How To Fly A Drone – The Basics

Flying drones is a hobby that’s becoming more and more popular. From the tech community to the photography community, flying drones has become a fun pastime for many people. However, without the right information, drones can be difficult to operate. That’s why I’ve decided to put together this guide on how to fly a drone – the basics.

How To Fly A Drone

How To Fly A Drone
How To Fly A Drone

There are a few basic things you need to know before you can fly your drone:

This is the most important thing to do when learning how to fly a drone, and it’s also the hardest. You need to know what your drone can do and what it cannot do. The only way to learn this is from experience, so go out and fly your drone! Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid of crashing or losing control of your drone — those are all part of learning how to fly a drone.

When you’re flying any kind of aircraft, there are certain limitations that must be followed for safety reasons. The same goes for drones; there are some things that will cause damage if you try them out in real life (or at least cause serious damage if they’re successful). These include:

Flying above 400 feet (120 meters) in altitude – This height is required by law because it’s above where most helicopters and airplanes fly, so they can’t be hit by anything that falls down from above 400 feet (120 meters). However, this doesn’t mean you should never fly higher than this — just not all the time.

The Code: First of all, not all drones are created equally. You are probably aware that drones range in price from as low as £15 to £20 to as much as £3,000 to £4,000 for a more expensive model.

Drones come in a wide range of sizes and weights in addition to prices that varies greatly. Generally speaking, the bigger and heavier the drone, the more expensive it is. The rules for flying drones vary greatly depending on where you are in the world. Whether you are a skilled pilot or not, it is always a good idea to examine the local rules related flying UAVs.

Instructions: The first thing you should do if you already own a quadcopter is become familiar with the instructions. Although this can sound like relatively simple advice, it is simple to get carried away and believe you don’t need to thoroughly read the directions. No matter how skilled you are, follow this advise for every new drone you purchase. Beginners are less likely to skip the instructions.

Study the Language: There will be jargon and acronyms to learn, much like in most technological fields. You’ve probably already seen a few drones on this website, as the drone industry is similar to other industries.

To completely comprehend tutorials and instructions, you should get familiar with the following drone terms:

  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
  • Bind and Fly (BNF)
  • Motors without brushes Brushless motors are frequently used in quadcopters and are thought to be preferable to brushed motors since they are more powerful and durable.
  • First-person view, or FPV
  • A device that stabilizes video footage is called a gimbal.
  • Plug and Play (PNP or P&P) The transmitter and drone should already be configured, therefore there is no need to do so.
  • Simply speaking, more throttle means faster/higher because the throttle controls how much power the motors produce.
  • The term “yaw” is used to describe how a drone oscillates around its vertical axis.

You will learn more slang terminology as you go along that may be used in drone forums or flying organizations. Fortunately, there are several sites available to learn about drone terminology.

Outside or inside: Beginner quadcopter pilots sometimes inquire about whether they should practice flying indoors or outside. There are many benefits to studying inside when it comes to the fundamentals and enhancing control, but nothing compares to finding yourself in an open area and actually learning how to fly a drone.

For real novices, flying indoors has the advantage that, in some US states, you must first register with the FAA before you may fly outdoors. Although there are rules governing specific types of drones in the UK, the CAA (at the time of writing) has not mandated registration, therefore indoor piloting can be advantageous to avoid breaking the law.

The truth is that unless you have flown a drone in its entirety, you won’t feel totally capable of doing so. As a result, make sure you register your drone and take it to a suitable location where you may practice altitude flying.

The battery’s life: It is important to consider your battery life before traveling for 30 minutes to your preferred drone flying location. While top-of-the-line domestic quadcopters may have up to 30 minutes of flight time each charge, cheaper drones may only have 4 minutes of flight time per battery.

Check to see if the batteries on your smaller, less expensive drone are detachable. If it works, it should be possible to find extra batteries for as little as £5 each, making the expenditure worthwhile.

The more time you spend in the air while learning to fly a quadcopter, the better, so make sure each battery is completely charged before you take off. For your initial flights, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of total flight time; be assured, the time will pass quickly (excuse the pun).

The Basics of Quadcopter Technology

These days, the designs of most quadcopters are remarkably similar. In terms of fundamental design and practical features, even the less expensive devices won’t be all that different from the more sophisticated ones.

Four brushed or brushless motors will be mounted evenly apart, some of which will have propeller guards for added safety. The drone will typically have feet for simpler takeoff and landing, and it will be operated by some kind of controller not all that dissimilar from an old remote control car or game console controller.

