A brief beginners guide to flying drones

Hello and welcome to this (somewhat very brief) beginners guide to flying drones and what better way than to kick right off with the four main definitions that you’ll come to love with flying:


Throttle makes the quad ascend or descend. It’s the control that changes the height of the drone so you can get really low or really high shots depending on your preference.


Yaw, like jaw but with a ‘y’, is concerned with the rotation of the quadcopter in the clockwise or the counter-clockwise directions.


Roll is what we talk about when we tilt the quadcopter left or right.


Finally pitch is concerned with the tilting of the quadcopter backwards or forwards. To make things a little more confusing, these controls can also be referred to by aileron (roll), elevator (pitch) and rudder (yaw). Got that? Good.

How to fly?

We’ll keep this nice and simple and we’d prefer not to give and specific instructions when it comes to learning to fly a drone as with many tedious and difficult tasks to master – they will take time. We’ve found that throwing new pilots in at the deep end to be very successful in terms of learning to fly.

Find a good open space

  Rather than a specific set of instructions we’d prefer you to go and find a wide open space – preferably a field or sandy beach where there are minimal obstructions and people that can be, well, hit. Next you’re going to need to check the wind speed, there are fancy ways of doing this – but we’re just going to recommend judging it by feel. If the wind speed is more than roughly 15mph – it might be best to come back to practice another day – there’s nothing worse than learning to fly against the elements.

Have a play

The next step is simple. Have a play around with your drone and see what you can do. The design of the controller, for most companies anyway, is fairly intuitive and with playing and figuring out the controls tentatively by yourself, you’ll make much more progress than by following bland tutorials. First off you should start with the very basics. How do I hover? Practice holding the throttle and moving in such a way that it looks great on the preview screen. Once you’ve mastered the art of the hover and feel like you can add more movement, have a play with the controls by moving each one a little in the directions they allow. You’ll soon get a feel for what does what and how it makes it go where. You should note that crashes are however inevitable and they happen to even the most experienced of drone pilots. It’s an idea to practice cutting the throttle when you’re stuck in sticky situations. That can be the difference between losing your drone in a tree, smashing it into a bridge or just coming by to pick it up off the ground. Have fun, practice and stay safe and you’ll build your confidence and skill in equal parts. Happy pilotting!