Can I take my drone through TSA in my carry-on baggage?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about taking your drone through TSA in your checked baggage. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

I’m going to Maui in three weeks, and I would love to bring my GoPro Drone.  I was wondering if you know the regulation at SFO regards to having drone in my carry-on.   Any tips in Maui? What spots are good to fly drones at? 

I’m jealous you’re heading to Maui! And yes, it is totally okay to take a drone through a U.S. airport. It’s clearly written on the U.S.’s TSA site that drones are allowed to be brought through security in your carry-on.

That being said, before flying, check with your individual airline’s website to make sure drones are not on the prohibited packing items list.

As a personal tip, before I send my drone through the scanner, I usually give the person working it a head’s up there is a drone inside. Every time I don’t, they also see its weird shape and feel the need to inspect it! This always ends up just saving everyone time.

Continue reading Can I take my drone through TSA in my carry-on baggage?

DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which should I buy?

DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs: Spark? It’s a tough decision, but the answer is actually pretty clear depending on your needs and budget.

In a little more than a year, DJI has launched a slew of drones — all extremely accessible, easy-to-fly, (relatively) affordable and wildly popular.

The DJI Mavic Pro with 4K video, which launched in October 2016 wowed fans for being a foldable drone — the Chinese dronemaker’s most compact drone at the time. Then DJI came out a few months later with the DJI Spark in May 2017. It was smaller (though not foldable), but it really sparked fans’ attention with its gesture control abilities, turning drones into the stuff of Jedi Mind Tricks. It was a slightly lesser quality drone in terms of camera quality, and features like the RC transmitter came at an extra cost, but it still seemed an incredible valuable nonetheless.DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs. Spark

And now, the DJI Mavic Air seemingly combines the best of both worlds. It’s incredibly small and folds up to be even smaller. It has the 4K video of the Mavic Pro, plus the gesture control capabilities of the DJI Spark.

But is the Mavic Air necessarily going to cannibalize the Mavic Pro and Spark? In most cases, yes, actually.

But there ARE some cases where the Mavic Pro or Spark may actually be a better option for you.

First, let’s start with a table comparing what I think are some of the most important factors to look at when deciding if a drone is right for you: Continue reading DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which should I buy?

Where are all the women speakers at CES?

“Just days after women in Hollywood protested unequal representation, pay, and treatment of females in the entertainment and other industries at this year’s Golden Globes, organizers at CES, the world’s leading electronics and technology trade show, have bafflingly cited a “limited pool” as their reason for naming not a single female keynote speaker at the show.”

That’s according to Architectural Digest in a piece published earlier this month.

The article is a follow-up to an article in USA Today outlining why women need to be onstage at events like the Consumer Electronics Show.

Architectural Digest provided a list of eight women who could be potential keynotes at next year’s event. I’m honored to be included in that list, alongside people who have made amazing contributions to tech including former marketing manager at Apple Music (and currently CBO at Uber) Bozoma Saint John, SVP of retail at Apple, Angela Ahrendts, and Recode founder Kara Swisher.

For what it’s worth, you can find me as the keynote speaker this April at the International Drones Expo and Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this April.

Drone Girl to keynote International Drones Expo in Spain

Hey European drone fans!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be the keynote speaker at this year’s DroneShow: International Drones Expo and Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The conference will run April 11-12 at Fira Barcelona, Pavilion 8.

This will be my first European Drone Girl appearance, following past international events in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Australia. I’ve also spoken at major U.S.-based events including SXSW, Harvard Business School and WeRobotics Global with The Rockefeller Foundation.

Last year’s Barcelona drone show saw nearly 5,000 attendees, 36 exhibitors and 42 speakers, and this one promises to be even bigger.

All attendees of DroneShow will also receive free access to the eShow Barcelona, the largest trade fair in the eCommerce and Digital Marketing sector, which will have more than 120 exhibitors and 13,000 visitors.

Online registration opens on February 12, so mark your calendars to reserve your spot!

DJI Phantom 3 left joystick stuck? Here’s what you need to do

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about a problem with the left joystick on the DJI Phantom 3. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

We have a DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone and on the left joy stick when you pull it straight down to the bottom it just stay there and locks to get it back to center you have to nudge it upward and it pops free and returns to center. Is this normal or a defect?

This is totally normal! But if it is impacting your flying, there are things you can do to “fix” it. It sounds like what you experienced is the “throttle lock” feature which DJI created for the Phantom 2 Vision Plus and carried over to early models of the Phantom 3 Standard.

It was actually intended to be a safety feature to help shut down the motors after landing, as well as to allow high altitude decent without holding the stick down.

However, considering you don’t see it in newer drones today, it sounds like many agree it may not be the best feature.  Continue reading DJI Phantom 3 left joystick stuck? Here’s what you need to do

Where in Orange County can I fly drones — and can I fly drones near helipads?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about how to read the Know B 4 U Fly map. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

I’ve been scanning B 4 U Fly and some of the forums for tips on where I can fly (legally) in Orange County and it looks like the abundance of helipads/airstrips makes the whole County a no drone zone. Any recommendations?

For new pilots, it can be extremely unclear where people can or can’t fly. You’ll want to bookmark this site, which is the U.S. Air Space Map on the Know B 4 U Fly website.

The great news about flying as a hobbyist is you have far fewer restrictions than commercial pilots.

There are three things you need to pay attention to:

You DO need to pay attention to airports. Drone community guidelines ask that recreational operators give notice for flights within 5 miles of an airport. You can give that notice to the air traffic control tower, simply by calling them.

You also need to pay attention to temporary flight restrictions (TFRs). It is actually illegal to fly  a drone that is under a TFR – which are typically enacted during natural disasters (don’t fly over fires) or for major political events, such as if the President is in town. Continue reading Where in Orange County can I fly drones — and can I fly drones near helipads?

DJI Mavic Air unboxing video: here’s what it looks like inside

I’m normally not into unboxing videos, but I am SO in love with the DJI Mavic Air that I had to do it. This is definitely a drone that I legitimately want to buy myself, so if you’re anything like me — you’ll want to know what’s inside when you buy!

Here’s my DJI Mavic Air unboxing video. Want even more Mavic Air? Check out my full review of the drone here!

The Mavic Air launched today as DJI’s best drone yet, with a 4K camera, new QuickShot modes and SmartCapture for easier, more intelligent photo and video capturing, and FlightAutonomy 2.0 with Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems, intended to make flights safer.

The Fat Shark FPV drone kit could be the key to bringing drone racing to the masses

Drone racing has an adoption problem. It looks glamorous on ESPN, but for an average person who is inspired by a drone race they just saw, the barrier to entry is often to hard.

It’s difficult to find a drone racing kit that is easy to set up and fly.Fat Shark FPV drone racing thedronegirl

But the same company arguably responsible for even making drone racing a thing to begin with could soon be credited with bringing drone racing to the masses.

Shenzhen-based Fat Shark is known for making FPV (first-person view) headsets for drone racing, and its headsets are widely regarded as the gold standard when it comes to drone racing pros. Continue reading The Fat Shark FPV drone kit could be the key to bringing drone racing to the masses