First off, hello from Somerset. I’m not a pro and the drone I was using was a gift and is in the toy category, sub 250gSyma X500 (X30, HS175, D65 ). Having said. that it is was great fun to use even if it can’t do the advertised 360 flips.
In my 192 minutes of flying this toy I learned
- Find the top speed of your drone and make sure you use it when assessing flying conditions
- Pretend you’re a doctor and fly within your capabilities, Sure push the boundaries a little, it is really the only way to learn but make sure you don’t go too far
- Use the tree hangers (prop guards) especially if you are tempted to try and fly indoors. Sure, they add weight, but not really a bad thing
- Make sure you know how to quickly turn the motor off. You really don’t want to shave the tip of the propellers using a wall, concrete steps (Yes! I have done that.) or the trunk of a tree.
- Familiarise yourself with the drone and then practise, practise, practise.
- Fly at a speed that suits the area you have available and your skill level.
- Stay out of the ‘ground effect’, it will make things a lot easier and more predictable, shoulder height worked for me (easy on the neck and easy to see the orientation of the drone)
- Get the “UAV forecast” or at least put a link to the web version on you screen of in your favourites.
- Do the same for the Drone Scene “Where to fly your drone” or get the “Altitude angel” app. While your are about it
- Buy yourself a cheap anemometer and use It before after and while you fly. You can get
- something off Amazon for the price of a couple of sets of props.
- Plan your flight make sure you know what you are going to do and where you are going to do it, and that you are allowed to do it.
- Take spare propellers with you each time you go out. Replacing them is a lot cheaper than the damage you may eventually cause with unbalanced props. (better still don’t crash!)
Now the sad story:
On Monday I went out to the top of Bread Downs near the fort as the weather was perfect with almost no wind. My first clue was having trouble calibrating the drone (my first clue). It was locked on to 16 GPS satellites (nice), but would hover is a 3m circle (my second clue). I took off to about 5m. While it was responding, it was not very stable (my third clue). Thinking a possible geomagnetic anomaly, stupid I know, I moved up to about 15m. The result, ever increasing circles and a drift towards W-S-M. ‘return to home’ was received by the drone, but not luck. With High Tide and all,. Recovery was impossible and there is now a drone lying at about Google Maps . and I have a load of spare batteries and props to find a home for.
Anyway, while I know I could probably have got a better spec/deal on a mini/mini 2. I am waiting for a Mini SE to arrive before the weekend.