The drone industry is continually expanding, and the FAA predict that the market for commercial drones will triple between now and 2023. With many hobby and business opportunities available for drone enthusiasts, you might be tempted to join the many millions of people who own one and go out and get one for yourself. However, before you do, you might want to check out the following things:
Start with an affordable drone:
Becoming an adept drone pilot doesn’t usually happen right away, with any folks taking a few days or even weeks to master the art of flying a drone. It’s inevitable that during your practice sessions you might crash your drone, and since they’re not the sturdiest of items, they tend to break upon impact. Buying a cheap drone means that you’re not left out of pocket should you crash it and damage it beyond repair.
Select a drone with blade protectors:
If you choose a drone with blade protectors, they help to shield the propellers should you have the misfortune (or lack of piloting skills!), to crash it. Without these, the odds are on that you’ll break the blades early on in your practice sessions.
Be sure you understand how to pilot your drone:
Many drones come with a remote control, while others are piloted via a mobile app or even with hand gestures. Be sure you fully understand how to operate the drone before you buy it and begin using it.
Register your drone:
You must register your drone with the FAA if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds, but it’s a quick process and costs only $5 for 3 years. However, if your drone is going to be part of a new business venture, then you’ll need to purchase a commercial drone pilot license. You can check the FAA website for more details on how to register your drone, whether it’s for recreational or commercial purposes.
Check the forecast before flying:
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many drone pilots get caught out in storms and damage their drones, often beyond repair. Even a light wind will affect the trajectory of your drone, and rain can permanently damage its circuitry.
Perform a pre-flight check before you take off:
Just because your drone is tiny in comparison to an aircraft passenger carrier, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect checking everything is in good working order before you take off.
Practice in a wide, open space:
The less obstacles there are, the less chance there is of you crashing your drone into one. Start with the basics of flying, such as ‘yaw’, ‘bank’ and ‘pitch’, movements which are very different from the two-dimensional ones that are involved with driving a car.
Drones are fun and can prove lucrative if used wisely and creatively, but flying them where you’re not supposed to, can get you into serious trouble with the authorities. So, always check that your location is safe and complies with the rules and regulations set out by the FAA and within your state, BEFORE you fly.