How to Fly a Drone for the First Time

February 28

Learning how to fly a drone for the first time is equal parts challenging and rewarding.

We know firsthand that flying your new drone can be daunting. There is a lot to learn, especially if you are hoping to earn your remote pilot’s certification, and a little bit of practice can go a long way.

To help out, we’re going to go over a few important things you need to keep in mind when getting started as a drone pilot.

Getting a new drone is always exciting! Whether it’s a fun toy or a serious piece of commercial equipment, it can be tempting to take to the skies immediately.

But flying a drone takes practice, and things like excessive wind or a rough landing can quickly turn your new drone into scrap. If you want to master the basics of flying your drone without risking damaging it, make sure you:

  • Stay patient. Multi-rotor drones are usually simple to fly, but it takes practice to build your skills and confidence. Avoid putting pressure on yourself and take breaks if you are getting frustrated.
  • Fly within your skill level. Whether it takes a few minutes or a few hours to get the hang of flying your drone, it’s important to work within your ability level. It’s better to spend your time honing the basics rather than getting ahead of yourself and crashing your new drone.
  • Try your drone’s beginner mode. Many drones (especially from DJI) offer a beginner mode that limits the altitude and speed. A beginner mode can help you maintain control of the aircraft until you’re feeling more confident in your abilities.
  • Keep the drone in your line of sight. In Australia, you’re required to operate a drone within your direct line of sight at all times. Flying beyond your line of sight is dangerous to other people, and it makes it much harder to avoid obstacles like trees or powerlines.


Drone Controller Layout

Most of the consumer drones on the market use a similar controller layout with two joysticks and a range of buttons.

The two joysticks are the most important part. The left-hand joystick controls the drone’s lift. Pushing up on the left stick causes the drone to ascend, and pulling down on the stick causes the drone to descend.

Pushing to the left or right will cause the drone to rotate in that direction.

The right-hand joystick controls the direction of motion. Pushing up, down, left or right causes the drone to move in the respective direction.

Most drones have a “head” that determines the direction, so you’ll need to master rotating the drone with the left stick while also controlling its motion with the right stick.

Your controller will also have a selection of other buttons, but these have different functions depending on the model. The extra buttons typically allow you to do things like take a picture, record a video, return to base or access settings.


Where to Learn How to Fly a Drone for the First Time

If you’re still learning how to fly your drone then it’s best to find a large, open space to practise. Sporting ovals and local parks are ideal, just make sure you go at a time when the area will be mostly free of other people.

For safety reasons, you aren’t allowed to operate a drone within 30 metres of others. Also pay attention to any obstacles around and above you, like trees, power lines and buildings. The last thing you need to do is check the weather. Drones are easiest to control in very calm conditions, especially if you’re operating a less powerful consumer model.

You should also be aware that wind gusts become more severe the higher you fly. So, even if the wind on the ground is gentle, it can be much stronger 10 or 20 metres in the air. For your first few flights, it’s best to wait for very calm days and to keep your drone close to the ground where it’s less likely to be damaged if you lose control.


Learn How to Fly Drones with Toll Uncrewed Systems!

Getting started as a drone pilot is an exciting experience! Flying drones is always fun, whether it’s for business or enjoyment, and taking the first step is easy. Toll Uncrewed Systems is one of Australia’s leading providers of drone courses. Our introductory classes are perfect for learning how to fly drones for beginners.

In our beginners’ course, you’ll learn everything you need to master the basics while gaining valuable experience that can count towards your remote pilot’s qualification.

Get in touch with one of our training consultants today to book your beginners’ drone training course!

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UAV Training Australia and Advanced Aerial Solutions have merged as Toll Uncrewed Systems