Top 10 Drone Pilot Mistakes
10 Drone Pilot Mistakes that can easily be avoided by following our checklist.
These tips will help to prevent Drone Crashes, lost drones, and poor video results.
Flying too Close to Objects
Number 1 on our list of 10 Drone Pilot Mistakes To Avoid, is to avoid flying too close to objects.
It may be tempting to fly your drone right up to interesting objects but you should only do this after you have practiced your flying skills in wide-open spaces.
Objects such as walls, trees or pylons may be nearer than you can see from your viewpoint and depending upon the proximity sensors on your drone, it’s very easy to fly into something and crash your drone.
Once you have mastered control of the drone, then you can fly close to get cool looking aerial photographs and fly-by videos.
Not Establishing your Flight Path and Aerial Photography Targets
When you get to a new area, before you even take your aircraft out of the bag, spend some time to walk around the location to look for obstacles, people and other hazards.
Next scout out your intended flight path and any scenes, landscapes or views that you want to capture.
The more you plan, the better your end result will be without hours of editing clips together.
Your end video should tell a story of the location you were in.
Check your Lighting
The light in your video will make a huge difference to the look of the end result.
Avoid flying into the sun or point the camera at it, you will most likely just get a washed-out screen.
Consider the time of day you choose to fly, early morning or sunset will give you a more atmospheric movie.
If the sky is bright in the background, the foreground may look contrasted. A simple fix is to fly away from the sun.
Watch some Youtube videos on cinematic aerial footage to learn how the experts take great movies after all your drone is a flying video camera!
Buy more Batteries
Another mistake new drone pilots often make is to only purchase 1 battery.
This will limit your flying time to 15 to 30 minutes which may not be enough to get the full video coverage you need.
We carry 3 batteries and make sure they are all fully charged before setting off on any new drone flight.
Follow the Drone Rules and Regulations
Research and know the Drone Laws for your area or intended flight location.
Pleading ignorance or that you are a new drone pilot is not an excuse and you could face having your aircraft confiscated, a heavy fine and a trip to the local court to explain yourself to a judge.
The rules are there to protect you and others so please learn them!
Check our Drone Directory for links to APPs that will help you to find safe to fly locations.
You may be surprised to find after 15 minutes of great flying that you forgot to hit record on the flight APP.
This can be really frustrating as you may have used up all your battery time with nothing to show for it.
Do Not Fly Too High
As a new Drone Pilot, you will be excited to see how high your aircraft can fly but this does not always make for great video footage as it becomes difficult to see any detail or landmarks.
It is also easy to lose control of your drone as the wind speed can be much faster the higher you go so you will need more battery to return home safely fighting against a headwind.
Speaking from experience, we lost our first drone to high winds where it was unable to maintain the flight path and disappeared into a forest of trees never to be seen again!
The best cinematic shots use the movement of your drone to create the flying experience.
Insert the SD Card
Bring your SD Card with you and don’t forget to put it in the drone before taking off.
Drones like the Mavic Mini DO NOT have any internal memory storage capacity so they are entirely dependent upon the SD card to record the photographs and video.
Larger drones like the Mavic 2 Pro do have internal storage up to around 8Gb.
Check your available capacity. If you have already recorded video, download it to your computer or cloud storage and free up space on your SD card before you set off on your next flight.
This video is from a Majic Mini first flight.
On your first flight, you may make jerky camera movements and short shots. These are not good for videos.
Learn to take longer shots and sweep from point A to point B, just like you see in the movies.
There is also the Drone Reveal Shot where you fly along a cliff and then expose the ground beyond.
Take some time hovering the drone to just focus on using the camera and gimbal controls so that you understand what they do.
Most drones also have a gimbal reset to get you back to level set.
Run Battery Too Low
You have probably watched the maximum range test videos on YouTube when Drone Pilots fly their drones very far away and barely get them to return home before they auto-land in the middle of nowhere.
Whilst this makes for entertaining viewing, losing your new drone will be a tough experience.
Our recommendation is to fly the drone back to your location when it gets down to 30% to 40% of battery left and then land at 20%
Being far away you may encounter unexpected high winds that require you to throttle up for props. This will lead to an extreme battery drain.
As per the rules, you must be able to visually see your drone at all times so it makes no sense to be far away when the battery is getting low.
We hope these tips of the top 10 Drone Pilot mistakes to avoid help you to get better videos and more pleasurable flying experience.