Toronto Tech Insider 101: Understanding Drones

Buying a drone brings fun to a whole new level. It allows its user to have a new perspective on their surroundings. It allows both photographers and videographers from Drones Toronto to get videos and images that will surely leave viewers breathless. However, if you have just bought a drone, make sure to register it before flying it into the sky.

Moreover, if you are also flying your drone for the first time, it is essential to know first the basics of flying a drone to avoid crashing and destroying it. Below we have collected safe-flying tips that you can apply when flying the expensive gadget.

aerial view photography of island surrounded by sea

Know Your Drone.

Before flying your drone, it would only take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with your drone. It’s best to learn first about the controls, basic settings, and battery performance. It’s also beneficial to make some research about air traffic in your local area as well as drone rules. Even if you have the basic knowledge of flying a drone, it is still essential to become a master of it. The good thing is that one only needs a short amount of time of constant practice to become a pro. If you are having difficulties learning the basics, you can start practicing using a drone simulator or set the drone into ‘beginner mode’ to automatically restrict the drone speed as well as maximum altitude. Familiarizing yourself with your drone also helps build up confidence before putting the drone into a full-fledged flight.

Drone Controls.

A lot of drones use standard controller layout that usually consists of control sticks and buttons. However, some controllers differ in their appearance, but always remember that the basic controls are exactly the same, so don’t get easily intimidated. When you push the left joystick, it will cause the drone to fly up. Pushing the left joystick down would cause the drone to descend. Furthermore, pushing the left joystick from left to right or vice versa would rotate the drone to the left and right, respectively.

On the other hand, the right joystick allows you to control the drone’s head movements. When you push the right joystick down, up, right, and left, it would make the drone move backward, forward, right, and left, respectively. If you’re taking an Aerial Photography from Drones Toronto, some controllers provide buttons for camera control. Specific buttons are assigned to take photos while some are for recording. In some models, one can also have the option to tilt or pan the camera for a better view. So if you have bought a pretty advanced controller, then it’s better to read the manual first or watch a video tutorial on how to use your controller properly.

Start slow.

While reading the manual sounds like a daunting task, this part should not be taken for granted. It is an essential step to avoid crashing your expensive toy. If you feel like you are now comfortable with the controller and now familiar with the basic settings, start flying your drone in a less populated area to avoid any distractions. Moreover, start by taking a low test flight and do everything to resist the temptation of doing too much during the early stage. Keep practicing and build up more experience and confidence.

Perform maintenance checks.

Performing a quick maintenance check is also essential before each flight, even if you have already become comfortable flying your drone around. It’s like taking your car for servicing before hitting the road to avoid unexpected damage. The first thing you need to check is your drone’s battery. Make sure that you have fully charged them before flying your drone as well as bringing some spares. Check also each of your drone’s propellers and look for any signs of wear and tear or if they looked loose. In case you discover something troubling, you should not fly your drone and call the manufacturer for assistance.

Keep the drone in view.

As a newbie, you should not fly your drone out of your sight. Furthermore, according to FAA guidelines, it is illegal to fly your drone beyond your line of sight, so it is vital to restrict your flying according to FAA standards. Moreover, avoid flying your drone during the night or during adverse weather conditions since it would be hard to monitor your drone’s movement. Be always in control of your drone so make sure to keep your hands on the joysticks. Also, avoid flying your drone while under the influence of alcohol or drugs since it would be tough for you to take proper control of your drone, and there’s a high risk of accidentally crashing it.

Fly only to wide-open spaces.

When flying a drone for the first time, you’ll need a lot of wide-open spaces like the countryside or into a local park. These locations provide the best view when flying your drone since there would be no surrounding trees, buildings, or billboards that could block your sight. However, as we have mentioned earlier, you should avoid flying your drone to populated areas to avoid getting into trouble in case something happens to your drone or to the way you operate your drone.

Also, we highly recommend keeping your drone away from the surrounding animals since they may react unpredictably. There are reports that some animals have intentionally attacked a drone and destroyed it so better not to disturb them.

Avoid no-fly areas.

The FAA sets a limit to the maximum altitude that your drone can explore in the sky as well as setting areas where drone flying is strictly prohibited. The objective is not only to protect people’s privacy but also to protect your drone from being destroyed by other people who feel threatened by your drone. Typically, your drone should not be flying higher than 400 feet. Flying over that limit might cause your drone to trouble other aircraft, such as emergency responders since they also fly at low altitudes. Also, and for obvious reasons, it is also prohibited to fly drones within five miles of an airfield or an airport. You are not even allowed to fly your drone near an active wildfire or around Washington DC, and other specific locations across the US. You can visit the FAA’s website to check out the full list of flight-restricted areas and avoid flying on them at all costs.

Author Credits

Misha Herschorn

Misha Herschorn is the founder and head pilot of First Class Drones. His passion for RC (Radio Control) took off at the age of 13 when he built a gas-powered RC racing car. Since then, he has invested in hundreds of flying RC devices, culminating in his first purchase of a professional drone. Misha has been mastering the art of flying from a young age and has been filming and shooting photos and videos almost his entire life. Misha has gained extensive experience in videography, video production, and aerial cinematography both by practicing hard, being extremely creative, and learning from experts in the industry.   

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