15 Tips for Anyone Learning to Drive a Drone

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If you want to pilot a drone as a hobby, just for fun, you should first know that you will not need any special training or certification. But that does not mean you should take your new toy out of the box and put it in the air immediately. First of all, learn how to use it safely and effectively to get the best pictures and videos. This will not endanger anyone’s safety.

15 Tips for anyone learning to drive a drone


15 Tips for anyone learning to drive a drone

1. Register your new drone

First, you need to register with ANAC (National Civil Service Agency). Regularize your drone over the internet.

2. Learn the rules

After registering your drone, read the rules about the use of this equipment in Brazil. To learn more about the Agency rules, click here .

3. Read the instruction manual

It is likely that you have done some research before buying your drone. But if you’re not sure what your drone can do, it’s time to find out by reading the instruction manual. Each piece of equipment is unique and the best way to learn it is to read the manual.

The latest models are full of useful security features, but you need to understand what they do and how they work to take advantage of them.

4. Identify your drone

Put a sticker with your registration number on your drone because if you miss it, there is a chance that someone can search your registration data and return it to you.

5. Learn to use the controls

In short, practice, practice, practice. Using a drone well requires practice. Know what each button and function of your equipment does.

Mastering the controls is the key to the initial success for drone piloting. In addition to the controls, you should be aware of how long your drone can fly with a full charge of the battery.

There are likely to be indicators on the screen for battery life in the application. That way you can plan your flights. Most consumer models fly for 20-30 minutes with a fully charged battery.

6. Notice the application

Speaking of the application … No doubt you should be aware of where the drone control application shows telemetry data.

It is likely that you will have real-time information on speed, altitude, orientation, and location, as well as the live broadcast of the camera. Thus, they can recognize and process this information while flying.

7. Automatic Return Function

Just as it is important to know the controls, you should certainly keep an eye on a feature that can be very important when it comes to flying: The return command. Whether it is a physical button on the drone remote control, or an icon in the application that adjusts settings, your device must have this feature.

First, understand how the auto-return function works. It is likely that your drone has the feature that makes you fly back to your takeoff point by virtue of having the control signal lost.

You can set an altitude for the flight back. And this is very important when you are flying over an area with trees or other low altitude obstacles. In short, set your drone to return at a safe height.

8. Prevent

You should see if your remote has a button that will make the drone stop and hover in place.

And while it is a feature to be used in the latter case, you should also learn how to cut off the power of your drone’s engines in case of an emergency.

Also have spare parts and tools in hand nearby, so you can make repairs when you are using and continue with the planned activities.

9. Training

The next step is by your drone in the air cautiously. First, consider using flight simulation software.

There are a few ways to do training. You can try Real Drone Simulator for free on your Windows PC. Another form of training is in a large, remote location, like a well-known site.

10. Putting the drone in the air

So now that you know how your drone works, how to activate its emergency safety features and how long it can fly with the fully charged battery. All ready? Not yet.

Do not take your drone to overcrowded public areas. In addition to being prohibited for amateur drones, using the equipment in public areas can be very dangerous. Train in farther away places with fewer people.

11. Keep your drone in sight.

The rule of thumb for piloting a drone is to keep it always in sight. Undoubtedly, by maintaining eye contact, you will be able to see potential obstacles or hazards better, and you can certainly avoid accidents.

12. Avoid obstacles

The most common way people hit their drones is to distract themselves while they fly. Therefore, both in training and in use in itself, pay close attention to what you are doing.

You can circumvent obstacles, or simply stop when you detect something blocking your path. Make sure the sensors are just in front or on various sides of your aircraft.

Also beware of birds. Animals hear frequencies different from humans. As birds communicate using sonar, their drone’s visual positioning system can be interpreted by other territorial birds as a sign that it is moving in its territory, and unexpectedly this may cause an accident.

13. Watch out for the wind

Be careful of the wind when your drone is flying. Avoid by your drone in the air on windy days and in more difficult conditions such as on heavy rainy days. Prefer sunny and windless days.

14. Manual mode

To learn how to use manual controls, you need a lot of training. The left control adjusts the altitude and rotates the drone, while the right control is used to move forward, back, left or right.

Once you have learned how to use the hand controls, you can work with the automated flight modes that are included in many modern drones. You can practice automated routes, including perfectly circular orbits. Different aircraft will have different automated flight modes, so you should spend some time checking each option.

15. How to use the camera of a drone?

You may want to capture images with your drone. After all, that’s the big reason they’ve gotten so popular around the world: Their built-in cameras. The news that may surprise you is that there is as much to learn about the camera as it does about the drone itself. The latest drone cameras capture non-distorted images and videos, making beautiful videos and photos.

Just like on the floor, the settings you will use to capture photos and videos are decidedly different. Drone cameras are built much like smartphones . Most have primary lenses with apertures for low noise images.

To get a proper shutter angle for video, you’ll need to add a neutral density filter (ND) for flights in bright light conditions. Keep in mind that 1/48 second shutter speed is ideal for 24 fps video, and a rate of 1/60 second for 30 fps. It is necessary to cut off the amount of light entering the lens, as this will keep you in proper exposure. The most recommended filters are those of Polar pro.

You do not have to worry about the neutral density filter for photos unless you’re interested in mixing the appearance of long exposure photography with an aerial perspective. For most photos, you will need to stop moving the drone and use a short shutter speed for clearer exposure.

In addition to the camera settings, you should be confident with the physical controls used to adjust exposure and tilt. Some newer drone models, which include the zoom feature, also have a lever to set the viewing angle, that is, they can recreate the dolly zoom effect.


Flight Checklist

First of all, make sure everything is OK with your drone before you fly. Follow this checklist before each flight:

A day before the flight

    • Charge drone batteries and remote control;
    • Check for firmware updates;
    • Confirm that the contents of the memory card are loaded to the computer in the etest format;
    • Check the weather forecast for planned time and place;
    • Make sure the planned location has no current flight restrictions.

On the day of the flight

    • Check the calibration of the compass in place;
    • Check the GPS lock, battery status, and memory card before taking off;
    • Visually inspect the aircraft and its propellers; look for any cracks in the plastic or other potential problems;
    • Ensure that your smartphone, with the application downloaded, is fully charged before takeoff;
    • Confirm the manual controls working properly immediately after takeoff.

These are the basic steps before each flight. And you can have more things to check out. For example, if you use filters, make sure everything is okay with them, or if you have a drone with interchangeable lenses support, make sure you have the right lenses with you.


Other safety precautions:

  • If you are about to collide with something, first of all, slowdown, not to destroy your drone or hurt someone.
  • Keep your fingers away from the propellers when they are moving.
  • Disconnect and remove the drone battery before performing any maintenance on it.
  • If you are a beginner training indoors, surely tying the drone on something can prevent accidents.

In conclusion, becoming an expert with a drone will happen without major difficulties.