How long will it take to learn to fly my Phantom 4 Pro?

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I ordered a Phantom 4 Pro+ which will arrive early next week.

I have never flown a drone before so I'm a little nervous about it. I don't want to wreck it. I did order a cheap drone to experiment with, but I think the Phantom will arrive first.

Do you think I should wait until my cheap Syma drone arrives and experiment with that before I launch the Phantom?

I'm curious about how long it will take to become proficient in flying the Phantom 4 Pro. I will be using it commercially as part of my existing aerial photography business and have let some customers know I will be available to do drone work too, but I want to be realistic as to how long it will take until I will be proficient enough with it to fly it safely as well as fly it in a manner so that I can position it properly to take the photos and videos.

So I'm curious how long it took you to get to the point where you could fly your drone well.

Thanks.
 
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With this question you will get 2 different opinions. One is that the phantoms are easy to fly and they are, they maintain their position and altitude
when you let the stick go and maintain altitude and direction in flight, great! it does it very well because the system is that good. Now my question is how well
do you want to really understand what the bird has to do to maintain this great flight. I started out with a syma because I wanted to learn how to fly and crash $100
instead of $1500. The syma only has a gyro that will keep your bird upright. You will have to learn how to maintain flight in the wind and that becomes a lot of fun
as you get better, you will learn to fly coming (mirror) and going as this will quickly be natural instinct instead think react do and crash. With your syma you will attempt
things you would never try with your new phantom. You will smash your syma into things, flip it over and take off again as they are very tough little birds. I believe since
you already ordered a syma you know this. Flying a manual bird will make you a better pilot when all the automation fails and you have to bring her back all by yourself.
After learning lots with my syma and I got my P4 I was amazed how easy it was to fly and ran it true it's paces in a few hours, never get over confident or try to showboat
because ship happens fast and the phantoms are pretty fast and can get your in trouble a lot faster than the syma. That's my 5 cents. Enjoy your new addiction!
 
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Yes, practice with the Sygma, admire the Phantom, watch you tube videos on the Phantom, read ALL about it, then enjoy learning and flying about the pricey drone. Learn about return to home and set it's altitude according to the local surrounding objects!
 
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I had never flown a drone before my friend let me fly his Phantom 3 Pro, which has very similar flying characteristics to your Phantom 4 Pro. I was astonished how easy it was to fly. I now have my own P3P and have been flying it for almost a year. I had about 20 minutes of flying it before I was comfortable enough to take it out to distance and beyond the Beginner limitations.

Remember, it is GPS controlled, so with GPS lock it is extremely stable and is not affected by wind except under very strong wind conditions. If you take your hands off the controls it will stop and stay where you left it until you apply another control input. That allows you to think about what you want to do, and how you want to do it.

A couple things to remember, trees are not your friend. Don’t try to learn your flying skills near trees. Pick out a wide open area away from distractions and people if possible. Having a nice smooth area to land is a good idea because it can tip over if the landing area is not level and smooth. With the collision avoidance in the P4P trees will be less of a concern for you, but I would still stay away from them initially.

Another thing to remember is that the controls are in relation to the direction the camera is pointing. So, if you have the camera pointing at you the controls will seem backward. Moving the stick to the right moves the drone to the left, etc. Even now, when landing I still always point the drone away from me so the controls correspond to the direction I want the drone to fly. You don’t want to make a move down low that will move the drone directly opposite of where you want to go. Things can happen quickly down low and repairs can be expensive.

Don’t rush yourself. Practice in the simulator mode. Think about what you want to do before you fly. Have plans as to what you want to practice. I think you’ll soon have the confidence necessary to make it do what you want.

You are going to have a lot of fun.
 
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Do you think I should wait until my cheap Syma drone arrives and experiment with that before I launch the Phantom?
So I'm curious how long it took you to get to the point where you could fly your drone well.
Your Phantom will be much easier to fly than the Syma.
When you get it you'll find that it's much easier to fly than you imagined.
It takes about 5 minutes to learn - but a lot of practice and experience to become proficient.
Don't let the simplicity make you get too adventurous too early.
There are many things that can go wrong and you need to understand what they are and how to make sure they don't happen to you.

