Mavic Adventures Part 1 | How To Fly A Drone

Get Ready For Take Off

In the last few years, drones have expanded our view of the world. We’ve all seen those incredible aerial shots of landscapes, wildlife and action.

Most people imagine that flying one of these things is really difficult, but with the latest drones anyone can take to the sky in minutes.   

The Mavic is a state of the art model from the world’s most popular drone maker, DJI. Compared to a more classic drone – like the well-known Phantom – it features a unique fold-out design that makes it way smaller and lighter to carry around.

The unique fold-out design of the DJI Mavic makes it super portable.

The Mavic also boasts a powerful camera and a bunch of automatic flight modes that are really simple to use.

This super portable drone is the ultimate device for getting outside and capturing your favourite activities. Whether you’re into hiking, downhill mountain biking, surfing or snowboarding, in Mavic Adventures we’ll be showing YOU how to capture some awesome bird’s eye shots.

Let’s start, by walking you through the basics of preparing your drone for take-off, and mastering the controls.

First thing’s first, you’ll need a smartphone with the latest version of the DJI Go app installed. This acts as the interface between you and the Mavic – kind of like a digital dashboard.

The Mavic is flown using a controller that connects to your smartphone. With the DJI Go App installed, you see what the drone sees.

Before flying for the first time, run through the simple set-up process in the manual and make sure you’re in an open area away from any people, airports or buildings. The rules change from country to country so always check the local regulations on where you can fly.

Open the grips on the remote controller, place your phone inside and connect it using the cable. Now open the antennae.

The Mavic’s arms fold out in order. The top two swing sideways, and the bottom pair swing up.

If you’re getting your drone straight out of the box, you’ll need to attach the propellors. Two of them have white rings; match these to the motors with white markings. Open out the blades, push down, and twist it like a bayonet. And that’s it! With the Mavic, you don’t even have to take the props off each time you pack it away – just fold them back down.

Next, take the protective bubble off the camera, and remove the clip from the gimbal. Once switched on, the gimbal will keep the camera perfectly steady as you fly.

Make sure you’ve fully charged the battery – you can check the level by pressing the button once.

To switch the drone on, press the button twice, holding it down for two seconds on the second time. You’ll hear a distinctive beep when it fires up.

Do the same with the remote controller and wait for the app to connect.

It’s good practice to perform a compass calibration before flying. To do this, select ‘Compass Calibration’ in the menu, then spin the Mavic 360 degrees horizontally, until the light flashes. Now turn it on its end – so the nose is down – and spin it another 360 degrees. The light should flash again.

Once you have GPS signal, you’re ready to fly!

From closed...
... to flight-ready, in seconds!

The Mavic has an incredible range of over 4 miles, but relax – if you’re just starting out then ‘Beginner Mode’ will limit the distance to 30 metres.

Here’s how the controls work in the default settings…

To start the motors, bring the two sticks together and diagonally down:

To take off, move the left stick straight up – or just swipe on the app:

To descend, simply move the left stick down:

Once you’re in the air, try letting the Mavic hover. This is the amazing thing about modern drones – if you take your hands off the controls it won’t fall out of the sky; the aircraft will hold its position by itself. Thanks to its forward and downward sensors it can even be flown indoors, without the help of GPS.

Now move the left stick left and right to turn the Mavic on its own axis. This is called yaw:


To move forwards, move the right stick up:


And to move backwards, move it down:


To move the drone side to side, move the right stick left and right. This is called roll:


When you’re ready to land, gently pull the left stick down. Alternatively, you can press the “Return to Home” button, and the Mavic will guide itself back to your take-off point using GPS:

Having completed your first flight, keep practicing until you’re really comfortable with the controls.

Now we’re ready to shoot. To make the camera move up and down, use the scroll wheel on the top left of the controller. To start recording video, press the button on the top left. To take a still, it’s the one on the other side.

The Mavic can film in up to 4k resolution and take 12 megapixel photos – you can adjust the format and style in the settings.

In the rest of this series, we’ll teach some more specific techniques for shooting your favourite activities, and take a look at the Mavic’s intelligent flight modes. It all starts with mountain biking.

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