Tips for Orientation and spacial awareness

I now have 2 hours flying as a new drone pilot! Orientation and spacial awareness are key skill that I recognise are essential. What are the key tips for improving these skills that others have found useful?


Teach yourself to fly circles around yourself , nose in and nose out.

Then figures of 8 with you as the crossover point.

Forget the screen, watch the drone, learn what the warning lights mean.

Get a head for heights , take it up to what you think is 10, 20 120 metres then check against the app, same with distances away from you.

It gets easier with practice


As a newbie myself that’s a great question!
Some good tips there too, thank you.


Yes practice practice practice! I have done squares, using the line markings on a football pitch. I did try a circle but not very successfully. Cheers feedback appreciated.


Yea ive done the football pitch lines it a good practice

A good tip…
If you think you have lost control, let go of the sticks. Then roll left. If your drone doesn’t roll left, yaw left until it does. Then you know its pointing away from you.


I’ll remember this, makes sense.

Wish had known this last October lol… Learn that one haha

As a fairly new pilot, I think my biggest “ahhhhhhh…okayyyy” moment, was when I started using the map. This will tell you which way you are facing currently and what your most direct route to home is. There are lots of YouTube vids on it and once you start using it, you feel a lot more confident about knowing where you are in the sky!


Brilliant advice thank you I’m also very much a learner and want to sharpen up my general handling :+1:

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All well and good. The compass is even better in the FLY app, but don’t rely on the screen.

You need to be able to fly if the app crashes (or your device dies)

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You mean WHEN, surely? :smile:


As so many have said here, practice, practice, practice. The more you get used to how your drone looks when its performing (planned) maneuvers the quicker you will notice when it tries to do something unexpected. It will eventually do something you were not expecting and you need to get comfortable with pausing the flight and hitting the RTH button. You also need to practice the RTH process because your drone will (for a while) not be in your control. That get’s very uncomfortable. ALWAYS check your RTH height!

I personally found this video very useful, you may get some value from it?

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I agree with not relying heavily on any mobile app)
Really really obvious, to someone with hours under their belt, but not as much to a newbie.
If you’re unsure of the drone orientation, roll it. If you see movement You’ll know which way it is facing. No movement means it is side on. Just yaw a little and try again.
(Thanks Poole police drone crash)

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Many thanks to all who have contributed to this thread, I am getting lots of tips. I went out again this morning to practice flying circles over the centre of a football pitch, using the centre circle of the field, both with nose in and nose out as suggested by an earlier contributor. It was a very productive exercise.

If you promise not to laugh I’ll share the app screen grab :grinning:

This is a great video with lots of training drills :ok_hand:

I don’t think anyone in this forum is going to laugh at you for what you show in AIRDATA. We all started somewhere and we have ALL made mistakes. Small steps will take you a long way and help greatly in building your confidence. Here, you can have a laugh at one of mine if it will help you feel better.

Practice, practice, practice. Oh, and if you have more than one battery remember to cycle through them - as a bonus that will also get info on the battery up into AirData for analysis.

What you will find that as you do more practice sessions your confidence will grow and you will be prepared to push yourself (and your machine) a little further each time. The trick is in recognizing when you have gone outside your comfort zone and need to dial it back a bit.

I still get very nervous flying between the 200-300 ft in height. To date, I have never flown at the max height limit of 400ft and don’t think I ever will. But we will see :weary:

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I have only taken my zino out for a couple of flights so far. I got very concerned when my app lost connection with the drone. RTH worked perfectly though. Being very careful regards wind speeds and weather conditions. My first flight I took it up to 300 just to see how small it became then flew it around the huge field. I am amazed how much control there is.

That’s the most useful. Occasionally lose sight of the drone and always use map and yellow line to bring it more close. Something i would add is to expand the map with your fingers, making it a lot easier to guide it home (took me a while to realise the obvious!)

I have just got the app simulator working, I can see this being useful for practice when the controls are inverted. What do others think of the DJI GO app simulator? Although it doesn’t beat the real thing!