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Learning how to fly a quadcopter can be rather complicated at first. You may find yourself thinking ”what am I doing wrong?” or ”why won’t it just fly correctly?”, this is something all beginners go through while trying to learn how to fly a quadcopter. We have created a guide to make flying a drone as easy as possible, even for those with zero drone experience.
Let’s start with the basics:
The Basic Controls
- Roll will tilt the quadcopter left and right by speeding up the rotors on one side and slowing them down on the other.
- Pitch tilts the quadcopter forward and backwards the same way the roll does.
- Yaw rotates the quadcopter by speeding up all of the rotors spinning in one direction and slowing down the rotors spinning in the opposite direction.
- Throttle controls the up and down axis by varying the overall speed of the rotors.
- Trim button on your remote control that can help you adjust roll, pitch, yaw and throttle if they are off balance.
image source: quadcoptersarefun.com
When learning to fly a quadcopter the controls can feel very strange, don’t worry though, with practice they will become second nature. With any control the harder you push the stick, the stronger the quadcopter will move in either direction. When you first start out only gently push the stick rather than fully pushing it in order to move the quadcopter in slight movements. As you get more comfortable these movements can increase.
Roll will move the quadcopter left or right. It’s done by pushing the right stick on your controller to the left or right. It’s called a ”roll” because it literally rolls the quadcopter over if you push hard enough.
Pitch is achieved by pushing the right stick on your controller backwards or forwards. This will tilt the quadcopter, resulting in the quadcopter moving backwards or forwards depending on which way you pushed the right stick.
A transmitter (also goes under various other names) is a hand-held device that allows you to pilot your quadcopter and control its flight pattern. When you make an adjustment with the sticks it sends a signal up to the quadcopter telling it what to do next.
The right stick controls pitch and roll, it moves your quadcopter left, right, forwards or backwards.
The left stick controls yaw and throttle, it rotates the quadcopter clockwise or anti-clockwise and adjusts the height at which you are flying.
The trim buttons allow you to balance the quadcopter out for a smooth flight. When you first push the throttle you may find it flies to one direction, this happens when the controls are unbalanced and need to be trimmed.
How To Fly A Quadcopter
Quadcopters can be dangerous if not operated with care. You have to remember that there are generally four blades spinning at great speeds, almost like a flying lawnmower. Here are some precautions you should keep in mind at all times while learning how to fly a quadcopter:
- If you are about to crash, turn down the throttle to zero, this will protect your quadcopter and reduce the possibility of hurting someone should you hit a human or animal.
- Always keep your fingers well away from the propeller blades.
- Always take out the battery when doing any work on the quadcopter, you don’t want to lose any fingers.
Where And When To Fly?
It is not always easy to find the perfect location and conditions for flying a quadcopter. However, if you are a beginner we suggest you stick to our guide to prevent any problems such as injury or damage when learning how to fly a quadcopter.
- Find a big grassy open space with no objects that you can fly into and crash your quadcopter
- Make sure there is no water nearby (you don’t want to crash into a pond or lake)
- Fly when the wind is low
- Don’t fly with humans or animals around
Basic Pre-Flight Check-List
This is a basic check-list that every beginner should go through when learning how to fly a quadcopter. If you have a camera then you will have other checks that need doing, this is a basic guide for those flying for the first time.
- Make sure the transmitter battery is charged
- Make sure the quadcopter battery is charged
- Make sure the battery is inserted correctly
- Make sure the propellers are secure
- Turn on the transmitter
- If your quadcopter needs to calibrate and get a satellite lock, wait for this to finish
- Turn on the transmitter
- You can then start flying
How To Get Your Quadcopter Off The Ground
So you have been through the check-list and read the safety precautions, now it’s time to get your quadcopter in the air.
Push the left stick up very slowly, this will get the propellers going, then stop.
Push a little harder and this will get the quadcopter off the ground. Once you have achieved this slowly push down to land the quadcopter, repeat this a few times so you know how land your quadcopter correctly.
Flying In Different Directions
First bring the quadcopter up about a foot and a half off the ground.
You can then push the right stick gently in any direction for it to move in that direction.
Be very gentle when trying this as you don’t want to fly off to quickly, move it forward a few feet then back to its original position. Repeat this a few times in every direction until you become comfortable.
TIP: When you move your quadcopter in either direction you may notice it will lose altitude. To stop it from dropping push the throttle to give it a bit more power.
Rotating Your Quadcopter (Yaw)
To rotate your quadcopter simply get airborne, then push the left stick in either direction. This will rotate the quadcopter in the direction you pushed the stick, repeat this until you are comfortable with it.
You can also check out this video for a visual guide for help with learning how to fly a quadcopter: