Drones have grown substantially in popularity over the past few years. They are effective and efficient for use in commercial settings but it’s also a ton of fun to pick up flying as a hobby. One of the best parts of being involved in the industry is that it’s always growing and changing and there is always room to challenge yourself and improve your skills.
If you’re looking to up your game in the flying department, first check out the rules and laws pertaining to flying in your area and follow them and check out these suggestions on how to improve your piloting!
Invest in Formal Training
There are a variety of options out there that teach you how to fly your drone. These courses are a great option because they give you the ability to learn firsthand from someone else’s experience while also working on your skillset based on what you are learning. Formal training options are also great because the learning curve isn’t quite as steep. There is nothing worse than trying to learn something new and becoming overwhelmed and frustrated with it. Many courses are over the course of a weekend and can significantly impact your skills in a short period of time.
Stay tuned for DroneStripe partnered training!
Start With A Smaller Drone
Just like when you learn to drive, you don’t want to jump into the biggest vehicle around. If you’re new to drone operations, start with a smaller drone and work your way up in size over time and as your skillset grows. According to the pros, if you can effectively control a smaller drone, you’ll be able to effectively control a big one. Another benefit to starting with a smaller drone is from a financial perspective. Smaller drones are significantly more budget friendly and when learning accidents do happen! It’s an easier pill to swallow if you damage a drone that costs significantly less than one that costs $1000+.
Watch and Learn
You can learn almost anything online through video! Check out YouTube or other sources for instructional how-to videos where you can visually see the steps drone operators take to fly safely. You’d be surprised how much you can learn just from watching!
Take It One Step At A Time
We totally get it- new technology is fun and exciting to play with! It can be really tempting to launch your drone and start whizzing around off the hop. Try to avoid the temptation and instead take things one step at a time. Start with the basics. Take off, hover, and land. Then move on to rotations, rolls and circling around. Getting familiar with the way your drone operates and how the controls feel in your hands will serve you well in the long term.
Make Use Of Landing Targets
Landing targets are a cool way to prepare for situations where you may not have much room to work. When you can precisely land on a target, take off and fly to the next target and land again you’ll be mastering your skills! When you find yourself in a sticky landing situation (and yes, almost all pilots do) you’ll have the skills needed to make it safely back to the ground.
Practice Checking Out A Point Of Interest
If drone photography is a passion or goal of yours you’ll definitely need to practice this one. Choose a point of interest and practice circling your drone around a centre of focus on your point of interest. While doing this you’ll learn how to balance your yaw and roll to create a smooth flight path and clear, precise photos.
Practice Flying With FPV
FPV or first person view gives you a live feed of what your drone is seeing. By practicing with FPV you’ll get a feel for how different movements affect the angle and view the camera has. Practice flying both fast and slow while navigating different directions. Another great test with FPV is taking photos and then trying to recreate them without using FPV. This challenging tip will advance your skill set quickly.
Match Your Drone To Your Skill Level
Not all drones are created equally and one of the biggest mistakes operators make is purchasing a drone that is too advanced for their skillset. Your flying skills are important to your success as a drone operator but it’s equally important that you know the parts of your equipment, how to use its features and how to take advantage of its capabilities. If you start with a drone that’s appropriate for your experience, you’ll learn to be a better operator AND have the confidence you need to move up to more advanced models when you’re ready.
Remember, Practice Makes Perfect
As with anything else, practice makes perfect. Log your flights and take notes of mistakes or things that you want to work on so you can focus on those first during your practice sessions. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.
There is no handbook when it comes to improving your operating skills. The best thing you can do is recognize your skills and learning style/speed to create a plan that works best for you.
Do you have a tip to improve your flying skills that you’d like to share with our community? We’d love to hear from you!