Although there are many gaffes a new drone consumer can make (whether they be parents, real-estate professionals or homeowners), most mistakes stem from a blatant violation of the New Hobby Prime Directive: “Thou Shalt Be PREPARED.” And perhaps the easiest way a drone newbie can find themselves unprepared stems from a lack of accessories for your new UAVs. Here are six UAV accessories you simply cannot be without as a new pilot.
1.) Propeller Guards: Remember that crazy summer when your good buddy, Jägermeister, convinced you to kiss that fan? Remember the trip to the ER? Even if you don’t recall (see Jägermeister), we all know that getting nipped by a fan blade hurts and drone propellers are just that – high-tech fan blades. Using propeller guards will help protect both prevent you, the pilot, and any potential bystanders. Having propeller guards on hand will also help ensure your UAV doesn’t get caught in a tree or in, say, somebody’s flowing locks (see “poor bystanders”). Prop guards can also serve as a colorful way to customize your drone as you can choose from a variety of colors and patterns.
2.) Extra propellers: Speaking of propellers – you will lose many on your way to becoming a UAV flying ace. Whether through an accident or a simple avian attack, prop loss is inevitable due to their fragile nature. Given that propellers usually retail for, at most, a couple of dollars each, there is no excuse to not have a few sets on hand for your next flight.
3.) Extra batteries: For most drone sets, batteries are indeed included. But most UAVs will only fly for ~25 minutes (less with a camera payload) on a single charge. So, unless you want to wait around for an hour or so between flights, bring along a few extra battery packs. Most manufacturers sell more powerful versions of their standard battery packs such as the Parrot 1500mAh LiPo Battery.
4.) Carrying case: Your UAV is not just a hobby or even a tool of your trade – it’s an investment either in your business or in your future enjoyment. Why spend upwards of $1,000-$1,500 on a drone and not protect it with a carrying case? And no, that Walmart plastic shopping bag won’t hack it – neither will that Yoda backpack you’ve had since before Phantom Menace. You’re a pilot now – act like one and invest in a carry case like this backpack model designed for DJI’s Phantom series. A good case should include some kind of foam-like cutout cushion specifically for your model as well as storage space for a camera and all accessories.
5.) Micro SD Cards: Most people buy drones for videography or still photography and if your UAV comes equipped with a camera, make sure you have plenty of Micro SD Cards to capture every last minute and/or still image for your next memorable event. It’s never a bad idea to have a collection of lower-GB cards for stills and a few spares of higher-GB for videos.
6.) Swag – the fun stuff: Now that we’ve made the “Stern-Drone-Dad Accessory Lecture”, let’s talk about a few fun extras to add to your accessory list. Whether it’s an LED light kit to trick out your drone for some sweet night flying or a flight recorder that allows you to review your flight later in 3D, manufacturers are churning out tons of new and fun accessories to further enhance your UAV experience. Other accessories that will ramp up the cool factor for your UAV include: decal sets, crash packs and performance gears.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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