Getting started in drone piloting: all our advice

The idea of ​​owning your own drone is tempting: have you ever dreamed of taking photos worthy of a professional during your travels? Of this unconditional freedom to go on an adventure and explore the most unusual corners? As growing wings is still not possible, drones represent a more than interesting alternative!

They will (over)fly in your place while taking photos and videos. Some models even offer immersive vision via specific glasses for truly unprecedented sensations.

But when you’re just starting out, it can be scary… A quality drone is a significant investment, we’re all terrified of losing control from the 1er flight. Here are all our tips to make the most of this experience if you are a beginner.

With the low-cost, you will start

Of course, the latest models offer the ultimate in performance, with their stress-defying features. But you are still only an apprentice pilot who will be at great risk of crashing his aircraft several times before mastering its operation.

So it would be wiser and more logical, at the beginning, to invest in a mini-drone which does not cost an arm and which can fulfill the role of scapegoat during your learning without regret.

If you have no idea about the most suitable model, know that you can find guides on the Internet on the cheapest drones. Feel free to order spares while you’re at it (propellers, legs, etc.) because you’ll definitely need them at the start.

Don’t worry, everyone – and piloting skills – go through this!

Patience is your best friend

Be warned now: you will crash your device a multitude of times against a wall, the ceiling or even elsewhere, outside, following a very small gust of wind. In any field, the first times are never easy and drone piloting is no exception.

In order to keep your motivation at the top, you will have to arm yourself with patience. Lots of patience. Nothing is obvious at first glance, remember your first hours of driving school or learning a musical instrument, for example. It took you a long time to get your car started smoothly or to play a little tune on your drums or other instrument smoothly. You’ve managed to overcome a lot of hardships in your life, the controls and behavior of a drone is just one more step.

Learn your homework!

In France and abroad, circulation in the airspace is meticulously regulated for obvious security reasons. Future pilot, amateur or pro, you must know the legislation at your fingertips. So as not to worry about the regulations, here is a short summary that will save you from spending the night at the police station:

  • The maximum height allowed for drone flight is 150 meters: exceed it and your device will risk being crushed by a helicopter.
  • Do not fly your aircraft in urban areas such as parks, streets, stadiums or beaches; areas near airfields, military bases or nuclear power plants are obviously prohibited. If you want to buy a drone to do your James Bond, sorry to tell you that it’s dead. Use the website to find out which areas are prohibited in your area, it will save you the day.
  • Unsurprisingly, it is forbidden to film people without their knowledge. If you believe that a drone will allow you to spy on your neighbor or collect naughty images, there again, it’s burnt!
  • Do not fly the device from a moving vehicle. You don’t have to be a genius to know that you could lose your drone and it could crash anywhere and on anyone.
  • As you can imagine, losing your drone is a capital sin even in the case of FPV flights (immersive first-person flights): a second person will have to keep the drone in sight and be able to control it by radio control if you ever lose it. control. The pilot is not allowed to use accessories such as binoculars to keep a direct view of his aircraft.

These laws may seem upsetting to you to say the least, but believe us, they were enacted for your good. Fly responsibly, fellow budding pilots!

Beware of reverse commands

You have started piloting your drone and flying it like a champ. Very proud of your accomplishment, you will be tempted to embolden yourself by performing an ordinary but slightly more complex maneuver such as a U-turn. This is where the party (or rather the torture) begins!

You are not on board your device but you have to act as if: far from obvious when the machine is heading towards you. Because all the horizontal commands are reversed and you will have to do the opposite of what you want. Turn the joystick right and the drone will turn left, turn it left and it will turn right. Easy in theory, but with the remote control in hand, it’s a whole different ballgame.

Even if some drones take this annoying parameter into consideration and manage it through an intelligent processor – like the DJI Phantom which always responds well – it can quickly go into a spin (literally!) with other models.

So you have to learn how to reverse your brains in this case, there is no miracle cure. Arm yourself with patience and perseverance, two qualities that will prove more than useful during your development. It is by forging that one becomes a blacksmith: with practice, the process will become more natural.

Simulators: the economical alternative

If you are still afraid to invest in a drone and the idea of ​​training and crashing it freaks you out, a very fun and realistic alternative is available: drone flight simulators. These are software and mobile applications that allow you to take the reins of a drone and place yourself in extremely realistic flight conditions. A lot of applications exist and some are significant for the savings they will make you realize.

Although fervent defenders of in situ practice, this type of application can be a very good starting point to familiarize yourself with drone piloting, and minimize the risk of crashes.

The basic exercises

You have scrutinized and apprehended your drone but have not yet started piloting as such? Perform these exercises, they will help you master your aircraft and become an ace pilot:

  • Lift-off : Start of course with the takeoff, which consists of landing the drone flat, then perform a takeoff followed by the stabilization of the drone. Give a good boost of gas to pull your machine off the ground then stabilize it at a height of one meter.
  • Landing : Learn to land on a fixed point identified in advance. Reposition the drone at noon so as not to be disturbed by the inverted controls in this critical phase.
  • Basic forward/backward and right/left movements : Stabilize the drone to make these back and forth movements with a start and return point, this will get you used to the sensitivity of the controls.
  • Rotations : Do 360 degree turns, back and forth, before returning to the 12 o’clock position. This will teach you both to adjust your speed and to alternate commands well.
  • turns : Certainly the most delicate exercise because a good turn must remain constant. Once the degree of inclination is found, block the controls so that your drone can make continuous circles. Make turns to the right or to the left and then return to the starting point.

These exercises will allow you to acquire a solid base in the handling of your drone. You will ideally have started your seasoned pilot course.

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