Whether or not you’re an aspiring aerial videographer, a land surveyor, construction site mapper, wildlife tracker or simply an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) / drone hobbyist, let’s be honest. There are few greater things in life than owning your own drone. Right? But you can be rest assured that having a great drone could also make you happy…..
Cheaper doesn’t mean easier to fly – Often it’s actually the opposite which can make the decision difficult for a new pilot who wants a good experience at a low cost. More expensive drones often come with advanced options that a new pilot may not be ready to dive into, but they are also usually steadier in the air and more reliable.
Specs are not the most important thing – Sometimes you can compare specs on different drones and think that one is the better value, but specs are not the only or even the most important thing to consider for a new pilot. You must consider how approachable the drone is for a new pilot, how easy it is to handle in the air, and how reliable it is. None of these can be determined by looking at a spec sheet.
Talk to a dealer – Let your dealer know that you do not have experience and tell them what you are looking for and they can help you. At Gidi Drone, we would much prefer taking the time to e-mail or chat with you to help you get the right drone than send you something that may be a little harder to handle than what you were hoping for.
Pick your seller carefully – There are basically three kinds of sellers of drones: We have the following:
No Service Sellers – Many of these sellers are on Amazon or eBay and some of the online stores. They will sell the drone to you, but receiving any help or service after that is unlikely. Potentially more troubling is their potentially inability to help you should need to file a warranty claim. If the seller is not an authorized dealer, you may be out of luck.
MAP Pricing – All manufactures give authorized dealers a minimum price at which they can advertise their products. To be eligible for warranty services a dealer must follow this pricing. If most dealers lists the drone at one price and somebody else is below that price it likely means they are not an authorized dealer. You are getting a good price, but you probably are not getting a warranty.
Large Dealers – These are legitimate businesses that you can trust. There are no worries over their legitimacy, but it is also unlikely you will have much of a relationship with anyone there to help you on your drone journey.
GIDI Drone recommendations – So far, Our long distance Airborne Drone and Yuneec Q500 products are the great products in the markets now especially the hobby drones. The Typhoon gives you some more options and is a little bigger and is probably our favorite drone right now. We will strongly recommend Yuneec Typhoon series, DJI Phantom series, Ehang Drone products as your hobby favourites.
With regards to long range endurance drone of 2-6 hours, we can recommend any of our fixed wings or Fixed wing VTOL depending on what our clients would need.
Some instructions are better than others – Some foreign manufacturers are still working through language barrier issues. DJI once struggled with this, but not produces excellent instruction manuals. Iris is a US company and is easy to follow. Yuneec has a good online instruction manual for even the first time flyer. Some manufacturers struggle to produce excellent instruction manuals.
Product check on Youtube – if you are in doubt, YouTube is a great source where great resources can be checked.
For First Time Flyer – Our recommendation is to start without the gimbal and camera. Crashes are most likely at the beginning when you are just learning. You will want to take video right away, but our recommendation is to fly at least three times without the gimbal and camera on your drone. These parts are generally pretty expensive and leaving them off at the beginning reduces your financial risk. Once you feel comfortable flying, put them on and start taking video!
Look for an open field – Your first few flights should be in a location free of trees, houses, and other obstacles. Fly at a park, or soccer field, or a pasture. Again, this is to mitigate your risk of crashing it.
Make sure you have a good GPS lock – The drone will have a GPS indicator on it. Do not take it up in the air without a solid lock.
Have somebody with you – It’s more fun to fly with others and at the beginning it’s a great idea for safety. There are so many things to look at and watch that it’s a good idea to have another set of eyes.
Be safe and keep the drone in sight – No stunts for beginners!
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Guidelines – Follow the aviation Authority of your country. In general, make sure you can see your drone, are not flying above 400 feet, and aren’t within 5 miles of an airport. Also use common sense and do not fly in crowded areas. You are also required to obtain permission from NCAA and ONSA for using drones for commercial purposes.
Be prepared to crash – Pilots will crash their drones. It’s part of the hobby. You just want to avoid major crashes. Replacing props or landing gear is neither hard nor expensive if you should have some minor damage. Replacing cameras, gimbals, or control boards can be quite costly. If you have some minor damage, don’t let this upset you. It’s part of learning.