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Flying a Drone: A Quick Guide for Beginners

Phantom 3 Drone

Drones are becoming increasingly popular and less expensive. A lot of people are getting in on the drone game. Though it looks easy when other people fly their drones in videos, you might find that it’s a completely different story when you actually have your own drone in your hands. Drone flying is a unique skill, and you’ll have to learn it from the ground up. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you a while – no one becomes a professional drone pilot overnight.

Master The Controls

For most drones, the transmitter (also known as the controller) will work the same way. The stick on the right allows you to fly left, right, forwards, and backwards. This is your directional joystick. The stick on the left turns the drone, and helps it go up and down. Pulling up and down will allow you to control your ascent and descent, while moving left and right will spin the drone clockwise or counterclockwise.

Experiment with these from a low height, and do it outdoors. You don’t want to crash your drone into a ceiling fan before you’ve even learned to fly it. Once you’ve mastered the way your drone moves horizontally, you can slowly built up to greater heights.

Takeoff and Hovering

The throttle (the stick that controls the propellers) on every drone is set at a different level of sensitivity. Don’t put it up all the way at first. Start by going very slowly until you’ve got a feel for the way your drone lifts off the ground. It’s best to practice on level surfaces when you’re learning to control your throttle. You’ll also want to test the sensitivity when you lower the drone. Just like you don’t want to fling it up into the air carelessly, you don’t want to let it fall and smash into the ground.

Flying Your Drone

Once you’re comfortable raising and lowering your drone, it’s time to put both sets of controls together. These skills need to be mastered on their own before they can be used in conjunction with each other. Start by trying to fly in a wide oval and land your drone in the same spot. Doing so will utilize a little bit of every control, allowing you to get a feel for the way everything works.

When you feel secure in your ability to do that, everything else will be a little easier. Build up to more complicated flight plans, and try not to get too ambitious before the controls become second nature to you. You don’t want to get your drone stuck in a tree – especially if you don’t have a ladder handy.

Using the Apps

There are tons of iPhone apps for drone users. Some of them are for more than just flying the Drone. The Hover app alerts users about whether or not they’re allowed to fly their drone in a certain area. It can inform you of flight conditions, and let you know if the wind is going to be a problem. Some apps can even help you control your drone’s camera and capture video. If you don’t have an iPhone, it may be worth getting one just for the drone apps. You can always purchase one secondhand and unlock it.

Flying a drone is just like riding a bicycle or driving a car. Some cautious trial and error is the only real way to get good at it. Just be patient, and don’t try giant flight paths before you’re sure which of your thumbs is supposed to control which function.

Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She is a drone lover and she loves to write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at NYBizDb – an online resource of relevant