If you are serious about getting starting with drones as a hobby, we suggest taking a look at our events calendar. We regularly provide Experience FPV Sessions and Build, Fly & Take Home Workshops in addition to drone races with STEM demonstration areas for spectators. Workshop participants receive access to some exclusive information in our information hub. If you can’t wait and want advice about what to order, contact us. We’re happy to connect you with a drone enthusiast who can offer experience-based tips. Please read on first, to cover some preliminary topics on getting started.
Drone & Flyer/Pilot Registration Info
A great place to start? Join the AMA!
- AMA Membership
- FREE for age 19 & under
- required for youth participation in most CNY Drones programs
- required for MultiGP racers
- required for Model Aviation Student Club membership
- CNY Drones Model Aviation Student Club
- For now, our single day, individual registration programs will be used to grow membership. We’re not quite at the point of holding regular meetings. Once we have enough students, we can move towards a membership fee driven club. Currently FREE.
- Want to start your own AMA MASC with your student group or want to hear how it could help your organization get started with drones? We will share the benefits and help walk you through the process of connecting with the AMA! Contact Us!
- CNY Drones MultiGP Chapter
- If you are interested in racing, join MultiGP. FREE.
- FAA Drone Registration – please note the current rule regarding drone registration!
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?
Suggested Beginner Videos
- FAA Safety Video
- Know Before You Fly
- CNY Drones YouTube Channel
- Beginner Resource Postings (to be added)
Basic Components of a Drone
Simulators – try flying virtually first!
Learn before you fly by utilizing a downloadable simulator program. Here are some suggestions. Please note that these may require a purchase.
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 & prices change extremely often. Our choices for our Experience FPV sessions & Build Workshops change based a variety of factors including current prices and availability. If you locate a drone or kit and would like a second opinion, we’d be happy to connect you with an experienced recreational drone pilot.
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. There are many others including hobby stores who are growing into offering a variety of drone tech products.
- 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 & have a spotter at all times!
- Know Before You Fly – a very important link!
Questions? Feel free to contact us! We are constantly adding to and revising our resource information based on suggestions from our community. We welcome your feedback!