10.07.2014Personal Tech

Drone Safety Tips: How to Safely Fly a Drone in 8 Simple Steps

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From coverage of marathons to footage from concerts, drones have taken the world by storm this year...and rightfully so. Drones provide an unprecedented aerial view for unique photography, fun memories and hilarious “dronies” – a twist on selfies.

But the popularity of drones extends well beyond big events. Many individuals are finding their own uses for a drone, including roof checks, taco deliveries, or just plain fun. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to fly one.

If you’re adding a drone to your gadget lineup, be sure to follow these eight drone safety tips:

  1. Choose the right environment. First, try flying a drone in an open, outdoor area instead of indoors. Make sure the day you’ve selected is relatively wind free and the location has few trees – because no one wants an emergency drone landing 15 feet up in a tree!
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Take note of where other people, objects, trees or roads are to assure a safe flight path and landing.
  3. Get permission. If you are on someone else’s property or in a public space, ask for permission to avoid invasion of privacy or other consequences.
  4. Learn the modes and controls. Different flying modes and settings can affect your flight and ability to control the drone. Before flying, learn which setting is best for you in your selected environment. For example, Verizon’s Parrot Drone 2.0 has an outdoor flight mode, left-handed mode or joypad mode.
  5. Check the battery. Make sure your battery is fully charged to avoid an emergency landing. You should also consider the season. If you’re flying in the cold winter, your battery will drain more quickly than it would in the summer.
  6. Be in control. The emergency land demand should be one of the first things you learn before flying the drone. It ensures the drone lands safely if you make a critical error while flying. However, you should only use the emergency land function in true emergencies because the motors will cut out and your drone will drop (which could cause serious harm to those below).
  7. Practice, practice, practice. Start with a couple of short, quick flights. You could even try arranging two X’s on your lawn and flying the drone back and forth landing on the X’s. Once you have mastered that, you can continue to challenge yourself by going higher or farther.
  8. Watch and learn. For further help and instructions on flying a drone, try online resources on YouTube or other sites that walk you through the process and offer more tips.

Now that you have your drone safety tips and are ready to get out there and try it yourself, have fun! But remember to always be careful and safe.

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