Detachable batteries are favored for UAVs because they extend flying times over those with built-in batteries in various situations. If you purchased a drone with a camera, it may occasionally be detachable, but it is usually fixed. It is more likely that if you are building your own racing drone, you will be purchasing individual components and customizing it. In this instance, you will likely need access to a computer to run the necessary software to connect the two; this is not necessary for out-of-the-box kits.

Quadcopters’ propellers are the weakest component of the aircraft, hence spare propellers and a tool to attach/detach them are frequently included. If your drone doesn’t come with extra propellers, don’t worry; you can almost definitely purchase some if you need them.

RC Drone Controls

Mastering Drone Flight

When it comes to controllers and being in charge, every drone has a few unique idiosyncrasies. However, there are some qualities that practically all drone controllers have.

The majority of physical controllers have two control sticks, the throttle on the left and the pitch and roll on the right. Depending on the drone’s pitch, the throttle essentially manages how much power is given to the motors, allowing you to fly higher or faster. If the drone is level, raising the throttle will only cause it to ascend; but, if the pitch is tilted forward, it will enable you to go more quickly.

Roll allows you move left or right while remaining facing the drone in the same direction and is used to regulate the direction your drone will travel.

To keep things simple at this point (and to help you later on), we advise you to learn to fly using the throttle, pitch, and roll in their standard form. Some drones come with headless modes that let you control the drone in a way that the direction the drone is facing will dictate how the controls work.

There will typically be a yaw control on the throttle stick in addition to these three fundamental controls (which will enable you to do the bulk of the motions you require). You can now spin the drone to the left (press left) and the shocking right (push right).

Other buttons on your drone controller might be used to control the camera or to do tricks like flips and rolls. These will differ from drone to drone, so check your instruction booklet to be sure of the best way to utilize them. Some drones will have apps that allow for smartphone operation as well.

Launching and landing

After a few tries, taking off is usually not too difficult, but landing is usually much more difficult. The important thing is to practice in a nice, wide area without any trees or other obstructions above you.

Control and awareness are essential for successfully lifting off and maintaining a safe flying height. When you push the throttle stick, your drone won’t immediately take off, therefore it’s important to gauge how high you must push it in order for it to lift off the ground.

When you feel ready, you should push up to gain enough power to take off after practicing moving the throttle up and down without really taking off. You can improve your throttle control over time by repeatedly taking off and landing at a height of about 1 meter.

When the drone’s pitch is level, landing must occur. Make sure there are no people near you before starting a safe landing, and bring your drone so it is almost exactly above you. Take a step back and slowly depress the throttle after making sure it is safe to do so by looking around. This will land better if you move more slowly.

Sense of Altitude

It is still a good idea to learn how to control the altitude yourself, even if your drone has an altitude hold capability. By keeping the throttle at its current setting and without adjusting it, altitude can be sustained. One of the more challenging components of piloting for beginners is this, which is much easier said than done.

Some drones can fly up to about 20 feet in the air, while others can soar over 2 kilometers. Make sure you have complete control of your drone before flying at high altitudes. Even if your drone is more expensive and has GPS, you should always strive to maintain line of sight with it since, during your first few flights, you want to be in control and not have to rely on built-in safety features (although you definitely want them switched on).

Your Warm-Up Area

We’ve already touched on this, but the most important thing to remember when choosing a place to fly is to make sure it’s secure. That includes non-drone pilots as well, so it doesn’t simply apply to you. Large, open areas are ideal, and you should seek out designated flying areas if at all feasible. The best place to discover local flight information is local municipalities. Be sure to visit the Civi Aviation Authority website for the most recent UK instructions.

Be cautious when using areas like gardens or public parks because if you get too close to people or their property or vehicles, you can be breaking the law and endanger yourself and others.

If you do discover a location specifically designated for flying UAVs, make sure to keep a safe distance from other pilots.

Understand Your Drone

Like any good relationship, you will eventually learn to know your drone because every drone is unique in some manner. While some drones may have excellent GPS and collision avoidance sensors, others will be entirely dependent on the pilot (who is now you).

Knowing your quadcopter’s restrictions is crucial since making a mistake like flying beyond of your permitted flying area or running out of battery power could cause harm to your quadcopter or other people’s property.

Learn about your drone, but reserve the smoochy moments for your own space. Society would be better off without public displays of affection and drone selfies for social media!


As we have seen, flying a drone is not particularly difficult. So, if you are thinking of taking up the hobby of drone flying, get out there and have some fun! Whether you decide to purchase or build your own drone, remember that it is important to follow the rules and regulations. The drone community relies on responsible users to help prevent negative press and legislation that would put an end to the great fun we all have doing what we enjoy.

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