Pre-flight: Drone Flight Checklist
Before you fly - we're starting to wind down here, just a couple more slides. I created this drone flight checklist for you guys, for the community, really, and if you wanna check it out, just go to this URL: fromwhereidrone.com/newsletter and I give you a PDF of this, in color and black and white, and I give you my free presets, if you wanna edit your photos in Lightroom, so those are free if you guys wanna click over there. But you definitely wanna run through some type of checklist. And the big takeaway for you is first, you guys need to think safety first. You need to be aware of the surroundings. I always walk the area, like okay there's a pole here, alright, there's a tree there, okay there's this, and I walk the area - I wanna get comfortable with it, I wanna be familiar with it. And then I always wanna know, where's a good takeoff spot. I'll pick my spot, free of people, making sure it's not in a pathway, and then I always find another spot where I could land, just in case I ca...
n't get to this one, my battery's going way lower than I thought, I have a backup plan, or for whatever reason, there's dogs hanging around where I'm landing, I'm like okay, I have a Plan B. So I'm just being prepared. And then I like to also measure the height of obstacles. So if there's a tree and I'm like that's an obstacle, I take my drone up, and I figure out okay, how tall is that tree, okay it's about 30 feet, I'm gonna stay clear of that area, and I might do 40, right, and now I mentally have a number that I can work with, right So I'm always trying to be aware of my scene. So here's my drone checklist, before you fly. Make sure you're not in a No Fly Zone, check the weather, check your props, look for cracks, make sure your props are on tight. When I'm saying props, I'm referring to propellers. Make sure that your tablet, your screen, is fully charged. Set your brightness all the way up. You can turn off your wifi and your bluetooth, unless you have one of the smaller drones that require that. Make sure you remove your gimbal lock, the thing that keeps the drone nice and stable when you're traveling, take that off. Clean your camera lens, make sure your battery's fully charged and secure, reformat your card, verify your photo and video settings. I say that because I've taken my drone up and I was in JPEG mode, I'm like ugh, come on, right. Check your values - make sure you're set to 400 feet. Calibrate the compass - sorry that got cut off a little bit. Make sure that your drone is connected to GPS before you go off and fly. You'll know because it'll be green, it'll say ready to fly. Confirm your home point, which you'll see that in a video. And then when you take off, always, before you take off, make sure this area is cleared, there's not a little kid that is gonna run in, a dog that's gonna run in, like I always do a full 360 check and then I take off. Be aware, be safe. Hit the record button, so then you don't have to think about it - I've literally filmed stuff, thinking I was recording, and I wasn't, right. And then hover at 10 feet for 20 seconds. So I'll take the drone up, and I'll just kinda hit it left, hit it right, forward, just do a quick thing, make sure everything's working, and then I'll go fly off. Alright, we made it, wow. The first one, that was a lot. Pass over to you, Kenna?
Yeah, alright, great, well let's start with our studio audience, if you still had that question. Grab the mic, please.
Yeah my question is about the DJI app, and the air map. Does the DJI app stop you at the 400 feet, but does it stop you for other no fly zones or other restrictions?
Yeah, yeah great question, for that peace of mind. So let's say my Mavic Air, let's say I opened it, I got it like eight months ago, and I haven't updated it since, it's only gonna have the information from eight months ago, so it's not gonna be up to date if I didn't update anything. So if you're always on the updates, there's a chance, but the reason why I love to recommend the apps is 'cause it's up to date immediately. So if right now, for whatever reason, President had to fly into Seattle, right. The FAA is gonna let everybody know about the air space around Seattle being locked down, and we can open the app and be like oh, I'm not gonna be able to fly here, right. But if you didn't do any updates to your drone, it's not gonna know that - it's too recent, right. So for obvious things, you're not gonna be able to fly at Disneyland, it already knows that. You're not gonna be able to fly around Disneyland. It's not gonna let you take off, right. But for those things that pop up, you need to do your own due diligence. So I'm always, I'm relying on my apps, or the website, yeah. Great question.
Part of doing due diligence, have you found that any areas or any places are starting to have permits for special drone photography, to allow it?
It's a good question. My experience, I haven't really come across that yet, no. I do wonder if there's gonna be more of that, like maybe it's just a dream, but I wonder if the National Parks may one day be like hey, one day a month, we'll let people apply and five people can apply. I have no idea, but that would be really cool, right. But maybe there might be more stuff like that. Like I imagine that, you know, things get locked down, and we're like alright, and then hopefully they'll start to be like okay, let's figure this out with people that are responsible, you know, have a little give, have a little take, that's at least my hope, opposed to just like, we're not gonna be able to fly anywhere, right, so I can't really speak to that yet, but I could see that being a thing in the future, yeah.
Alright, and last question, great, thanks.
If you're doing commercial work, and you're working with a team, does everyone in the team need to have a license, or is it just, can it be with a company, or is it just with the pilot?
Yeah so, the person, if you're touching those sticks, and you're flying the drone, you need to be licensed, yes. If, for instance, I have an assistant, I have a spotter, and he's just helping me out, looking to make sure that I'm not hitting obstacles, keeping me mindful of my battery flight, and all that, nah, he doesn't need to be worried about it. But as soon as he, I hand him the controller, he better be licensed, yeah. So soon as he starts controlling that drone, yeah.