You could say crashing your drone is an inevitable experience. It’s kind of like learning to ride a bike.
Whether you’re a seasoned drone piloting veteran or a complete beginner, you should expect an occasional fall from the sky.
A key difference between a pro and a newbie is the frequency of crashes that are likely to occur.
Aside from safety, a key part of flying a drone is simply keeping it in the air. Professional pilots tend to have enough practice and can know what it takes to keep a precious drone in the air and away from the hard ground.
Here are a few tips that could help.
Find your bearings
One of the most common reasons new (and even some experienced) pilots crash their drones is related to disorientation during flight.
It’s fairly easy to find your bearings when the drone is facing away from you (right on the controller means right and left means left). However, when it’s in the air and pointing towards you, everything is turned backwards. You lose track of your direction and, before you know it, your drone suddenly hits a tree.
Keep a lookout for your drone in the air so you can better comprehend which way to steer.
Do a pre-flight check
Avoid flying your drone until you’ve done a pre-flight check. Check that everything is in order. See that the batteries are full, the drone controller is linked to the drone and all other components are good to go.
Try to make sure that you have a strong GPS signal before you take off. That way you should be able to get back to “Home Point” in case of an emergency. You should also check that the drone has been configured according to your preferences.
Keep your eye on the sky
The temptation to peek at your monitor might seem overwhelming. Remember, however, that this can possibly lead to disorientation. You need to look at the drone while it’s in the air when flying. If you’re shooting solo, you may want to ignore the monitor altogether and focus on the drone.
If you happen to crash your drone or break something during your first flying session, don’t give up! Piloting a drone can be difficult for beginners but you may find that the learning curve is not that steep. With some practice, you should be able to land swiftly and make precise turns like a pro.
Watch out for controller malfunctions
A drone flyaway can sometimes occur when the controller’s link to the drone is compromised. There can even be a complete loss of signal due to unforeseen circumstances, making it impossible to control the drone. This can happen for a variety of reasons, one being that there is a malfunction. Either the controller is no longer able to communicate with the drone, or software problems are keeping you from a smooth flight. Sometimes, one of the drone’s motors may fail or a propeller may be faulty.
In this case, expect that the drone will crash, particularly if you fail to spot the error until it’s too late. Do a test run (flying lower to the ground than usual) before actually flying the drone a great distance, in order to minimise damage when the crash occurs.
Avoid electromagnetic areas
Drones can sometimes start to go haywire once there’s an abundance of electromagnetic interference. Because of this, it’s best to stay away from high-voltage power lines, commercial buildings with many antennas or cell phone towers. These can cause the signal from your drone to be compromised, leading to a crash.
Similarly, evaluate for poor weather conditions or flight distances that are beyond your drone’s capabilities. These are also common factors that can lead to crashes.
Set your home point
Make sure that you set your home point. This is the point that a drone will automatically fly back to if the batteries are too low or if it loses signal. You may also manually activate the RTH (Return To Home) feature if you want your drone to come back to you. You can set a dynamic home point if you’re on a boat or other moving object. You can also specify an RTH altitude, however, make sure it’s higher than the highest object in the area or the drone might bump into things as it flies back.
Indoor flying is for pros
Flying a drone indoors is a whole new experience. It’s also much harder. If you’re a beginner, avoid flying indoors in order to try and prevent damage. Build up your skills and practice outdoors until you’re a competent drone pilot that’s skilled in different areas of drone flight. If available, you might also want to try flying in ATTI Mode as indoor flights often mean no GPS.
Just because you’re probably going to crash your drone, it doesn’t mean that you have to crash often.
There are plenty of drone courses and drone training programmes that can help you develop your drone skills to a point where you can effectively apply them in an industrial environment or for a professional career.
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