Everything you need to know about flying a drone - Part 2

12th October 2017
Lanna Deamer

In part 1 of this article, we discussed everything you need to know about flying a drone. From what exactly is a drone and key terminology, to what is a drone made of and getting ready for your flight.

Part 3 of this article will be posted soon.

Flying basics 1: Getting airborne
Now that your drone is ready and you’re in a good position to start learning how to fly a drone, you can begin getting your drone off the ground.

Take good note - the only thing you need to do right now is get it off the ground. You don’t want to roll it or yaw it - you just want to get it airborne, and practice this until you’re comfortable with it.

The only control you need during this stage is the left stick.

The first thing you need to do is to get an idea of the stick’s sensitivity - to do so, just slightly push the left stick up, until the propellers start spinning. Slowly inch it forward until the drone begins to get off the ground, then push it down again. Repeat a few times, until you’ve got an idea of how much pushing the stick will affect the propellers.

Once you’ve familiarised yourself with your drone’s throttle, you can begin working on lifting the drone off the ground.

To do so, push the left stick up a bit more than before, until you see the drone lifting off. As soon as it’s gone up about a foot, push the stick down, to land it as smoothly as possible.

While lifting it off, your drone might start yawing drifting sideways - it’s important that you don’t attempt any direction controls just yet, as you might crash it. If you notice any unwanted movements, just slowly push the left stick down, and land your drone as safely as possible.

Repeat getting your drone off the ground as much as you need to, getting a bit higher each time.

Flying basics 2: The controls
We’ve already briefly touched on the main directions and how to get them: the yaw, the roll, and the pitch.

To yaw your drone is basically to turn it clockwise or counterclockwise (again, much like turning your car). To do so, you just need to turn your left stick left or right.

To roll your drone is to tilt it sideways. To do so, you’ll need to turn your right stick left or right.

To pitch your drone is to tilt it forwards or backwards, effectively causing it to move ahead or back. To do so, simply push the right stick up or down.

Finally, the left stick is used to get your drone off the ground - push it up, and it goes up, push it down, and down it goes.

Now, once you’ve gotten used to getting it off the ground and back down safely, you can start practicing on the basic roll, pitch and yaw motions.

Flying basics 3: Hovering
After getting your drone airborne and having a general idea of what each stick does, it’s time to practice hovering.

What this means is basically just keeping your drone in a single spot - an important skill to master as soon as you start learning, as it might mean the difference between operating your drone safely, or crashing into people or nearby objects.

To hover, lift your drone slowly off the ground for about a foot and a half. Once there, start making small adjustments with your right stick - rolling and pitching, basically, but we’re talking inches here - until your drone is hovering in a single place.

Depending on your drone, you might need to do very small adjustments, or none at all - always pay attention to the way your drone moves. However, with most drones, you’ll need to keep making small right stick adjustments to keep the drone hovering.

Once you’ve kept your drone in place for a few seconds, slowly get it back on the ground by pushing the left stick back. Again, practice keeping it up for an increasing amount of time each time you lift it off, until you can keep it hovering for about 30 seconds.

Flying basics 4: Changing orientation

After you’ve mastered hovering your drone, you can now begin working on yawing. This is probably the easiest thing to learn, as it involves only minor changes in your drone’s direction.

Once your drone is hovering, slowly push your left stick towards the left, until your drone has made a complete rotation. Yaw it all the way back, then do the same towards the right.

Notice that, as you yaw your drone, it’ll only slightly alter its position. If you think it’s moving too much, you can simply adjust its direction by using the right stick controls.

Flying basics 5: Changing direction
Rolling and pitching your drone will cause it to change its direction.

To begin with, get your drone off the ground and keep it hovering in place.

Next, slowly push the right stick up, until you notice your drone beginning to move forward. It’s important you don’t push it too hard, or you risk losing control of your drone.

Once you’ve gone forward a couple of feet, push the right stick down, and get your drone back to its initial position.

If you notice your drone beginning to lose altitude, push your left stick up - this will increase the throttle and get your drone back to where it was.

Practice pitching your drone back and forth a few times, until you’re comfortable with the controls. Don’t go more than a few feet in any direction - for now, you only need to get accustomed to the basic controls. You’ll have plenty of time to explore later.

Once you’re comfortable pitching, you can start practicing rolling your drone.

To do so, you first need to keep the drone hovering in place. Next, push your right stick slightly to the left, until your drone has moved about a foot.

Then, push the right stick to the right, and bring your drone to its initial position.

Repeat the movements in the opposite direction, the repeat the whole routine. Try to increase the length of the flight to a few feet, but don’t go too much in any directions. Once you’re done, hover the drone in place, then land it slowly.

Just like with pitching, rolling your drone will cause it to lose some altitude. It’s important to give it enough power to keep it airborne. Adjust your left stick as needed.

Source: Jen Reviews

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