DJI Phantom 4 for Beginners

If you’re new to the drone world, the DJI Phantom 4 is a really good solution for your first drone.  But although it’s extremely easy to fly, it can still be intimidating getting your aircraft in the air for the first time.  In this article you’ll learn what you need to do before every flight, how the Phantom 4 works and how to fly for the first time.

Set up

  1. Ensure you understand the laws or have the correct license to fly your drone.
  2. Download the DJI Phantom 4 app.
    The app is available free from the Apple App store or Google Play.  You’ll need to create a DJI account if you don’t have one already.  Otherwise go ahead and sign in.
  3. Charge the batteries.
    The battery should already come 50% charged but to be safe we recommend charging it up to 100% before flying. To do this, plug the power supply into the wall and then plug in the battery using the larger connector on the cord. You can also charge the Phantom 4 remote at the same time by plugging it into the smaller connector. You’ll know the battery or remote is done charging because the indicator lights will turn off.
  4. Plug in your mobile
    You can plug your phone or tablet into the Phantom 4 remote using the included micro USB cable or an Apple Lightning cable.
  5. Turn on the controller – Tap the power button once and then hold it down to turn it on.
  6. Remove the plastic camera holder from the landing gear.
  7. Turn on the Phantom 4 battery

Do this by tapping the on button once and holding it down (just like on the remote).  You’ll know the Phantom 4 is booting up as you’ll hear 3 beeping sounds coming from the motors.

If you go into the DJI Go app and press the blue camera button, you should now see a live video feed coming from the drone and the Aircraft Status menu will also pop up. This menu is where you will be able to check the status of all the sensors to make sure everything is working and if everything looks normal (with the exception of the compass), you’re ready to take off!

man with dji phantom drone

Getting Ready For Takeoff

  1. Compass calibration.
    All GPS enabled drones have digital compasses which tell the drone what direction it’s facing.  Ensure you calibrate this prior to take off. Note that the Phantom 4 remote also has magnetic components inside, so try to keep the remote more than 60cm away from the drone during and after calibrating the compass.
    To calibrate the compass:- Open the Aircraft Status menu located at the top of the screen in the DJI Go app.
    – Press the calibrate button, then ‘Ok’ to continue.
    – Once the lights in the back turn solid yellow, rotate the drone 360 degrees horizontally until the lights turn solid green.
    – Rotate the drone 90 degrees vertically and rotate 360 degrees horizontally again (with the camera now facing down) until the lights in the back start pulsing green. If the lights flash red, try calibrating again.
  2. Mount the propellers.Two of the props rotate clockwise and the other two rotate counterclockwise. To match the props up with the right motors, match up with the black dots on the motor mounts with the black rings on two of the props. To lock in place, simply push down and twist them by about 45 degrees.

dji phantom drone on helipad


So long as the app says “Safe to fly (GPS)” and the backlights on the Phantom 4 are pulsing green, you’re ready for take off.

  1. Arm the motors.Do this by pushing both sticks on the controller down into the lower corners that are closest to each other. This will make the motors spin for a few seconds at a low speed until you decide to take off. If you don’t increase the throttle within a few seconds, the motors will turn off again.
  2. Press takeoff button located on the left sideThe takeoff button will make the drone automatically takeoff and hover. The auto takeoff feature is great however we recommend using the traditional arming sequence for your first flight to ensure that the motors are spinning correctly.
  3. Experiment with the control sticksOnce in the air you can experiment with the control sticks to test how the Phantom 4 reacts to different inputs. Pushing the left stick up and down controls how high the drone goes, while pushing it left and right will control it’s rotation. Pushing the right stick up and down will make the drone go forward and backward and pushing it left and right will make the drone fly left and right.


  1. Tap the return home/land button on the left side of the screen, or to land manually:
  2. Slowly push down on the throttle stick to lower the drone to the ground.
  3. Once it touches the ground, immediately push the throttle stick all the way down until the motors turn off.