Your Guide to Learning to Fly Drones

At one time, drones were practically the sole domain of the government, military, or eccentric billionaires. They’ve been used for bomb detection, surveillance and, in the case of DreamWorks Pictures co-founder David Geffen, documenting luxurious self-isolation practices.

These days, drones are literally everywhere. They have shot some of the most unforgettable scenes in movies like Skyfall and The Wolf of Wall Street, supported search and rescue operations, and may soon be used by Amazon and UPS for faster deliveries. While many of them are complicated and pricey, growing interest from consumers has created a market for drones (also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs) that are beginner-friendly and surprisingly affordable.

If you’re new to drone ownership or are getting ready to join the revolution, this article will help you get the most out of your new device.

How will you use the drone?

This is question number one. Not all drones are created equal. Some have built-in camera gimbals for aerial photography while others can be pre-programmed for flawless barrel rolls during a backyard show. 

Location is also important. Will you be flying it indoors or outside? Knowing the intended use will narrow your choices, as some models are better suited to certain environments than others.


RTF stands for Ready-to-Fly. It means that your drone comes fully assembled and is ready for flight as soon as you take it out of the box. Some drones, on the other hand, are DIY, meaning that you need to assemble it or purchase additional equipment, such as a flight battery or radio controller, before it can be used.

At XPG, we recommend the following drones for beginners:

  • Tumbling RC Drone With 720p HD Camera: One of our most popular models, this drone has a built-in 720P camera capable of capturing and recording pro-quality pictures and videos. It also gives FPV transmission in real-time and does 360-degree flips that support perfect action shots.
  • 4 Fan Yellow Drone: With its simple design and hand-directed control, this 4-fan yellow drone is perfect for beginners. It uses infrared to follow the movement of your hand, making operation so simple that you’ll be recommending it to other novices.
  • RC Helicopter DIY Building Blocks Drone 2.4G: If you like the idea of assembling your own drone, this kit will provide the best introduction to UAVs. It’s easy to put together and has the same performance function as RTF drones, such as 3D tumbling and 360-degree rotation.  

Intro to drone controls

Most drones use a standard controller layout. They may differ in size and shape, but the fundamental control modes are the same. This means that:

  • When you push up the left joystick, the drone flies up while pushing it down causes the device to descend. Moving the joystick left and right will rotate the drone in the corresponding direction.
  • The right joystick controls the drone headway. If you push it up, the drone moves forward, while pushing it down propels the device backward, and so on.
  • There will be different buttons for controlling the various drone functions, like panning the camera, taking pictures, and recording video. Review the instructions that come with the drone before going on some practice runs.

Choose a practice site

Once you’re comfortable with the controls, it’s time for a test run. When selecting a practice site, avoid places close to your local airport or heliport and take note of nearby buildings, trees, and power lines. It’s also a good idea to fly on a day when the skies are clear, as weather conditions like wind and rain can have a significant impact on flight performance.

Practice makes perfect

Even if you have never flown a drone before, a few rounds of practice can turn you into a master in no time. Many UAVs have a beginner mode that includes simultators (so you can get used to the controls before you fly outside for the first time) or restricts drone speed and altitude. Use these novice tools to build your confidence before you start soaring.

What’s the bottom line?

At XPG, we carry a wide range of both RTF and DIY drones, as well as the cameras, parts, and accessories you need to get the most out of your flying experience. Please visit our online store and if you have any questions, call 1-289-714-2090.