I remember when I started out in photography thinking how hard it was.
I had to keep all the buttons and dials straight, think about the different exposure settings, and bear in mind all the compositional tricks I'd read about.
Given how hard it can be to master photography with a normal camera as you're standing on the ground, it makes sense that becoming a master drone photographer is much, much harder.
The fails in the video below by FailArmy certainly prove that...
Apart from being both hilarious and cringeworthy, these fails remind us how not to fly our drones.
That got me thinking about a few drone safety tips that will keep your drone in the air and everything below it safe and sound.
Editor's Tip: Get the ultimate in safe flying by investing in a top-quality drone from DJI, like the Inspire 2 shown above. DJI drones offer tons of safety features including obstacle avoidance systems, redundant sensor systems, improved transmission technology for longer-distance flying, and so much more. Learn more about DJI drones by visiting Drone World.
Read the Owner's Manual
I hate reading owner's manuals. Then again, who doesn't?
But just because reading the owner's manual isn't all that exciting doesn't mean that we shouldn't do it.
After all, how can you possibly fly safely when you don't have any idea how to operate it?
That's true on a couple of different levels...
First, without reading the owner's manual, you aren't fully aware of how all the controls work.
Second, the owner's manual will give you a rundown of all the drone's systems and features, including all the safety features you can utilize to fly safely.
As someone that has been known to skip reading owner's manuals in the past, trust me when I say that it is well worth the time to get familiar with your drone before ever taking your first flight.
Check Your Airspace
There's been a lot of discussion about where you can't fly drones, which might make it seem like there's just not that many drone-friendly places left anymore.
However, that's just not true.
In fact, there are tons of areas where you can fly your drone and do so safely. All you need is the U.S. Air Space Map.
You can check flight restrictions in your area, such as for airports or national parks, see the airspace rules for your geographic location, and view public flight information in the area.
There's various maps you can consult to map out your flight plan, a pre-flight checklist to ensure your drone is ready for flight, and you can even request airspace authorization in some U.S.-controlled airspace, too.
In other words, it's the ideal companion for any drone pilot to ensure that each and every flight will be safe before the drone even lifts into the air.
Editor's Tip: Taking off and landing a drone is one of the highest-pressure situations for a pilot. But you can ease that stress by investing in a drone that has automatic takeoff and landing capabilities, like the DJI Spark shown above. With FaceAware technology, Spark can lift off from your hand, simply by recognizing your face. Once in the air, Spark can be controlled with simple hand gestures, making flying it much easier and safer. To learn more about Spark's safety features, click here.
Pay Attention While Flying
It seems so simple, yet if the video at the beginning of this article is any proof, if you don't pay attention to what you're doing while you're piloting a drone, disaster can strike.
In fact, one of the most common causes of drone crashes is pilot inattention and flying too fast, too low or too close to objects.
That means avoid talking to people as you're piloting your drone, don't answer your phone while you're piloting your drone, and definitely don't consume alcohol while piloting your drone, either.
Part of paying attention while flying is also being smart with what you ask your drone to do.
Doing tricks, flying backwards, and buzzing people and objects might sound like fun, but the likely outcome of doing so it damage to your drone, to someone's property or causing injury to a person.
When it comes down to it, flying safe means being prepared, practicing, and committing yourself to being a good pilot.
After all, that's what you expect of other pilots, so the same should be expected of you too!