So you just purchased your very first drone. Do you know how to fly it? Do you want to use it to take pictures? Maybe you want to race it or do tricks with it. Regardless of how you want to fly it, there are a few things you first need to learn how to do before flying a drone like a pro. We are going to lay out a step by step process of how to fly a drone like a pro.
Know the Controls
The most important thing to know when flying a drone is how the actual controls work. You can buy the best and most expensive drone in the world, but if you don’t know which joystick does what, It will soon become a big hunk of garbage. Some drones for beginners and kids safe drones have automatic take-off and landing with the push of a button, but most do not.
The basics of the controller are pretty simple. Generally, the right joystick controls the “roll” or “pitch”. It allows you to move the drone left, right, forward and backward. The left joystick controls the “throttle” and “yaw”. The yaw is the direction that the drone is rotating. In short, push the joystick to the right, the drone will rotate clockwise. Push the joystick to the left, it will turn counterclockwise. This helps with directing which way the drone will fly and helps with the movability of the drone.
The throttle controls the power that the propellers spin. Push the joystick up and the power increases causing more height or speed for the drone. Pull the joystick down and the opposite happens.
It’s widely known that takeoffs and landings are the hardest parts of flying an aircraft. Pilots stress about all the little details when trying to do them. Takeoffs with drones are obviously much different than a plane.
To begin the takeoff, place the drone evenly on the floor or ground. Start off slow and get a feel for the sensitivity of the drone’s power. Simply push the throttle up and watch the drone slowly take off. Only use the throttle so the drone hovers and doesn’t go in any other direction.
Slowly pull the joystick down to lower the power and safely return it to the ground. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable with the speed and sensitivity of the drone.
Once you feel comfortable with getting the drone in the air and safely on the ground, it’s time to try to hover. Get the drone comfortably up in the air and take note of the percentage of power you are using on the throttle. Once it’s in the air, use the right joystick to make minor adjustments when the drone is airborne.
Don’t put too much force on the joystick or the drone can quickly spiral out of control. Hovering is key to taking photographs with drones. Cameras focus best when they aren’t moving so keeping a steady drone is exactly what you need to make sure all your photos come out clear and focused. Try to keep it hovering in place for a few seconds at a time before moving on to the next phase.
Moving the Drone
When you begin to get comfortable with hovering, it’s time to make the drone move! Get the drone in the air, and slowly push forward on the right joystick. This will tilt the drone forward and cause it to move. Slowly release and get it back to a hovering state and move the joystick in the opposite direction to make it move backward. Moving the drone right and left are pretty self-explanatory at this point. Just push the joystick right and make the drone fly to the right, and the opposite to make it fly left.
When the Drone is Facing You
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in the position that the drone will face you. Unless you have a self-adjusting drone, this can cause some confusion. If the drone is hovering and facing you, the controls are flipped. Push the right joystick forward, and the drone will fly towards you. Push it to the right and the drone will fly to the left. Take some time to feel comfortable with this before using the drone in advanced environments. You might find yourself in a situation where you need to land quickly before the battery runs out and the drone is flying in an awkward position so it’s really important you get used to how the controls change depending on the drone’s position.
Final Thoughts on Flying a Drone Like a Pro
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be master drone flyer in no time! Practice the fundamentals of flying and slowly progress to more advanced stuff. Eventually, you’ll be flying the drone through small crevasses and doing mid-air flips! Take a few weeks to practice before showing off your skills to all of your friends and family!
I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.