Introduction to drone flying, some terminology and the law

So you are interested in the hobby of FPV flying?

Perhaps you have a small retail drone that you have been using and are looking to move to the next level? Drone flying, FPV racing and freestyle is growing at an exponential rate worldwide. You could say its “taking off”!

So, how do you get involved in the sport? It may seem like a minefield, but its really not as complicated as it seems.

The majority of pilots start out by buying some form of pre-assembled drone, which is referred to as BNF (Bind-n-fly) or RTF (Ready-to-fly). There is definitely a place for BNF or RTF drones in the sport and competitive racing such as The Drone Racing League uses standardised drones such as these, to even the playing field and place the focus on pilot skill.

Drones can be flown by line of sight, so without the use of goggles. Using goggles to fly is called First Person View, FPV. At Droneislife, much like the majority of the FPV community, we focus on quadcopters, but there are alternatives, so have a look around.

Currently there is a very little regulation of the hobby. This is a double edge sword because although there is considerable freedom, the sport is attracting some negative press and arguably some foolish behaviour. Quite simply, the sport is growing at such a rate that any lawmakers will be playing catch-up. Most recently there has been an announcement of a new regulation commanding all pilots to register their drones. We have spoken to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and this new law will not affect custom made quads. However, we welcome regulation where it encourages pilots to fly safe! Stay tuned and we will update you as soon as we know more.

In the meantime we believe the best way to fly is to fly safe. Make sure you buy suitable insurance. Our pilots are insured with the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) which is often required for any organised events. The 2018 cost is just £34, well worth it for peace of mind. Don’t fly alone, so that someone an act as spotter for the group and be on the lookout for dangers. Keep to open areas; ideally those approved for activities such as flying. Better still, join a local flying group (we are working on building a section of our website to help you with this and there are plenty on Facebook!) Get involved in your local area and enter local competitions!

Most importantly, enjoy flying! We love everything about the hobby and hope you will too!