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Flight Anxiety...

floyd

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I'm wondering if anyone else experiences flight anxiety like I do. Let me first say that I am new to this hobby. So, maybe as I get more flights under my belt, this anxiety will diminish. Currently, I've pretty much flown in my backyard, where I hope it is safe.

I'm a photographer and bought the Mavic for the unique photographic perspective it can provide. But it seems there are so many things to worry about before, during and after flying. For example, right or wrong, foolish or smart, justified or unjustified, I worry about the following:

• Upsetting others around me when I fly. Seems there's always some anti-drone person around.
• The police showing up because of some complaint. Even if I'm doing everything by the book, I'm not a confrontational person, so I would quickly acquiesce if told by authorities to stop flying and move on.
• Rules, rules, rules. Am I flying over too many people? Is this gathering of people considered a public event? Am I five miles away from an airport? Am I five miles away from the nearest helipad?
• Am I on private or public property?
• Am I disturbing someone's privacy?
• Is the drone too loud?
• Is it legal to fly here? Is it legal to fly above whatever I'm above?
• Will I lose the drone? Will it flyaway?
• Do I have all the settings correct?
• Will I crash land and make a fool of myself?

Please share any experiences you may have had or still have when flying? How did you overcome them, or do you still experience them when flying?

Thanks!
 
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JMF

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I was pretty nervous too, had to get used to just trusting the hardware and software, I still get overly cautious but I think that's ok.

I fly almost exclusively on 77 acres that I live on so I don't really worry about the other aspects you pointed out,
just fly with common sense and you'll be fine, enjoy this cool drone !!
 

microlinux

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Upsetting others around me when I fly.

I thought the worst, but I've had zero complaints. Lots of interest. I do a lot of flying in public parks - well away from people so it's clear I'm not trying to spy on anyone . . .

The police showing up because of some complaint.

If you are compliant with regulations, make your case. It's probably best to yield to the officer's decision, regardless. Address it later with the police department. I've had police watch me for a few minutes, but never approached.

Am I on private or public property?

Check plat maps.

Will I lose the drone? Will it flyaway?

Highly unlikely if you're not doing something sketchy.
 

Chip

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You just have to keep trying and you'll learn to trust the aircraft. But do read up on the experiences of people here to learn what not to do.

Yes, exactly, you have to learn to trust the craft which is an amazing piece of technology. Just like you say, read up, watch some videos, and then go to large field, experiment and build knowledge and confidence at your own pace.

On a side note, I had no idea so many of our colleagues suffered from this drone adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression. The odd thing is I get so much of that in normal life I turn to drone flying to escape it all and have fun and adventure! Im unsure now who amongst us has life and hobby right and who has it backwards.
 

Drone Master

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When my hands stop sweating, I know I’m good to go.
I hate the sticky hand feeling before flight.
When your over that, then your golden.;)
 

ROBERTNCREST

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I'm with you bro, with practice comes confidence. just getup there
and film, the more you do the better you will get. don't let anyone
slow you down.
 
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melmartin

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My first flights were sweat fests. I'd never flown a drone, and even tho I am a licensed private pilot I had just as much anxiety with my drone as I had on my first solo flight.

The thing is, over time you get to trust the aircraft, big or small. Fear is not knowing what to expect, and thinking about one wrong move and a thousand dollar drone you dreamed about and saved for would fly away.

The more you fly, the more you will know, but some anxiety is healthy. Put it to work with a solid pre-flight checklist. Make sure you know the rules, keep the drone in sight, and avoid risk. The DJI drones are well engineered and reliable. In general, crashes are pilot error, or pilot ignorance.

Just keep flying, don't over extend yourself or your drone, and it will become second nature, but hopefully never something you are casual about.

Happy flying...
 
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Babbe

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Hey Floyd. I feel your pain. I continue to suffer with the same anxiety you are experiencing after about three years of flying. I even sold my first Phantom standard as a result of anxiety but now I’m in Hawaii flying a Mavic Pro, Flying over water has with higher winds really stresses me out. I really enjoy it but like you, I just wish I could relax. Hang in there.
 

