As drones are becoming increasingly popular, people everywhere are excited to get one right away & practically fly it right out of the box. Haha, which they should! Absolutely nothing wrong about that. Because people LOVE new technology! Especially when this fulfills a desire to play, explore, and fly to the world around you with a bird's eye view! Or maybe some are doing it for the feelings, they'll get when others see what they just bought. People want their friends and family to know. It's ingrained into our nature as human beings. It's easier than ever to connect your Facebook account and shoot a LIVE video and watch all your FB friends drop a lot of comments! The pure HD quality is getting INSANE recognition!
However, there are quite a few unlucky drone mistakes that stubborn pilots keep making within their first takeoff flight. Thankfully, you and I aren't that careless, but other beginner drone pilots might fly without even knowing that they are breaking an FAA law. Some just flat out neglect drone laws altogether and are repeat offenders, but unfortunately won't quit until they are caught and FINED! But I'm writing this blog post in case you know somebody who needs to READ THIS CAREFULLY!
1) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Flying In No Drone Zones!
>>> Download AIRMAP (free) – http://app.airmap.io
Holy guacamole! Talk about a toxic recipe for disaster! You wouldn't think that people would actually do this, but THEY DO! This is hands down one of the most unlucky drone mistakes ANY newbie drone pilot could ever make! Why? What's the BIG deal? Well, new drone pilots are crashing into a government-owned property ( like the WHITE HOUSE! ) or flying their Mavic Pro in front of commercial airplanes before a jet engine takes off. Attention all passengers, wave to the drone! How about the people losing battery power over sports stadiums ( and CRASHING into a small crowd! ) private & public business are now decorating their trees with white and gray drones. They are quite colorful when it gets dark and the power is slowing dying. There's NO sign of people taking the initiative, slowing down and stopping this madness!
On top of covering the cost of damage done to someone's personal property like a windshield or the fancy flowers in their front lawn, the fines are getting even HIGHER when a drone crashes in restricted airspace. The horror stories keep piling up as the fines range from $1,100 – $18,700. There is even a legitimate legal battle going on for a fine of over $1.9 Million! But you and I have nothing to really worry about because the reason these people got fined so heavily is that they were flying in airspace that was RESTRICTED, and got caught! Which we as law abiding citizens do our very best to fly within the boundaries of the law.
So how do you know where those drone restricted airspaces are? Head to your app store right away and download “Air Map”. Air Map is what I personally use to know where the drone restricted zones are in order to avoid them. So simple! Air Map is very user-friendly and makes flying your drone a much better experience! Air Map also tracts your flight path so in case your drone crashes for whatever reason, you know exactly where to start looking! So get to app store right away, and download Air Map!
2) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – No FAA Drone Registration!
>>> Register Your Drone for $5 Here: https://faadronezone.faa.gov
This story I'm about to tell you happened to me ‘to the letter' and is the GOD'S HONEST TRUTH! I decided to fly on a crystal clear day in Fall River, Massachusetts by the boardwalk. I still checked Air Map to see if this area was a “Fly For Fun” zone because the laws could have changed from the last time I flew there. So there I was, walking by myself with my drone case in hand. Smiling in the sun ( with one front tooth missing! ) I saw a lonely bench and claimed it for myself. As I opened my drone case and pulled out my DJI Spark.
Out of nowhere, I hear, “Well, I guess I'm not the only one flying a drone here today!” I lifted up my head without two seconds of getting set up and there was a gentleman with the EXACT SAME DJI Spark that I bought! This blew me away of how rare this was! At that moment I thought maybe I was meant to speak to this guy about something? I couldn't help but encourage the gentleman dude to sit down next to me for a little chit chat. I kind of knew where this conversation was going after a few basic questions about his drone. “So, how long have you had your DJI Spark?” I asked, “Oh, about two weeks now. It's FAST!” he said. I replied, “Cool! Have you registered your drone yet?” He confidently replied, “Yes! I did it on DJI's website… I think?”
I quickly threw out my next question, “Have you registered your drone to the Federal Aviation Administration at https://faadronezone.faa.gov and paid the $5 registration fee? Have you also written your registration number on the outside of your drone itself? I then showed him my DJI Spark with the drone registration numbers clearly written on the outside of it. “It's basically the same thing as car registration,” I said.
The man was stunned, to say the least when he answered “no” to each of my questions, even though his first answer was a confident “yes”. I explained to him why this step is CRITICAL in order to avoid any fines or trouble with the law. Now that he was understanding what I was talking about, I then dropped the mother of all bombs. “If the FAA catches you with your drone NOT registered, they WILL FINE you $27,500.” The man said, “Boy, I'm sure glad I bumped into YOU! Thank you! I'm going home right away and registering my drone right now!” I invited the guy to our church and was also thankful to God that He pretty much ordained that little appointment.
3) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Setting The “Return to Home” Position Over Water!
