How to Fly a Drone – Step by Step (Beginner’s) Guide

Owning a drone can be a fun hobby all by itself, or it can be a great way to add a new edge to an existing hobby like hiking or drone GoPro photography. However, managing a quadcopter style drone can be a bit tricky for the first-time user. Taking a moment to familiarize yourself with your drone and its controls is the key to successful drone flying. However, there’s a bit more to it than that. If you just got your first drone and are eager to get going with some adventures in flight, here are the steps for how to fly a drone.

How to Fly a Drone – Let’s Get Started!

Step 1:
Take care of the legalities. It’s a national law that all drones under 55 pounds in weight must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration before taking wing (or rotor blade, as the case may be). Luckily, the registration fee is very inexpensive for both business users and recreational users, and only needs to be paid once per year. Register your drone as soon as it’s out of the box so you can start flying right away.

Step 2:
Familiarize yourself with your craft and controller. Give your new drone and its controller a thorough looking over before you try putting it aloft on the breeze. Get to know the buttons and thumbsticks on your controller and their functions. Typically, forward and backward motion of the drone (pitch and roll) are controlled by the right stick, while the rotation and lift of the drone (yaw and throttle) are controlled by the left. Your own controller and craft may have features that are unique, so be sure to have a look at the manual and get to know the controls before you try flying.

Step 3:
Pick an ideal test flight location. Find a large, open space with plenty of flat ground to test fly your drone. Be careful when choosing a test flight location, as many places (such as national parks, amusement parks, or areas in close proximity to an airfield) are strictly off-limits for drone flight. Make sure there are no large birds of prey circling nearby when you fly your quadcopter for the first time, as they may see your drone as a threat and attempt to take it out of the air (and they often succeed!).

Step 4:
Fly your drone. Begin by binding your drone to your controller, usually done by switching both controller and drone to “on” and flipping the left thumbstick of the controller up and down several times. Lay your drone flat on the ground and stand back a few feet for safety. Once the controller and drone are bound and the drone is in place, slowly give your drone some throttle by gently pressing the left thumbstick upward. This will cause the craft to rise from the ground. Now, you can push your right thumbstick forward or back, left or right, and your drone will fly in that direction. To rotate the drone, use the left thumbstick, but do so cautiously, as this thumbstick controls not only the yaw, but the throttle. Always start slowly and push the thumbstick gently to ensure your drone doesn’t go careening off into the distance.

Step 5:
Land your drone. Flying a drone is fun, but all good things must come to an end. To safely land your drone, position it above the place where you would like for it to land by using the right thumbstick to change its in-air location. Once the drone is directly above the area where you would like it to land, slowly let off the throttle. As you do so, the drone will begin to descend. Don’t do this too quickly, or the drone may fall out of the sky and get damaged. By gently allowing the left thumbstick to return to its original position, you can safely lower your drone back down to the ground.

We hope this How to Fly a Drone step by step guide has been helpful and gets you on your way to exploring the sky with ease. Happy Flying!

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