First time drone operator

My first ever drone. due to arrive tomorrow July 3. Nervous and excited. Mavic 3 Classic. Look forward sharing my progress with this forum.


Welcome from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA.

As a New Drone Pilot, there are a couple of Legal Things you may need to do…

Only pay attention to this legal registration stuff if you are in the USA, if you are else where in the world, there are laws for you too…

If you have not already done so, you will need to get your TRUST Certificate. You can get that at the Pilot Institute Web Site (FREE…). Your Drone weighs more than 250-grams (0.55 pounds), and even while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are required to register your Drone.

Link to the TRUST Certificate at the Pilot Institute Web Site (FREE…)

Link to the FAADroneZone (Optional Registration for Drones under 250-Grams…)

If you are considering acquiring your Part 107 License, here is a link to get you going…

If you live in the USA, there are specific laws and rules for you to follow, please check the link below for all the Rules and Laws that are in effect in your neck of the woods and it also links you to some of the Best Places to Fly in your area… Also, if you travel on vacation, visit friends, and relatives in other parts of the country, check back here so you do not run afoul of the law.

Even if you have flown Drones before, here is some Good Old Fashion Advice…

You paid a lot of money for that Drone, put your phone number on it. If your drone gets lost or stuck in a tree and it finally comes down when you are not around, give the finders an opportunity to contact you so it can be returned.

Now, for the Fun Part, But do not let the excitement of the moment get the best of you. When you are going out to fly, do it slowly and deliberately. Get used to a set procedure and even practice it.

There are so many things I could write but these are the highlights that I feel need mentioning.

Plug in your phone/tablet into your controller; turn on the Controller and DJI Fly App (if it does not start on its own…). On the Drone, open the front legs, then open the back legs, then remove the Gimbal Cover.

The Gimbal is the most delicate item on the Drone and banging or bumping can damage it. I also fastened a short “Remove Before Flight” ribbon to the cover so it’s more noticeable and I do not forget to remove it…

Turn on the drone and watch it come to “life.” Watching the Gimbal go through its self-check is almost like watching a puppy or kitten opening its eyes for the first time…

Place the drone down (preferably on a Landing Pad) while it finishes its self-test (collecting satellites, etc…).

Check your battery status (Phone, Drone, and Controller), check the Signal Strength, by now the Controller should have reported it updated the Home Point.

Lift off, 6- feet (2-meters) or so, hover a bit, check the controls (move the drone a bit forward, back, left, right, yaw left and right). By now, your Controller will probably report again, Home point Updated.

If you go out in a rush and race thru your start up and take off before the drone has finished it prep, it may update its Home Point over that pond or that old tree you are flying over and in your excitement, you’ll fly the drone long past it Low Battery point and when it engages Return to Home and lands in the pond or in a tree; it will be all on you…

Now go have fun, learn to fly the drone by sight before you try to fly it out a distance depending on the video feed, FPV.

I would also advise you to use YouTube and watch a lot of the Videos on flying and setting up the Drone. When it is too dark, too cold, or too wet, you can “fly it vicariously” through YouTube. Also watch some of the Blooper Drone Videos and learn how not to fly your “New Baby.”

Below is the link to all of the downloads offered by DJI for the Mavic 3 Classic, including the User Manual.

After you read the Manual, read it again, you will be surprised what you missed the first time and you will be better prepared for that first “scary moment…”

Fly On and Fly Safe…

Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Before attempting to fly, watch a few videos (like this one) that cover all of the features for the DJI drone you’ll be flying. Also, read the DJI manual (available in the DJI Download Center) from beginning to end (maybe a few times). You’re certainly not going to remember everything, but it’ll give you a good understanding of the available features and capabilities of your drone. And then you can go back to the manual or YouTube videos when you need to take a deeper dive into a specific topic.

  • Before taking off, always review the settings in DJI Fly (or the app you’re using) to ensure everything is set as expected. If you do plan on flying near any obstacles, ensure the RTH altitude is set properly in case your drone needs to automatically return back to the home point mid-flight.

  • DJI drones have a lot of awesome automated flight features. Use them with caution and never assume they are always going to function as expected (always be ready to take control if needed).

  • Sensors are great and they can help prevent your drone from crashing into obstacles. They are not foolproof though. Never rely on them 100% or assume they are going to work perfectly in all flight conditions – or react the same way when flying in similar conditions from past flights.

  • Find a flat, wide open place to practice (free of people, trees, and all other obstacles). It’s pretty hard to crash a DJI drone into the ground, so you’ll likely have the best success if that’s your only obstacle. Continue flying in this location (or similar locations) until you’re able to control your drone without thinking about it (like riding a bike).

  • Make sure you can easily see your drone at all times (required by law in most countries). After removing all nearby obstacles, nearly everyone who crashes/loses a drone is either not watching it with their eyes or cannot clearly see where it’s located.

  • The screen is chock-full of great information. Use it as a reference (sparingly) as you do when looking at your dashboard while driving a car. It’s also a great tool for framing the perfect photo or getting your drone in just the right spot before hitting record. If you’re mostly staring at the screen while flying, you’ll probably have no idea where your drone is located.

  • Don’t fly in sport mode until you’re comfortable controlling your drone. You don’t want to get into a situation where you need to maneuver quickly and aren’t quite sure which stick to move (another reason not to practice near obstacles).

  • DJI drones record a lot of useful information in the TXT flights. The logs are helpful for things like troubleshooting issues you experienced during a flight, locating a lost drone, and many other things. The TXT files can be found on your phone/tablet or remote controller (if it has a screen). See these instructions for more details. And then you’ll need a tool like my free online DJI log viewer or Flight Reader to decrypt and access/view the data within.

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Very informative information. These drones are the real deal. Reading thru the online Mavic 3 Classic user manual. A lot to absorb. YouTube very helpful also