Drone / August 10, 2018 / Sanni Pekkarinen
Use of Smart phones and tablets - Operators should practice how to link up the drone to their Smartphone and /or tablets of the Drones controller. Onboard a moving vessel is not the time to get acquainted with how the operators Drone works. It is especially important if the operator is using a GoPro camera since the operator will need to learn the WiFi "pairing" procedure so that the Drone Controller and GoPro camera communicate. A Screen Hood is a must have accessory for operating a Drone in bright sunlight! Operators should know how to attach the hood to the device and how to use the touch pad with the hood in place. Operators should consider adding a lanyard attached to the controller - prevents losing the controller overboard and allows the operator to use both hands to work with the Drone during landing.
If you plan on renting a drone make sure you follow all the precautionary measures mentioned in the agreement. You should never fly a drone near radio or microwave towers because their frequency will interfere with that of the drone and cause problems. It is also not recommended to fly a drone in rainy weather. Although people fly drones indoors it is advisable to use these aerial vehicles outdoors only. Drone propellers are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injury or damage. While drone rentals are easy to acquire nowadays there is another option for you if think you cannot afford the new models of the latest drones available on the market. The choice is to buy a used drone in good condition by contacting a company that offers these machines at affordable prices. When renting a drone you have to specify the pickup date and the return date and then find machines available at a given time for rental. You can easily check availability of various models online simply by browsing through a drone rental site.
Flight Time - consider flight time and battery capability. Small Drones may have less then 10 minutes flight time while bigger Drones fly up to 25 minutes. For casual videos 10 minutes flight time may be enough however if you plan to use the Drone to locate schools of fish or remote moorings then consider purchasing a Drone with longer flight times. Camera- Many Drones come equipped with their own camera while others are able to make use of external cameras like a Gopro or DSLR. Included cameras range from low resolution with images stored on a memory card while others are capable of 4K resolution (broadcast quality) and relaying live images via WIFI to a smart phone tablet or controller LCD screens. External cameras generally offer the owner more options and higher resolutions but may not be fully integrated with the included controller system. An example is the Yuneec Typhoon G set up to use the GoPro Hero3 or 4 4K cameras. This is a great set up capable of unusually stable video in most windy conditions. However while the operator can see what the camera sees on the Typhoon controller LCD screen the controller is not able to control any of the features of the GoPro camera- and the operator needs to activate the video record button on the GoPro prior to taking off and then can only shut off video recording after the Drone is retrieved. Integrated cameras usually can be controlled from the controller.