How To Fly a Quadcopter – 10 Tips You Need!

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Quadcopter in flight
Credit: Lima Pix /

Quadcopters, commonly known as drones, have become very popular for personal use.

-And they offer plenty  of flying fun!

Two of the most popular options for personal use include the DJI Phantom and the Parrot AR Drone 2.0.

While these personal drones come with helpful instructions, if you’re not familiar with flying quadcopters, it can take a bit of practice to get used to flying them.

These beginner tips will ensure that you will fly your quadcopter like a Boss!

Tip #1 – Start by Reading the FA Guidelines for Flying a Quadcopter

Before you take your quadcopter on that first flight, make sure you take the time to read the FA guidelines.

These guidelines offer essential information and rules that you need to follow when you’re flying.

Some of the tips offered by this guide include avoiding urban areas, flying at minimum of 5 miles away from airports, and never flying your quadcopter over 400 feet high.

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Photo
Keep it away from airports and densely populated areas.
Credit: Christopher Michel/

Tip #2 – Learn How the Controls Work

It’s also important to learn how the controls work before you try taking your drone on the first flight.

If you have experience flying a remote controlled helicopter, you still may have a lot to learn as controlling a drone with four propellers is a lot different than controlling a RC helicopter.

The controls for the DJI Phantom and the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 vary a bit. For example, the Parrot Drone has a joypad mode, a left-handed mode and an outdoor flight mode.

Make sure to read the instructions to find out what controls are used to control your altitude, the yaw, and the pitch of your quadcopter.

DJI Phantom 2:

Parrot AR Drone 2.0:

Tip #3 – Purchase Prop Guards and Some Extra Propellers

If you’ve never flow a quadcopter before, it’s a good idea to purchase prop guards and some extra propellers.

Prop guards can be placed on your quadcopter to prevent injury to the drone or anything the drone may accidentally hit. This way you don’t have to worry as much about damaging the drone as you learn to fly.

Having a few extra propellers is a great idea, ensuring you have one on hand if you accidently break one as you learn to operate the drone.

Prop guards
Prop guards can be placed on your drone to prevent injury to the drone
Credit: Becky Stern /

Tip #4 – Do a Preflight Check Before You Start Flying the Drone

Do a preflight check before you start flying the drone.

  • Check to make sure that the battery is in place and the battery door is closed securely
  • Ensure that landing skids are firmly in place
  • Make sure nothing is obstructing your antenna
  • You’ll also want to make sure that the nuts that hold the propellers in place are tight so you don’t have a problem with a propeller coming loose

Tip #5 – Ensure You Have the Right Environment for Flying

For your first flight, ensure you have the right environment for flying.

It’s best to get started in an outdoor area that has plenty of room free from obstructions.

You’ll also want to choose an environment that has high contrast ground so on-board sensors can stabilize the quad while you’re flying.

Choose a place that doesn’t have many people around as well, ensuring that no one gets hurt if something goes wrong.

Tip #6 – Turn Down the Settings on the Drone

Turn down the settings on the personal drone before you fly the first time, including the settings for climb, tilt and yaw.

This helps to slow down the reaction of your quadcopter to your controls, which makes it easier for you to fly the first time.

As you get more experience, you can speed the settings back up again.

Tip #7 – Let the Drone Hover Once It’s Off the Ground

Once you have the quadcopter in the air (you can lift off yourself or use auto take-off), give it a few seconds to hover. This allows it to have a bit of time to stabilize and gives the on-board systems a few seconds to get used to your environment.

Tip #8 – Be Aware of Your Flight Time

Flight times can vary, so be aware of your flight time. For example, the DJI Phantom has a flight time that lasts about 20-25 minutes. Make sure you keep track of the flight time because the quadcopter will want to land when the flight time is about over.

Tip #9 – Know How to Use the Emergency Land Demand

Know how to use the emergency land demand before taking your drone up on the first flight. If you make an error, the emergency land demand ensures that it will land safely.

However, make sure you only use this function in a real emergency. This function makes the motors cut out, meaning that your drone will quickly drop, which could result in injuries if someone is below.

Tip #10 – Consider Using the Land Button Until You Get a Feel for Landings

You can use the auto land button when you’re ready to land the drone. You may want to keep doing this until you get a feel for the landings, or you can continue using it all the time to ensure your personal drone always lands safely.

Tip #11 – Select the Right Drone

As a beginner, selecting the wrong drone can almost kill your passion! Some are just cheap plastic imitation, and drift sideways, shoot crappy video, have bad connection etc.

If you already have a GoPro camera, you might consider getting a drone for your GoPro.

Here are some more tips on selecting a great and affordable starter drone.

Thanks for reading, and happy flying!

Jesse Young

5 thoughts on “How To Fly a Quadcopter – 10 Tips You Need!”

  1. In ensuring that we get the right environment for our drone entails choosing the desired environment. When the time comes that the environment can’t be chosen, I’d attach a tracker device to it just in case it gets off signal.

    • I’m new to flying drones and still learning. Unfortunate events had happened already to my drone like crashing due to a flyaway. What tracker do you suggest?

      • Hi Lexa! I’d suggest you use Trackimo device. I’ve been using it ever since I had my first drone. It’s very lightweight which doesn’t affect the flight performance at all. It’s proven and tested. I hope I helped you.

  2. This is really a big help for me as I am a first timer for drones. BTW do you have any recommendations for GPS tracker that would be okay to use in drones?

  3. Drone propellers had been a drone saver when I practiced flying and a must have accessory esp for newbies..

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