Like the DJI Phantom 3, drones present an exciting new world of opportunities to the citizens. A decade ago, nobody would have ever thought that taking aerial photographs and making aerial videos would have been so easy or even possible. Drones have not only revolutionized the film industry, but has also created a whole new dimension in the racing industry. People are now taking part in drone races that are being held all over the world and are also showcasing their skills by doing aerial stunts with the help of drones. Reports suggest that by the year 2020, most of the postal companies will also be using these drones as a source of delivering orders all over the world. So there is no doubt that drone is a powerful tool that will even get better in the years to come. But I would like to quote a dialogue from the film Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Like all the other technologies, if drones are not used with proper knowledge and care, then it can be a dangerous assert as well. So it is important to have a basic idea before flying the drone.
- Research the Federal Laws
In most of the countries, where drones are getting popular, have their own set of rules and regulations regarding the flying of the drones. In the US, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working to create a set of rules that will ensure the safety of the drones as well as the safety of the other people. The few important laws are as follows:
- Drones cannot be flown at an altitude higher than 400 feet at any time.
- Drones cannot be flown within the 5 miles radius of the airport
- Drones are prohibited to fly near military bases
- Drones should not interfere with the manned aircraft
- Drones are forbidden to fly near crowded areas in order to minimize casualties in case of mishap.
- Knowledge of Your Drone
Before flying a drone, one should have a complete knowledge regarding the drone that he or she is about to fly. The person should be aware of the capabilities and limitations of the drone. Like, at what altitude the drone can fly, what is the top speed of the drone? How fast drone can ascend and descend. Knowing about the hovering precision is also very important, so that you can understand how far the drone will drift if told to remain steady in one position. Last but not the least, one should have a complete information regarding under what weather conditions drone can be flown.
- Knowing about the Battery Capacity
If you are using industrial drones for your business, make sure that the battery is fully charged and is set to take off. If you suspect that the battery may have some issues, then contact the drone manufacturer’s customer support for quick help. Some drones have battery meter that makes sure that you have knowledge regarding the battery life of the drone. If not, then experiment with shorter flights before attempting out farther. Keep in mind that if your drone says that it has a flight time of approximately 30-35 minutes, then that doesn’t mean that if will fly for 30-35 minutes as flight time is mostly depended on other variables as well like speed altitude and current weather conditions.
- Inspect the Drone
Before flying the drone, it is recommended to inspect the drone first physically. It is important to do that because you can check for loose parts and damaged areas as well. Also make sure that the propellers are in contact with the drone and will not come out during the flight. The other parts that need to be examined are the battery pack and camera gimbal. Make sure that the battery pack is fixed in its lock so that it won’t fall off during the flight. The camera gimbal should also be examined properly so that the camera won’t fall off during the flight of the drone. If some parts are found broken or damaged then it is advised to replace them before flying the drone for good results and to avoid any accident.
- Charged Controller
It is important to have controller fully charged. If not then charge it first. Otherwise controller will get unresponsive, which will lead to the fail landing of the drone and it might get damaged or in worst case scenario completely destroyed.
- Calibration of Drone
Ensure that the drone is properly calibrated before flying it. If not, then calibrate it properly so that controller and drone are properly synchronized. This feature will also help the drone to land back safely without facing any hindrance. The GPS on drone will make sure that the drone will be in the range of the controller and will respond to the commands given to it with the help of the controller. This feature also helps the drone to avoid getting near trees and telephone wires.
- Check Weather Conditions
In order to fly a drone, it is important to have friendly climatic conditions. If weather conditions are unfavorable, then it will affect your drone flying experience. The perfect weather conditions to fly a drone would be sunny and moderate wind. It is advised not to fly a drone in winter as it will freeze the batteries and will also affect the other parts of the drone. Be sure to refer the owner’s manual in order to have a complete knowledge of favorable weather flying conditions.
- Perform Low Altitude Test
In order to make sure that drone and the controller are working properly, test the drone by flying it at low altitude. Ensure that the drone is ascending and descending properly, moving in all directions and rotating from side to side. If everything looks fine then fly it at higher altitude. If not, then look for the problem area and try to mend the problem before taking a final flight.
By following all these precautionary measures not only your flying experience will increase, but also the life of the drone will increase by a fair margin.
4 Things to consider before flying the drones. (2014). Retrieved from Drone Experience Indonesia: http://www.droneexperienceid.com/drone/4-things-to-consider-before-flying-the-drones.html
5 Features to Consider When Buying a Drone . (2015). Retrieved from Track IMO: http://www.trackimo.com/index.php/en/blog/260-5-features-to-consider-when-buying-a-drone
Amato, A. (2014). 3 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Drone Flight. Drone Life.
Archambault, M. (2015). 10 Things to Check Off Before Flying Your Drone for the First Time. Peta Pixel.
Korey. (2015). Want To Buy a Drone? – 5 Things You Should Know Before You Buy. My First Drone.
Unmanned Aircrafts. (2015). Retrieved from Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov/uas/