We are constantly adding to and revising our resource information based on suggestions from our community. We welcome your feedback!
If you are serious about getting starting with drones as a hobby, a great place to start is by signing up for our Tiny Whoop Drone Build & Fly Workshop.
Basic Components of a Drone
Suggested Beginner Videos
Learn before you fly by utilizing a downloadable simulator program. Here are some suggestions. Please note that these may require a purchase.
Considerations When Buying Your First Drone
- Price – Do you want to get a toy or a serious drone?
- Indoor or outdoor flying?
- Piloting ability & age – Is this for a child to play with briefly or for an adult to use for recreational flying?
- Use – Do you want a drone that will follow you around, fly indoors, outdoors, take photos/video, or race?
- Durability – All drones crash at some point – even the experts crash – Do do you want something that will bounce off the walls or will you be able to fix or replace a broken part?
Drones & Kits For Beginners
- Syma X5C – cheap, easy to learn, toy drone for beginners/kids at a extremely low cost
- FPV Drone Racing for under $300
- Our suggestion for the serious beginner – Tiny Whoop! We do not offer “kit” suggestions as components and prices change extremely often. Our choices for our build workshops change based a variety of factors including current prices and availability.
- Pictures & Privacy
- Where to Fly and Where Not to Fly
- No Fly Zones – be aware of where flying is allowed and not allowed. Know your proximity to local airports and FAA No Fly Zones before attempting to fly.
- Flying in local parks – We suggest you take the utmost care when flying in any public park. Most parks do not have drone specific postings – YET. As drone use continues to grow – we predict any posting will likely be due to an incident, complaint or series of either. Parks typically post rule changes after they have had an issue. Be courteous, fly safe & obey all postings, local laws, and directions given by park department employees. Be courteous to others enjoying the park and have a spotter at all times!
- Know Before You Fly (a very important link!)
Commonly Used Online Retailers
Whether you wish to purchase a complete drone, a kit, or parts, here are some online sources used by some of our volunteers and friends.
Drone & Flyer/Pilot Registration Info
- FAA Drone Registration (suggested – no longer required)
- AMA Membership
- FREE for age 19 & under
- required for MultiGP racers
- required for Model Aviation Student Club membership
- CNY Drones Model Aviation Student Club
- CNY Drones MultiGP Chapter
3D Printing Parts
Many drone parts and accessories are 3D-printable. Whether you choose an online design or design your own, 3D Printing is readily available at MakerSpaces, FabLabs, Public Libraries as well as through a variety of online sources. Locally, Utica3D.com, prints for a fee. Some area makers, STEM groups, robotics teams, colleges and schools have 3D Printers where services or use can be negotiated.