Welcome Inspire Pilots!
Join our free DJI Inspire community today!
Sign up

Drone heading theory when flying with camera operator

I use telemetry but I also use the method that @The Editor describes. Once you master that exercise the anxiety that can result with loss of orientation is much reduced. Here is a nice video demonstration.

It kills me to watch someone hand launch a drone.

If you learn how to hand catch or launch and use it when appropriate, it is not cavalier and in some cases, it it the only way to operate in a given circumstance. If you are uncomfortable, or un-practiced, then you should avoid it until you are. PPE relative to the risk associated with the particular craft is also a factor of course.

As an aviator, I'm sure you wouldn't characterize as "cavalier" someone with training and practice hand propping a vintage aircraft. Someone trying it that is not trained and practiced is a moron, not cavalier, IMHO. And the consequences of doing this incorrectly are generally permanent.
Last edited:
I have a pair of strobes on my Inspire 2 for twilight and night flying. During the day when I’m flying at a long distance away and/or against a dark background like trees, I’ll position the right light out to the side and turn it on. Then at a distance I can I can rotate the drone and the light will help me with orientation. I use the map in conjunction with the light as well.
Strobes are my solution on my Inspire 1 Pro and Parrot Anafi. Red facing forward, white on top and green on the back. Although the Inspire is quite easy to see at distance its orientation is not obvious. The strobes make all the diffrence.
The Anafi is easy to loose sight of at even close distances when flying at less than tree height or in valley's due to its colouring. Again the strobes help a great deal.
@Forby thanks for starting this thread. I learned a lot, making the time worthwhile. I thought I'd mention the process I use to maintain awareness of the A/C heading: I use the right stick (mode 2) to "bank" the A/C, causing it to move sideways. If I move the stick left and the A/C moves left, it's facing away from me and if it moves the opposite way as the stick it's facing me. If it doesn't appear to move to either side, then it's facing 90 degrees left or right; in that case move the right stick (mode 2) forward and it'll move either left or right, revealing which way the A/C is pointed. I do this periodically while not filming just to make it a natural part of station keeping. Works even when the A/C is at the limit of VLOS. Either the forward/yaw or the method I use will work, I believe the trick is to perform the maneuver periodically during flight so when you need it it's instinctive, not something you have to figure out in an emergency situation.

My challenge is operating solo, when I'm both flying the drone and working the camera. Since being PIC trumps getting cool images, I generally tend to fly the A/C to the point where I want to film, hover, and then manipulate the gimbal to get the shot I want. If I really need to have the A/C moving during the shot, I try to not have that happen when the A/C is at a distance that makes orientation a challenge. If I really do need to do that, then I use a VO to help with situational awareness.
Hi I was referring to the difficulty in watching the drone in the air and then checking the Batteries time and height distance and I have had my drone 700 meters away and still been able to see which direction it is heading and been able to bring it Back. I have been flying for over three years and flown hundreds of hours
No incidents to report sofare

New Posts

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Latest member