Everything you need to know about flying a drone
Tips | 07.08.2019
We run a quadcopter fever. Everyone wants to look at the usual from a new angle. Devices became more accessible and more available not only for photographers and cameramen, but also for all the curious. Professional videographers of Diamond Sky Production told everything a newbie needs to know about shooting on drone.
We would advise the novice pilot to start with a simulator. The DJI Go copter has a good simulator (DJI Go application for launching the device). With this app you can practice operating, look at the behavior of the drone, work out the motility. Also, you can buy a small inexpensive drone and work out the motor skills, and then start to use expensive ones.

Do not do your the first time in the city. It is better to go to the field so that you have a lot of space. For the first start, lift the copter to a height of 5-6 meters (having already mastered the motor skills in the simulator, or on a small drone) and try to control it. It is better not to let drone fly away from you further than 10 meters.
It is important to choose the place. It should be a flat area and better not dusty. The main thing is no metal structures nearby. If there is something of metal next to the place of launch of the drone, this will bring down the compass built into the quadcopter. Because of this, there may be problems with the take-off, and the drone will drop immediately at the start.
Before the first take-off, see if the "home" point is set, and check the return height (it is better to check it before the next times too). This is a set function of the drone. If you lose contact with the copter, it will automatically rise to the altitude set during takeoff, and it will return itself. If the altitude for returning home is specified without regard to the landscape (tall trees or buildings, mountains), the device will crash and will not reach the point of return.
As for the flight range: copters can fly far, but the distance is limited by battery and weather conditions. You need to keep track of how much charge is left to get the device back. It may happen that the charge is enough for the return, but many do not take into account the wind. From the point of departure, the copter easily moves with the air masses, and on the way back it will fly more slowly due to resistance and expend more energy. In this case the drone may fall because of discharged battery, or the automatic will work and will land the gadget.
Life hack: when returning drone with a strong wind, you should conduct it as low as possible to reduce resistance, and at this altitude return the drone to the take-off point. Beginners often do not pay attention to this and return the device at the same height and device falls into the wind barrier. The drone consumes a lot of energy, but barely moves. It is easy to guess how it ends.
Modern quadcopters have installed lithium-polymer batteries. These ones are sensitive to long-term storage in a discharged or charged state. What does mean sensitive? If the battery has 90-100% of charge for more than 7 days, it quickly becomes unusable. It is better to try to keep batteries in storage mode, it is 50-60% of the charge. The same happens with a discharged battery. If the battery stays for more than 10 days with a charge of 10% or less, its lifetime is reduced.
Also you should mind the temperature if it is below zero or close to zero. If the battery didn't reach 15-16 degrees Celsius, it is better not to fly. The copter will lose its charge and fall.

How to warm up the batteries?
You can just put it in your pocket or in your bosom. It is simple and functional. If you cannot warm up like this, then there is a more complicated option: lift the device to a height of 2 meters and let the device hang in the air for some time until the battery warms up.
The weather
With very cold temperatures (-25…-30 degrees) it is dangerous to fly for several reasons:

1. It's hard to be outside and drive a drone. Your hands will freeze even in gloves.
2. Such temperatures are extreme for copter. We would advise better not fly at all at low temperatures if you have no experience. Remember that if you worked with drone in such weather, and there was an abnormal situation, then this will not be a warranty case, and no one will repair or replace the fallen copter. Despite such dangers, yes the drone will fly and shoot but this is at your own risk.
Under what weather you absolutely should not let the drone fly: mix of a fog with cold temperature (-5 degrees). Ice crystals form in the air. When the device gets into such a cloud, a frost covers the blades of the copter, the drone becomes uncontrollable, the motors overheat, and then there is a loss of power and a fall. We had a case in Finland, when we accidentally flew into such a cloud and did not notice how the drone iced up. Then we collected its parts from the ground.
Flight Permission
In all major cities of the world and at important sites, there are radio frequency suppression systems and drone control interception. There are lots of copter blocking options. Basically it occurs at an altitude of about 50 meters. Lower is often not jammed due to a possible mobile failure.
How it works?

First, the copter loses connection with satellites, then it starts to behave inadequately and flies arbitrary. Then the connection with the device is completely lost, and there are two possible ends of the story: if the drone is visible, you can understand where to look for it, if not, the copter just flies away, and you can say goodbye.
Drone transportation
Copter should be transported only in hand luggage, as well as any expensive and fragile equipment. Batteries should be half-discharged (60%) and better put in special transportation packages for lithium-polymer batteries. Airlines have no other requirements.

Some countries have restrictions. For example, in Malaysia you cannot carry any batteries on the plane. It is better to learn particular airline rules for the transportation of lithium-polymer batteries. The copter itself can be transported without problems.
In Montenegro, you need to get drone permission upon entering and leaving the country. You can find instructions on how to get this document in the Internet. Restrictions appear constantly, now in many countries any flights on drones are regulated, and it is not possible to fly freely, as it was several years ago. We, for example, never fly in urban areas.
How to make a good shot with drone?
Compositional options when shooting on the drone are expanding thanks to new angles. A few simple tips to help make an interesting shot or show unusually usual place:

  • To show the dimensioning, try to find the lines in the frame: roads, river beds, narrow gorges. If you lift the drone higher, you can show powerful landscape fully.
  • Try to shoot the forest at an angle of 90%. Trees from above look often like toys, and if you are lucky with the road, the frame will turn out even more interesting.
  • If you are shooting on a rocky shore, except for the horizon line, try shooting from the water side. It will help to show all the beauty of the rocks. We love to do such shots in Iceland, especially if there is a lighthouse on the edge – adds the atmosphere.
For life hacks and useful tips on shooting on the drone check our Instagram profile. Come and visit us and write if you need help.
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