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Flying A Drone In The Philippines As A Beginner

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A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle, often with a camera, that can take photos and record videos while flying. It is one of the biggest trends today among travellers and techies… and an innovative way to make films. Drones have also grown popular in videographies for events, like weddings, historical tours or island hopping, in order to capture a memorable moment with a breathtaking outdoor backdrop.

 

If you have just unboxed your expensive new drone and you are excited to bring it to the Philippines on your next beach adventure in Boracay or Palawan, you first need to learn the rules about flying a drone in this country. Flying a drone in any country is big responsibility. There are more things to consider before heading outdoors to play with your new high-tech flying toy.

 

Bani_Drone

 

If flying a drone is your thing, here are some tips and tricks from an award-winning filmmaker, Bani Logroño.

  1. Research about the legal aspect of flying drones in your own country. Regulations for flying drones in the Philippines is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). For more information, visit their website at http://www.caap.gov.ph/.

 

Tips from other drone owners: There are also specific regulations based on the size of your drone. Before arriving in the Philippines, be sure to contact CAAP to ask permission to fly your drone in the Philippines. Additionally, include in your letter of request the specs of your drone (size, brand, and other pertinent info).  Keep a copy of their email reply in digital form or printed form as reference.

 

  1. For the drone itself, keep in mind that, “This is a flying object and you can hit someone and injure them, so flying the racequads and the drones takes a lot of responsibility,” a reminder from Greg Villaver, a drone expert.

 

With this in mind, your drone should be in top shape before flying it. This is a very fundamental tip and yet some neglect this and end up with accidents or they lose their expensive drone. How do you know that you’re ready to fly your drone? Bani Logroño recommends this strict checklist.

Don’t fly your drone if you have not completed ALL of the items in the checklist.

 

Checklist
  1. Power must be adequate for flight. It must be in full power or 80% at the minimum.
  • Check drone power.
  • Check transmitter power.
  • Check the iPad power.
  1. Double check that the blades are secure.
  2. Compass on the drone should be calibrated. Compass calibration tells the drone which way is north.
  3. Make sure your flight space is safe! (Wide open space with less people, away from buildings, trees… less obstacles the better.) Stay away from things that might cause signal interference like wires and telephone poles.
  4. Make sure the weather is safe. If the wind is too strong or it’s raining, obviously, it’s not a good time to fly a drone.
 

 

“Piloting a drone is like driving an automatic car. Simple principles, but they require a lot of experience and practice for skill. So on your first flight, practice in a really safe place.”
~ Bani Logroño.
 

 

Good places to practice:

  1. Empty Parking Lot
  2. Empty Stadium
  3. Open Field
  4. Empty Beach

(All with permission of course)

 

Advance Level: Flying Techniques to Master

What’s the point owning a drone if you can’t even maneuver it like a pro filmmaker? Once you have mastered the basics in drone flying, it’s time to take your craft to the next level. Here are some more techniques that one should learn so you can impress your viewers with your breathtaking, professional videos.

  1. Flying a bit higher
  2. Flying a bit farther
  3. Flying over water

 


 

 

Drone Racing in the Philippines

(and where to practise)

Now that you know how to fly a drone like a pro, let us introduce you to the sport called Drone Racing! Bani made a short video documentary about drone racing as told by Greg Villaver, a drone enthusiast and an expert in this craft. Drone racing began as an amateur sport in Australia in the late 2014, according to Greg. If you want to watch, learn and get to know other drone enthusiasts in Manila, Greg suggests that you visit University of the Philippines Diliman CMO Field on Saturday morning. This is located in Quezon City.

 

Drone enthusiasts of all skill levels practice at UP Diliman CMO. This is open during weekends. UP Diliman granted hobbyists of RC drones, airplanes and helicopters to use this area as long as they take care of the place.

 

“I chose this hobby because it relieves my stress. The feeling of flight, going over and under trees… It makes you feel like a bird. It makes you feel free. For those who want to watch or learn, you can come to UP CMO during weekends and we are here to help you out.”
~ Greg Villaver

 


 

 

You may find more videos on YouTube that will give you more tutorials about how to fly a drone and what are the safety tips. Once you have mastered the basics, there are more tricks to learn that can create good cinematography for your video shots. On a final note, Bani reminds all drone flyers, “How you choose to operate your drone is 100% your responsibility.” Follow the safety checklist, do not fly your drone if not all conditions in the list are met, and master the art of flying your drone. Having full control of your machine ensures that each flight is a safe one for all in the surrounding area.

 

 

Author: Marcelle Villegas

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Photo source:

Bani with a Phantom drone – by Mai Logroño

Acknowledgement:

Bani Logroño, Mai Logroño and Greg Villaver ~ for sharing with us your drone adventures and wisdom

 

More videos:

Historical Sites in the Philippines from Above • Corregidor, Tarlac, Mindoro

Thank you to The Museum Volunteers of the Philippines for supporting and empowering historical and cultural endeavors around the country.

 

 

Drones in the Philippines | How to avoid Airport Confiscation

Is it illegal to fly a drone in the Philippines? Are drones illegal in the Philippines? Yes, if you don’t have written permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). These are the drone laws in the Philippines.

 

 

Video Reference:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmSpIQPFzeU
www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlGE038jc4k
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh9yxNWuEPM
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ivona_svmk

 

 

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