But for learning, the critical thing is to practise in a large clear open area, well away from trees and buildings.
Flying close to obstacles is by far, the largest killer of Phantoms.
Obstacles are the number one enemy of quadcopters.
 
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I ordered a Phantom 4 Pro+ which will arrive early next week.

I have never flown a drone before so I'm a little nervous about it. I don't want to wreck it. I did order a cheap drone to experiment with, but I think the Phantom will arrive first.

Do you think I should wait until my cheap Syma drone arrives and experiment with that before I launch the Phantom?

I'm curious about how long it will take to become proficient in flying the Phantom 4 Pro. I will be using it commercially as part of my existing aerial photography business and have let some customers know I will be available to do drone work too, but I want to be realistic as to how long it will take until I will be proficient enough with it to fly it safely as well as fly it in a manner so that I can position it properly to take the photos and videos.

So I'm curious how long it took you to get to the point where you could fly your drone well.

Thanks.
Just the fact that you have joined this forum indicates that you want to learn from experienced pilots. I have learned so SO SO much from these guys and they are always willing to help.
Your in the right place, learn from their experiences and fails, many will share the f ups and tell and show what not to do.
 
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I ordered a Phantom 4 Pro+ which will arrive early next week.

I have never flown a drone before so I'm a little nervous about it. I don't want to wreck it. I did order a cheap drone to experiment with, but I think the Phantom will arrive first.

Do you think I should wait until my cheap Syma drone arrives and experiment with that before I launch the Phantom?

I'm curious about how long it will take to become proficient in flying the Phantom 4 Pro. I will be using it commercially as part of my existing aerial photography business and have let some customers know I will be available to do drone work too, but I want to be realistic as to how long it will take until I will be proficient enough with it to fly it safely as well as fly it in a manner so that I can position it properly to take the photos and videos.

So I'm curious how long it took you to get to the point where you could fly your drone well.

Thanks.
learning to fly the P4pro is pretty straight forward if you take your time and use common sense...Read the manual a few times so you know the bird, watch all the videos you can, start slow and in beginner or tripod mode...don't rush it to accept a job

speaking of jobs...Have you taken / passed the FAA Part 107 knowledge test yet? You do know that you can't fly a drone for any kind of compensation without that license right?
 
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it's super easy. This drone is way more quiet, stable, and cleaner looking than the phantom 3 pro. Take your p4p+ into an open field with little to no trees. Skip the other drone since this phantom is on a whole nother level. Take it up to like 200 feet. Get used to it going forward and flying backwards or away from you. Once you get that done then it's pretty much a breeze afterwards. Have fun.
 
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Speaking of "Breezes".. although the Phantom does well in winds, take care when learning to fly in wind.
 
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Practice with a cheap 30 dollar Hubsan. Or go to Walmart and buy a cheap little drone. You can always return to Walmart with no issues after you learn
 
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it's super easy. This drone is way more quiet, stable, and cleaner looking than the phantom 3 pro. Take your p4p+ into an open field with little to no trees. Skip the other drone since this phantom is on a whole nother level. Take it up to like 200 feet. Get used to it going forward and flying backwards or away from you. Once you get that done then it's pretty much a breeze afterwards. Have fun.
I appreciate all the responses. Thank you very much.

This is the answer that I was hoping for, but I don't know if I should yield to the temptation.

Someone mentioned the FAA test--yes that's something I know about and will soon be taking, although I don't see why commercial users should be singled out. If this knowledge is so important, then why shouldn't the hobbyists have to have it and be tested on it as well?
 
