As many new quadcopter owners have discovered, just because their drone comes fully assembled and ready to fly out of the box, doesn’t mean that they are ready to fly it.
It takes a little bit of practice to get the drone airborne and following your controls without crashing too often. Its important to prevent crashes as much as possible to protect any surrounding objects that could get damaged and protect the drone itself.
The good thing is that this skill is much easier to pick up than other RC models like airplanes and helicopters.
The learning curve for piloting drones is much lower because they take much of the stabilization problems out of the equation by correcting themselves automatically.
Quadcopters are built to remain level in the air which is made possible with the use of four different motor and blade combinations.
The quadcopter is equipped with a gyroscope which reads its tilt along different axis many times a second. It then can remain stable by adjusting the thrust of each individual motor in order to correct for any large tilting.
This allows the flier to not be worried about the quadcopter flipping over in air, and only worry about its altitude and heading.
When flying a drone the pilot is typically controlling it with a handheld 2.4 GHz radio transmitter. This allows them to send the drone commands from a remote distance.
The configuration of the controller usually includes two joysticks. The left one is for controlling the altitude of the drone and the right one is for controlling heading. The altitude control is critical when first propelling the drone into the sky.
When the drone is stationary on the ground waiting for liftoff it is good practice to increase the altitude control slowly and gradually.
If you increase this control too fast it will launch the drone airborne at a rate that will be hard to compensate for. There is also current legislation by the FAA that says consumer drones can’t fly above 400 feet, so make sure you keep yours below this altitude to prevent getting in any trouble.
The second joystick is for controlling the heading of the drone. With it you can rotate it about its z-axis, and make it fly horizontally in any direction.
To get it to move forward in a given direction the drone actually tilts slightly that way. To get it to stop the drone will revert back to a level position. The best tip to new fliers is to be light on the controls.
That means making fine adjustments to the joystick and keeping the drone in control at all times. What often happens to novices is that they will accidentally move the drone too fast in one direction by hitting the joystick too hard.
They will then try to overcompensate this by hitting the joystick too hard in the opposite direction. This overcompensation is repeated again and again until the quad is fully out of control.
By just making slight control adjustments it is easy to reverse them without getting overwhelmed.
Your best bet for getting airborn as quick as possible is to look through all the RTF quads available to see which ones are geared towards newbies. In our top quadcopter guide we provide a few that are great for those with no experience.
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