Learning to pilot a quadcopter drone isn’t as cut and dry as it first seems.
Even though UAVs are more accessible and affordable than ever before, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to fly. Entirely too many beginners fail to take a training program before flying a quadcopter for the first time.
As you can imagine, this doesn’t always end well. Of course, crashing a sub-$50 micro quadcopter like the Hubsan X4 isn’t the end of the world. However, it’s another story when you crash a top-shelf recreational quadcopter like the DJI Phantom 4.
The fact of the matter is that learning to fly a drone before actually flying one for the first time is a must. Though there are several ways to do this, the best is to join a quadcopter training program.
Below are 6 of our favorite quadcopter training programs currently available to the average person.
Benefits of a Training Program
The benefits of a quadcopter training program are pretty straightforward. First and foremost, it will teach you how to pilot a drone safely and correctly.
The best quadcopter training programs take a multipronged approach to teaching you about flying a drone. The first step is to teach you how drones work and how to operate them correctly. During this portion of the training process, you’ll also be taught about safety and legal considerations, including FAA state and local laws.
Many quadcopter training programs also utilize a drone simulator. These simulators can be used to get a feel for a drone’s controls and how they feel in the air. The best simulators can be used with an actual drone’s remote controller.
Finally, many quadcopter training programs, especially those you attend in person, give students the chance to fly practice drones. These are cheap, extremely durable drones that you can learn on without being overly worried about crashing.
Simply put, taking a training program teaches you to safely and effectively pilot a drone, saving you money on damage and repairs in the long term. Depending on the particular drone you plan to fly and its planned use, you might even be required to take a training program by law.
Top Drone Training Programs
Here are 6 of the top quadcopter training programs you can join:
Lemon Drone Course
We offer an extensive online course on how to fly drones. Our free Lemon Drone Course covers everything you need to know about piloting a drone in detail. Each lesson is accompanied by a YouTube video as well as any relevant downloads.
Each lesson in our course is a living document. That means we update it to accommodate current events, such as changes to FAA regulations.
Unmanned Vehicle University
Unmanned Vehicle University offers extensive quadcopter training programs for those interested in becoming professional drone pilots.
All of UVU’s courses are focused on small UAVs. The most popular course, the UAV Pilot Training Program, consists of 3 main sections. First you take a web-based ground school, then comes a computer drone simulator, and finally hands-on flight training is given by an in-person instructor.
UVU training programs are available around the country. Instructors will even travel to your specific location if you get a large enough group of students together.
Learn more about the Unmanned Vehicle University.
Drone Pilot Ground School
The Drone Pilot Ground School is one of the most intense quadcopter training programs available.
The course is specifically geared towards those trying to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test for a Remote Pilot Certificate. It’s one of the best courses for aspiring commercial drone pilots.
The course combines numerous video/text lectures with 5 practice tests. A flight proficiency test is required upon graduation.
Learn more about Drone Pilot Ground School.
DARTdrones offers nothing less than world class quadcopter drone training programs. Expert instructors with real life experience teach you the details of piloting a small UAV.
The courses can be tailored to your specific needs. There are courses that suit recreational drone enthusiasts and there are courses that are best for those interested in commercial drone applications. Examples of special courses include aerial photography/videography, fire training, and police training.
Another neat course offered by DARTdrones are their DJI courses. These courses are specifically geared towards those learning to fly DJI Phantom or DJI Inspire quadcopters.
Learn more about DARTdrones.
Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots
The Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots is a training program offered by the Technical University of Munich. The course is currently offered online at edX.
The course covers everything you need to know about flying a quadcopter. From the basic principles of flying one to current regulations, you’ll learn it all. A section of the program also utilizes a drone simulator to let you put what you’ve learned into practice.
As the name of the program implies, much of its related to designing autonomous flight routes and using a drone’s autopilot function.
Learn more about Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
If you’re serious about learning to fly quadcopters, there’s no better program than those at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The university is the first in the world to offer graduate and post graduate education related to UAVs. They currently offer a Bachelor in Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science as well as a Master of Science in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering. Both degrees also focus heavily on the design and construction of drones in addition to flying them.
Students have multiple options for taking courses related to these degrees. Classes are offered onsite at campuses located in both Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona. Online courses are also available.
Learn more about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Completing a quadcopter training program is a great way to learn more about drone technology and learn how to safely fly them. With dozens of options, ranging from basic free online-only courses to advanced Master of Science degree programs, there is something out there for everyone.