New to the hobby and feeling overwhelmed? Don't worry, we have all been there. While most things you will learn with time, some things are extremely important to know right from the start. We have listed  7 of the top mistakes new pilots make so you can avoid them!Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#1 Letting Your Batteries Get Too Low

Each time you allow your battery to drain itself, it slowly wears down its lifespan. To increase flight time, bring multiple batteries to the field so that you can stay in the air longer.  Avoid using a timer as it not an accurate way (particularly if you are new to flying) to decide when to land your quad as this can over drain your lipos.  The reason for this is because maximum flight time can fluctuate based on your flying style or if you fly full throttle for the duration of your flight.  Instead, use a lipo battery voltage alarm/buzzer or if your flight controller allows, utilize built-in current sensors. A large number of flight controllers now come with a built in current sensor which is our favorite solution, such as the DYS F4 Pro, F4 Flame and Racerstar TattooF4S.

Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#2 Not Practicing on a Simulator

While we agree it’s not the same as flying in real life, FPV flying simulators have come a long way to closely mimicking a true pilot experience.  Using a simulator will allow you to to do many things such as perfecting your landing without your quad becoming a causality.  We recommend Liftoff as it is a great simulator that walks you through setting up your controller and teaches you simple turns and tricks, working up to completing a track.
Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#3 Skipping the Dry-Fit

If you are building your own quadcopter, dry-fit everything before you solder or glue anything in place. Doing so will give you an idea of how everything will fit and what it will look like when you are done.  Ensure that the motors, ESCs, flight controller, VTX and receiver fit in optimal position before adding optional parts. While lots of frames are similar, there are subtle differences that can cause fitment issues and it's best to know before your solder half of it down.

Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#4 Failing to Remove Propellers

This is one you don’t want to learn the hard way.  Even if you have triple checked that the quad is disarmed, you could drop your radio, the FC programming could be off or you could be a victim of a software bug.  Proper handling of your quad while the battery is connected can avoid unneeded bloodshed. When you need to work on your quad, always remove the propellers!

Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#5 Spending Too Much Money

Making mistakes and crashing is part of flying for even the most experienced pilot.  While we don’t recommend investing in a quad that flies poorly or doesn’t meet your expectations, it is not economical for most to purchase pricey equipment that has a high probability of being involved in a crash.  Start small.  A Ready to Fly or almost ready to fly quad can be a great place to start as it requires no assembly and is great for learning.  A great example is the Eachine Wizard X220 which even though it came out in 2016, is still a great option.


If you are more hands-on, consider building your own quad as it will give you the chance to learn how things work and allow you to learn how to repair parts, saving you money. Check out our products database to get an idea of product prices as they can have a big range. For a 5" quad, we recommend not spending any less than $150 (not including goggles or radio) to have a great time.
Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#6 Forgetting to Setup a Failsafe

A failsafe will cut the motor if the RC receiver goes out of range from your radio transmitter and is a must have when flying quadcopters.  Typically, this is done when you are setting up your flight controller via Betaflight (Raceflight, etc) and transmitter / radio.  Before going out on your maiden flight, take off your propellers, plug in a battery and spin up your motors to 10-20%. At this point, turn off your transmitter and your motors should stop. If they do not, it's a good idea to find out why and get it fixed.


The preferred failsafe method by most flyers is is to shut down all motors to avoid injury but there are other options as well. You can also set a delay between radio signal loss and failsafe kicking in to help for short drops in signal, such as half a second delay. Ultimately, don't leave home without a tested failsafe.

Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

#7 Flying where its not safe

The laws vary by country, but it's clear that we as quad pilots need to help set a good example for the hobby. First, we recommend looking up your country's laws and ensure that you abide by the rules. in the USA for example, you can review the FAA's website on where to fly which also lists safety guidelines. Be mindful of your surroundings and never fly in a populated area to avoid doing harm to yourself or others.


Lots of new pilots see FPV videos on youtube which take place in urban and sometimes populated areas. Although they make for good video content when done correctly, some of these flights are clearly unsafe and are setting a bad example. If the hobby continues to grow in this direction, laws will just get more strict which none of us want to see happen.

Top 7 Mistakes that Quadcopter Pilots Make and How to Avoid Them

Bonus: #8 Failing to Practice Taking Off and Landing

Before you take off in FPV, make sure that you are comfortable with hovering your quad line of sight.  Rough landings can do serious damage to your quad.  Start by hovering a couple inches off the ground , gradually increasing the height.  Ensure that you are landing the quad when it is horizontal and don't attempt to land if it is at an angle.  Make sure that the landing is soft and gradual and that you have mastered this step before moving to FPV and flying off.


Know any other mistakes new pilots make? let us know in the comments below! 


Last updated on September 11, 2017

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