“Christmas time is here,
Happiness and cheer,
Fun for all that children call,
Their favorite time of the year.”
– Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi, “Christmas Time is Here”
The holidays are just around the corner. If you’ve been a good boy this year, you’re probably going to get that drone you’ve been looking at all year. Yes, it’s time for you to finally get that DJI Phantom 3 you’ve always wanted. You just can’t wait to unbox that top of the line masterpiece and get it up and running, into the skies and beyond.
Hold on just a second, however. Flying drones or any unmanned aerial vehicles for that matter do require a bit of preparations, they aren’t just toys that unbox and fly. There are certain regulations you may have to comply with before you fly depending on where you live, and there are certain things you need to know before you take the first step in being a responsible drone pilot.
There’s a whole lot of additional information on the perfect drone, but what we’ve done is we listed all ten tips we can think of to guarantee you a safe flying experience.
Let us help you get the best out of your new drone by showing you our ten tips for a safer piloting experience.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Your Flying Environment
Take note of your flight environment; are there any potential flight hazards your Phantom might encounter, such as electrical wires, automobiles, people, or posts?
2. Never Fly When You’re Feeling Under the Weather (or Under the Influence!)
Never, ever, EVER try to pilot an unmanned aerial vehicle when you feel under the weather or when you’ve had something to drink. Drones are little machines, and as such, shouldn’t be operated when in a mentally impaired state.
3. Respect the Elements
Drones are highly-complex and specially engineered up to the last microchip; they aren’t meant to be flown in adverse conditions such as rain or strong winds.
4. Watch Out for Fires
Fire hazards are abound; accidents DO happen even with unmanned aerial vehicles, and batteries can cause fires. If this happens, make sure you are at a safe distance from the drone as explosions can happen.
5. Seek a Veteran Pilot’s Counsel on the First Flight
If you have a friend who’s piloted drones, or if you have access to the neighborhood drone expert, fly with him on the first flight; flying is fun, but not when you’re doing it wrong. Follow the expert’s advice when flying at all times.
6. Stay Connected All the Time
If and when accidents happen while flying your drone, make sure you have a way to communicate; emergency services and police come to mind.
7. Never Overload Your Drone
Drones can only carry so much weight; overloading them is a recipe for disaster. Always follow the manufacturer’s specifications and you’ll never have to crash your drone.
8. Always Perform a Pre-Flight Inspection
Drones need a pre-flight inspection just like any other aircraft does. Before taking off, make sure that your batteries, wires, remote controls, and aircraft are fully charged, including your spare batteries. There’s nothing more unsatisfying than having to make an emergency landing just as you’ve found the perfect spot for a photograph or a video.
9. Never Touch Moving Parts!
This is a no-brainer; drones are NOT toys, no matter how much they may seem; these are carefully and painstakingly-assembled modern day robots that do not take excessive handling nicely.
10. Stay Away from Obstacles
Avoid flying in areas that are close to aerial obstacles that may get caught in your propellers; you may just end up totally wrecking that sweet Phantom you’ve just waited all Christmas for.