DJI drones have a built-in feature called the “Return To Home” position. This is automatically created right where your drone is turned on and finds a strong GPS signal. The problem, however, is you MUST allow a good 10-15 seconds for the home position to be updated. Why? What's the big deal? Can't I just turn my drone on and fly? If you like your home position over a body of water, then YES go ahead! You have the option to cancel the “RTH” during mid-flight, but in I've experience signal loss right when the drone was returning home.
I made a few drone videos over a body of water, but my home position was on a picnic table where I was sitting. Even though there was no interference between me and my DJI Spark, I still experienced signal loss. Meaning, my remote became disconnected from the drone and I couldn't see anything the drone sees. This causes your drone to essentially “wait” until your remote re-connects with your beloved DJI Spark or Mavic Pro 2. If it doesn't, then it “Returns To Home” all by itself and lands even into the water!
This is why your RTH position needs to be right where you are standing. The land is better than a boat!
4) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – NOT Using a Wired Remote Connection!
Your DJI Spark or Mavic Pro 2 has the available option to wirelessly connect your remote to your smartphone. This, in my opinion, is a bad idea for flying. Especially when you rely heavily on precise communication with your drone. People have been complaining that they lose contact with their drone because of a wireless connection. Thankfully, there is a better option which is to directly connect your smart-phone into your drone remote! Let's take a look at which one is the best option for you.
5) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Setting The WRONG Return to Home “Altitude”!
Just like the return to the home position is really important for your drone, your “Altitude” settings are equally important. If your drone loses communication with your remote, it will hover, wait about a minute, then automatically descend or ascend to a “Return To Home Altitude” regardless of what's above or below! The reason you absolutely NEED this is to avoid object collision and taking the path of least resistance back to where you are.
For example, TREES can be over 90 feet high or higher! A general height than most people are comfortable with is 90 Meters ( 295 feet ). This gives you clearance from most trees in your area. But, an overall good RTHA is 90 Meters ( 295 ). I'm sure a pilot like you will pay close attention to your surroundings.
BRIDGES ARE HIGHER THAN TREES! Your RTHA is critical when flying over or under bridges. Say you're flying your drone under a bridge and without warning, the bridge causes radio interference ( happens to me all the time! ) you can no longer see or control your drone. What happens next? Well, previously stated, your drone will hover for about a minute then “descend” or “ascend” to the “Return To Home Altitude”.
If you are hovering over a bridge that's 250 feet and your RTHA is 90 feet, your drone will descend into the commuting traffic below while you cry out to GOD for the remote to re-connect with the drone! ROMANS 10:13!!! THIS is how people get HUGE fines for crashing into cars without even doing this on purpose! Holy Smokes!
The only time I've ever seen this happen to me was when my drone was about a mile away, but my RTHA was thankfully set correctly so no problems!
6) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – NOT Setting Your Low Battery Warning to 30%!
Wind changes everything, including drone performance. So when returning to the home position, your drone NEEDS all the power it can get. Once your drone gives off a “Low Battery Warning” just turn around and come home. I've been learning some valuable lessons in this! You want to land with around 20% left. Your drone batteries are not like the traditional drill batteries where it was better to run them dry. Lithium batteries do not have memory in them so you can charge them at any percentage.
Again, I want to stress that weather effects drone flight performance. So no matter how beautiful the sunset or how crazy the scenery is, you love your drone and want it to return safely back to you.
>>> WOA! TAKE A BREAK – WATCH This Epic DJI Spark Video! <<<
Battleship Cove at Sunset – Fall River Massachusetts – Drone Maverick – > Buy a DJI Spark Combo! < –
7) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – NOT Bringing Enough Batteries!
The average flight time depends on the type of drone you have. The DJI Mavic Pro 2 battery boasts an impressive 31 minutes of air time! While the DJI Spark battery is only around 12 minutes of air time. The reason you want more batteries is to capture those long beautiful scenic rides along the coast. More time out in the wild! Timelapse photos will call for more air time which means the need for more battery power!
Another thing too is you might not get the perfect shot the first time. Wind changes everything when it comes to smooth flying, so you want every available second while flying in the air. Plus, by the time you play with all the settings so you get to know your drone really well, it's time to change another battery!
8) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – NOT Staying Up to Date With New FAA Regulations!
Getting to know how your drone works is what will make you a great pilot. But staying connected with the FAA rules and regulations will make you an even better one. Surprisingly, the best place to know about new FAA drone law is their highly active Twitter account! Follow @FAANews
Another unlucky drone mistake is making money “without” a Part 107 drone license. It's pretty straight forward. You want to have fun & make money with your drone. The FAA understands and will allow us to create a healthy drone business under Part 107. Part 107 drone licenses are mandatory if you want to earn a paycheck flying your drones commercially. The FAA requires this just like the Department of Motor Vehicles requires all car drivers to be licensed. Read more here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/
9) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – NOT Respecting Others' Privacy!
