“This is a breeze. Just take a remote control and fly. How flying that toy around can be so difficult?”
That is probably the most common reaction to the UAVs’ piloting. Unfortunately, the reality might differ from the initial image. When you hold the remote control in your hands for the first time, flying drone could appear a bit more complicated task then you expected. And even if you are piloting UAV for a while (or maybe even call yourself a pro), let’s be frank, there are still mistakes that are hard to avoid and challenges to overcome.
So what are they? Let’s list it out. Because once you are aware of the possible threats and challenges waiting ahead, it’s much easier to anticipate and avoid them.
Slow down, do not overdose the throttle
It goes without saying that your newly purchased drone is something you’re impatient to try out as soon as possible. This could be really fun, but could also lead to one of the first mistakes – throttle overdose. When unboxed, the UAV is usually taken directly outside (which is not the best idea either) for the first test flight. Curiosity to see what maximum height it could reach results in aggressive and inadequate use of throttle. In many cases this action may lead up to a crashed or even lost drone.
So take it slow and save the throttle for the next time. Actually, the best advice would be to give yourself some time to fly indoors first. When you feel that you have mastered indoor maneuverability, then go outside to show your skills and deal with challenges that Mother Nature has prepared for both, you and your flying vehicle.
The Mother Nature is challenging
Talking about the Mother Nature, it could be friendly and hostile at the same time. It throws at you such variables as wind, turbulence, bad weather conditions – rain and low visibility. Your small and relatively light flying device is responsive to such environmental effects. Accept it and don’t try to prove different by flying your drone and ignoring the weather conditions. Otherwise it could be your last flight.
How to deal with nature challenges? To tell you the secret, these things are predictable. Check the weather forecast a day before your flight and you will know what to expect. You could also use a wind meter to measure the wind speed (average and gusts) and direction before each operation. Moreover, you could either strive to become a master of the weather if you undergo the special meteorology course for aviation professionals. To give you a general advice, on those days when the wind speed reaches double numbers or the sky is about to burst out with rain, the best call would be to put off your operation and wait for a more tranquil day to perform your flight. Patience is a virtue, as they say.
Get more batteries!
Do you know what’s even worse than bad weather conditions? A perfect weather for flying and a fully-charged batteries shortage. Most of UAVs are powered by small and easily replaceable batteries which unfortunately keep the unmanned vehicle in the air for only 15 to 30 minutes. If you are also using the camera, the performance time is usually cut in half. To be frank, that’s a really short time.
Now imagine yourself taking footage of the sunset when the most powerful moment of sun dipping into the sea is about to happen and bam… your battery is dead. In order to avoid it, two or three fully-charged spare batteries would certainly come in handy. So learn the lesson beforehand and have no regrets later. Or to say it short – get more batteries!
Keep the sky and the ground safe
It is not all about fun and games, it is about safety too (which, by the way, comes in the first place). If you think differently, then you are sadly wrong. Once you take the remote control in your hands you take full responsibility for the actions happening above your head and on the ground as well.
There are tons of cases when the airspace safety was disrupted due to improperly controlled UAV. For example, such rude violation as drone flying into the airport area and hovering over the runway causing trouble for aircraft takeoff and landing. These things mostly happen unconscientiously and due to the lack of knowledge of certain rules (issued by Civil Aviation Authorities) on UAVs’ operating.
The same safety rules apply on the ground as well. If you’re a beginner choose the right place to fly – stay away from other vehicles, buildings, people or animals. Any crashes might cause serious injuries, plus, there are plenty of stories of drones falling down on humans’ heads or disturbing their privacy. Once you are a trained professional and experienced enough, the crowded places could be involved into your operational plans (also with a respective awareness of the safety rules).
Instead of conclusion, one more, but probably the most important piece of advice – be responsible for yourself and others too. Don’t take any unnecessary risks when there is even a slight possibility to cause any harm. Make flying drone pleasant for you by making it safe for others. Happy and safe flights!