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Drone flight preparation

Good to do and know… before, during & after flight.

General : never fly near / above people.

Flying above yourself? Wear a helmet. Out bicycling? Keep wearing the same helmet.

Always keep VLOS. If you do not keep a Visual Line of Sight, it is near impossible to manually return the drone – when instruments tell you gps is lost – and you are thrown into Atti mode.

Atti mode isn’t anything you can train for. You need to be prepared for a manual take over of control – and it is usually always certain wind. What happens is that the drone will aim to maintain altitude (barometric sensor) and as gps is lost the wind will take it – Unless you compensate, manually.

Mark your drone with your phone number!!!

Aids : sunglasses against a bright sky. Even If cloudy. Helps for contrast.

Youtube channel : Visual Inspections

Pre-Flight check dji spark

At home :

⁃ App is up to date ; no download waiting, when ready to liftoff

⁃ Drone Software up to date… (see above)

At flight site / Before lift-off :

⁃ Check that return to home altitude is set; to match your surroundings,

⁃ Check that max height and suitable max radius is set (limits your search area, when shit hits the fan)

⁃ Turn off Bluetooth on phone; your smartwatch may take crucial bandwidth. (= connection loss)

⁃ Turn off cellular data; incoming messages (see above). Better : Don’t disturb mode!

⁃ Turn up the volume (you want to hear the messages, as most likely you are not watching the screen when shit has hit the fan) OR use earphones! (maybe just 1 ear; to hear drone / surrounding as well. -> note Separate Volume control in the App!!!

⁃ Set the home point.

⁃ Make a compass calibration, whenever a new location. Less interefence-prone to magnetic disturbance.

⁃ Instead of wifi, Use an OTG cable between phone and RC. Never loose video feed / experience frozen video.

⁃ Always note from where the wind blows; If gps is lost, you will need to compensate against the wind (Atti mode)

– Check that wing edges are ok. No dents/ dirt.

– Camera lens is clean.

At lift-off;

⁃ wait a few seconds, hovering, until home-point is updated (or it will remember the old one, when shit hits the fan) -> If you didn’t before liftoff.

⁃ at any time, be ready for lost gps message; this means the need to fly manual (Atti)

⁃ Always try to remember with way the drone nose is pointing; if gps is lost and display freezes, it may otherwise take a while to get an understanding / visually see is the drone coming closer or not – as you fly in manual mode.

⁃ To quicker get that visual understanding, especially against grey skies, switch to sport.

Returning home situations;

⁃ let’s say you have lost radio contact with drone; it has returned to above you at just above tree height, however sees them trees as obstacles (or maybe a group of people has gathered in your planned home-point spot) – the drone weers off 5 meters and attempts to land in an obstacle free area – maybe above lake water – you manage to steer it towards you to within 1 meter – although RC unit display has frozen – then grab it under the belly; it doesn’t necessarily always turn off by “button double-push” – a failsafe trick is to turn the drone up side down. It immediately shuts itself down.