Planning a drone first flight today?
Taking your first flight with a new drone
Getting your first drone is an exciting moment but you may also feel a little apprehensive if you are a first-time drone pilot at the prospect of losing or destroying your new aircraft.
Following a few simple guidelines will help you have an enjoyable experience and help you to improve your flight skills and aerial photography results over time.
Watch every video you can on YouTube about your aircraft prior to your drone’s first flight and take some notes.
Watch a mixture of user videos and those from the manufacturer of your drone.
The experience of others, good and bad, will help you on your journey to being a great Drone Pilot.
Drone First Flight Tips
This awesome resource gives you a head start on the rules and regulations for getting your drone to any country in the world (including common travel policies for batteries etc.) plus what you can expect to do with it once you get there.
Got to DJI Flying Tips
Before you leave home
Read the drone laws and regulations for your Country and specific location.
You may need to register your aircraft and even pass a drone pilot license test before you can take your drone first flight.
Charge Up Everything!
Charge your drone, the drone batteries, the flight controller and the device (such as your smartphone or iPad) that you will be using to fly.
If you have extra batteries charge those also.
Check the weather!
Check the weather! especially precipitation, visibility and wind speed.
You can get this data easily by downloading one of the Drone APPs.
Drone Buddy is an excellent APP and shows you everything you need to know:
- Weather with Min and Max temps
- Wind Speed (less than 20 MPH)
- Visibility (some drone rules state you must keep your drone within plain sight)
- Precipitation prediction (chance of rain or snow, less than 10%)
- Sunrise and sunset times for your location (some drone rules prohibit night flights)
The app will also alert you to no-fly-zones.
As excited as you may be to get out there and fly if it is raining or too windy then you will have to wait for another day for your drone first flight.
Create a flight plan
When you arrive at your flying location, take some time to look around the area to check for people, obstacles and determine the flight-path along which you will take your first drone flight.
Make sure there are no drone flying restrictions for the location you have chosen.
Take off the gimbal cover.
Set the compass if your drone has one.
Power up your controller then the drone. Set the drone down in a wide-open space facing away from you.
If your drone has an auto take-off mode, it should tell you when it is ready to fly.
Take off and hover at your eye-level for 30 seconds to let the aircraft settle. It will also allow it time to set its return-to-home landing point.
Slowly rise into the air and start to feel the controller functions, as you get more comfortable go higher and further away.
If unexpectedly people or animals approach your flying location or something just doesn’t feel right, land the aircraft and start over.
Shooting your first video or aerial photography
Don’t expect perfect results on your video or aerial photography’s first attempt.
Check our 10 Drone Pilot Mistakes To Avoid guide and videos.
It takes a while for you to be able to fly the aircraft and master the camera and gimble at the same time.
If your drone has cinematic mode, this will give you the smoothest video but this can also slow down the speed and response time of your aircraft, this is another learning curve.
If you turn the drone or move the gimbal to change the view you are recording, do so slowly and progressively otherwise your video will be jerky and difficult to watch if it is spinning too fast for the eye to follow.
US Version Mavic Mini First Time Drone Owner Video
DJI Mavic Mini unboxing and review from first-time US drone owner.
UK Version Mavic Mini First Time Drone Owner Video
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