Owning a drone can be a fun pass time for some individuals, for others, it can be a good way of earn money.
It’s important that professional drone pilots register their UAV and follow the laws that pertain specifically to them. This article includes a list of “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to drone usage.
- Take a piloting course. Enrolling in a UAV/drone course can help a pilot perfect their skills and learn important safety habits.
- Purchase insurance from the seller. Most of the newer types of drones come with optional insurance from the seller. Because of the certainty of an unwanted crash sooner or later, it’s best to pay a little bit more for the insurance than having to replace the entire drone out of pocket.
- Do have fun. If drone photography is a hobby, don’t take it too seriously in the beginning if the pictures aren’t perfect. Pilots will get better in time and so will the quality of their pictures over time. The main purpose of any hobby is to engage in an activity that is enjoyable and relaxing. It’s hard for pilots to have fun if they are overly-sensitive about their first pictures.
- Launch after a visual check of all equipment. The most important thing to check is the battery life of the drone. After the UAV has been used for a time, the owner will likely notice a difference in how long the battery will last. It’s important that they monitor the drone, so they don’t run out of battery while the drone is mid-air. They should also check the propeller for debris of any kind that could have gotten stuck to the blades in a previously flight. Making sure their camera has enough battery and that the camera has been adjusted to the appropriate settings is a must for getting back great photography.
- Don’t purchase the most expensive drone equipment right off the bat. Even novice and expert drone pilots admit that crashes still happen to them.
- For new pilots, it’s best to start with cheaper equipment and then buy better equipment once they’ve built up their expertise and confidence flying. The pilot can always sell their old drone when it’s time to get a new one and recoup some of their money.
- Don’t fly when the weather isn’t ideal. It can be tempting for a drone enthusiast to want to fly their UAV even when in not-so-perfect weather. If it’s rainy (or looks like it’s going to rain), snowing or the wind is blowing above 15 mph, it’s not the day to take the drone out for a whirl. The pilot should wait for a day that has milder weather conditions to avoid a crash.
- Don’t fly in high-risk areas. Anywhere within five miles of an airport is off limit to drone pilots due to a small but real possibility of interference. Pilots also should avoid areas that are crowded, because they wouldn’t want a crash to occur on top of a fellow human being in case something on the drone malfunctions or weather causes it to fall.
- Don’t rely fully on autopilot. Most new pilots make the mistake of being heavily dependent on the autopilot and GPS system. The problem with this is that GPS isn’t 100% accurate and GPS can fail if there are tall structures blocking the signal. Autopilot isn’t foolproof either. In case it quits working, the owner will need to know how to pilot their UAV well enough to land it safely.