3 Tips for Learning How to Fly Drones

3 Tips for Learning How to Fly Drones

The following contribution is from another author.

Drones are amazing machines that have become very popular over the past few years. No longer are they made for geeks and nerds but are becoming more accessible all the time. DJI for example has some of the best drones for all levels and the price range of modern drones means that anyone who is interested can learn how to fly them.

Beginner drones can range from under $100 up to comprehensive packages of around $1,500 that can be flown by beginners also thanks to intuitive controls systems, settings, and companion apps.

There are some core concepts that you should consider when learning how to fly a drone that will be of great benefit when beginning drone aviation:

  • Learn how they work
  • Practice hovering and rotation
  • Fly at your skill level

As with anything, learning how it works can help you use it better while practice makes perfect before attempting advanced maneuvers, and sticking to your level is essential upon the risk of damaging your aircraft.

Under the Hood

Just like when you buy a car, learning the basics of how it works is a vital part of ownership. Learning how something works can help greatly when it comes to troubleshooting, repairing, and using an item, and drones are no different. Whether you opt for a cheaper model or a high-end machine, they are very similar under the hood, and maintaining your drone will ensure that it lasts longer and you can prevent any issues before they arise.

In the most basic terms, multirotor drones essentially work by utilizing upward and downward thrust provided by propellers attached to an electric motor. The powerful spinning blades are able to counteract gravity to provide lift as two rotors move clockwise and the other two move counterclockwise in order to balance the machine while hovering.

Basic piloting is difficult at first and should you damage your model, specialist sites such as Dr Drone offers excellent repair facilities by trained professionals. On top of that, many of these sites also offer comprehensive guides and articles on the art and science of unmanned aviation.

Practice Makes Perfect

One of the first things you need to do when learning how to pilot a drone is to practice hovering (staying in one place) and rotating the machine. The controls of a drone are quite complex and are controlled by thumbsticks on a standard controller. 

The basic principles of flight apply and as such are pitch, yaw, roll, and throttle:

Throttle; this manipulates the amount of power-driven to the propellers from the motor which directly impacts the speed of the drone.

Pitch; this will tilt the drone forward or backward ready for movement when the throttle is applied.

Yaw; this is a rotation that can be manipulated either clockwise or counterclockwise to change direction.

Roll; similar to pitch, roll tilts the drone to the left or right rather than forward or backward.

One rule of drone flight is that they are easy to learn, but also easy to crash, so before you attempt any type of advanced flight or using the drone for any type of application it is necessary to learn how to use these principles of flight when it comes to your UAV. Some people take to drone control like a duck to water and some take a little longer; from a couple of hours to a week might be how long it takes to learn basic drone flight, but it could take years to master.

Walk Before You Run

Like most things, you need to walk before you can run and drone piloting is no different. Under no circumstances should you attempt advanced flight before learning the basic principles mentioned above. Once you are comfortable with piloting then by all means attempt some advanced flight but try not to overdo it. Not only might you crash your expensive machine but it could also be dangerous if people are in the immediate area.

More advanced models such as the DJI FPV with Goggles V2 have settings for all levels that can either limit or liberate all of the machine’s flight capabilities. DJI FPV for example can engage Normal Mode that limits the speed of the drone, the maneuverability, and warns of nearby obstacles. DJI also offers a virtual training app (DJI GO) with their drones for all models that can be of great use before actually attempting to fly.

Also, while most drone models are very similar in design, they all feel different to fly. Things such as tier weight, rotor balance, aesthetic design, quality of build, and control responsiveness can all impact the feel of the machine so practice basic maneuvers until piloting your drone essentially becomes second nature.


Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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