Did you get your hands on a new drone?

With this guide, I, Nicolle Gallant will help you with everything related to a drone.

When you get a new drone, great that you are following your hobby. However, there are few things that you need to know before you get started!

Typically, you certainly would have questions about everything related to a drone and in this article, I would like to help you address it.

Dji Spark on hand

As it is your hobby, you would need clarity on a lot of things. With this, let’s get started.

There is a high chance that you would want to know how to fly a drone, the terms associated with a drone, the rules pertaining to flying a drone, the apps you might need, if you need a registration for the drone and if you need any other accessories for the drone, where do you shop for or get the knowhow.

For people who haven’t heard of the DJI Go App, you might wonder how it’s working or even learn about the key market players in the drone industry and whom you should follow.

Listed below are some of the high-level questions.

  1. What are the registrational requirements for a drone?

As per the rules mentioned by the Federal Aviation Administration or the FAA, there is a registration required for the drone if the weight is over 0.55lbs and is less than 55lbs.

When you have a mini drone, there are chances that it is lesser than the specified weight and hence, you might not need a registration.

If the weight is above the norms as mentioned above, it is essential that you register the drone before you start flying, as it might lead to civil and criminal penalties.

If you wish to register the plane, the costs associated are approximately $25 and you can finish the online registration process within a span of five minutes.

On registration, you will receive an identification number that you should stick on the drone when you fly it.

 

  1. The rules around drones

There are a few rules around flying of drones, which are as listed below:

  • The drone should not be flown over a height of 400 feet.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that the drone always remains in your line of sight and an easier way to do this is by using a spotter.
  • Ensure that the drone is not in a 5-mile range from the airports. In case it happens to be so, ensure that you reach out to the airport or the control tower and obtain a special permission, as you might be charged for causing danger to an aircraft and the fines are up to $25,000 including jail time.
  • The drone should not come in close quarters to people or stadiums or even racetracks.
  • Flying drones in national parks such as Yosemite or Grand Canyon is not permitted and might attract a fine of up to $5,000 and six months of jail time.
  • The drone should be flown at least 25 feet away from where people are and it is advisable to not fly near unprotected audience.
  • There are certain no-fly zones near infrastructure. Stay away from them.
  • Do not fly a drone and invade the privacy of people by clicking them.
  • Keep the drone away from fires, as it could attract a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Commercial usage of drone is not allowed until you have a Part 107 license. You can know more about Part 107 certificate and the eligibility.
  • It is best recommended that you keep in mind the rules as it will help you stay safe.

 

  1. Have a checklist 

Read a quick reference to the terminologies and jargon involved around drones, such as FPV, R/C, RTF and compass calibration.

 

  1. Know the flying zones

You cannot fly the drone near any sensitive installations or restricted areas. Hence, make sure that you stay far from such areas.

You can navigate to Airmap.io to know more about where a drone pilot can fly and where they cannot.

When you start flying, it is best recommended that you stick to a vast and open space so that your drone does not run into any obstacles.

Fly zones for FPV and Drone Lovers

  1. Learning to Fly

It is recommended that you start learning to fly using a drone flight simulator. The DJI Drone app has an in-built simulator that you can use to learn.

Once you are confident after practicing enough, you can start flying an actual drone.

Check out those videos for the reference:

Mavic Pro

Phantom

 

  1. Resourceful Information

You can refer to a book called ‘Aerial Photography and Videography Using Drones’. It has useful information regarding how to use a drone and all drone-related gear, setting it up, using it, tips and tricks for aerial photography and videography.

Another excellent book is ‘The Complete Guide to Drones’, which helps you understand the terminology around drones, the R/C settings, parts of a drone and the steps involved in building a drone.

Drone Pilot Ground School – Part 107 Prep Course’ is a great resource if you wish to monetize on your drone, as it is essential that you clear the Part 107 exam by FAA.

 

  1. Apps for drones that are useful

Here are a few apps that come handy when you are using a drone:

 

  • AirMap (Free) android | iOS – AirMap provides you information regarding the areas in which you can fly and restricted areas. In case you are flying at a close range of less than 5 miles from an airport, you can get in touch with the control tower of the airport and inform them to avoid any legal or criminal prosecution.
  • UAV Forecast (Free) android | iOS – This app provides information regarding the weather, solar activity (Kp), No-Fly zones and restricted areas.
  • SKRWT ($1.99) android | iOS – The horizontal and vertical distortion that happens when you take photographs using a drone can be fixed using this app.

And finally don’t hesitate the rules and basics of flying drones – it can safe you from crashing your drone and helps avoid unwanted fines.

Remember: There two types of drone pilots - those who already crashed and those who will.

Man holding Dji Mavic Pro on hand