Drone Jargon and Features Description

Here is an explanation of some of the common drone  features.

Headless Mode–  This is a special flight mode and it is some manufacturers call it CF Mode. DJI calls it Home Lock (HL). The idea with headless mode is that the drone will fly left/right or forward/back as you tell it from the controller, but with no sense of which way the drone is facing. So “forward” will always move the drone away from you even if it is facing you. Similarly, “left” will always move the drone to your left, not the drone’s left. Headless mode was the big hot feature in 2015/2016 and a bunch of low and mid-priced drones started including this feature. Unfortunately, it is our experience that it doesn’t work well unless the drone has GPS . So, don’t expect much from this feature if you are getting a $30 toy drone. Here is the Half Chrome break down of what headless mode is good for and not good for.

Good uses of headless mode:

  • Getting a drone back home if you lost track of where it is. Flip on headless mode, go up in altitude, and pull back on the stick to bring the drone closer.
  • Getting a drone back to you if you can’t tell which way it is facing. Same as above.

When headless mode is not useful:

  • On low cost drones – it just doesn’t work
  • Learning to fly. It can be confusing and actually slow down the learning process.
  • If the drone is too close to you the drone may think it is at a different location with respect to you than it actually is and it may behave unpredictably. Be careful!

FPV– First Person View is a method of flying where the person at the controls sees what the drone’s camera sees. The image can be displayed on a screen built into the controller, on a device like your phone or tablet, or on a set of virtual reality goggles.

LiPo– Lithium Polymer batteries are a light weight battery technology that is used in most drones. They pack a huge punch for their light weight, which makes them ideal for flying. There are special requirements for charging these batteries so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. We are wary of splitters that offer to charge multiple batteries off of a single charger. There are some anecdotal horror stories about doing this and we prefer to use one charger per battery.  Make sure you inspect your batteries before and after each use.

Eversion– Flip.  A lot of the Chinese manufacturers use the term eversion to state that their drone flips with the push of a button.  Eversion is just fancy for flip.

UAV– Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Another name for what most people call a “drone”.

FAA Abbreviations and Acronyms

The FAA has a lot of abbreviations that are pertinent to drones. The table below is compiled from a couple of drone related FAA sources.


14 CFRTitle 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
ACAdvisory Circular
ACRAirman Certification Representative
ACSAirman Certification Standards
ACSAirman Certification Standards
ADDSAviation Digital Data Services
ADIZAir Defense Identification Zone
ADMAeronautical Decision-Making
AELPAviation English Language Proficiency
AFMAirplane Flight Manual
AFSFlight Standards Service
AGLAbove Ground Level
AIMAeronautical Information Manual
AIRMETAirman’s Meteorological Information
AKTCAirman Knowledge Testing Center
AKTRAirman Knowledge Test Report
AOAAngle of Attack
ASOSAutomated Surface Observation System
ATCAir Traffic Control
ATDAviation Training Device
ATISAutomatic Terminal Information Service
AWOSAutomated Weather Observation System
CFAControlled Firing Areas
CFICertified Flight Instructor
CFRCode of Federal Regulations
CGCenter of Gravity
CPCenter of Pressure
CRMCrew Resource Management
CTAFCommon Traffic Advisory Frequency
CTPCertification Training Program
DOTDepartment of Transportation
DPEDesignated Pilot Examiner
EMSEmergency Services
FAAFederal Aviation Administration
FADECFull Authority Digital Engine Control
FDAFederal Drug Administration
FDCFlight Data Center
FLFlight Level
FRZFlight Restriction Zone
FSFlight Service
FSDOFlight Standards District Office
FTNFAA Tracking Number
GPSGlobal Positioning System
IACRAIntegrated Airman Certification and Rating Applicant
IAPInstrument Approach Procedures
ICAOInternational Civil Aviation Organization
IFRInstrument Flight Rules
IRInstrument Routes (sectional charts)
ISAInternational Standard Atmosphere
LAALocal Airport Advisory
LSCLearning Statement Code
MAPMissed Approach Point
MDAMinimum Descent Altitude
MELMinimum Equipment List
METARAviation Routine Weather Reports (Meteorological Aerodrome Report)
MFDMulti-functional Displays
MOAMilitary Operation Areas
MSLMean Sea Level
MTRMilitary Training Route
NACGNational Aeronautical Charting Group
NASNational Airspace System
NASANational Aeronautics and Space Administration
NMNautical Miles
NOAANational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOTAMNotice to Airmen
NSANational Security Area
ODAOrganization Designation Authorization
PAVEPIC – Aircraft – environment – External pressures
PLTPilot Learning Statement Code
POHPilot’s Operating Handbook
RPERemote Pilot Examiner
SAFOSafety Alert for Operators
SAOSpecial Area of Operation
SIDASecurity Identifications Display Area
SIGMETSignificant Meteorological Information
SMSSafety Management System
SOPStandard Operating Procedures
sUASSmall Unmanned Aircraft Systems
TAFTerminal Area Forecast
TCUTowering Cumulus
TFRTemporary Flight Restrictions
TNTrue North
TRSATerminal Radar Service Area
TUCTime of Useful Consciousness
UNICOMAeronautical Advisory Communications Stations
UTCCoordinated Universal Time
VFRVisual Flight Rules
VLOSVisual Line of Sight
VOVisual Observer
VRVisual Routs (sectional charts)
W&BWeight and Balance
WSTConvective Significant Meteorological Information

Not sure what is the best drone for you???

No worries, Half Chrome Drones has you covered. Maybe you want an aerial photography drone, or maybe you want a fun toy. Want FPV? We’ve developed an advanced system to match you to the right drone. We call it our Half Chrome Drone Cipher™, go check it out. We also are constantly updating our Best Drones Now page to help you stay current.


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