Whether you’re flying drones for work or for fun, it’s essential to know the basics of your device. This will help you avoid making mistakes that could damage the drone, injure people or cause property loss.

The first step is to practice hovering. Lift the drone up to about a foot off the ground and then make small adjustments with the right stick (yaw) to keep it steady.


The first thing you will want to do is get a feel for the drone’s controls. The easiest way to do this is by performing a few small maneuvers that require minimal elevation. You will need to yaw, pitch, and roll your drone in order to have an intuitive flight experience.

To yaw your drone, simply move the right stick inwards or outwards. To pitch your drone, simply move the right stick up or down. Then, once you’ve got a feel for these movements, practice flying your drone in circles. Remember to adjust the throttle, so that you don’t lose too much altitude.

Once you’re comfortable with this, it’s time to work on take-off and landing. For this, you will need to be at a clear take-off point with no obstacles in the way and enough room to complete the maneuver without bumping into anything. To take off, press the left stick forward (throttle). This will start spinning the propellers, but it will not yet lift off the ground. Practice this several times, keeping it up for increasing amounts of time each time until you can keep the drone in the air for 30 seconds or more.

One of the most important lessons to learn is how to fly a drone when it’s facing away from you, toward you, or in either direction. This will help avoid making control input mistakes that could lead to the drone losing altitude or colliding with something it shouldn’t have. This is why going through a pre-flight checklist before each and every flight is important, as it can prevent costly mistakes.


When flying a drone, you have two joysticks that control all movement on the device. The left stick controls lift and the right stick maneuvers direction. Pushing up on the stick moves the drone upwards, while pushing down on the stick brings it downwards. The right stick can also be moved left and right to rotate the drone in those directions. Getting comfortable with controlling these functions individually is essential before moving on to more complex flight maneuvers.

For this practice, start by bringing the drone to a hover position. Then, use the right stick to fly it forwards and backwards for a few feet. Once you’ve gotten the hang of this, try rotating the drone to a different angle and using the right stick to maneuver it in that direction. Keep doing this until you’re comfortable flying a drone while it’s facing multiple directions at once.

Next up, experiment with an orbit shot. This is a great way to showcase a location and the surrounding environment of a property. Orbiting the subject at a distance creates a beautiful and cinematic shot that shows off your skills as a pilot.

To master this, you’ll need to be in an open area free of obstacles that could bump into your drone and knock it off course. Local parks and sporting ovals are good options. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your drone is set to fly automatic return, auto capture, image recording, and have access to the advanced settings on your controller if it has them.


Once you’re comfortable with the directional controls, it’s time to focus on altitude control. The left stick is your throttle, and pushing it up increases the speed of the motors and helps the drone gain height. Pulling the stick down reduces throttle and altitude, helping the drone slow down and descend to a safe landing.

As you fly, keep an eye on your drone’s location at all times to ensure that it doesn’t run into anything or anyone. It’s also important to check the weather forecast before flying as high winds can cause the drone to lose control and potentially damage the rotor blades or injure someone.

The right stick is where the pitch and roll functions reside. To practice both of these, start with the drone in a hover and push it forward by a few meters. Then, using the yaw function, rotate the drone 90 degrees clockwise and then roll it back to the original position. Do this a few times to get used to how responsive the two control functions are.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try performing an orbit. This is a beautiful flight mode that lets you circle your subject and capture a unique perspective. It’s great for showcasing residential real estate, commercial properties, and construction projects. To do this, set a large radius and a slow flight speed. This will create a nice, subtle sweeping motion as the drone moves around your subject. You can also use the yaw and pitch functions to add in some extra tilt-up action for an added effect. Just remember to practice and stay safe!


As you become comfortable flying your drone, for example a DJI Matrice 30 Series – M30T with Shield Basic, it’s important to move beyond the basic movements and learn how to use some of the more advanced features. This allows you to create more creative, dynamic drone footage that can elevate your videos and photos.

One such feature is orbit, which allows the drone to fly in a circle around a point of interest. Orbit can be used to capture beautiful footage of an event or to create a more cinematic reveal of your subject. To practice this movement, start by finding a large, open space that is free of people or obstacles. Sporting ovals or local parks are ideal. Once you have located a safe space, ensure the drone is fully charged and that you’ve read the manufacturer’s manual. This will ensure you’re using the right settings for your specific drone model and that the controls are calibrated correctly.

Once you’re comfortable, start by positioning the drone at the take-off point and ensuring there are no objects or people in front of it. Slowly push the right stick forward and adjust it left and right to maneuver the drone in different directions. Likewise, press the left stick forward and adjust it backward (throttle) to control its height.

It’s recommended that beginners use two fingers on each control stick to ensure maximum precision. After a few flights, you should be able to easily and smoothly shoot an orbit. However, it’s important to remember that orbit is a complex movement and requires time and practice to master. It’s also important to always keep an eye on the drone and make sure it doesn’t get too close to an object or person.


For your first few flights, it’s best to keep the drone low. This will help you learn how to control its movement and avoid crashing it into things. It’s also safer for you if the drone does crash, especially since regulations regarding drone flight are getting more strict.

After you’ve practiced a little and gotten familiar with the controls, it’s time to try some higher movements. Start by pushing the sticks slightly so the drone performs slight movements. Then slowly increase the pressure until you can control more dramatic movements. You can also practice by moving the drone around a set point. Try moving it in a circle or a square and then landing on that spot.

It takes a lot of practice to get the hang of controlling a drone. But once you’ve mastered these basic moves, you can fly your drone like a pro. You can even try your hand at more advanced maneuvers, such as flying the drone in an orbit and taking stunning images from above.

The key to mastering these movements is to be patient and work within your skill level. It can take a few hours or even a day to become comfortable with basic flying skills, so don’t rush. And always remember to fly in a safe location where there are no objects or people nearby.

Finally, make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual for your specific drone model before you take it out on its maiden flight. This should cover all the information you need to know about how to operate your drone, including the different functions and camera modes, as well as tips on how to fly it safely and properly.