…The next movie I do I’m definitely going to use a lot of drones in it, because they’re very light and flexible and fast, and there are things that you can do with them that you can’t possibly do with a helicopter for safety reasons.

—Paul W.S. Anderson

Drones are becoming a must-have assistive device in every industry. They are ideal for filming from every angle for a feature film. They allow real estate agents to show a property at its best. They enable search and rescue teams to get a better look at the situation that they are dealing with. But to fully utilize a drone’s potential, not only does the professional using it need to be well-trained in flying the drone, they should also have the best tools or accessories. The following lists some of the top drone accessories that can help you take your piloting abilities to the next level:

1. Some Fun Stuff

We will get to all of the necessities soon, but first, to increase the cool factor of your drone, it can be a great idea to pick up a few random extras. Some of these can be on the more expensive end of the spectrum, such as a flight recorder. This recording software enables drone owners to review their flight after the fact and it includes settings that turn the recording into a 3D version. On the other end of the price spectrum, drone owners can get decal sets that will give their drone some more character. This includes everything from camouflage and racing stripes to personalized name decals and glow-in-the-dark decals.

2. Signage

When you are flying a drone, it requires all of your attention. Being distracted can cause harm to the drone, to something, or to someone. But when you are flying a drone, you are likely in a public place and, with the growing excitement and interest in drones, people will often approach you. Sometimes they will just want to watch and sometimes they will have a question. Whatever the situation, it is a good idea to wear a shirt with information on it or have a standing sign that provides people with instructions. It is a polite and less distracting way to let people know that you are flying a certain type of drone for a specific reason. You might also include some extra information, such as the fact that due to FAA regulations, only you are licensed to fly the drone.

3. Carrying Case

Whatever drone you get, it will come in a package. But generally speaking, the package that it comes in is really not meant for long-term storage. It is probably cardboard, styrofoam, and plastic. But this does not mean that you do not need a long-term storage option for your drone. A quality carrying case will not only allow you to safely store your device, protected from the elements like water and dust, but it will also allow you to more easily and more safely travel with the drone. Some drone makers will offer specially made cases for the various specific drones that they offer. Some outside manufacturers will offer cases that will have compartments that will suit just about any drone. They all offer different advantages, so think about what you need the most, whether that is travel convenience or additional protection, and decide what works best for your situation.

4. Micro SD Cards

For those that have a drone with a camera, this tip is a must. Most drones have an average flight time of between 20 and 40 minutes. A lot of images and videos can be gathered over that time period. However, if you do not have enough memory or storage space, you could miss out on some of the best photography and videography that your drone can capture. So if you are going out with your drone for the day, make sure to take a few extra micro SD cards with you. For those who are just taking images, all you need is a few gigabytes. Those who are recording video, however, should opt for the higher gigabyte cards.

5. GPS Tracker

You probably think that you will never lose your drone. But what if you are traveling with it and the airlines loses it? Or what if your car gets broken into and it gets stolen? Things happen, whether it is your fault, an accident, or malicious intent by someone else. You need to be prepared. And yes, some drones do come with accurate mapping so that if they go out of range, they can be easily found. But this only works until the battery dies. To supplement this, it is a good idea to get a tracker. This can be a fancier one with GPS or it could just be a basic Bluetooth tracker. With a tracker attached to your drone, you can rest a little easier while you are sitting in your airplane seat or when your drone crashes and it is out of sight.

6. Propeller Guards

Whether you are a new drone pilot or an experienced one, crashes happen. And these crashes can cause a lot of harm. First, there is a strong chance of the propellers breaking if the drone crashes into the ground and they continue to spin or if the drone crashes into a tree or bush. Second, and potentially much more serious, is the damage and injury that can come from larger drones that are more powerful. They can harm animals and people. One excellent prevention method for both damaged propellers and potential injuries is propeller guards. They are not very expensive and they can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, they are really easy to attach to the drone, so not much technical skill or knowledge of the drone is needed to use them.

7. Extra Batteries

Pretty much any drone you buy will come with batteries. But the problem is that usually they only come with one set of batteries and this one set only works for a single flight. After the first flight, they must be recharged and this can take around an hour. A great way to avoid standing around, if you need or want to make multiple drone flights, is to buy a few extra battery packs. You can even find some batteries that are a little more powerful, allowing your drone to fly just a little bit further or for just a little bit longer.

8. Helipad

Some individuals launch and land their drone in the same place every single time they take it for a flight. However, most do not. Most drone pilots are on the move, capturing images and videos in different regions and types of terrain. And while this creates amazing footage and photographs, it can be taxing on a drone to take off and land on dirty and unstable surfaces. A great solution is a drone helipad. Many of the ones that are on the market are made of plastic, but just about any material will work just fine. The only type of landing surface you should avoid is metal because it can interfere with your drone’s GPS calibration.

PowerEgg Propeller Set Counter Clockwise
$24.95
Spark Propeller Guards
$19.00
Breeze Propeller (2pcs clockwise and 2pcs counter-clockwise)
$12.99
Phantom 3 9450 Self-tightening Propeller Set
$6.00

Flying a drone can be beneficial to many types of businesses and it can just be fun. These accessories are an excellent way of making the whole experience a little safer, a little cleaner, and a lot more fun.

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