If you’re curious about drones or serious about starting a new hobby, we suggest taking a look at our events calendar. Please join us at an upcoming event!
We’re happy to answer questions and/or 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 as we’re booked up with events. Once we have enough student interest and/or enough other MASC’s in our region, we can move towards regular meetings. Currently membership through our MASC is 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. Gain experience at every race, whether you participate as a racer or not. FREE to join. We encourage joining multiple chapters to get info on races throughout the Northeast. CNY Drones races have a small fee to cover costs. Our races accomplish a few things – 1) they grab the attention of students 2) they give our volunteers an opportunity to fly & 3) they grab the attention of students – worth repeating! We share our STEM program information at races & have some great conversations with both students & parents. Most racers share their knowledge freely in between races. Spectating is FREE.
- FAA Drone Registration – please note the current rule regarding drone registration! We fly by the rules!
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.
- FPV Freerider Recharged
- FPV Freerider
- Liftoff – Simulator on Steam
- Drone Racing League Simulator
- Velocidrone (as seen at our 2018 NYS Fair exhibit)
Drones & Kits For Beginners
- Syma X5C – cheap, easy to learn, toy drone for kids at a extremely low cost
- FPV Drone Racing for under $300
- Our suggestion for the serious beginner – Tiny Whoop class drones. 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 & 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 & 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. State & National Parks have rules already. Get the facts before you fly! Local parks typically post rule changes after they have had an issue. Be courteous, fly safe & obey all postings, local laws, and directions given by parks department employees. Be courteous to others enjoying the park & have a spotter at all times!
- Know Before You Fly – a very important link!
- B4UFly Mobile App
Questions? Feel free to contact us! We are constantly adding to and revising our resource information based on suggestions. We welcome your feedback and ideas!