Just like smart TVs and mobile operating systems, commercial drones are becoming increasingly more feature-rich with every new generation. In the current environment, learning to actually fly is just the tip of the iceberg when someone buys their first drone.
The good news is, experienced pilots have recognized this and drone training classes have begun to pop up all over the country. The obvious reason to take these classes is to master the basics of flight, but there are also some secondary reasons you may not have considered:
1. Safety. Let’s get the easiest one out of the way first. I have no data to back this up beyond my own experience but most drone crashes I have seen happen within the first two minutes of launching the drone. Improper GPS calibration or control settings can cause a crash that has nothing to do with your piloting skills and everything to do with your initial setup.
On top of this, an improperly calibrated drone can just up and fly away on you.
A good training course will address safety first because everyone wants to make sure you protect your new investment.
2. Get the most out of your drone. Just like you probably don’t use every feature on your phone, you won’t use every feature of your drone unless you know how they work. For example, most drones today include a ‘return to home’ functionality that automatically lands the drone. Most drones with this feature have the default set to land where the drone took off. Super useful right?
But what if you want to launch your drone from the banks of a river or, even more tricky, from a boat? The ‘home point’ the drone recognizes is usually about a 10 square foot area and if you are launching next to a body of water or on the roof of a building, a few extra feet could make tremendous difference.
The good news is, drones with return to home functionality can be told to return to the location of the receiver instead of the launch point. Would you know how to change this setting on the fly?
3. You will find yourself becoming a photographer. The vast majority of people getting into drones are doing so to take incredible pictures. Drone manufacturer DJI knows this and, with the release of the Phantom 3, created a drone that is more about capturing incredible footage than it is about flying.
A good drone training course teaches you how to fly first and how to think like a photographer second.
4. Documentation. It may not be common practice yet but, in the future, commercial drone operation is probably going to require the person behind the controls to have some kind of certification, insurance, or both. In order to get certification/insurance, there is going to be at least some kind of exam required to prove you know what you are doing. A training course is an excellent way to acquire the knowledge you need and any class that wants to attract customers will have certified/insured operators that can tell you exactly what you need to know.
5. Legitimacy. In the same vein, if you are looking to use your drone to start a business, customers are going to want to be assured you know what you are doing. Until the FAA provides you with a pain free way of demonstrating your piloting legitimacy, letting your potential customers know you have take a training course with certified instructors is a way to set your business a part.
Someone is looking to hire a drone is going to prefer an operator with some measureable amount of experience over one without.
If you are interested in taking a drone training class, we recommend DartDrones! Click the image below and be sure to use promo code DRNLFE10 to save 10%!
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Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com