Investing in a drone is an exciting opportunity, but putting it to good use is a matter of understanding your device and preparing for your adventure right. There are several things to pay attention to before flying a drone, which either involve managing the machine itself or using apps and websites to plan ahead.
Below you’ll find five aspects of your drone adventure that should be at the top of your checklist. The aim is simple. Get to know your drone and how to make the most of your next expedition together.
1. The Model Matters
A good plan should start with buying the right device. The market’s high-tech options promise great experiences, but if you travel a lot and want to be able to move easily without being weighed down by excess luggage, consider a light, practical drone. The best pocket drones for travel will probably be the best value for money.
Check out the Holy Stone Hs160 Shadow Drone or similar devices. It folds to the size of a smartphone, while offering, among other capabilities, a 720p HD camera, 3D VR mode, and Gravity Sensor mode that enables drone control by simply moving your phone.
Explore specifications suited to your purpose. Think about what you want to get out of your drone. With research, you should be able to pinpoint the perfect device among the dozens that exist for all kinds of operators.
2. A High Battery Life Demands Care
Another thing to keep a close eye on is the battery. This is something that limits even the most powerful drone technology. Generally, expect to have 10-20 minutes maximum, especially to take pictures and videos.
Various factors can reduce this further:
- Recording alone drains the battery.
- Flight styles that include loops and tricks draw more power.
- Weight adds to the strain.
- Wind and humidity can make flying more draining and even damaging.
Forethought and adjustments to the device and your methods can tackle such problems. Firstly, remove components you don’t need, like prop guards, as they add unnecessary weight. If you are going for aerial tricks, leave the camera behind too.
Then make sure you take care of the machine and pilot it carefully. Flying a drone well without wasting energy determines how long you can enjoy it for on a single trip. Of course, you can buy extra batteries too and switch them out when necessary.
3. Check the Weather Before Flying a Drone
We’ve already mentioned that humidity can damage the drone and its battery, but weather conditions can disrupt your journey in so many other ways, including travel plans and supplies. Channels and websites like AccuWeather are decent sources of information, but you’ll get more out of specialized technology like mobile apps.
UAV Forecast is one of the best programs to invest in, completely focused on weather and flight information. Hourly local forecasts, GPS satellite data, and color-coded maps are only the tip of the luxuries you can look forward to.
Any detail you need to know about an area’s climate anywhere in the world, this software will provide it with impressive accuracy. When making plans, consider factors like visibility, wind, and temperature so a storm or heatwave doesn’t take you and your equipment by surprise.
4. A Flight Plan and Knowledge Are Essential
Make sure that aeronautical awareness and travel management are your priorities when it comes to planning your journey, especially through the air. Apps available on both Android and iOS are your best options, but websites can help as well.
AirMap is a must-have mobile app for drone operators. It provides airspace rules, alerts, and authorization tools for different locations. This way you won’t violate boundaries or fly into a plane. You can also plan the drone’s path, down to the altitude, duration, and demands mentioned above.
Considering AirMap and its partners from the SESAR JU GOF U-space project performed the first successful international drone flight from Finland to Estonia in 2019, their app and all its specialized features are worth the effort.
In terms of online domains, make sure to check out the UAV once again as a leading source of updates, guidance, and tools related to the drone industry. There’s also the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which brings corporate and casual enthusiasts together.
Apart from serious industry news, it also has an educational domain: Know Before You Fly. It gives recreational users access to key dos and don’ts, including what organizations to approach and how to fly safely around people, vehicles, and controlled airspaces.
5. You May Need a Drone License
In terms of official requirements, when setting yourself up as an operator, it’s important to make sure you’ll be flying legally. Since each country tends to have rules of its own, investigate the matter long before starting out with your drone. It may be that you need a license to fly it, which can take some time to get.
In the US, a FAA drone license is essential for models of 0.55 pounds or more. Once registered as a recreational user through the institution’s website, mark your device with the number provided, keep proof of registration on you at all times, and closely follow regulations.
Another important box to tick before flying a drone in a particular area is finding out whether you’re allowed to do so. If you just want to hone your flight skills, you could join organizations like the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), where you’d be free to play as much as you want.
Controlled airspaces, on the other hand, need authorization. Venturing into them for aerial shots and releasing your drone without permission can lead to disruptions, not to mention hefty fines and legal action against you.
Prepare Before You Fly
Start with the technological basics, such as choosing, maintaining, and learning to operate the right model. Then compile apps and websites that provide all you’d need to know in terms of flight plans, weather reports, and permissions.
Whether you’re a photographer, modeler, or high-tech adventurer, knowledge and preparation ensure maximum entertainment when flying a drone.
Here are some of the best drones for photography you can buy, as well as the situations they suit the most.
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