7 Tips for Flying a Small Drone Outdoors

Last time, I gave you seven tips for flying a small drone indoors.

This article is all about flying a small drone outdoors.

Outdoor flight is much different than indoor. There are forces of nature at play, and you have a much larger space to fly your drone.

Let’s break it down:

1) Fly in Moderate Conditions

When flying small remote control drones outside,  you should aim to fly in moderate environmental conditions or less.

Moderate conditions are from no wind up to a light breeze with infrequent gusts. It also means no rain, which can damage your drone.

These conditions are optimal because mini drones can be easily thrown around by rough winds. If the wind is strong enough, no matter how hard you push the controls you won’t be able to control where your drone ends up.

This can be very dangerous, even with beginner drone models.

So make sure to check the wind and other weather conditions before flying outdoors.

2) Choose an Open Space

Just like flying indoors, choose the most open space available to you.

Open fields are great for drone flying. The grass makes for softer landings, and there are minimal obstacles for you to crash into.

Open spaces are safer, and they’re more fun as well. You can fly as fast as you want and test your drone’s limits.

You have enough space to practice aerial maneuvers, like figure 8 turns, and (if your drone has this feature) you have ample room to do 360-degree flips and turns.

3) Counter Steer Against the Wind

If you are faced with some windy conditions, it’s important to do one thing:

Counter steer.

Counter steer in the opposite direction the wind is blowing your drone. This will offset as much of the wind as possible, and it will keep you in control of the drone’s flight direction.

Even if you head out in moderate conditions, they can change in an instant. So it’s important you are prepared for them.

If the wind gets to heavy, simply begin releasing the throttle and land back down. It’s always better to fly another day than to ruin your drone in adverse conditions (and have to buy another one on Amazon).

4) Watch Out for People and Animals

When flying outdoors, you are bound to run into people, animals, or both.

Sometimes you can’t avoid them, so when they’re around be wary of where you are flying in relation to them.

Don’t fly near them, and definitely do not fly over them. If your battery dies or the connection to your controller fades, your drone could drop suddenly.

5) Keep Line of Sight

In staying with FAA regulations and guidelines, keep Line of Sight (LoS) with your drone. This means having your drone in view at all times.

Especially since most small drones don’t have FPV capability, you need to know where your drone is at all times and how you are orienting it. This allows you to fly as safely as possible.

6) Stay Within the Drone’s Control Distance

Every drone has a range (usually measured in meters) that it can fly from its controller before it loses signal.

Once it loses signal, most small sized drones will begin falling to the ground or fly away on their own. In either case, you have lost control of the rig.

This is extremely dangerous. When you don’t have control, anything can happen, including some nasty crashes.

To avoid this, know what your drone’s control distance is. Then make sure to stay within it.

7) Be Aware of Your Battery Life

Finally, you should be aware of your drone’s battery life.

Unfortunately, most mini drones don’t come with flight telemetry data to show you your battery percentage mid-flight. So you need to know how long your battery lasts on one charge, and time it so you return the drone to the ground before your battery runs out.

If it runs out, the drone will drop to the ground. It could get damaged, or it could fall on a person or an animal nearby and hurt them.

This is one of the most important parts of any drone flight.

Over to You

If you follow these tips, should be fully equipped with the knowledge you need to fly your drone safely outdoors.

Where is your favorite place to fly? Let me know in the comments below.