How to Become a Better Drone Pilot in 2018 (Even If You Are Already an Expert)

UAV Pilot training through practice

Whether you are just starting out or you already have some drone flying experience under your belt, it’s important to keep growing your skills. You never know when you’ll need to pull off a last minute maneuver to avoid crashing into a tree or safely land a drone in strong winds.

For those using drones commercially, becoming a better drone pilot is essential to career and business growth.

Here are the best tips to become a better drone pilot.

Keep Practicing and Challenging Yourself

Ultimately, the best way to become a better drone pilot is to keep flying. This is especially important for beginners who are still very nervous about crashing their drone or running into a building.

Tip: When starting out, buy an inexpensive drone that won’t cost you much if it crashes. Also, practice in a safe area away from people and buildings. If you have never flown a drone before, I suggest starting with a drone simulator to learn the basic controls and maneuvers.

As you become better and better, keep challenging yourself with new maneuvers and techniques. Learn how to hover midair, how to cut throttle when you are about to crash and how to make smooth turns.

Fly in a variety of environments that will challenge you. An open field will help you practice your banked turns. A forested area will help you learn how to weave in and out of tight spaces. Just make sure you are flying in a safe, non-sensitive area.

When you feel that you’ve mastered the flying bit, start working on your camera work. Good photography requires a combination of a good drone (you can’t go wrong with a DJI drone), good flying skills, proper camera control and intuition.

Make full use of all the assists and automatic modes in your drone to take better pictures and videos.

For instance, most DJI drones can automatically lock on a moving or stationary object, keeping it in frame as the drone flies in a specific pattern.

Take Part In Race Events

If you are more interested in drone racing than photography, you have even more training to do. You need to practice harder and crash many times before you can become a decent drone racer.

For beginners, get an inexpensive racing drone. Most can be crushed several times with the props being the only parts needing replacement.

Most importantly, get out there and race other people. It will help build your confidence and skills, even if you lose a lot at first.

For more on drone racing and where you can find racing events, read our in-depth racing drone buyers guide.

UAV Pilot Training

If you are flying your drone as a hobby you can do without formal drone training though I’d still recommend it. It would be a big boost to your skills. But if you are planning to get into commercial drone flying, then formal drone training is essential.

Not only will you learn how to fly safely and do all kinds of maneuvers, most drone schools will also prepare you for the important Part 107 test. You have to pass this test before getting a remote pilot license.

UAV pilot training is not just important when you are starting out; ongoing training is essential too especially for commercial drone pilots. It will keep your career growing and ensure you can handle any scenario you encounter out in the field.

Conclusion

Remember that being a good drone pilot is more than just about flying well and taking stunning pictures.

Safety is important. Know all the FAA rules regarding operating drones. This will not only keep other people safe, it also ensures you don’t get into trouble with the law.

With the increase in the number of dangerous drone-related incidents, the consequences of breaking one of the rules could be severe.

It’s also important to have the right drone depending on your needs and field. If you are not sure which drone is right for you, we have several helpful drone buying guides to help you find the best drone for the job.