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You’ve watched countless YouTube videos of people masterfully navigating their drones. Perhaps you’ve even visited a local park and seen some drones whizzing by. These people all make it look so easy. So much so that you ask, “Is it hard to Fly a drone?” You want to join the masses with your own drone, but before you do, you have to know, is it going to be difficult?
It isn’t hard to fly a drone, per se, but it can be complicated. Like with anything, the more skill and experience you have, the better you will do at commandeering your drone. You must also know basic terms and own at least a decent drone.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the ins and outs of maneuvering a drone. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll feel confident enough to begin seriously considering buying your own drone for the first time. You might even do it outright. Here are some quick drone tips to get you going.
Droning Terms to Know as You Get Started
Before you begin flying your own drone, you must familiarize yourself with a handful of terms. Not only must you know what these terms mean, but you’ll have to know how to do them yourself in some cases, as most are droning techniques.
Let’s define some of the more common terms now.
When you yaw your drone, this simply means you move it towards the left from the right or vice versa.
Rolling targets the drone’s sides, moving these downward and upward in the air.
Unlike rolling, where just the drone’s sides move down and up, with pitching, it’s the drone’s front that moves.
All drones should follow a flightpath. With waypoints, you can clearly visualize and plan that flightpath. This leads to safer flying.
When you press buttons on your drone’s remote that allow you to throttle, yaw, pitch, and roll, those buttons are known as the trim.
Can You Get Your Drone Flying in Eight Moves or Less?
You’ve got your droning license and you’re now just getting out there and flying. Are there certain basic, express moves you can do that require eight moves or fewer? Absolutely! Check out these techniques and maneuvers we recommend.
The Boomerang involves you learning the axes of flight and utilizing all eight as part of your flightpath. You want to begin by raising your drone up roughly 10 feet. It should be positioned before you but with its back to you. Now, aim your drone right while taking it higher.
Fly the drone in the shape of a teardrop and angle it so it now faces you. It should be at its highest point at this time. Next, turn your drone left, lowering it down as you do so. Then move it downward at a slant, completing the teardrop.
Circle the Wagon
The Circle the Wagon technique is less advanced than the Boomerang, so you might want to begin with it. To do this one, you want to move your drone in a circle, hitting eight axes as you do. You might find it hard to make a perfect circle the first few times, but keep practicing! You’ll get it eventually.
Next, we’ve got the Arch. This has five axes of flight. The first two and last two are straight, while you should lift your drone into a hill shape between the second and fourth axis. Start by flying 10 feet up, then move straight to your second axis. Lift your drone higher to make the hill shape. Then lower the drone and fly it straight again.
Now, instead of flying your drone in a circle, you want to do it in a square. The Square Dance has only four axes, but they’re distanced pretty far from one another, about 10 or 20 feet.
Again, begin by raising your drone up 10 feet. Then, measuring the 10 to 20 feet between axes, achieve a whole square. Try to keep it square-shaped rather than rectangular.
As you do the Square Dance, you get to move your drone from one side to another as well as back and forth. Once you master this, tighten the square for an added challenge!
The Dizzy up technique may sound easy because it has only two axes, but it’s much tougher than it looks. The whole point is rotating your drone rapidly from left to right. You don’t want to overdo it so you lose control of the drone, of course.
To do the Dizzy up, fly your drone up, but not all 10 feet. You want to ascend in a straight direction but rotate the drone left to right and back as you do it.
You’ll rely on your remote’s left stick exclusively to pull off this maneuver. Keep moving it left, forward, and then right and it should rotate the way you want it to. As you get the hang of this, try counterclockwise or clockwise rotations.
If you’ve ever played a Mario game before, then surely you’re familiar with the concept of a 1-up. This is a means of getting an extra life to try a level again.
In droning, 1-ups involve you taking any technique we explained in this section and improving on them. In doing so, you get lots of practice. First, you want to find an empty field in which to drone.
Then you want to acclimate yourself to the controls of operating your drone. This is all about gaining your confidence.
After all, you don’t get a second chance. If you break your drone, it’s not like a video game where you can try again. It’s probably ruined and you’d have to buy another one.
Tips for Buying Your First Drone
Okay, so you are ready to pilot your first drone. This means you are ready to buy your very own drone. Before you do, check out these tips:
- Start cheap. We don’t advise you to spend more than $40 on your first drone. Yes, certain models are out there that cost $1,000 or more, but you don’t want to drop that kind of money before you’re very good at droning. You’re likely to make mistakes with your first drone and perhaps even break it. A $40 investment isn’t such a big deal.
- Get a drone that can fly indoors. This way, you can get a feel for droning without the wind affecting your flight. Find a practice facility for this, of course, and be careful in your own home, because you can easily break something expensive.
- Its a good idea to try a drone before buying it, as this can give you a feel for the drone before you make the purchase. Buying online does not allow you to try the drone first, but you can research drones to help you make a good decision when you buy online.
Know The Rules As A Recreation or Hobby Drone Enthusiast
Do You Need a License to Fly a Drone?
Recreation drone users are limited to:
- Flying in Class G airspace
- Flying lower than 400ft
- Flying with Visual line of sight
- Flying in open area
- Cannot fly near emergency response effort
- Cannot fly in TFT (Restricted airspace)
- Drone must weight under 55 pounds
- Must register drone with FAA
Fly unlimited at a AMA field
If you want to have more unlimited options consider getting a license
If you’re interested in getting a drone pilot license, the FAA has set up some ground rules for doing so. You have to showcase exemplary mental and physical health for one.
You should also have a very strong grasp of English, writing, speaking, and reading it sufficiently. If you’re not quite 16 years old, then you have to wait before applying for a license.
You don’t just get your license, by the way. First, there’s an aeronautical knowledge exam you have to pass. To do so, you’ll have to go to a Knowledge Testing Center and book your day and time to take the exam. You can find Knowledge Testing Centers across the country per this FAA link here.
Make sure you brush up on a variety of knowledge areas for the test. These include preflight inspections, maintenance procedures, operating near airports, judgment and decision-making when operating a drone, and how to master a drone’s performance.
You must also know radio communications, how to manage crew resources, what to do in an emergency, how to load your drone, droning in all sorts of weather, airspace classifications, and drone rating limitations and privileges.
When you pass your test, there’s still more you must do. Next, you’ll have to apply for your license through the FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application System or IACRA. You can fill out FAA Form 8710-13 on the IACRA for your license application.
Once you get your license, you must bring it with you whenever you go droning. It’s not good forever, by the way. The license only lasts for two years, in which case you have to go through the above again. Here is step by step help to get your Drone Pilot License also called Part 107
Is It Hard to Fly A Drone Conclusion
Anyone can fly a drone, but only those who are willing to put in the time, love, and effort into this hobby will truly get good at it. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a more seasoned drone pilot, you should never operate a drone without knowing the basics as well as the rules. Still you may have some fears so here are some tips to help you get over other fears of flying a drone.
Otherwise, with the tips, tricks, maneuvers, and advice shared in this article, you should find yourself getting comfortable with droning soon. Good luck!