Drone newbie in the UK... Any advice welcome!

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Hello everyone!

It's my first time here in this forum, and, it is my first time venturing into the world of drones, so, I am looking forward to talking with enthusiasts, experienced and hobbyists. I will just say that I still do not yet have my drone: it is on order, but DJI seem to be taking their time with the "new batches". I am hoping this does not signify any gremlins in the pipeline! I had been seduced by the Mavic Pro because of its portability, but, as soon as the P4 Pro came out, well, two things: 1) far more sensors so it made sense from both a safety first and as a beginning, more protection/ fail safes; 2) as a long term photographer, the mechanical adjustable shutter and better 1 inch sensor really appealed to me off the bat, as well as the improved dynamic range, etc.

So, naturally I am excited about this, but nervous at the same time. The thing that is making me the MOST nervous is spending such a large amount of money on a drone in uncertain times: my research appears to indicate that drone usage is under the magnifying glass by not only the UK but also a European Union task group (EASA, I think they are called if I remember right?) so I am worried about all the rules they are mulling over... i have seen lots of YouTube videos where too many people seem to be gettong silly with their drones, and I even saw one drone (looked like a Phantom) hit the wing on a passenger aircraft in New York. It damaged the plane's wing - luckily it didn't go into the engine, but it destroyed the bit that curves up on the wing. People who do this sort of thing concern me a great deal as I do not want to spend £1800 only to find the hobby is suddenly made illegal or very difficult to do due to some irresponsible behaviour.

So I am interested please in any advice when starting out as a hobbyist please. Should I get insurance of some description, for instance even as just being a hobbyist? Should I attach a GPS tracker to the drone when it is in use (I've seen some videos on these)? Is it advisable to get those range extenders even if not flying too far away, just to ensure the strongest of signals at all times? I realise I might be going overboard here, but, it is a not insignificant investment, and I want to both protect that investment and ensure I don't do anything to risk others, my own future doing this, etc. Even though it is not apparently law yet, do people put some form of identification tags on their drones just in case it gets lost or you lose control for some unexplained reason? Are there any other safety techniques that are advisable to apply in your experience I may not have considered (I have ordered prop guards as a back up, for instance)? I am fully aware of the CAA guidelines of 122m max height and 500m horizontally, and the 50 metre rules from people and buildings so, of course, I want to do this as responsibly and at low a risk as I possibly can, especially while learning, and I do not want to be a statistic that adds to jeopardising the fun for all in what is clearly a very exciting new media.

Also, if there are any drone flyers in the Sussex region of the UK or even some clubs I don't know about, I'd be really grateful to hear of those :)

Thanks for your attention and I wish DJI would hurry up !
 
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Meta4

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I even saw one drone (looked like a Phantom) hit the wing on a passenger aircraft in New York. It damaged the plane's wing - luckily it didn't go into the engine, but it destroyed the bit that curves up on the wing.
That's a well known fake. If it really happened you'd have heard a lot more about it.
I'd recommend holding off on all the accessories until you do a bit of flying and get a feel for what you might really use.
 

msinger

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Welcome to Phantom Pilots! :)
 
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Hey welcome, another uk phantom user here. Pretty new myself and your thoughts are reasonable and on the right path. Just take time to learn the controls, read the instructions and follow tutorials. Good luck


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Greetings! Sounds like you are approaching the field of drones with a exellent view. Yes, it can be scary at first, but after a bit of flying you'll be just fine. Prop guards would be advisable at least 'till you get some hours in. Range extenders can be useful even if you don't need them for great distances. I use mine for that. Taking it slow and exploring all the features, settings (Return to home altitude most important) will be the first thing to do. Enjoy and all the best.
 
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I'm nearly in the same position as you..but am trying to decide whether to start with the P3 Standard or Advanced (as I'm more likely to crash it in the first year ).
I'm in Worthing, so if all goes well I'll give you a shout and we can be noobies together lol. Gareth

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Just my opinion, don't worry so much. As long as you have a good set of preflight and post flight checks you will be ok.
I, like you I purchased my drone for photography, not for stunt flying or trying to fly as far out as possible. I set the max altitude to 300m and max flying distance to within the boundary of my planned flights takeoff point and the nearest congested area if there is one, this way the aircraft will stay with those constraints. The reason for the 300m altitude is because in the UK it's legal to fly at that altitude as long as you have a competent spotter. Which is great because I usually have someone with me if I planned a flight over 120m anyway. In all the hundreds of flights I have made I have had no issues, my kit is well maintained and checked before and after a flight. You can get cheap insurance by becoming a member of the BMFA, it's about £70 or so but you get great cover for the year. Worth looking into if you are worried about where you are flying.
As for flying, find a nice big open space, put it in beginner mode and practice slow movements. Get used to how it flies. Practice flying with the aircraft facing you and away from you. When you feel comfortable try gaining a bit of altitude and have a look around. Always fly with fresh charged batteries at 100%. Just be aware the CAA regulations are that you have to be 150m away from congested (housing etc) and other areas even though the drone code that's been made more public states 50m. Also, Enjoy your new hobby :) where abouts in the UK are you?


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That's a well known fake. If it really happened you'd have heard a lot more about it.
I'd recommend holding off on all the accessories until you do a bit of flying and get a feel for what you might really use.

Is that right? why are there people faking such things
 

dirkclod

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Welcome to the forum Nowelly .
I hope you will find our site helpful and look forward to any input , photo's/video's you might post .
Don't be shy and ask anything if you can't find it by searching .
This bunch here are the smartest you will find anywhere :)
 

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