SAFETY

Practice maneuvers! Don’t fly beyond your capability.
Continually ask: “What would happen if my drone fails now?”
Always seek permission to photograph before flying.
You are liable as a pilot.

FAA RULES EXCERPT

https://www.faa.gov/uas/

No commercial RC flight.
400ft max altitude above ground.

DRONIE GUIDE
Starting Aerial Cinematography

Line-of-sight flying only.
55lb Max takeoff weight.
No flying within 5 miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator.

AMA SAFETY CODE

https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.PDF

Avoid all other aircraft! Helicopters, parachuters, and kites fly in the
same airspace as drones.
Avoid flying directly over people (25ft horizontal clearance recommended).
Avoid flying directly over structures, utility wires and poles.
No interference with law enforcement, fire, emergency, and safety crews.
AMA provides liability and equipment insurance!

WEATHER AND ENVIRONMENT
Obstacles block your GPS signal, which reduces your hover accuracy.
Don’t fly in heavy winds (>20mph), bad gusts, or during rain or lightning storms!
by Niels Joubert

High altitude flying (eg. flying in the mountains) demands more power at all times.
Lower safety margins, less battery life.
Similarly, hotter air demands more power to hover.
Hot, less dense air increases the “Density Altitude”.
Note: This is not legal advice, you are personally responsible for knowing, understanding and following all laws and
regulations. Neither Cameralends nor the Stanford UAV Club assumes any liability by providing this educational
brochure.

http://cameralends.com

http://uav.stanford.edu

RC PILOT TECHNIQUE

DRONIE TECHNIQUE - OUR PLAN FOR TODAY

The dual gimbal controller commands relative velocities in multiple directions:

A dronie is a video that starts with the camera facing yourself. The camera then

Left Gimbal: Rotate left-right, set climb/descend velocity.

dramatically pulls away and up to reveal your surroundings. Start with the drone 10ft away

Right Gimbal: Set left-right velocity, set forward-backward velocity.

and above you, camera pointed 30 degrees down, and get ready to fly! Always make

Orientation is relative to the drone’s direction: the aircraft nose defines forward.
Control Inversion: If the drone faces you, control left is your right.
Plan your flight and how to execute it beforehand!
Practice makes perfect!

smooth, careful, small changes of the control sticks!
Getting Acquainted
You’ve just been handed a flying drone! Start by moving every control independently, flying
away from your starting point, then back. Focus on smooth, small and controlled
movements.
1.

Fly left, stop, then fly right to return to your original position.

2.

Fly forward, stop, then fly back to your original position.

3.

Descend, then climb back to your original position.

4.

Yaw around 90 degrees, yaw back to your original orientation.

Yaw around facing yourself to experiment with inverted controls.
1.

Fly left using control-right, fly back to your original spot.

2.

Fly right using control-left, fly back to your original spot.

3.

Fly towards yourself with control-forward, fly back.

Your first dronie!
1.

Yaw the quad around facing towards you if not already!

2.

Make small, smooth adjustment to get yourself in the center of the frame.

3.

Start moving the drone away and up - start slowly, and commit to flying straight.

4.

Aim to smoothly accelerate up and away while keeping yourself centered.

5.

Glance at your video - if one direction of travel isn’t keeping up with the other,
accelerate that direction!

7.

Look primarily at the drone and don’t hit anything!

AERIAL CINEMATOGRAPHY TECHNIQUE
Small position changes close to a subject causes large visual changes. So, when flying
close to a subject:

Make small, careful, smooth moves.

The inaccuracies in GPS are much more apparent from the drone drifting around.

Large position changes far away from a subject causes small visual changes.
Orientation changes causes the same visual effect regardless of distance from subject.
Avoid crashes by managing your attention: keep your eyes on your drone.
Source: DJI Pilot Training Guide: uav.stanford.edu/dji-quadrotor-pilot-training-manual/

It’s often worthwhile to first fly to both the start and end of the shot before capturing it.