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.

Hi. Thanks for stopping at SkyRogue. I am learning to build and fly FPV racing drones. If you’re wondering what FPV racing is, it’s a cool new racing sport. Pilots use small quadcopter drones that are controlled by radio. A typical FPV racing drone has a camera that transmits video from the drone to the goggles used by a pilot. In a nutshell, FPV drone racing is a combo of high-tech and high-speed. Speeds sometimes reach 120 miles per hour and even more.

FPV drone racing is a highly competitive sport. Usually the winners are those who use custom-built drones. Building a drone is expensive and high quality drones may reach hundreds of dollars. Crashes are very common and therefore learning on expensive drones can quickly make this hobby prohibitive.

A good option for entering the sport is to use a cheap, ready-made drone. That’s why I’ve decided to start with a Hubsan X4 micro quadcopter. It looks like a toy but I’ve seen a couple videos where it reaches 25-30 miles per hour and flies at quite decent altitudes.

While my Hubsan X4 is on the way from I get familiar with the theory and plan for my custom-built drone. Stay tuned as some really cool stuff will be coming on