Are Drones Hard to Fly? A Guide to Flying a Drone with Ease
For those who have dreamt of becoming a pilot but never became one, flying a drone is one of the easiest ways to “fly” an aircraft. Now, looking at people who fly drones in the park, it may all seem easy and manageable, but is it really? Are drones hard to fly?
Drones are also known as UAVs, which stand for unmanned aerial vehicles. It being called a vehicle makes the user really does feel like a pilot. You see, humans—from toddlers to seniors—have this fascination with things that fly. Where did this come from?
The Popularity of Drones
No one can exactly tell, but from childhood, we remember fairies and superheroes who all have the ability to fly. They look magical and powerful when they take off and fly, which is one of the possible reasons why we are interested in things that fly, and get interested in flying them ourselves.
It is so easy to get a drone these days. They are available both online and in physical stores, and there is also a lot to choose from.
Are Drones Hard to Fly?
Whether or not a drone is hard to fly depends on three things: type of drone, skills of the person flying the drone, and how much preparation was done.
1. Types of Drones and Difficulty Level
There are three different types of drones, and they vary in a lot of ways, including the level of difficulty of flying them:
- Fixed-wing Drones
Fixed wing drones look like small airplanes. They cannot stay in a single place but glide on a path set forth by the flyer. They only move forward, and unlike single-rotor and multirotor drones, they usually need a launcher to get it into the air.
They are usually used in the military and for commercial purposes, such as agriculture, aerial inspection/surveillance and mapping, and construction. In terms of the handling difficulty level, flying fixed wing drones requires training because they fly higher than other drones. They are usually heavier too.
- Single-rotor Drones
If fixed-wing drones look like airplanes, single-rotor drones look like helicopters. They are able to lift off and fly vertically, so no launcher is required. They have one big spinning propeller that is usually made of a real blade.
These drones are usually used for surveying and research, but there are also models for recreational use. Single-rotor drones are harder to fly compared to multirotor drones, but easier to control than fixed-wing drones.
- Multirotor Drones
Multirotor drones are the most popular type of drone because they are widely available. They are easy to manufacture, and they are the most affordable option. They are normally used commercially for photo shoots and video shoots, as well as surveillance.
These drones are also the most-loved type of drones among hobbyists. The most common type of multirotor drone is the quadcopter, although all of them are easy to take off, land, hover, control, and maneuver. They are also very stable.
2. The Person Flying the Drone
Based on the above, the best option for someone who wants to fly a drone for entertainment and recreation purposes is the multirotor drone. However, drones do not fly by themselves. You still have to fly them and control them.
Just like any other form of technology, they need human intervention. How difficult it is to fly a drone depends mainly on two things: your skills and your confidence.
Skills can be easily acquired. Some people only need to read a comprehensive manual to be able to fly a drone. Others, however, are more visual than most. Thus, they need to watch someone do it live or in videos.
Given that you are only going to fly a quadcopter, you should not be required any formal training. However, it pays to be part of a drone flyer group to learn as many skills as possible.
Character, on the other hand, is something innate. They may be developed through proper training, but they should already be in you, to begin with. If you think you have most of these characteristics, then flying a drone should be easy for you.
There is a set of characteristics that allow a person to have an easy time flying a drone, and they include being (1) organized and detail-oriented, (2) calm, (3) disciplined and punctual, (4) humble and confident, and (5) self-aware.
3. The Pre-Flight Checklist
Now that you know the type of drone that will be easy for you to fly, and you have made sure that you have the necessary skills and characteristics to be able to fly a drone with ease, it is important to go through a pre-flight checklist to identify the external factors that can make or break your drone-flying experience.
- Check the weather and the location
Flying a drone is normally done outdoors, so the weather is an important factor to consider. Before going to your location, do some research and make sure that there are very minimal chances of rain (at most 10% chance of precipitation).
Also, check if the wind speed in the location is below 15 knots or 20 miles per hour. There should be clear visibility (not foggy) and that the cloud base is 500 feet at the minimum, especially if your drone does not have an LED light.
As for your location, make sure that there’s no strong electromagnetic interference that can affect the performance of your drone and the transmission from the drone to the controller. There should not be a lot of physical impediments such as trees, wires, and buildings. The venue should not be overcrowded to avoid accidents.
- Inspect your drone
Make sure that its battery and your spare batteries are fully charged. If you have a spare motor, make sure it has been tested to be in good working condition and was not stocked for a long time.
Check the propellers and antennas (if any) for any abnormalities. If something does not look right, it is better to postpone the flight than to experience malfunction that may harm possible spectators.
Drones should not be hard to fly if you choose the type of drone that matches your purpose and skills. It is also not hard to fly once you have developed the important characteristics a drone flyer must possess. The difficulty level of flying a drone is also dependent on whether or not you have satisfied everything in the pre-flight checklist.
So, are drones hard to fly? It’s really up to you.