DJI Phantom Beginners Guide: Part One

DJI Phantom Beginners Guide: Part One

Heliguy have been dealing with DJI Phantom's long enough to say we are pretty much experts in the product. Our guide is for new DJI Phantom owners.

5 minute read

Heliguy have been dealing with DJI Phantom's long enough to say we are pretty much experts in the product. From the first incarnation to the latest DJI Phantom 2 and DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ we have been repairing, adding FPV systems and giving advice on the leading quadcopter in the market. Here is what we have learned over the years. DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

Before first use of your DJI Phantom

Heliguy recommend that you upgrade your Phantom firmware first before use. To do this go to www.dji.com then click on products and find your Phantom. Then click on Downloads. If you are a Windows user, download the newest Assistant Software exe file and the WIN Driver. If a Mac user, download the Assistant Software dmg file. DJI Software Downloads After the software is installed connect your Phantom (props off) to your PC and open the Assistant Software. If there is any updates you will be asked to install it. Please do so. After that restart your Phantom and you're ready for the next step.

Heliguy tips to read before flying

The Phantom has a lot of power that could be dangerous if it were to go out of control. The Phantom 2 should be taken seriously, especially while you are coming to terms with the systems, and utility. Heliguy has years of experience repairing damaged DJI Phantoms, lots of incidents, we believe; such as flyaways and accidents can be prevented by the simple reading of the instructions prior to flying. Read and learn the manual and watch beginner videos on YouTube regarding your Phantom. Some of the problems that we come across are related to pilots going too far too soon on their first flight or just pushing the Throttle up without the knowledge needed or understanding the limitations of the phantom or themselves as pilots. You do need to land the Phantom, and that can be the most difficult part of the process, and you need patience to be successful. Watch a video and it’s saving you time and also good practice prior to flying. Heliguy's YouTube Channel It is a good idea that you test the Phantom on the ground before launching. This is safer and a lot less costly in remedy. Learn to throttle up, and listen to the motors and look at the Phantom for vibrations. If it’s not right, stop, and give us a call, or go back to the instruction stage. Plan your flight and risk assess your environment before you launch. Precautions and procedures are never fun, but once you build a routine they will become second nature, and you will become a very safe pilot. You will be guaranteed to reduce your incidents and increase your fun in the long run. Apply the laws of flight, refer to guideline given by the CAA (in the UK) or your local legislation, they are clear in your ability to fly, and restrictions in location of flight. Understand the Phantoms limitations. Keep well within those, never fly out of sight, and keep the Phantom as a close proximity as possible at all times. This is a basic and simple principle. "Pushing the limits increases your risks".

The basics of flying a DJI Phantom

Start by picking flying sites using these criteria for your first flight:
  • No water
  • No People
  • No power Lines
  • No cell phone towers
  • No Animals
Use Google Maps Use Google Maps Make your first few flights in these places until you know your DJI Phantom is stable and you can handle it comfortably before moving in to populated and challenging areas. Permissions may well be needed by CAA or relative body, follow their rules. If you hear, or see, anything wrong with Phantom flight, look to make a safe landing as soon as possible and inspect the vehicle. Check your compass is calibrated and vary your takeoff location. When you go out for your flight, bear in mind the weather conditions. If it is windy your phantom will be jerky when correcting GPS in wind, so look for different place to fly or just wait for the wind to die down. Phantom in Field Limit your altitude and manoeuvres. Start by just going up to 30 feet first and increase altitude by 10 - 15ft each flight, your goal is not for utopian video and pictures at first but to feel comfortable manoeuvring. Fly slowly and methodically, and do not climb higher than you need to at first Memorize these steps for all flights:
  • First turn on your Wi-fi Extender (if you are flying a Phantom 2 Vision+)
  • Run the APP (if you are flying the Phantom 2 Vision+)
  • Switches S1 and S2 are "UP"
  • Transmitter is "ON"
  • Phantom is "ON"
  • Reverse the above checklist to shut it down and finish your flying session.
On your first flights, learn to take off and just hover and watch the behaviour of the Phantom before moving on and undertaking manoeuvres. Try not to undertake complex manoeuvres, fly linear one direction at a time “etchasketch” like. Learn to fly a square; forward then left then forward, then left, then forward. Then back to your start point. Increase the size, vary the direction, then fly sideways, then backwards, and build your confidence and ability methodically. Safety for take offs and landings:
  • This is a multirotor, all take-offs and landings HAVE to be up and down, not at an angle.
  • Your ground speeds should be "0" (Zero) - (Airplanes land with speed not quads).
  • If windy, you will have to push the throttle a bit harder for take off
  • Test your Phantom thoroughly and make sure all functions work.
Charge your batteries accordingly and as specified in the manual and change your transmitter batteries every 4 to 5 flights. I would say that after 10 to 15 flights you can start looking to more challenging locations, by then you will know your Phantom well enough. If you practice your safe flying you will be doing your part at avoiding an accident and you will enjoy your phantom even more. If you have any questions at all, please do let us know via blog comments or by contacting us. Part Two will be with us very soon.

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