An intro and a few things I learned the hard way.

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.

Safe flying


Hi @PPL and welcome to Grey Arrows :wave:t2:

Have you seen our members map? (Click the burger-menu in the top right) You may find some pilots living near you. :+1:t2:

We’re a well established club with many knowledgeable members so it’s very likely that any issues you come across will have been discussed here before. Our discussion forum has very powerful search features which should help you find what you need but if you get stuck you can post a new question in the #questions-and-answers category.

Looking for recommendations of places to fly? Check out our interactive map on Drone Scene - be sure to log in to gain access to the full suite of features and map layers:

And please feel free to add locations of your own too.

Please also take a moment to look at the Membership Levels section on our FAQ as we’re quite different to other clubs and you’ll be eligible for some rather exclusive club discounts as your membership level increases :blush:

Welcome once again!

Welcome @PPL I’m next door in Petherton :wave: Sorry to read of your loss. The mini Series are great drones and you will not be disappointed.

Be sure to join the @group-southwest to hear of local meet ups with fellow drone flyers. :+1:

We have one member @clinkadink who will agree with that :joy:

I am probably between you and @McSteamy2010 - although that depends upon what you call Bridgwater… :grinning:

Anyway, welcome!

I have a Mini SE … its brilliant… I hope you enjoy yours

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Chicken and Egg scenario. Each time I do a test, I find a new top speed of my drone :wink:

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I ran it up an down the Fairfield on a still day as close to into and against the wind I could get. just averaged it out (5.1 m/s) and guessed if I was within 2/3 I should be more than comfortable. The Syma app kindly recorded max speed for each flight.
I now need to do it all again on the mini se. lets see how it goes.
Doing it once was enough for me. If you have more than 1 clock, you never know the time type thing :grinning:

Sorry to here of your loss :persevere:. I feel some empathy here, as within 2 weeks my first mini 2 took an unexpected dive into the local beauty spots pond :sob:. Lost forever, unless someone hooks it on a line​:joy:. Totally my fault. Went straight out that day and collared me another one. There a great little drone and the images are bang on.
Happy - er flying :+1: