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10 Beginner Friendly Drone Abbreviations & Bonus Quiz!

Are you a beginner drone enthusiast? Or perhaps an expert willing to put your knowledge to the test? Then this is the blog post for you!

Whether you're a seasoned drone expert wanting to test your knowledge, or a novice looking to acquaint yourself with the basics, this blog is perfect for you! If you think you’re already a pro, have a go at our 10 question quiz first, or perhaps read through our explanations for a refresher!

While the world of drones is one that can appear intimidating to beginners, especially for those who don’t know where to start, it is all easily explainable. This blog post will break down 10 of the basic drone abbreviations, so that you can expand your knowledge and show off to your friends. Without any further ado, let’s get into it!

1. One of the first things you perhaps will read about drones is the people who regulate and oversee all things to do with civil aviation. In the UK this organisation is called the CAA, which stands for Civil Aviation Authority. The responsibility of the CAA is to supervise the issuing of drone pilots and aircraft engineers’ licenses, to test equipment, calibrating navids (navigation device within drones), and carrying out many other inspections.

To learn more about this organisation, you can access the CAA’s website here: (

2. Next, a term you can familiarise yourself with is UAV, which stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. This term often is used to describe a drone which has no human crew, pilot, or passengers on board. Drones flown by the general public are considered to be UAV’s.

3. Another drone term used is RTF, which means Ready to Fly, this refers to drones which are ready for use straight out the box and require no assembly.

4. When referring to the person in control of the drone, you may hear the term PIC, which means Pilot in Command. This term is quite self-explanatory, as it essentially means the person flying the drone. If you own and fly a drone, you are considered to be the PIC!

5. Drones used for photography or in more professional sectors may be accompanied with cameras fitted, these cameras transmit real time footage of what the drone can see from where it is flying. This is referred to as FPV or First Person View, which describes when the drone pilot views the footage from the camera in real time.

*FPV can also be called RPV (Remote Person View)

6. Similar to No.2, there is another term called UAS or Unmanned Aircraft System. A UAS is a term used to describe a drone which has no on-board pilot or passengers. The difference between this as UAV is that UAS includes not just the Drone but also the person on the ground controlling the flight, and the system which connects the two together. Essentially, the UAV is simply a component of the UAS.

7. Another important drone term to note, especially as a pilot, is LOS or Line of Sight. This term is used to define the pilot’s ability to see their drone from their operating position. Remember, if you’re flying as a hobby try to keep your drone within your line of sight always, to prevent any accidents!

8. In the case that you fear an accident may occur, there is a term which describes a feature that some drones possess. This term is called RTH, meaning Return to Home. This feature essentially acts as a safety protocol, which allows the drone to automatically fly back to either the pilot’s location or its starting point. Quite handy if you’re in a rush!

9. Drones are pretty wonderful pieces of technology, and can tell their uses plenty of information, as well as capturing amazing footage! One of these key pieces of information is a term defined as AGL or Altitude above Ground Level. This explains the height in which the drone is flying, measured against the underlying ground surface, so you can see how high your drone is flying. Pretty cool huh?

10. Finally, the last term on our list today is the abbreviation FOV which refers to Field of View. This term describes how much of the environment around you that you can see through a drones camera lens This is typically measured in degrees.

Congratulations! You’ve officially made it to the end of today’s 101 on drone terminology. Hopefully now, all you drone novices out there have learned enough to feel comfortable venturing further into the world of drones. If you’re a pro refreshing your memory, let’s see how you get on with these 10 quiz questions.

Now it’s time to test your knowledge of these 10 terms in our quiz. Click below to get started!



Visual Pursuit Ltd are Drone Specialists who provide a variety of UAV/UAS (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/System) services including Drone Surveys, Mapping, Inspections, Photography, Video, 3D Modelling, Progress Tracking, Property/Land Marketing, Search and Rescue.

We work across all industries including Construction, Offshore and Renewables, Telecommunications, Engineering, Mining, Rail, Agriculture, Events and Property Management. Covering all of Scotland and Northern England. Call: 0141 478 0105 Email: Contact Form: Here

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