Drones are a growing hobby in the United States. After forecasting, it was predicted that around 1,000,000 drones will be bought in 2016. Due to the big increase of drones, some new drone owners are turning a fun hobby into a new career after taking the required Drone Pilot Training courses.
10 Tips For Getting Started
1. Know the rules
Laws regarding drones are constantly being added and changed, but there aren’t many federally enforceable laws that apply to hobbyists; there are more restrictions for professionals.
It’s important for those new to flying drones to understand the laws that do apply to them. Most of the rules for recreational use of drones are put in place for safety measures. Whether or not these types of laws pertain to the owner, these are still good rules to follow:
Don’t fly the drone if it’s not fully charged; the pilot obviously wouldn’t want the battery to die and it crashes.
Don’t fly over restricted areas. Airports and stadiums are good examples of where not to fly. Don’t fly the drone anywhere where if it were to fall that it could hurt another human.
Never pilot the drone farther out than the pilot can see it. The owner needs to be able to navigate it at all times.
2. Find an open area for practice
The first time the owner uses their drone can be a little challenging. Play it safe and choose a day when there are good weather and almost no wind to take the drone for a spin through the air.
An open terrain is best, so just in case, there’s an accident the pilot will want to choose a place that won’t damage any property or hurt anyone. Also, try to ascend and descend in areas free of tall trees, buildings, and power lines.
3. Practice, practice, practice
As with any new hobby, it’s important to start to slow and progress when ready. Taking a small period of time to understand how to operate controls can make a significant difference in safety and in picture quality.
The pilot should begin hovering the drone no higher than their personal stature, then increase in five-foot increments as they gain more confidence. Next, it’s time to get a handle on the pitch, throttle, and yaw.
4. Set aside a savings fund for the drone
Even with all the practice in the world, accidents can and will still happen. A gust of wind can come out of nowhere and knock the drone off course and into a tree. The spare parts cost money of course, so it’s good to have little savings to support the hobby.
If the interest in the hobby grows, so will the costs of keeping it going. Upgrading equipment over time is a given.
5. Get insurance
As the pilot’s skill and confidence level grow, they will want to invest in more expensive equipment. Most of the better brands of drones offer insurance plans in case the pilot crashes the drone or the parts break. It’s not a bad idea for owners of a drone to pay into an insurance plan at the time of purchase.
6. Upgrade equipment over time
As stated before most drone owners will want to upgrade their gear after they continue in their hobby. It’s a bad idea for them to start with the most expensive kinds first since their lack of experience could cost them a pretty penny.
7. Look for resources
Drones are growing trend and not the most common hobby in the US…yet. If piloting a drone becomes a favorite hobby, the owner of the drone can get advice about maintenance and improving skills in one of the many forums or blogs online dedicated to drones and UAVs.
8. Have a set routine for each flight
There’re several steps a drone owner can take to help ensure a safer, easier flight for their drone.
Check the weather forecasts to make sure there are no impending storms and the wind is under control.
Visually check all equipment to make sure everything will go according to plan. It’s especially important to make sure the propeller seems to be functioning properly and hasn’t gotten dirty from a previous flight.
An obstruction in the propeller could mean a bad day for the pilot and the drone. Get the camera on the appropriate settings before launching it. The pilot should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes while manning the drone. They should also check to make sure the battery is charged.
9. Get used to flying manually
A lot of today’s drones come with built-in GPS that allows the pilot to be less of a pilot and more of a supervisor. It’s crucial that the owner knows how to fly the drone without the use of GPS as it isn’t always available or 100% accurate.
10. Turn a hobby into cash
Flying a drone for pure fun is great, flying a drone for money is even better. In time, the owner’s photography should improve and that could mean more cash in their wallet.
Also, if you switch from being a hobbyist and you start using a drone for commercial purposes you do need to register the drone with the FAA(Federal Aviation Administration) and pay your fee.