The worst experience a drone pilot can face is crashing or losing your quadcopter during flight. What started out as a fun afternoon outside could quickly turn into you heading home with only your radio controller and a busted drone! To help you avoid this predicament, we’re going to explain the biggest dangers to you and what you can do to avoid them. But first, check out the video below to get a sense for what drone crashes look like.
Know Your Drone Piloting Capabilities
The biggest danger to your quadcopter is yourself, especially if you’re a new pilot or working with unfamiliar equipment. The odds are if something goes wrong during your flight, you caused the problem! Some ways you can survive the learning curve is
- Start out low and slow – We all know the greatest joys of flying a drone can come from soaring around high up in the sky, maybe even capturing some killer video, but you need to learn while flying 15-30 feet off the ground before taking it any higher. During a worst-case scenario (heading for a tree/building, running out of battery, losing control, etc.) you need to get your quadcopter back on the ground ASAP. If your quadcopter is 50+ feet up in the air and you lose control, you’re probably not going to like the outcome – just see below!
- Treat New Equipment as a New Drone – If you add new equipment to your drone (like attaching a new camera on your Phantom), treat your flight as if it’s a completely new drone you need to master. Things like handling and battery life will be affected and could lead to some poor outcomes if you treat it as if nothing has changed.
This goes along with flying within your limits, but one of the most common causes of crashes are caused by flying your drone into objects like trees and buildings. It’s also one of the easiest ways to lose your quadcopter – getting it stuck at the top of a 60 foot tree, or on top of a building you don’t have access to (and the owners may not be so nice).
Start out by flying in an open field, away from any trees, buildings, bodies of water, or roadways. This is the safest way to ensure your drone comes home with you.
Weather Can Kill Your Drone
Another major threat to your drone is weather itself. Luckily, it’s very easy to avoid if you just put in a little time researching weather reports before hand.
- Check the weather report before you fly – If there’s a chance of rain, save your flying for another day! Better to be safe than have your drone come crashing to the earth due to technical malfunctions from getting wet.
- Know the wind gusts – Be sure to check the current wind conditions on a weather app before take-off. Most novice pilots can handle wind speeds of 5-10 MPH without much issue. If you see wind speeds at 15 MPH or above, you should reconsider flying near any obstacles or with too much altitude. You could find your quadcopter caught in a wind gust that didn’t exist at lower altitudes, and it could carry your drone away or capsize it.
Have any other tips or experiences crashing a drone? Share your story in a comment below!