Drones have really caught on like wildfire in the past few years. Without having owned one yourself, you can’t help but feel like you’re being left behind. If you are asking, Where can I go to learn more about drones and you want to hop on the drone bandwagon, but you have no idea how to start you have come to the right place.
If you want to learn more about drones, try the following resources:
- The Federal Aviation Administration
- Know Before You Fly
- My Drone Struggle
In this handy article, we will elaborate more on the above resources, explaining what kind of information you’ll find on each. Whether you’re a complete beginner who knows nothing about drones or you’re somewhat informed on them, you’ll surely find this article very helpful.
Resources for Learning More about Drones
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA was founded in 1958. They’re a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The FAA oversees all civil aviation that occurs in this country and the international waters that surround it. This includes aviation like aircrafts and even unmanned aircraft systems or drones.
If you decide to pursue droning commercially, then you’d need a drone pilot license. You’d get this through the FAA. All elements of licensure, from planning your test, taking the test, and applying for your certificate occur through the FAA as well. You’d also reach out to them to update your license when it gets close to expiring.
Also, this governmental organization enforces all the rules surrounding the use of drones for both commercial and recreational purposes. For those reasons, one of the first drone resources you should really familiarize yourself with is the FAA’s site. There’s a lot of great info here, so drink it in. Feel free to bookmark the site and come back to it later as well.
What if you’re more interested in taking a formal course on droning? You can find plenty of options, but one we recommend above all others is Udemy. This online course site has more than 245 million courses and counting available in more than 60 languages. Over 50,000 instructors work to train the 30+ million people who sign up to learn.
The topics run the gamut from data science to marketing, programming, and almost anything and everything in between. Yes, that includes droning. In fact, you can search droning topics on Udemy’s website to choose the one you like best.
Since droning is a broad topic, most of the courses cover specific niche areas. For instance, there’s the Build a Linux Based Raspberry Pi Drone course for those who are familiar with Linux and want to use their skills in the world of droning. The Complete Drone Business Course will teach you to make money from your drones.
Should you have an interest in drone photography, you won’t want to miss the Drones: How to Tell Aerial Stories course. You’ll find plenty of courses aimed at beginners, too, so don’t worry. For instance, there’s Drone Flying 101, DIY Drone Footage Post-Production, and Legal Drone Practice Basics.
Each course has an instructor, as mentioned. The course also features a star rating up to five stars. Since you do have to pay for each class, make sure you take your time and do your research before settling on any one.
Know Before You Fly
Next up, we’ve got Know Before You Fly. As the name might tell you, the focus of this website is teaching those who want to fly a drone how to do so safely and legally. Partnered with the FAA, Know Before You Fly is the brainchild of the Academy of Model Aeronautics or AMA and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International or AUVSI.
AMA involves itself in the “advancement and safeguarding of modeling activities,” including droning. AUVSI is a nonprofit that promotes robotics and unmanned systems advancement. They have a large member base of over 7,500 professionals, including those in academia, government, and more. Together, you’ve got Know Before You Fly.
Okay, so what can you expect to learn? In the Facts section of their website, you can glean some quick information about drones and piloting them. Each fact has a link you can click to read more.
In the Fly Responsibly section, you’ll review safe flying rules and guidelines, some of which are available in video form. These rules include those for government entities, business users, and recreational users with drones. Should you need to register your drone, you can even do so through the Know Before You Fly website.
Few brands of drones are better-known and more beloved than DJI. From the Phantom to the Mavic, Inspire, and more, these aren’t cheap drones, but they’re the cream of the crop. DJI or SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd. began in China back in 2006 by founder Frank Wang. They comprise a large portion of today’s drone market, more than 70 percent.
Their famous drones have appeared on television shows like Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, American Ninja Warrior, The Amazing Race, and many more. Film, music, and other industries also call on DJI drones all the time.
Therefore, we’d say they’re a pretty phenomenal resource to learn droning from. If you want to start off with a free option, then may we recommend the DJI Guides website? This is packed to the brim with useful information. For instance, the titles of some of the most recent guides include “Master the Art of Aerial Photography: 6 Lighting Techniques,” “Beginner’s Guide to Osmo Mobile 3,” and “8 Crucial Things to Know Before Buying a Drone For Photography.”
The website updates all the time, much like any good blog should. Make sure to browse the categories to find the exact type of content you’re looking for. The Tips & Tutorials section should serve you best at first. Here, you can review video tutorials, product care and use information, flying safety tips, and aerial photography articles.
If you decide you’d like a DJI drone at some point, don’t miss their detailed and informative buying guides. The product reviews section is comprehensive as well and includes DJI products like DJI Goggles and their drones, among them the Phantom, Spark, and Mavic Pro.
For the more serious drone pilot who’s interested in drone photography, you’ll love the DJI Aerial Photography Academy. This class won’t take up much of your time, only a single day. It’s described as “intensive,” cramming in a lot of valuable info into a very brief course.
The DJI Aerial Photography Academy travels to 148 cities across the US and isn’t online-based. Led by Stacy Garlington and Randy Jay Braun, beginners to seasoned pilots alike should get some great information out of this course.
DJI does recommend you learn Adobe Lightroom ahead of the class, even if you do go the free trial route. It’s $175 to register for a course, but some locations cost less. You can also get cheaper prices if you take advantage of the “Bring-a-friend” and “Earlybird” offers.
Classes are sold out until late September, at least as of this writing. If you want to get it on one of these classes, don’t wait to enroll! DJI will venture out to California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Kansas until late November 2019.
My Drone Tips
We also have to recommend our own blog, My Drone Tips. Created by a recreational drone pilot named Hal who’s eager to spread his knowledge to other beginners, My Drone Tips will fill up with awesome content in the weeks and months ahead (such as this article).
If you’ve ever had questions about buying or operating a drone, we’re here to answer them. Whether you’re wondering if you need a license for drone operation, how to overcome a fear of droning (we’ve all been there), where to get a job as a drone pilot, or when the best time is to buy a drone, we’ll cover all those topics and more.
We suggest you continuously check back. If you want to get into the fascinating and rewarding world of droning but feel a touch overwhelmed by it all, then you’ll love the info you read here!
You’re interested in drone piloting, but you don’t know as much about it as you wish you did. The resources we presented in this article will act as a great starting point. The FAA makes the rules for drone pilots, so we’d advise you to begin on their website. You can read a lot of great info here. Once you know more you will feel more comfortable about flying a drone, but if you don’t try these tips to improve your comfort level flying drones.
Know Before You Fly makes for a wonderful companion site, especially since FAA is a partner. Our blog, My Drone Tips, is aimed at beginners and intermediate users like you who don’t know a lot about drones, at least not yet. Should you decide you want to take a formal course, try Udemy’s online lessons or DJI’s traveling photography class.
Like with anything, it’ll take some time to learn about drones. Don’t rush and enjoy the process! Good luck.
Hal SimmonsWhen I first started flying drones I was always afraid of damaging my drone. I would always be thinking what if. I questioned myself often and as a result it made me question various aspects of flying drones. In the process I learned a lot. This is why I feel I have a lot of information that will be helpful to beginners and intermediate drone enthusiasts. Of course I still have a lot to learn so join me on this journey and I am sure you will enjoy the adventure ahead of us.
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