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Getting a cheap drone will teach you only about using the sticks, and charging a battery. The Phantom line of copters are completely different animals. First thing to do is read the manual a few times. Watch some youtube videos. When you get the bird, the first thing you may have to do is upgrade firmware. That is a learning process in itself. Before you fly, without props on the bird, start everything up and make sure everything is connected and good to go. Then would be a good time to familiarize yourself with the GO app. It's pretty clean, but there are some critical settings and choices to make / set. Get to know the layout well, and what buttons and icons do what. The screen can be overwhelming at first, actual flying is NOT the time to learn it. When you are ready, go out to an open space, and calibrate your compass. Next, do an auto take off. Use the left stick up to gain a little height. Next, I would practice some basic maneuvers, straight away, straight back, with the camera facing away from you. Get a feel for the controls. Next, fly some boxes, clockwise, counterclockwise. Run down a battery. Practice landing, I prefer manual ones. Then pack up everything and go home. These are the humble beginnings, from there, you can try more advanced things a little at a time as you can confidence. Have fun!
 
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You'll get lots of advice to start with this that or the other cheap toy before moving up to the P4P and there's some logic behind that, but the newer drones by DJI almost fly themselves. I had no drone experience when I picked up the even larger Inspire 1 Pro and I had no problems getting a handle of it. I'd recommend:

1. Find a place that's away from people and things and large enough to move around without coming into contact with people or things. Make sure it's legal to fly there first by using tools like B4UFLY etc. Please, learn the tools (ask around) that help you know where you can and can't fly.

2. Chose a day with little or no winds and temps high enough that you don't risk a cold battery and go out with a couple charged batteries.

3. Set everything up and make sure the drone is flight worthy and go ahead and take off and climb to about 50 feet.

4. Now, use gentle stick movements to learn the feel of how the bird moves with the sticks -- be gentle and slow and also practice taking your hands off the sticks entirely to gain confidence in the control system built into the P4P.

5. As you gain experience and hopefully a little muscle memory you can expand your distances and speeds and even play around with how quickly it can turn etc. -- you want to learn the limits but do so a little at a time to avoid getting too far ahead of yourself.

6. Keep checking the go app and learn the meaning of the data presented. There's lots of data, but height, distance and battery level are among the most important -- for your first flight I'd land with about 50% battery so you don't push it. Over time you'll develop a sense for how much battery you have just by how long it feels you've been flying, but at first you won't. Keep an eye on this in the app.

7. Once you have a good feel for flight using "P" mode please learn to use "A" mode as that may save you if the gps fails or another system flips out. Do know that in "A" mode the gps will not be used to keep the bird where it is and winds will tend to push it away.

8. DON'T PANIC -- you WILL have issues at some point so you need to be able to respond calmly. This is usually where you want to switch into "A" mode.

9. Have fun and fly safe!


Brian
 
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Meta4

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Someone mentioned the FAA test--yes that's something I know about and will soon be taking, although I don't see why commercial users should be singled out. If this knowledge is so important, then why shouldn't the hobbyists have to have it and be tested on it as well?
Just be thankful that the FAA has finally stopped requiring a full airplane licence to fly a Phantom commercially.
 
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I really appreciate the variety of answers I've received. Since I just got my Syma today and since I won't have my P4P for about 5 or 6 days, I'll play with that for now.

How many hours of flying do you think it would take until I'm proficient enough to position the drone at various points at 400 feet so that I can take photos of large industrial sites to put in my portfolio? I eventually want to do video too, but for now I would be happy to be able to use the drone as a still photography platform.
 
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How about extending the sticks, to slow down the rates? It is easy, just loosen the lower nut and twist the upper stick until it is longer and comfortable?
I found this useful for most RC AC I have flown.
BQ
 
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read the manual.
repete.
repete.
now leave the beginner mode on.
fly the drone and have some fun.
trying to learn how to fly on a 100.00 drone will not help you very much.
 
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While wanting and waiting for a Phantom I got a Syma X8-HW FPV on discount from the local toyshop, it has been fun learning to fly and not to worry about bumping into something and ruining it. So far I have gone through 3 propellers from hitting the ivy around the clothes poles trying to weave a figure of 8 around them.

There is a huge difference between the two aircraft
Syma:


P4P:
 

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