If you’re just starting out in the drone industry, you’ve come to the right place. There’s a lot of information out there, but not all of it is easy to understand, accurate, or applicable to you. Thankfully, Dan Beets, the owner of Drone Visions, LLC and Top Drone School, is an expert when it comes to all things drone related. From flying an sUAS to capture television shows to inspecting infrastructures, Dan has done it all. And if you’re going to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Here is his Top 5 Checklist for Beginners:

Make sure you are registered with the FAA and know the proper airspace for recreational flyers.

  • Registering your drone with the FAA is a simple process and only costs $5. In order to fly legally, you must add your FAA registered serial number to your aircraft. Remember, you must register each sUAS that you intend to fly. The serial number belongs to the specific aircraft, not the pilot. For many new to flying, the term “proper airspace” is unfamiliar. If you buy a drone, it stands to reason that you intend to fly it. But did you know that there are strict guidelines when it comes to the places you can legally fly? If you’re unaware of these restrictions, you can face disciplinary action if your sUAS is caught in the wrong airspace. The FAA can fine you up to $32,666 for your first offense. Ouch.

Make sure you have enough equipment with you.

  • When it comes flying your sUAS, you need to make sure that you’re adequately prepared. This means having the proper equipment to get the job done, including backup equipment in case of malfunction or situational changes. There is nothing worse than traveling to a shoot only to realize that your SD card is at capacity or your battery isn’t completely charged.

Run through a proper check list before take-off.

  • As with any new purchase, most of us are so excited to try it that we skip over the instructions. Unfortunately, when it comes to flying a drone, you really need to have a significant understanding of your equipment and how it operates. In the video below, Dan goes through a step-by-step checklist to ensure that his sUAS is set up properly and ready for flight.

Fly low and slow.

  • Although some of the most impressive videos show drone experts flying at high altitudes and various speeds, the safest strategy for beginners is to fly low and slow. Keep in mind that wind strengthens as the altitude increases and can be risky to your aircraft. By flying low, you’ll have a better chance of flying and landing safely. No matter where you choose to fly, you’ll likely have a variety of obstacles to watch out for. By keeping your speed at a minimum, you’re less likely to run into a hazardous situation. If you do happen to come in contact with an obstacle, a slow-moving drone is better equipped to handle these incidents than one flying at a higher speed.

Practice, practice, practice.

  • The greatest way to learn how to fly your sUAS is through practice. By familiarizing yourself with the controls and overall system, you can learn the best methods, techniques, and strategies to successfully operate your aircraft.

For more information on sUAS operations, the FAA Part 107, or anything else drone related, check out Top Drone School. You can sign up for free for access to the latest sUAS news and information with our Pilot’s Lounge. The experts at Top Drone School are ready to help guide you to your new career today.

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