I flew my drone yesterday!!!

This drone is a big deal for me.  I’ve wanted one for several years, and now that I finally have one, the weather has been so uncooperative that I haven’t been able to take it for a test run…until yesterday.  Yesterday was a beautiful day!!!  No wind, no breeze, near 60º F for the high temperature and a hazy, partly cloudy day so that it was just right to try out my drone.

I put the propeller protectors on, grabbed my drone and my iPhone 7S with the app loaded on it, and headed outside to the front yard.  I opened the app, then deployed the landing gears on the drone and set it down on the sidewalk with the camera facing me, as it instructed me to do on the app.  I turned the drone on.  The camera was working, and I had an excellent view of my boots about five feet away.  My husband waited behind me in anticipation as I attempted to make the drone take off.  For some reason, though, I just couldn’t get it to take flight.  I went through the short, simple tutorial screens and it said nothing that I wasn’t doing.  I thought of everything I could to troubleshoot the problem.  The wifi was connected between the drone and my iPhone, so that wasn’t the problem.  The camera was working, so the battery in the drone wasn’t low or dead and the quality of the image was excellent.  There was some kind of error, though, because I kept getting an alarm and a red icon concerning the IR.  Infrared.  That’s how the drone keeps track of where it’s at in relation to the pilot and it’s landing zone and everything else.  I took the drone inside to troubleshoot some more.  My husband had long since tired of waiting and gone off to the garage to work on something else.

Once inside, I set my drone on my office chair and played with the app a bit.  I went through all kinds of things over and over again.  The one thing I hadn’t done was calibrate the compass.  That was it!  The “compass”, which would be through the IR, for which I was getting the error alerts, wasn’t calibrated!  The poor drone had no idea what I was telling it to do because it had no directions to reference its potential flight by!  I took the drone back outside and calibrated the compass.  I followed the directions given by the app for this and got the beeps necessary to confirm that the compass had been calibrated in all three dimensional planes.  There was no longer any red alert icon on my control screen.  This was the moment of truth.  I hit the “Take Off” button on my iPhone.  It asked me if I was sure I wanted to take off and had a slide bar to confirm this on my iPhone.  I slid my thumb across the screen of my iPhone and the drone whirred to life.  It hovered about two and a half feet off the ground, five or so feet in front of me.  YES!!!  It works!!!  I wanted to make sure it would land safely again, so I hit the “Land” button on my iPhone control screen.  The drone sat itself back down on the ground gently and the propellers stopped spinning.  I had done it!!!  I took off and landed two more times to make sure I had the hang of it without damaging the drone.  Three take-offs and three landings without crashing the drone!!!  That’s unheard of for me!!!  I was so happy!!!  That totally and completely made my day.  I counted my blessings and, satisfied with my experience for the day, turned my drone off and took it back inside my apartment.

I played with it my drone and the app a bit more inside until I had successfully renamed my drone “BumbleBreezeVII” and registered my drone with its serial number so that my warranty would be activated.  I’m still contemplating purchasing the “Crash Forgiveness Plan”, which covers two non-warranty crashes and replaces the drone in case of a total and complete disaster, as well as giving me a 50% discount on other non-warranty fixes beyond the initial two that it would cover, and an unlimited warranty on manufacturer’s pieces and put-together.  I bought the drone for $50 off the market price, so the plan would only be $40 in excess of the full market price of the drone…  I have to think about it.  My drone may well get damaged as I learn to pilot it, so it might be well worth the money for the plan, as my drone could have a bad enough accident to require outright replacement, which would, in theory, only cost me the price of the plan – that is, slightly less than half the price of the drone at full price minus the $50 that I didn’t pay the first time around.  It kind of sounds like the plan would be worth it…  So excited!!!

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