How to Fly a Drone: Learning the Controls

Part 1 - For Novice Drone Pilots and Recreational Drone Flying

How to Fly a Drone - Part 1

How to Fly a Drone: Learning the Controls

Just bought your new drone? Well congratulations! Your new drone comes with a whole host of exciting features and capabilities but there are several questions you may have before your first flight – and with our new How to Fly a Drone Series for novice drone pilots, we’ll hopefully be able to answer all of them.

In Part 1 of the series we’ll try and explain How to Understand the Basics.

With your controls, they’re like a car’s steering wheel, the harder you push the stick, the stronger your drone will move in any direction, so make sure to push the sticks gently.

When learning how to fly your drone there are four main controls, the pitch, yaw, roll and throttle.

Pitch, Roll, Yaw, Throttle, DJI Remote Control


You can perform a pitch by pushing the right stick forwards or backwards to tilt the quadcopter moving forwards or backwards.

Pitch - DJI Phantom


The Yaw is done by pushing the left stick to the left or to the right, which rotates the drone left or right.

It does this by pointing the front of the copter different directions and helps to change directions while flying.

Yaw - DJI Phantom


The roll moves your drone either left or right and is performed by pushing the right stick on your transmitter either to the left or the right.

When performing this control, you push the right stick to the right it will angle diagonally downwards to the right.

The copter will then roll right and the propellers face left – pushing the air left and ultimately the drone right.

The same is done when you push the stick left.

Roll - DJI Phantom


A throttle gives your propellers enough power to get airborne and remains constantly engaged when flying.

To engage your throttle, push the left stick forward and simply to turn it off, pull the same stick backwards.

Throttle - DJI Phantom

Your drone also comes with a number of Flight Modes, the first of which is Manual.

In manual, once you perform a control, it will not auto-level itself back to its original position – whereas in Attitude mode, once the sticks have been returned to the centre – your drone will automatically level out.

Similar to Attitude mode, the GPS Hold mode will return your drone’s position once the sticks have been centred – with the same as attitude mode but uses a GPS.

GIF / image credit: DJI

We hope you’ve found this mini-guide helpful and now have an understanding of how to use your drone’s remote controller.

Stay tuned for “Part 2: How to Take-off and Land your Drone”

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