General questions about flying drones and drone rules

We often get similar questions about drones and aerial photography. This FAQ covers some of the questions we encounter most often and will regularly be updated with new responses.

There is no doubt that the use of drones in Denmark, and globally, is growing fast and the industry is expanding rapidly. It can be difficult find out how to get started making drone videos and how to get started flying drones in general.

The responses below certainly doesn't cover all areas, so feel free to let us know if you have anything to add.

How do I get started with flying drones?

Start by following drone forums (such as PhantompilotsMulti rotor forumsDrone forum), read as many threads as possible and start asking questions yourself. Everybody has been a rookie at one point, but you can quickly gain of lot of knowledge in a short time in the forums.


I'm new here and would like to learn how to make great looking dronevideos and take amazing drone photos, but which drone (multicopter, quad) should I buy?

The question often is followed by "must be easy to fly“, “can't not be too expensive“, “must be able to take great photos" and "I have to travel next weekend and it would be great bring it“. There is no easy and simple answer here. If you're a new drone pilot, buying an expensive drone without having experience and expertise, will probably get you a brief – and expensive – experience and should consider yourself lucky if you only crash your drone, and don't hurt other people or damage any property.

So therefore – buy first a beginner quadcopter such as. Blade Nano QX RTF. It is relatively inexpensive and has various "flight modes" that lets you practice flying in "easy"mode and then challenge yourself from there. The controls are very similar to the larger drones, and the little guys here are often harder to maneuvre as they are more susceptible to the wind and steering input, hard to see at a distance, etc. So when you can handle one of these, it will make it much easier for you when you move to a larger drone. Fly it daily for a few weeks, get good at it, and if you are not tired of it, then switch to something bigger.

Phantom 4 Pro – good place to start making drone videos

Next step. For those who want to be the easiest possible in the air and take good photos, could be DJI Phantom 4 Pro be the next natural step. It is one of the most user-friendly platforms to get started with and it also comes with a really good photo/video quality. It is stable and can be integrated with your smartphone via an app (iPhone and Android) to which you can live stream video from the drone. But it is relatively expensive, can easily inflict personal injury or damage to material property in the event of a crash or accident. It certainly also requires RTM (Read the Manual) and is not a toy.

Remember: a general rule you should consider before buying a drone, is that you should to be able to afford to lose it in a crash (it's ok to be sad). The chance that it happens at any time is quite real.


I have heard that [insert random rebuilt version of a drone here] can fly? Is that a way to go?

There are many variations of that question. Often it's from people who want to fly with a larger camera or gimbal (gyro/stabilizer), have 3x as many batteries, or fly with other strange objects connected. There are two things to say about it:

Producers of RTF (Ready To Fly) the drones, like DJI's Phantom, are likely to have skilled engineers and developers, and they have calculated lifting capacity, flight characteristics and the best possible configuration for you. If you buckle is big camera on, things will probably not go as you expect. There is also no "super propeller" that won't break and can double the flight time. If there where, they would probably use those.

Drones are filled with relatively complicated electronics and sensors (gyroscope, barometer, accelerometer, gps, electronic compass, ESC, gimbal) and replacing one component may affect others. For example, if you want to lift more and you are not an expert in the field, then the best thing you can do is to find a platform that does what you want and copy it. Unless, of course, you are in the process of an engineering degree and want to to do you a few calculations yourself. Watts = Amps x Volts. Best of luck.

How high and how far can a drone fly?

Higher and longer than is legal. So know your flight rules.


Where can I fly (flight rules for drones)?

Really sensible question. We can only strongly recommend that you put your flight rules for drones denmark before you take off for the first time. Don't forget. If not, you may end up with with problems you don't want. In addition, violating the drone flight rules ruins it for those of us who respect them. Don't be that guy.

In general it can be said that without an exemption, you:

– are not allowed to fly closer to an airport than 5km (8 km for military airport)
– no higher than 100 m above ground,
– fly only at least 150 from busy road/more densely populated area;
– do not fly over buildings and persons,
– do not fly closer than 200m from accident sites (yes, such pilots are also found),
– only fly with visual contact with the drone and at all times have control over the

This means that without an exemption, you can not fly in urban areas.

These rules are not difficult to comply with, and you will still be able to have a lot fun flying your drone, so get to know the flight rules for drones and respect them. Fly safe!


Are drones easy to fly? I heard that if anything goes wrong, I can just press a button and make it fly home and land automatically?

If everything goes by the book, a modern drone (quad-, hex-or octocopter) is much easier to fly than a traditional remote-controlled helicopter. By "much easier" we do not believe that it does not require practice and experience. Even the mass-produced and popular drones are actually cheaply built, experimental aircraft. If they are not configured correctly and the GPS has not been given the necessary time to lock its position, or your compass isn't calibrated correctly the Return-to-Home function can easily end up as a disaster. It things go wrong, we have a suspicion that drones try to end up in the sea.


So how can I avoid that anything goes wrong and I don't experience a "fly-away"?

Know everything about your drone. Familiar with how the different flight modes work. Make sure you know how to calibrate compass, accelerometer, gimbal and whatever else can be calibrated. Make sure you know what the different sound and light signals mean. Everything is in your manual, and RTM ("Read the Manual") is the first thing you will be told on a forum if you ask questions as you should know. You don't want to look it up when the drone is hanging in the air and suddenly flashing red. Experience, experience, experience. Learn to fly with a cheap micro drone, there's a lot to learn. If you don't like it, then a flying robot might not be your hobby.

Avoid flying in fully automatic modes (such as Points of Interest, Return-To-Home, TapFly) if possible. Drones have different flight modes. For example, you can fly in "Atti mode" where the electronic brain in the drone will make sure it will keep the altitude, but it will drift with the wind. In more advanced modes like "GPS mode" the drone will keep the altitude and correct for wind and maintain its position above ground even if you don't have any stick inputs.

While "GPS mode" sounds appealing (isn't is nice when it just hovers and you can just relax without flying into the nearest tree), we always fly in"Atti mode" if possible. The drone will do less work, so there's less that can go wrong. Of course, there is always the possibility that the pilot can make mistakes as he must manage multiple inputs. But if the GPS looses signal, or the compass settings are wrong, the electronics may send your drone into a sea/tree/building, but that won't matter as the GPS isn't in charge – you are.

Sometimes "GPS mode" can be very useful though, as it allows you to "park" your drone in the air to shoot a panorama photo or while you are waiting for an event you want to film without having the drone drifting in the wind. Use the different modes as you need them, know what each of them does and practice them.

Do I need special permissions to fly commercially?

No, not if you fly outside urban areas. If you want to fly in urban areas, you can only do so with an exemption from The National Traffic Agency and you can only fly there commercially.


What are the flight rules for drones abroad?

Each country has there own restrictions and limitations, so although it might seem like a good idea to bring your drone on vacation, we will strongly recommend that you familiarize ourself with the country's flight rules for drones. Some countries have very strong sanctions and risk confiscation of your drone if you violate the rules.

You can find international flight rules for drones at DJI's Fly Safe website and here and here. In addition, we advise you to familiarize yourself with the rules on how to bring drone and Li-Po batteries on flights. Sign up in a forum for drones and ask for advice from other operators in the country you're visiting. Of course, it is also always a good idea to contact your local authorities before the flight as there may be local restrictions, and if you run into problems, it is always an advantage if you previously have been in contact and showed your willingness to respect the rules by asking the authorities for advice.