Man, this is probably the one drone mistake that can be quite irritating for people. I mean, pilots are literally flying right into their neighbor's back yard and investigating what's going on. Neighbors are getting sick of this and don't know how to handle situations like these. You and I know that it's flat out rude to bring a ladder to our neighbor's house and watch Jeopardy! through the window. Yet, for some reason, there will always be a select few who think that a drone is an automatic license to be a peeping tom? No way!
So what if someone decides to “shoot a drone” clear out of the blue sky? Bad luck for the shooter! Even though the pilot is clearly trespassing, the police do have the authority to arrest the one who brought the drone down. The FAA hasn't been able to create a law strong enough to protect victims of drone invasion. What will happen in the future? I believe homeowners will have their privacy back by registering their land as a “No Drone Zone”. Boom! Done! That way, if someone does violate a no drone zone, they can be fined by the homeowner.
Whatever you do, DON'T take matters into your own hands. Removing a drone out of the sky to the FAA is basically the same thing as “shooting an aircraft” out of the sky. They LITERALLY BELIEVE THIS, so notify your local authorities about what to do or perhaps how they could assist your problem.
Because I can't STRESS enough how important it is to leave the drone ALONE, read this article about what the legal consequences are if someone shoots a drone out of the sky: https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/88696-before-you-pull-the-trigger-the-legal-implications-of-shooting-down-a-drone.
10) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Flying Around Hospital Helipads by DroneU
Because we agree with drone flight regulations, safety is our #1 priority. It's amazing what you'll discover after learning a thing or two about flying a drone. They are NOT invincible but more importantly, a drone could literally crash a helicopter out of the sky. It is imperative that we always maintain a good safe distance away from hospitals. Because of the height of a helicopter platform, a single drone could easily get sucked into the engine mid-flight. Nobody needs THAT on their mind when their head hits the prison cell pillow! Just treat hospitals like an airport and you'll be the FAA's BFF. For today's video check out DroneU – https://www.thedroneu.com/
11) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Impeding Police or Fire Fighters
I feel as if I'm beating a dead horse here, but can't we just download some common sense around here? It's like people become incomprehensibly DUMB when the moon and stars are just right. The police don't need civilian drones getting in the way. Because they have highly trained professionals to engage in the pursuit if necessary. Neither do firefighters find it entertaining when they are trying to rescue people and suddenly see a super soaker rigged to a Mavic Pro 2. I totally made that story up, but none the less people are getting careless.
The only reason why people even try to “help” is so they can brag later on social media. The local authorities have a hands-on list of professional drone pilots who are ready to assist them if the need be. In fact, more cops are being trained as we speak to fly drones. Look at it this way, why would you risk your neck impeding a criminal activity? If a person is believed to be using a drone to literally hinder the police, show sympathy on the criminal and aid their escape with a drone, that man or woman will literally serve YEARS in prison and face devastating fines of $250,000.
Again, the local authorities would rather have civilians stay where they are, safely out of the danger zone. Leave the drone home!
12) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Flying Near Wildfires or Hurricane Recovery Efforts by DroneU
Yes, wildfires are quite a site to see, but they are NO PLACE for drone footage! When I drove through Wyoming in my RV, I went right through the remnants of a forest fire that was devasting to see. It was like hell itself licked the valley & burned every green thing to ashes. It was a sad sight to see. Every tree and blade of grass was still smoking. After a few minutes of passing through, I began to ignore the small fires still burning on the ground. The air was visible, but it had that burnt campfire smell, but this was no campfire. This kind of stuff is downright scary. I came to a bend in the road, I looked up and saw that part of the mountain was STILL ON FIRE!
This was SUCH a sobering sight and the only thing I was thinking about was getting to safety. Thankfully, I was in the clear in no time. It wasn't even a thought of mine to bust out the camera and start shooting. Nevermind a drone! Because your drone and the remote that comes with it communicate via WiFi. The intense heat from a fire will create a thin wall between you and your drone. The next time you have a nice cozy campfire, play some music on your phone, walk around the fire and you will actually hear the volume drop.
So when emergency search and rescue workers are communicating and looking to help people, a drone becomes a HUGE liability. Again, one small drone has enough potential to get sucked into a helicopter engine and permanently ruin everyone responsible for getting that drone in the air. Just snap some photos with your phone, take a video, better yet, just get to safer grounds. For today's video check out DroneU – https://www.thedroneu.com/
13) Unlucky Drone Mistakes – Getting Hammered Then Flying Your Drone
A drone and a drink don't mix well. Your skills match or exceed situational awareness as a drone pilot. It all comes down to this, please fly responsibly! If you want to be entertained by people flying drones while drunk under close supervision, I say grab a beer and watch how poorly these professional pilots fly in an enclosed environment. The point of the video is to show you just how foolish it is to drink and fly. Enjoy!