I recently just purchased a DJI Mavic Pro and I am absolutely loving it. Being able to have the perspectives and ability to capture photo/video from the sky is quite breathtaking. It makes you look at the world as we know it in a whole new way. To think, just 5 years ago, you would’ve had to pay big money for a pilot to fly you around in a helicopter and then you own a DSLR or mirrorless camera to capture what I can now do with a small, cheap drone myself.
Line of Sight
It may seems obvious to keep line of sight with your drone when flying but its easy to get distracted when taking photo/video. You have to remember that when you’re flying you are a pilot and a photographer or cinematographer at the same time. Above all else, your top priority should be flying the drone and keeping your eye on it. If not, an eagle may snatch it up.
Weather and Wind
As much as our drones can handle harsh conditions and high winds, they all have their limits. When it comes to wind a huge mistake many beginner drone pilots make is using the weather app already installed on their phone. Drone Buddy has come in super handy for me in many ways. It allows me to see what the wind speed and gust speeds will be at higher altitudes and see No Fly Zones is an added perk in the app. Now a good rule of thumb before takeoff is to never fly in winds above 15mph. I’ve flown in 20mph winds and regretted it very quickly and rain is a no go. In addition, snow can be risky but it has never given me any problems flying or cause my drone to get wet.
Below, you will see a general checklist I like to go over before every flight. Depending on what you use, you can add things to this list but its always good to double check and even triple check before take off. You are fully responsible for anything that happens with your drone and we all forget things at times.
Obstacle Free Flight Zone
Many drones today come with sensors on-board to prevent crashes however, they still are not perfect. When taking off and setting your home point for landing, it is best to have a 5 foot radius clearing for take-off and landing. To be safe, remove any small debris and stay clear of trees to best avoid crashes. The most common times for crashes is during take-off and landing.
Don’t Be Stupid
I enjoy flying drones so much and its easy to get carried away by trying to capture the shots I want. At the the end of day, you have a huge responsibility when flying a drone in the air. The last thing I want to do is cause harm or damage to any person. The safety of the community and people around the fly zone are more important then bending the rules or pushing it to get that cool shot.
Piloting a drone helps you capture stunning photo & video from perspectives and views in the world that we can’t normally see and it helps you show people the world threw your eyes.
Go out and be creative.
Images captured by Logan Powell Media