I have decided to take up a new hobby. I am interested in aerial photography and find drone photography amazing. I have bought a DJI mini 2 and am preparing for its first flight at the weekend. Any tips before I go out and fly would be appreciated bearing in mind I have never do lown one
Find a wide open space away from hedges , trees , buildings, wires and cables and people. Then just concentrate on control , low and slow until you get the feel for it , don’t worry about pics or videos until you are confident with the drone especially controlling it , if it starts to go wrong just let go of the sticks and it will Hoover there while you sort yourself out , one last thing before you move off always wait until you hear the app tell you your home point has been updated please check it on the map as this is where the drone will return to if everything goes wrong , and don’t push the battery try to land between 25 and 20% remaining . Most of all have fun
For this coming weekend - my first check would be the weather - forecast is for strong winds. With the Mini 2 being a very lightweight drone - it will be affected by strong winds particularly at altitude.
If you do fly, make sure your outbound leg is opposite to the wind direction (ie against the wind) - then when you turn for home the wind will assist your return as opposed to fighting against the wind with a depleting battery
Good luck and enjoy
Assuming you’ve done all the firmware updates that DJI upload at the most inconvenient times. As well as the IMU and compass calibrations.
Prior to take off:
Place the drone on a clear flat surface. Ensure that the GPS status (top right of the screen and infinitesimally too small to see) is green. You’ll usually receive a voice alert along the lines of
“ The home point has been updated. Please check it on the map.”
Very importantly, have your mode switch in “Cine” mode for your first few flights.
You can either make the drone take off on its own or you can do it manually. Personally I would choose manually as this way you’ll get a feel as to how the throttle behaves.
Raise it to about six feet, so the drone is well clear of its prop wash and ground effect, and just observe its behaviour. There will be changes in motor pitch sound as it compensates for any breeze/wind. What you are looking for is any significant deviation from the hover. If everything looks good then continue.
First just get a feel for forward and backward movement. If you want try some some controlled starts and stops. Starting slowly move the right stick forward so the drone accelerates smoothly. To perform a slow controlled stop slowly return the right stick to centre. Too many people will just let go of the stick causing the drone to pitch back sharply. Fine in an emergency situation but makes for some crappy video.
Now do exactly with roll (left and right) strafing. Initiate the strafe slowly, moving the right stick left or right further to increase speed, then slowly return the stick or centre for a controlled stop.
Repeat the above until you feel comfortable. If you want you can switch into normal mode for a bit extra speed. I wouldn’t go into Sport mode just yet.
The last axis is the Yaw, or rotate. In Cine mode by default it as very slow, so I’d do the following in normal mode. Try to spin the drone slowly, using the left stick, and try to keep the drone at a fixed height. During Yaw movements it’s very easy to also effect the throttle, making the drone go up and down during this manoeuvre. Once you feel comfortable we can move onto the walking and chewing gum part.
Next we are going to fly a square, or approximate of a square. This will involve pitch and yaw control. Fly forward a comfortable distance. Do a 90 degree turn, left or right as it’s dealers choice, and fly forward (drone forward, not your forward) a similar distance. Do another 90 degree turn and fly forward… you get the picture. This will help with flying “nose in” as the controls are effectively reversed when flying back towards yourself. It still surprise me how many still can’t do this after owning and flying a drone for quite sometime.
Next, do the same as above but in the opposite direction. It may surprise but our brains can be direction biased. I know a few fixed wing model pilots whom can only fly circuits in one direction without getting confused.
The last exercise is the hardest. Here we will be making changes on both sticks at the same time. You’ll definitely need space for this one.
Instead of a square pattern we are going to try for a round edged square’ish shape. This will require input on pitch (moving forward), Yaw (rotating), and roll (strafe) all at the same time. The idea is to fly without stopping at a corner but to make a controlled continuous turn at the corners. Again, this needs to be done in a clockwise and counterclockwise directions to break that pesky brain direction bias. It’s not easy and will take some time for you to become totally comfortable, but it is one skill that will make your videos stand out from the crowd. If you find yourself confident you can then start trying some figure eight patterns. Flying a figure eight will require continuous adjustment of all controls as it does not have any straight edges.
It looks like quite a lot but if you are comfortable doing the above you’ll be a more competent flyer than 99% of self professed YouTube drone influencers.
I agree with all the guys.
But the first thing I would do is read the manual.
Familiarise your self with the controller and read about what all the buttons and sticks do.
Then when you are happy. This is the time to start flying.
Also go install the following apps
NATS Drone assist
Airdata UAV - get a free account
And check UAV forecast and the locations via Altitude angel before sending it off
Also be aware of the drone regulations regarding where you can fly legally …
Its probably crossed your mind already, but don’t crash
Big open field, get it 10m up and learn to fly, squares and circles, straight lines to begin with nose in nose out so you know what the controls do.
Forget looking at the screen, watch it all the time while your learning.
If it starts doing something you don’t like the look of, let go of everything, it will stop
I’m disappointed in you @Gkinghrn - I thought we’d converted you to Drone Scene
Thanks for all the advice. I will be patient and practice until I feel I have total control and feel before confident. I have airmap app. I am located in Coleshill by Birmingham airport. Looking at airmap I am not sure if I am able to fly here or not it’s not very clear to me as there is a zone around airport and another zone around that . I’m a bit confused as to whether it is ok or if I’m in the no fly zone
You have but I’m getting old and I forget stuff…
Get our own DroneScene much better all in in one app
Check the link to your area below, the NFZ does not encompass the village, but its not far away
Yep you are in the controlled air space so you have to be v v vigilant about your flights but you can fly …
BE GENTLE WITH THE CONTROLS, until you get the feel of them. There’s no worse feeling than giving too much welly to the throttle and it shoots up into the blue yonder. Good luck.
This is some good advice. I dismissed the usefulness of this when researching the DMARES. But did it anyway and found there is things in there that you would never find out about your drone by just flying. It will help you get the best out of it.
The biggest thing I learnt was not to keep the batteries charged up all the time in readiness for flight.
I’m new to the drone world, just purchased a DJI mini 2 - Any top tips for a new flyer
Welcome to GADC, @ckenterprisesuk
Moved your post to this thread asking the same.
Always fly away from you against the wind never with the wind
There is always plenty of good advice here …read it all
Try not to get drawn into the nitty gritty…just read
You will find hands on is also a sharp learning curve…but beneficial
I can only reiterate the above…GO AND ENJOY
Best advice, EVER!
Have you registered with the CAA?
You will need to label your drone with your operator ID.
Insurance isn’t a legal requirement except when flying commercial but worth having.