they look badass. Anyone who has ever flown a cool drone could come up with hundreds of different adjectives to describe these bad boys. As amazing as they are, they are also quite dangerous. There have even been fatal accidents caused by these machines, so being careful is a must.
Because they can be dangerous toys, various governments have formulated policies that require pilots to acquire some kind of license in order to be able to fly drones. These policies usually restrict drones over a certain weight and size. In America, flying drones around 15 miles of the White House is also illegal.
Various corporations and organizations around the world are starting to use drones. Companies like Google and Amazon are working on getting government approval to trial drone-based deliveries. Another fabulous example of putting drones to good use is being carried out by NASA. NASA is currently using high-altitude drones to help meteorologists better understand tropical storms.
The major target audience of drone manufacturers is, however, civilians. Researchers predict that there will be around 7500 civilian drones operating in the US airspace by the year 2018. And there are some high-end drones already available for civilians at present. There are drones with HD cameras that have become immensely popular among professional photographers and cameramen. People are even taking wedding photos with drones now. The fact that drones can reach where man cannot has largely influenced their growing popularity. They are also amazing fun.
Drones can also be used if you want to irritate someone, such as a colleague or a next-door neighbor. These days, there are drones that can fit on the palm of your hand, which is great for espionage and spy work.
Flying Drones for the First Time
Given how much fun drones are, you may be considering buying one yourself. However, flying drones isn’t as straightforward as they might look on YouTube videos. The best way to get your mind-set ready to learn to fly drones is to think it as playing a real-life video game. The art of flying comes naturally to some, while others struggle quite a bit. If you are used to flying aircrafts in video games, it’s going to be exponentially easier for you.
Tips on Getting Started with Flying
No self-respecting adult would go and ask a kid how to fly a drone, even though kids are usually better at drone flying than adults. That is exactly where we come in. Here are some tips on what to do first. Read these tips first rather than just getting the drone out of the box and starting to press random buttons on the controller.
- The first thing you need to do after you purchase a drone is get the instruction manual out of the box. Study the instruction manual carefully. This should provide you with enough information about how your particular drone functions. There is a good chance your controller will already be labeled, but even if it’s not, the manual will have covered everything.
- Check all the accessories inside the package. If your drone requires assembling, follow the instructions to assemble the unit. Also, don’t hesitate to contact customer support if you stumble upon anything that seems to be missing or broken.
- Don’t forget to attach prop guards. As a beginner, always purchase a drone with prop guards. There is definitely going to be plenty of crashes and these will help protect your propellers.
- Don’t purchase a very costly drone for your first tryout. Buy a simple drone that doesn’t have many features. That way, you won’t regret it too much if you crash or lose it. You will need to do a fair bit of research, but it will be worth it. The lighter the drone, the easier it will be to fly.
What Not to Do?
Now that you know what your initial steps should be, here’s what you shouldn’t do.
- Your controller is going to be pretty much the same as a video game joypad/joystick. As when playing video games, don’t press the buttons too hard. If you are not a gamer, think of it like riding a bike. As a beginner, you will have the impulse to accelerate too hard, which is definitely not safe.
- The drone’s product description will give the range of your drone and controller. Make note of that in your mind and don’t let your drone fly above range.
- There have been quite a few complaints about drones that do not come with auto power-off. In that case, your drone will just take off on its own, so be careful if your drone does not have an auto power-off function.
- There’s staggering amount of power beneath these bad boys. So, make sure your drone is in your control at all times.
- Take account of your surrounding weather conditions. Even though there are drones with high wind-resistance, as a beginner it’s a terrible idea to try and fight the wind.
Getting Started Flying
Once you have studied the dos and don’ts of flying a drone, you are ready to fly your drone. You have to be really careful with your gadget. Even a simple scratch is going to be painful in the beginning. Keep in mind that your main objective is not to crash. Be gentle to the controller.
You can even control most drones with a smart-phone. They are slightly more expensive than regular drones, but are totally worth the money as you won’t have to bother with carrying your controller everywhere.
Now, getting back to the original question, are drones easy to fly? The answer is no, not really. However, like most things in life, it’s all about practice. Remember the old days when you got back on your bike no matter how many times you crashed. Of course, this time around the blow will be to your bank account, but still, it’s worth practicing for the day when you will fly like a pro.