Drones or Quadcopters are the glimpses of tomorrow today. Whether you fly it for hobby or as a profession, you are sure to have a story to tell in the future. But a machine that can carry over 660 pounds and go as fast as 250 kilometers per hour is not just a toy. So you need to have some skills and knowledge of flying to learn how to fly a drone like a pro.
Flying a Quadcopter Like a Pro
Everyone knows that you need to fly a lot to be a good pilot. But that is the fun part. It is the boring part that gets people in trouble. And that is learning about the rules and regulations of flying, the conditions of weather and the maintenance of your bird. So here we are going to focus on that furthermore. Check out some of the best quadcopters for pros
Here are some rules of thumb
- Do some pre-flying check. Make sure that your drone is in its top condition. Lubricate the propellers and other parts of the camera neck. Any friction can lead to vibration during the flight which can cause internal damage and bad photography. Check for anything in the body that makes you uncomfortable. Carefully check the battery, watch for lumps or punchers on the body.
- Fly with a team. Always have teammates for being up to date about the latest drone technology and apps available.
- Stay below 400 feet. Aviation authorities generally recommend staying below 400 feet to avoid collision with any manned vehicle, I mean aircraft.
- Keep your drone in sight at all times even if you have a camera. Be very cautious if it gets out of sight.
- Don’t fly over people, cars or animals
- Don’t fly at night even if you have a night light.
- Don’t fly near any airport, military base, the government of private property.
- Try not to make a bad eye.
Do your research
Different countries and states have different rules about drones. There are places where you can fly your bird freely just by following some simple rules and there are also places where you have to get a permit for flying. And in places like Dubai, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia it is totally banned. Sad, isn’t it?
In the USA, you can get certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) by giving part 107 test for commercial use. With this, you are permitted to make money as a drone pilot. For its preparation, you can go to Remote Pilot 101 or check FAA Regulations for Drones to learn about US laws for drone flights.
So yes, legality largely depends on where you are going to fly your drone.
What the FAA says?
- If your drone is between .55lbs (250gm) to 55lbs (25kg), you have to get registered under the FAA. It is very easy, go to the FAA website. Give your information about serial numbers, stuff, and register. It makes you accountable to them.
- If you don’t abide by the rule, they can fine you up to 32000$ and jail time. What? Yeah, so don’t take the risk.
For Commercial pilot
The frustrating thing is that the FAA does not have any structured system for drone flying. We are giving the basic requirements to fly a drone commercially. You can visit the Drone Law Journal for further research.
- As they don’t have a current system you have to apply for an exemption. You can hire a lawyer or if you want you can research it for yourself that how the next steps should be handled. You have to fill out the papers, customize it and submit it to the FAA. Then you wait (it can be up to 6 months).
- In this time you can get your N number which is a paper process. Again you have to fill some paper and send it to the FAA and after some time you will get your N number. Hopefully, it will not take that much time.
- The next thing is that you have to get a full-size pilot license. Yeah, it’s absurd.
These steps will hopefully get your license.
** It should be mentioned that as long as you fly according to the rule of thumbs you should be completely fine.
Watch The Weather
- Don’t fly in the rain. You don’t want water in your drone even if it is waterproof. It lessens your drones speed and its life.
- Try to avoid flying in the wind. If you are not an expert most probably you will end up crashing. If you get your drone too far in the wind your battery might end coming back while fighting the wind.
- Get a little bit geekier and care about the humidity too. Even on a fine day if humidity is close to 1 then you can have a wet drone coming back after flight for the humidity.
- Try not to fly in too many hot days as the drone has to create way more lift in the thin air and the hot weather can even heat up the battery or other electronic parts ultimately damaging the drone.
Learning Air Maps
Learning to read the air maps is important especially for commercial use. Some guidelines are given below.
- You cannot fly in the class Bravo (class B) airspace without permission from the control tower. It is marked with a solid blue line in the maps. And it can have shelf up to 4(four). Don’t go close to it if not commercially needed.
- Then we have the class Charley (class C) airspace. It has usually only one shelf. You must have permission to fly in that zone.
- Then comes class Delta (class D) airspace. It is denoted by blue dash lines. You must also obtain permission to fly in this area.
- Class Gulf (class G) airspace is uncontrolled airspace where you can fly without prior permission.
- Class Eco (class E) airspace is controlled airspace where I will need permission. Denoted by a fading magenta line.
- Military bases are marked by blue hash marks
You also have to learn about AGL, MTL, loading and performance and operations.
By now you must be feeling that the flying thing is getting too geeky and hard. Fear not because technology is here to save you.
Almost everything that we have recommended to maintain above can be easily done by a good drone app. Weather, legal airspace, drone news, autopilot and many other things can easily be maintained with a simple drone app
We are listing here 5 best drone apps according to our experiences.
- Drone Deploy
It is so far the best app in our experience. It has multiple versions. There is a free, 100$, 250$ and a 500$ pack. It is actually a surveying tool. You can have a 3D image with it.
It will give an overwhelming amount of information. The high price tag is not for everyone. Only commercial users will need that much of information.
Especially good for agricultural users. It can measure the health of the crops and tell you where to look for problems.
- DJI GO
It’s free. It is incredibly smart and it allows high camera control.
- Free Flight 3
It is specifically for the parrot drone family. It’s awesome and Autonomous features cost only 20$.
- 3DR SOLO
It updates the firmware automatically unlike another app like the DJI. It is incredibly customizable. It also does augment reality and geo-fences.
It’s free. It keeps you up-to-date about all the drone news and very good for recreational use. There is another version of this app is certified by the FAA. It tells you precisely where you can fly and where you cannot.
So yes, things have gone a bit hard. But hey, not that hard too. Especially when you have all the technology to assist you. Read how you can take care of your drone to make it live longer. Cheers!