My drone has become rogue and flew away on the very first flight. Research shows that flyaway drones are quite common even with experienced pilots. Moreover, it is estimated that around 30% of DJI Phantoms have flown away. From my case I can make a number of conclusions. Some are very obvious. Either case, here are key points and mistakes that I’ve made.

1. My radio controller batteries where not fully charged and this has affected the control range.

2. The FPV battery was not fully charged either. This has negatively affected the range of the video transmission as well.

3. I was not familiar with controlling the quad. It’s more difficult than it seems.

4. I did not become familiar with the RTH function. On quads without GPS, the RTH functionality is rather limited.

5. I have chosen a very bad place for flying: small area with swimming pool in a closed yard. I have omitted basic maneuvers and tried “cool” stuff right away. Because of obstacles running after the drone was difficult and I’ve lost precious seconds. Flying a quadcopter is way different than plying a helicopter.

6. I have chosen a night time and even though the drone had LEDs, getting the sight of it was difficult. Also, night makes “find operation” more complicated.

7. The cheaper the drone, the difficult it is to control.

I hope this experience helps new pilots not to make the same mistakes. Most importantly, start slowly, start with smaller steps and gradually increase complexity of maneuvers and flying technique.