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New to civilian drones

DFrantz

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
12
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48
Age
40
Location
Lewisberry PA
I was master pilot certified for the RQ-11B Raven, but didn't fly many missions. As the master pilot, I was mostly in charge of making sure the rest of the pilots had parts and kept operational aircraft. But I did get to fly in Iraq, and telling gals you're a RQ-11B pilot sounds cool so long as they don't know it was a hand launched drone.

Fast forward a decade and a half and I finally got a civilian drone. Picked up a DJI Mini 3. I plan to use it for content creation for youtube and who knows what else.

Right now I have passed the TRUST recreational class (and got my 11 year old daughter to as well!). I joined the CBO AMA for the insurance and access to UASidekick (were I discovered I'm just inside class D airspace). I know for my use I need to get the commercial certification once I start filming for youtube. Are there additional considerations I should be following? I'm sure there are 1000+ topics on that, but I do tend to become a bit of a forum junky so the interaction is always enjoyable for me. I'm working on the WINGS program with FAAsafety as well. What are some other freeish recommended training videos or practice tests for the test?

Other interest? I am active in my church and enjoy working on events and technology there, and that is the focus of the YT channel as well. I live on a small crop farm with my wife and daughter and her father lives next to us. I am an amateur extra radio operator (KC3STX). I love old machines, and judge antique autos with the AACA.
 
WELCOME to the forum and more importantly THANK YOU for your Service to our nation.
 
Welcome to the forum From Bakersfield.
If you have any questions about the 107 test or the advantages of obtainig your 107 I would strongly suggest the people over at Pilot institute.
that HAM radio license you have will come in very handy someday if you progress further into flying Drones.
What a cool MOS I had to drive trucks in the army :(
 
Welcome to the forum From Bakersfield.
If you have any questions about the 107 test or the advantages of obtainig your 107 I would strongly suggest the people over at Pilot institute.
that HAM radio license you have will come in very handy someday if you progress further into flying Drones.
What a cool MOS I had to drive trucks in the army :(
My MOS was in the intel side of things, so I mostly sat by my computer (which thankfully required air conditioning)... the battalion had me get RQ-11B qualified for the asset management perspective. Our 11Bs on the ground were the ones that got to fly the missions. I just made friends with the civilian team to keep the parts flowing. But it was a neat experience.

The the radio option is neat. I had honestly always skimmed past it when taking the various levels of testing, but I should look into it just to know more about what all is possible.
 
If you decide to get into flying FPV style drones the HAM license will let you legally turn up your video transmitter for Crazy ranges with DJI you don't really need much of a boost and besides they lock that out from the user. BUT other Homebuilts and RTF- FPV Drones can achieve impossible sounding range with their VTX's (transmitters)
 
Hello from the Crossroads of America DFrantz1928.


I was master pilot certified for the RQ-11B Raven,


Cool. 👍

Gotta love flying BVLOS. :)

Thank you for your service and enjoy the civilian airspace. ;)

Welcome to the Forum. :cool:

.
 
Welcome to the forum! :)
 
Fast forward a decade and a half and I finally got a civilian drone. Picked up a DJI Mini 3.

Welcome from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA. We have a Member's Map in the Upper Right of the Title Bar. Click on "Members" and then Click on "Member's Map…" Check it out and you might find some new flying friends.


As a New Drone Pilot, there are a couple of Legal Things you may need to do…

You have your TRUST Certificate. Your Drone weighs less than 250-grams (0.55 pounds), and while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are not required to register your Drone.

If you are considering acquiring your Part 107 License, here is a link to get you going…


Since you live in Pennsylvania, there are specific laws and rules for you to follow, please check the link below for all the Rules and Laws that are in effect in your neck of the woods and it also links you to some of the Best Places to Fly in your area… Also, if you travel on vacation, visit friends, and relatives in other parts of the country, check back here so you do not run afoul of the law.


Even if you have flown Drones before, here is some Good Old Fashion Advice…

You paid a lot of money for that Drone, put your phone number on it. If your drone gets lost or stuck in a tree and it finally comes down when you are not around, give the finders an opportunity to contact you so it can be returned.

Now, for the Fun Part, But do not let the excitement of the moment get the best of you. When you are going out to fly, do it slowly and deliberately. Get used to a set procedure and even practice it.

There are so many things I could write but these are the highlights that I feel need mentioning.

Plug in your phone/tablet into your controller; turn on the Controller and DJI Fly App (if it does not start on its own…). On the Drone, open the front legs, then open the back legs, then remove the Gimbal Cover.

The Gimbal is the most delicate item on the Drone and banging or bumping can damage it. I also fastened a short "Remove Before Flight" ribbon to the cover so it's more noticeable and I do not forget to remove it…

Turn on the drone and watch it come to "life." Watching the Gimbal go through its self-check is almost like watching a puppy or kitten opening its eyes for the first time…

Place the drone down (preferably on a Landing Pad) while it finishes its self-test (collecting satellites, etc…).

Check your battery status (Phone, Drone, and Controller), check the Signal Strength, by now the Controller should have reported it updated the Home Point.

Lift off, 6- feet (2-meters) or so, hover a bit, check the controls (move the drone a bit forward, back, left, right, yaw left and right). By now, your Controller will probably report again, Home point Updated.

If you go out in a rush and race thru your start up and take off before the drone has finished it prep, it may update its Home Point over that pond or that old tree you are flying over and in your excitement, you'll fly the drone long past it Low Battery point and when it engages Return to Home and lands in the pond or in a tree; it will be all on you…

Now go have fun, learn to fly the drone by sight before you try to fly it out a distance depending on the video feed, FPV.

I would also advise you to use YouTube and watch a lot of the Videos on flying and setting up the Drone. When it is too dark, too cold, or too wet, you can "fly it vicariously" through YouTube. Also watch some of the Blooper Drone Videos and learn how not to fly your "New Baby."

Below is the link to all of the downloads offered by DJI for the Mini 3, including the User Manual.

After you read the Manual, read it again, you will be surprised what you missed the first time and you will be better prepared for that first "scary moment…"


Fly On and Fly Safe…
 
@LoudThunder Thanks for all that! Not to rehash each piece of good advice, I'll say I didn't even think that state parks would be generally off limits. It makes sense from a common use for the greatest good perspective.
 
I love old machines, and judge antique autos with the AACA.
Welcome to the forum from NW Montana.

I enjoy antique cars and own a frame off restoration 1941 Oldsmobile Business Coupe and a frame up 1957 Thunderbird.
 

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@PakNheat380 Both great cars! I have a '54 Ford Y block myself, but it's very much in the project phase. Tucked away in the back of my shop for when I have more time. I'm not a brand loyal guy either, I just enjoy old machines and learning about their history.
 

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