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First Flight Guidelines

Learning to fly is a lot of fun! These guidelines are designed to ensure that your first flight experience is enjoyable, educational, and safe.

Know the Law

Many places have strict regulations related to using flying drones, including requiring a license when flying vehicles or a particular size/weight, or for a particular purpose. Familiarise yourself with the flight regulations in your area.

Select a Good Location

Selecting the right location for your first flight is critical. The main things to look for are:

  • Make sure the space is open. There should be no high trees, hills or buildings nearby, because those will impair the GNSS reception.
  • Make sure no people are within 100 m (300 feet).
  • Make sure there is nothing that you shouldn't crash onto within 100 m - no houses, structures, cars, water, corn fields (hard to find drones in).


100m clearance is a good "rule of thumb", but in many cases there will be an appropriate regulartory distance, and this may depend on factors such as whether you have a license.

Bring a Pro

Bring someone with experience for your first flight. Get them to help you to run through the pre-flight checks and let them intervene if something goes wrong!

Plan the Flight

Plan the flight before taking off. Make sure you know the whole route and where/how the vehicle will land.

Limit the Damage

Damaging property or injuring people with your UAV can have significant legal and financial consequences (far in excess of the value of the UAV itself).

The UAV should always be manually flown within a safe zone where there are no obstacles or people, and it must be clearly visible at all times.

If you start to lose control over the vehicle, and cannot bring it back under control, crash it in an empty area as soon as possible.


It can be useful to set an emergency switch on your transmitter to immediately return or crash the drone if necessary.