Just getting started with quadcopters? You sure would want to read on …
Most people seem to believe that quadcopters are toys. That simply is not true. Quadcopters are not toys and should not be handled like toys. Improper use of these multi-rotors can result in physical injury to you or someone else. And these can cause property damage as well. Companies take a lot of care in designing and manufacturing quadcopters, and these have sophisticated electronics that can keep them stable in flight. But errors and malfunctions are inevitable. It is always your responsibility to ensure the safety of yourself and of others around you when you are the pilot.
Here are tips you might want to read about quadcopter safety…
1. Multi-rotors should not be handled by any child under 14 years of age
Letting of very young children handle these craft may be dangerous to them as well as to those around them. These are not toys and should not be used by very young children.
2. Do not fly a quadcopter outdoors unless you already have some flying experience
If you have never flown a multi-rotorcraft earlier, you would want to train with the simulator before you fly the real thing. And get to know everything you can about quadcopter before buying one.
The simulator can help you learn a lot faster than you otherwise would. You will also end up saving quite a bit of money because you will learn to avoid expensive crashes.
3. Buy model aircraft liability insurance
In case you unfortunately are found responsible for some incident and you have no model aircraft liability insurance, then you most likely could be held personally liable for the damage caused. Which is why you should not fly a large quadcopter with no insurance. That could be a very, very serious mistake. Even with insurance, it is possible that the coverage will be limited to specific flying fields and specific types of models. Being insured is certainly not an excuse for reckless behavior.
Before you buy a quadcopter, you would want to talk to your attorney about this and be informed.
Here’s a beginners’ guide you might want to check out.
Before starting any flight
- Tighten all of the screws
- Ensure your transmitter and the battery are fully charged
- Visually inspect the craft for any signs of damage or wear. Check the connectors, joints, propellers and other parts. If you see anything that you feel might cause a problem, do not fly. And do not ever touch moving propellers with your fingers or anything else for that matter.
- Low voltage or auto Li-po detection : You will want to use Lipo batteries for a host of reasons – one if which is you can have ESC controller automatically detect low voltage and alert you. You can them immediately land the quadcopter before the battery runs out causing you to lose control.
- Check to see if the battery is securely inserted.
- Check if the propellers are secure.
- Make sure you calibrate the sensors. If your quadcopter is attempting to get a satellite lock for calibration, led the process complete.
- You always want to be facing the quadcopter. You should be able to tell which direction is front and which is backward.
- You want to be thoroughly familiar with the settings and how various settings can change the flight characteristics.
- On starting, fly the quadcopter at a very low altitude and see if all the motors are working and rotating evenly. Ensure you can hover before you fly.
- Always keep the quadcopter within the range of your transmitter: Letting the quadcopter fly away beyond the range of the transmitter is one of the most common mistakes beginners to. Don’t let this happen.
While you’re flying
Fly safely. Do not ever flying towards houses, viewers or any other objects. You would want to make sure the quadcopter is at least 30 feet from buildings, people and vehicles. If you fail to maintain distance and happen to lose control you might end up seriously injuring someone or causing property damage for which you may be held responsible.
Flying over crowds or groups of people is always a very bad idea. You would never want to do something like that.
Make sure your quadcopter is always in direct line of sight. You might have the best FPB system installed on your quadcopter, but that is not a substitute to be able to see the craft. If the quadcopter is not in your direct line of sight, it is very easy to lose a sense of perception and you could end up crashing it. C
Always stay below 400 feet. You would never want to fly a quadcopter near a air field or an airport. Manned aircraft are required by law to stay above 500 feet. So you would want to give yourself a safety cushion and always keep your quadcopter below 400 feet.
Be at least 5 miles away from the nearest airport. it would be illegal to fly your quadcopter too close to an airport.
While you’re still learning, stick to flying in the stabilize mode. This is perhaps one of the best ways we can regain control in a tricky situation. Be able to switch to the stabilize mode from other modes in a jiffy.
Don’t ever intrude on other people’s privacy. And do not ever attempt to do anything that might cause them to believe you may be intruding.
Until you’re very confident of your flying skills, stick to small and light quadcopters. Even if something goes wrong, a small quadcopter cannot do much physical damage. Whereas a big DJI Phantom can cause a lot of harm. Small quadcopters tend to be very light and have plastic propellers that cannot do much harm even if the impact an object. Bigger quadcopters have carbon fiber propellers that can cause physical injury.
Which is why you’d want to stick with small quadcopters until you have mastered them. And then, you would want to train on a simulator for several hours before attempting to fly a large quadcopter.
On landing …
- Remove the battery. Visually inspect the quadcopter thoroughly for any signs of wear or damage.
- Manually inspect the propellers for any signs of damage.
- Put the Lipo batteries in a fire proof holder while charging. Always use only the recommended charger for charging your Lipo batteries. You will want to be thoroughly conversant with the safety precautions for Lipo batteries before using them. These are not toys and should be treated with the proper care.