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Anyone who has ever used a drone knows how difficult it is to control it indoors. Being able to control a drone in a confined space full of obstacles takes incredible skill. Let’s look at the do’s and don’ts to avoid the dangers of flying a drone indoors.
Why do you need to fly a drone indoors?
Flying a drone indoors can be advantageous for several reasons.
First, indoor environments can offer a controlled and stable setting that allows for easier drone piloting and more precise maneuvers. This is particularly useful for practicing new flying techniques or capturing footage in tight spaces. Indoor drone flying can also provide a unique perspective and creative opportunities, such as capturing aerial footage of indoor events, exploring abandoned buildings or industrial sites, or showcasing interior architecture.
Additionally, flying a drone indoors can allow for flying in adverse weather conditions or during nighttime, which may not be possible outdoors. Overall, indoor drone flying can offer a fun and exciting alternative to outdoor flying, with its own set of challenges and rewards.
On the other hand, many jobs require the use of drones indoor, especially:
1. Video promotes indoor events
For events, it is essential to provide photos and videos covering the events on-site. Mainly they help to promote, communicate and attract crowds to that event. If this event were held indoors, they would have to fly an indoor drone to be able to capture these images. Some indoor events include dinners, conferences, sporting events and concerts. Because of this, it is very important to ensure safety when flying a drone inside; otherwise, there will be severe consequences if a drone crashes in this context.
Related: Using Drone Videography for Business
2. Industrial Inspector
In rare cases, manufacturing facilities can hire drone pilots to assist in inspecting goods and monitoring production processes and large industrial equipment. This is a faster and more economical alternative to rotating staff through inspections. Making this work requires the pilot to fly the drone to be an expert in close-range flying. Since the drone will have to fly in space with magnetic field waves from the device, it may affect the communication between the drone and the transmitter.
Things to do when flying a drone indoors
If you’re planning to fly a drone indoors, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and successful experience.
Plan your flight path and practice flying in advance
If you’re flying indoors for an event, planning your drone’s flight path is a good idea. At the same time, you should also conduct test flights in the area before the crowds arrive. This gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the space and remember the locations of obstacles. From there, you can easily fly the safe flight path you have practiced.
Remove as many obstacles as possible
Removing obstacles during an event can ruin the aesthetics of the space. But this one is worth the effort of getting rid of for the sake of safety. You can consider the hanging position of the banners and decorative wires so that they are neat and safest. In particular, fragile items and lighting devices should be kept away from the drone’s flight path.
Use safe flight modes
Most drone models have an ATTI or “Attitude” mode. This is a suitable mode for practising to simulate the feeling of flying the drone indoors. One advantage of the ATTI mode is that the drone can “automatically brake”.
In addition, you can use many other modes to limit the speed of drones. This can be called Tripod Mode, Cinema Mode, or Beginner Mode. They help reduce the drone’s response to the controls, thus making them move more smoothly.
Install the propeller guard
A propeller guard is a safety accessory that protects a drone’s propellers from damage and prevents injury to people or objects.
Not all drones have propeller guards. If your drone has one, you should wear them while flying indoors. Indeed, you all know a drone’s propeller is the most dangerous part. Especially when they hit people, it will easily cause hazardous injuries. While propeller guards do not guarantee 100% that such accidents will be avoided, they are still beneficial at a trim level of protection.
Make sure everyone in the room is aware
Situational awareness is one of the essential must-have tools to avoid accidents. Ensure you notify everyone in the room that a drone is flying over them. This allows the crowd to react appropriately if something terrible happens. Luckily, most drones are loud enough for everyone to hear, especially in enclosed spaces.
Always have a spotter and/or visual observer by your side
It is challenging to be able to concentrate 100% when piloting a drone, especially in an enclosed space with many people. Therefore, it is recommended that you operate the drone with a visual observer. In this case, the observer will help you look around and notify you of potential obstacles you cannot see. Besides, this person lets you eliminate curious people or barriers affecting the driver’s concentration.
Things not to do when flying a drone indoors
Flying a drone indoors can be tricky, and there are several things you should avoid doing to prevent accidents and mishaps.
Do not use drones that are too big for indoor space
The first safety measure when flying a drone indoors is to keep a minimum safe distance from obstacles. To significantly reduce the chance of a crash, you should use a drone that is as small as possible. Even if you collide, a small drone will do much less damage.
Ultraportable drones that are so popular today would be good options. The Mavic Air is one of the most miniature drones with a 4K camera, as is the Autel Evo, or some other smaller drones, like the Mavic Mini or the Tello. Then that’s an option you should consider.
Do not fly your drone indoors unless you are an experienced person
The word “Indoor” has many different meanings. Depending on the situation, it could be a living room, a factory or a covered arena. Each interior is very different and will present a different set of problems.
For example, when you use a drone indoors, you must worry about doors, walls and furniture, especially lights and other fragile items. However, when flying over a factory, you must worry about other things like magnetic interference from all the steel placed inside it.
Before moving to challenging environments, you should have experience flying in a specific environment. As such, you will also understand and get used to the drone and be able to cope well with different conditions in different indoor environments.
Although private indoor environments are not FAA manageable airspace. Therefore, you will be solely responsible for flying the drone inside the house. This will also bring many risks. You can easily damage something expensive or injure someone, especially beginners. So do not practice using drones indoors if you are inexperienced.
Related: Best Drone for Advanced Pilots
In conclusion, flying a drone indoors can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it’s important to follow the dos and don’ts to ensure safety and success. By practicing in a safe area, avoiding obstacles, and being mindful of your surroundings, you can enjoy the unique perspectives and creative possibilities that indoor drone flight has to offer.