Let these drone fails teach you what *not* to do while piloting

We usually skip over fail videos on YouTube. But when we happened across this one, we thought it offered some lessons for drone pilots. And so we’re going to interrupt our normal drone news programming to offer you a greatest hits package featuring some dreadful pilot errors. Oh yes, and a couple of dogs.

Drones these days are not that difficult to fly. Many of the consumer drones on the market can be reliably flown straight out of the box. And even if something does start to go wrong, you can generally take your hands off the sticks and your drone will go into a stable hover. But reacting calmly to a rapidly unfolding situation isn’t always human nature. Some people try to over-correct – or don’t even seem to see what’s coming.

So rather than just be entertained by the poor souls you’re about to see, try to learn from their mistakes. That being said, we won’t blame you if you laugh.

Epic drone fails you can learn from…

This compilation reel comes to you courtesy of Fail Army, which has made a name for itself by knitting fails together into what we might call “greatest hits” packages. In this case, the greatest hits all involve drones. Drones hitting buildings, drones hitting people, drones hitting cars, shoes hitting drones, dogs biting drones – and more.

Interestingly, Fail Army took the time to add Foley audio to many of these, so don’t assume you’re hearing the actual audio from the event. But if you can’t always believe your ears… you can certainly believe your eyes.

Ready? Of course you are. Here you go:

Learn from the mistakes of others…

Some lessons?

Well, the most obvious is: Learn how to fly your drone properly. But there actually are some nuggets we can pick up on. They include:

If things go south, release the sticks

Assuming you’re flying a product that reverts to a stable hover with no inputs (and, obviously, not an FPV racing drone), simply take your hands off the controls. Let the drone hover for a minute while you get your bearings. Then take the controls – slowly – again.

Don’t fly too close to people

A number of these errors happened because the pilot was taking chances and getting too close to subjects. Things can happen fast – and those props hurt. Stay clear of people.

Be careful on boats

Landing a drone on a moving boat is tricky. It’s even more tricky if the water is swelling. Take your time, and be sure you’re bringing the drone in over the planned landing area from above. If you can stop the boat, stop the boat. If you have a drone that features a Return To Home feature that works with a moving target, you could always engage that first, and if confident, take over manually for the final part of the landing.

Wear gloves if you’re going to hand-catch on landing

Yes. Wear gloves. Preferably leather or something even tougher.

Stay away from birds

Because, well, they don’t like drones.

Stay away from dogs

Because, well, their bite is definitely worse than their bark.

Practice, practice, practice

We’ve said it before. Practice makes perfect. Don’t attempt crazy maneuvers unless you are really confident that you have the skills to carry them out. There’s nothing quite as disheartening as seeing – and hearing – a new Inspire slam into a wall.


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