Becoming a licensed Drone Pilot – Journal Entry 1

As a child, I loved to build and race remote control cars. When Tamaya re-released the HotShot, I bought and built one. I finished the car, and my daughter drove it straight down a storm drain! Fortunately, I was able to pry off the manhole cover and rescue the car. We still laugh about that day!

Two years ago, my wife and I bought our daughter a drone for Christmas. The good news is, I have not had to pry off another manhole cover! The bad news is, we found the drone really difficult to fly and lost interest.

Flash forward a few years, and several clients have asked if we shoot drone footage. I finally decided it might be a good idea to learn how to fly drones. I went back and tried my daughter’s drone, but it didn’t work. I did some online research and ordered a SYMA drone. Here’s the link on Amazon.

Before the drone arrived, I decided to reach out to a knowledgeable friend. He recommended, that I pick up a $25 nano drone, and chase the cat around the house with it! Fortunately, we don’t have a cat! All joking aside, I jumped back on Amazon and ordered a Potensic A20 RC Nano Quadcopter for $30. You can find it here.

The SYMA arrived, and I took it out for a flight in the front yard. It was much easier to fly than the previous drone, but even a small amount of wind made it challenging for me to control. I worked on basic skills, like keeping the drone steady, flying it forward and back, and left and right. I practiced for a few days until the Nano drone arrived.

The Nano drone arrived, and I began flying in the house. It was definitely easier to fly than the SYMA, and it is quite FUN!!! The Nano has a red light on the back and a white light on the front, which makes it simple to tell the direction the craft is facing, and that makes it easier to learn. My skills improved quickly, and I decided to work towards my FAA 107 License.  I purchased and started the Online option of the Part 107 Test Prep course from

Please stay tuned for my next entry, where I will journal my experiences with the online class and getting my commercial drone license.

UPDATE: I have also purchased the FlightReady Remote Pilot App for my iPad. I plan to give my thoughts on both learning platforms in my next Drone Journal Entry.

A little about me:

I’m a Cinematographer | Director, who is based in the Maryland, Washington DC area. I am also, the chief attendant at PulseCinema, a video production company working on documentary films, non-profit videos, TV commercials, shows, music videos, and more.

I love to meet new people and work with companies to solve their needs, so call and let’s work together!

Thank you,

Chris McGuinness