MrRobville

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Such anxiety is perfectly fine. I think every drone owner that didn't get their quad sponsored always has a natural fear of losing it, which is a good thing as it prevents you from becoming overconfident. That said, the great part of this fear will indeed diminish the more you fly, and you'll find out that lots of your current worries will become irrellevant.

• Upsetting others around me when I fly. Seems there's always some anti-drone person around.
You'd be positively surprised with the curiosity from people. I once flew in a park in a city within a No-Fly zone. Some folks came up to me, only to express their interest in whatever the heIl I was controlling there. It was fun showing it to people.
Also, once I flew in an industrial area, and within 2 minutes some guy came over to tell me I couldn't fly there and that the police would be called etc. etc. In such case I simply complied even though I knew this guy just had an irrational fear of drones (thanks media...). If you are in an area where people may be distressed, plan your shot first, and try to take it immediately. In my case, before that guy could reach me, I had already shot the footage that I wanted anyway.

• The police showing up because of some complaint. Even if I'm doing everything by the book, I'm not a confrontational person, so I would quickly acquiesce if told by authorities to stop flying and move on.
Key rule here: act polite. Especially if you're doing everything by the book. If you politely explain to them how you are following the rules and how to are aware of your surroundings, you show to them that you're capable and flying responsibly, which is what they usually want to see, instead of some reckless guy who hasn't got a clue about what he's doing.
Even if you are within a no-fly zone and the police show up, kindly explain that you do not go above the tree line and keep a VLOS. If they do make a problem about that, again, simply comply. It's not worth the trouble of arguing. And of course, apologize for anything you may have indeed done wrong. Police and people in general tend to be a lot more lenient if you act humble instead of defensive.

• Rules, rules, rules. Am I flying over too many people? Is this gathering of people considered a public event? Am I five miles away from an airport? Am I five miles away from the nearest helipad?
You can check that up beforehand. And if you do, and all is fine, you've got nothing to worry about. Tip: when in doubt, leave it out. If there's such a mass of people that you might consider them as a crowd, they are. If you are unaware of a rule, and someone notifies you about breaking it, see the above two ^^

• Am I on private or public property?
This also can sometimes be checked beforehand, but in a lot of cases it is hard to tell. I wouldn't worry about it. As long as you aren't peeking through windows or flying above sunbathing people in their garden, you are safe to go. Just stay away from police stations, hospitals and such.

• Am I disturbing someone's privacy?
You always are. ;) If someone raises the privacy issue, just tell them that if you wanted to spy on them, you would have bought a 60X optical zoom lens instead of a loud airborne grassmower.

• Is the drone too loud?
For the first time you'll perceive this as a rocket launch with the amount of noise it generates. But for most people who cannot directly spot the drone, they'd just assume someone is working on the house.

• Is it legal to fly here? Is it legal to fly above whatever I'm above?
Again, can all be checked beforehand. ;)

• Will I lose the drone? Will it flyaway?
Read up on fly away topics here and take note of what caused it. Having a proper understanding of what causes a fly away will prevent 99% of them. Drones rarely just go haywire by themselves without any reason.

• Do I have all the settings correct?
Yes, and if not, take note for the next time. Only once did I have to discover overexposed videos when I looked back the footage. Never since have I forgot to adjust the exposure properly. You cannot get it all right at the first go, and that's ok. That's what experience is for.

• Will I crash land and make a fool of myself?
A good thought, as it will keep you sharp when landing it. You shouldn't fear landing of course, but it's nice to be alert on potential crash situations. And if you crash it, unless you start running around screaming, no you are never making a fool of yourself. ;)
 
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TrayBoz

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A year and a half later, I STILL usually feel a little anxiety/excitement EVERY time before I fly - especially if it's in a new place, or if there are people around who I know are watching. It's not nearly as bad as it used to be. It's a little annoying, but I think it also adds a little to the thrill of the flight.

Every time I land I think, "YESSSSS!!! ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT!!"

Most importantly, always go to the bathroom before you fly. Even if I don't need to go before I fly, I'm guaranteed to hear the call once the Mavic is 500 feet up and half a mile away. :mad:

Overall the anxiety definitely gets better with every flight though.
 

