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Everybody’s a Photographer
July 16, 2015
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Flight Training 101

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Pilot training for the newby

Kick start pilot training with fun and motivation. Although simulators offers a controlled environment, it should only play a supplemental role in pilot training. The primary training tool should be an inexpensive small to midsized quadcopter (e.g. L6036, 998s, Evo Flyer and X-Drone Nano for around $100) instead of a hobby quadcopter (e.g. CX-20 Auto Pathfinder at $599). Lighter palm sized quadcopters are extremely crash resistant so you will spend more time flying and less time fixing. Even if you eventually break a propeller, it only takes about a minute to switch out a $1 propeller on a small quadcopter.

Charge up 3-4 batteries in advance and schedule 20-30 minute sessions 5 times a week. Initially fly in a tail-in (tail towards the pilot) orientation so that the transmitter’s cyclic (directional) stick corresponds to the quadcopter’s direction. Stay at least a meter above the ground so the wash (deflected air) from the ground does not interfere with the quadcopter’s stability. With consistent practice, training sessions can then focus on intermediate orientations (e.g. tail-out & tail-to-left-or-right) and patterns (e.g. circles and figure 8). Depending on an individual’s hand-eye coordination, you should be ready to transition to conservative flights on larger quadcopter in a couple of weeks. Any prior experience with RC cars, airplanes or even video games will certainly speed up this process.

Below are a series of videos that will get you up and flying in no time and hopefully incident free.