Top 8 FPV Flying Tips for Drone Pilots
In this article, we define FPV and discuss the top 8 FPV flying tips that will make you a master of the sky.
Flying a drone in FPV is the closest a person can get to soaring like an eagle. The experience is awesome and unbelievable!
What is FPV?
Common Question: what does fpv stand for?
Answer: “First Person View” (fpv meaning)
Flying FPV is like being inside a drone and looking out the front. It’s an exciting way to fly!
FPV mode guarantees absolute visualization of whatever comes within the drone’s sight, either by looking at an FPV monitor or via specialized FPV goggles (heck yeah, they make goggles for this!).
FPV is not only great for taking amazing aerial photographs and video shots, but also for FPV racing and games. Oh the excitement! The possibilities are endless!
However, before you fly a drone in first-person-view (FPV), it’s extremely important that you are familiar with the do’s and don’ts. Learning to fly fpv can be a little tricky at first until you get used to it.
We’ll discuss the top 8 tips for fpv flight below. These are a must read so you don't crash your gear on your first time out.
To ensure proper UAV operation, the pilot (operator) must be within the coverage of the drone at all times. As easy as that seems, it’s not always possible.
If a drone will be flown in FPV mode, the pilot must be adequately prepared to stay in fpv range.
Below are the top 8 tips for flying in first-person-view with a drone:
1. Practice FPV On a Simulator
There are simulators available for flying drones in FPV. Make your mistakes on the simulator so that you don’t destroy your gear in a crash or cause damage to someone else's property.
Simulators also let you get lots of experience for racing, so you can dominate when the time comes.
You can purchase a simulator; however, there are also free versions. Learning how to fly using a simulator can prepare you for races or even your first time flying a drone in FPV.
These simulators make the process very delightful, as bad weather, gear failure, or unsafe flying environments won’t be issues. In fact, crashes can be kind of fun.
Additionally, some simulators allow you to connect your RC transmitter into your computer, which is awesome, because you can get realistic practice on it.
2. Master Basic FPV Orientation
FPV orientation is a critical skill for FPV flying. Using a simulator to practice orientation skills can greatly help you overcome your first 5-10 hours of flight when you’re trying to get the hang of the controls. Crashes are the most prevalent when you’re first starting out.
Additionally, there’s another critical factor to consider. When flying your drone outdoors, you need to look at and understand the environment before you fly, as that could greatly impact your drone’s movement as well as the orientation challenges you will face.
What’s in your environment? Are there any hazards?
Are there any blind spots?
If your turns are not sharp enough, it could stand in the way of having an exciting FPV experience.
Focusing on developing basic flight proficiency and FPV orientation and movements via a simulator will aid in smooth left and right turning, as well as a safe maneuvering through tight spaces.
Practice makes perfect. Like anything else, you simply have to put in the hours to get good at it.
3. Tweak Your Drone’s Settings & Controls
Tweaking settings and controls can help you dominate FPV mode. For example, professional FPV racing pilots tilt their drone cameras upward, usually somewhere around 30 degrees, although this can vary depending on the drone.
Another key point is that when FPV drones are flown at high speeds, they naturally tilt a little forward as the propellers hurtle the drone through the air. Consequently, tilting the drone’s camera helps position the drone in a way that creates an optimal view.
However, everyone will require their own custom settings for their gear. People tweak their motor controls, their transmitter sensitivity and much more, so it can get complicated.
The key is to tweak one setting or control at a time and then test for effect. Small experimentation is critical so that you know what is helping and what is not.
4. Fly Through Obstacles, But Scale Up Slowly
There will come a time when you have mastered the basic movements with your drone in FPV. When the basics have been mastered, the need to face new challenges arises. It’s time to take some calculated risks and expand your skills.
The key is to scale these challenges up slowly. That way your skill level can increase without crashing your drone.
The best strategy for this is to find a safe and cool place to fly, and then bring flags and hoops to use as simulated obstacles.
Better yet, set up an obstacle course using the natural landscape. Trees, rocks, and abandoned buildings will all work fine, but remember to pace yourself.
5. Join a Local Drone Racing League
There is only one way for FPV pilots to test their skills and their progress, and that is competition. Meeting with other novice FPV pilots and hosting some sort of tournament is an incredible way to test your skills, learn new tricks, and even have fun with other like minded folks.
There are PLENTY of places to meet with other FPV racing pilots. Check out communities like MultiGP, or find your local hobby shop or AMA/model aircraft field and ask if there’s any racing groups in the area.
6. Know The Landscape Well
It is important to note that relying solely on the drone video stream can be disastrous if potential obstacles are unknown. Taking time to scout the flight path and determining the minimum safe flying altitude before flying is critical.
Take a look around your flight zone before you launch your prized drone.
7. Don’t Rely Strictly On The Video Feed
Keep in mind that a number of things can interfere with the drone video signal or cause the signal to be completely lost. In such cases, a pilot should possess the ability to continue operating the aircraft until it gets back to its initial departure location.
Some drones come with an autopilot feature, which is invaluable. Practicing flights with the aid of a map view will make you more comfortable with this autopilot feature. Be sure to play with the feature to get a feel for it before you're in a situation that requires it.
8. Prepare for Signal Loss
Signal loss is an unlikely occurrence that might pop up while flying a drone. It’s best to know how your drone reacts when it loses signal and be prepared for such.
When flying at an altitude that is higher than the tallest obstacle, the safest option would be to get the drone back home.
In a situation where a pilot might want to go for the other option of dropping the drone below the obstacle line, it might be necessary to consider programming the drone to auto-land or hover until the signal is regained.
Dealing with a signal loss should be a pre-game strategy. Don’t wait until it happens. Have a plan in place.
Of all possible hazards likely to occur in the course of flying a drone, water hazards must be taken into account as well.
In conclusion, we covered the fpv definition and then we discussed some great tips for flying your drone in first person view.
Whether flying a large multi-copter drone for aerial video or honing your skills for the adrenaline rush of a FPV drone race, the above-mentioned training tips and techniques will serve as a reliable guide for everyone. Hope you found these tips helpful.
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