UAVNV

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flying in locations unfamiliar are the most challenging for me

mastering the dji manual & understanding how the flight environment will affect your sensors, you can pre-plan your mission by checking weather, maps, altitude, flight path, etc to assess the risk

pilot anxiety can come from the idea of 'flying around' with no mission, this can lead to a feeling of not knowing what will happen next

knowing exactly what you are doing and mastering the capabilities of your aircraft will give you confidence to explain and 'educate' others - your professionalism due to your knowledge will come across should they approach you

keep at it! droning is not a crime.
 

jedpause

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Join a drone or R/C flying club if you can... fly with like minded people from time to time and confidence and local knowledge will grow...

Research before you go (Not sure if you're in the UK or USA etc.) but read website of national parks and forestry commissions.. people that own land etc. and see what they say...

In the UK it is becoming more and more clear where you can, can if you ask and can't... find the boundaries and then fly outside the no-fly ones...

A little anxiety is good, it keeps you on your toes! Don't break the height/distance rules, that's when things go wrong - common sense is golden
 
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floyd

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After reading all of these wonderfully insightful comments, I'm already feeling a little anxiety lift. But I have a feeling that "little lift" will quickly come crashing down as I drive to my flight site.

Thanks everyone!
 

blurred55

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My main worries are anti-drone people and police. Its amazing the amount of evil looks I get from people. For some reason people here are extremely anti-drone and I'm always worried they are going to call the police on me and all it will take is some unfriendly anti-drone police to attempt to confiscate my drone for whatever reason and then look at the SD card and flight path and try and get me on any little thing
 

talespin

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As a southern California resident I am never too far from airport, crowd, private place etc! so only place I started building up my flying career was at the beaches. But guess what there are also people surfing and taking sunbath! but nevertheless, my flying was never frown upon and had no issues from public, instead got appreciating looks from people as if they were saying 'how cool is that'... for initial few moths don't send the drone beyond visible range. On my initial days of flying I never flew over any human-made property (be it public or private) so that the worth thing that could happen if my drone crashes was hitting some plants and rocks. And avoid flying in strong wind. Mavic is pretty dependable piece of machinery that will very unlikely let u down!
 
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UAVNV

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My main worries are anti-drone people and police. Its amazing the amount of evil looks I get from people. For some reason people here are extremely anti-drone and I'm always worried they are going to call the police on me and all it will take is some unfriendly anti-drone police to attempt to confiscate my drone for whatever reason and then look at the SD card and flight path and try and get me on any little thing

It is mostly due to the public perception that drones are used in military operations, seeing drones on tv before those who just wanted to get some great scenic photographs
 

p3-reaerial

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I was nervous the first twenty flights or so. After my first crash(Wish was totally my fault) I learned that if you follow the rules and guidelines there should be nothing going wrong. Always have a pre-flight checklist, and familiarize with the drone configurations and multiple flight modes and control options.
 
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net_slayer

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Every time and it annoys me haha. I mostly worry about a flyaway. I have Refresh in case i ditch it by accident and i'm covered but flyaway's scare me big time every time i see the forum posts about the subject. Usually though our flight log detectives can almost always prove it was pilot error so i read and and learn from others mistakes.

I also hate taking off near people as it attracts attention. Once i'm in the air i'm not bothered and i try to stay out of the way. I shot video of a castle last week and found a perfect quiet spot to launch from and people kept wandering over, in the end i got so fed up of waiting for no one to be around that i took off once i got a gap and people were far enough away. It's frustrating waiting for people to clear an area so you can take off safely.

Try not to stress and enjoy the drone and experience. As long as you're not breaking the law and being safe, generally you'll be fine.
 

Tinmania

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You just have to keep trying and you'll learn to trust the aircraft. But do read up on the experiences of people here to learn what not to do.
And what to do, if the excrement hits the fan.

A few of mine:
Wind kicked up and quad is blowing away? Decrease altitude, if there is room to spare, and switch to Sport mode and get it home.

Losing signal? Increase altitude.

Lost video and lost LOS of quad? Use Go4's map to fly back to LOS.

Go4 froze or crashed and lost LOS? Restart Go4 and/or Use RC's display to fly back to LOS, or initiate RTH from RC.


Once you handle a few situations like that you will gain more confidence.


Mike
 
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