• Here is another one. Very practical ;-)

    When flying almost to far.

  • I'll keep this short and sweet.
    fly aways occur bc people have little understanding of what systems are at play 

    Solution - Learn your systems:

    1) Master flying in Stabilize so you can always recover (took me about 10hrs of practice, what helped me was to learn to read the craft using forward pitch: )

    2) Learn the limitations of your platform, and leave a safe margin for landing ( i.e. riskier flying earlier, conservative flying as batteries deplete ) this means, learn your battery performance w/ and w/o payloads, make notes, and bring those notes w/ u when u fly. Also plan your flights with those limitations in mind.

    3) practice uh oh moments ( i.e. verify & test failsafe for TX loss, abort auto mission (or any other GPS based flight mode) and return home in stabilize.

    4) ALWAYS hardware check, & HDOP verify before flying

    good luck

  • To emphasise one piece of the great advice already given - always fly with a GCS, even if it's just your phone.

  • Moderator

    Tie a piece of string to the drone.

  • There are a lot of good replies on this thread.

    I'd just like to add a single thought.

    Learn how to fly well in Stabilize mode and always keep a single switch available that will instantly let you switch back to Stabilize.

    Practice switching back to Stabilize at random moments and get used to recovering manual control.

    This is a lot like practicing landings on normal fixed wing RC aircraft, it gives you confidence in being in control of your craft.

    As others have said, depending on autonomous flying or RTL is just you waiting for something to go wrong over which you have no actual control of the outcome.

    Any GPS dependent mode is as likely to cause the problem as to save you from it, there are a lot of reasons that GPS goes wrong and even if you have multiples of them nothing will save you from Multipath or signal interference (or having unknowingly entered a bad waypoint.)

    At least if you can really fly it, whenever you see it doing something wrong you can immediately take back full control.

    This has saved my ass numerous times.

    Of course, if something interferes with the RC signal itself this won't work and for that you need a reasonable automatic response.

    Generally the safest one is to simply land.

    Obviously if you are over water or any other hazardous area that won't work and you probably need to select RTL, but keep in mind that whatever caused you to lose your RC link may be masking the GPS too.

    Basically (KISS) Keep It Simple Stupid - learn how to fly the damn thing and how to immediately take back control when it is doing something you don't like.

    Clearly build quality and adherence to reasonable prestart procedures are important, but the bottom line is if it isn't flying right when you take off in stabilize, immediately land and find out why.

    Best regards,


  • The way I see it, you need to divide this into 3 separate parts:

    PART I: Construction & Preparation

    Important to do before even going out to the field.  Some of the items here you will probably need to do more than once in the life of the craft, but are not necessary to do before EACH flight.

    • Nuts are all tightened properly, with LockTite applied where needed
    • All hardware and cables are properly tied down, will not fall off, and will not get in contact with the propellers or other moving parts
    • All propellers are turning in the right direction
    • Motors and ESC are running as expected
    • Motors and ESC are plugged into the correct slot
    • Calibrations are properly done
    • Propellers are balanced
    • Set-up and test flight modes.  In a 2 switch 6 mode configuration, I personally like to have STAB with all switches UP and RTL with all switches down.  That way both are very easy to get to when you get into trouble (which happens to coincide in time with brain farts, as it turns out; this way is a bit of a no brainer).  I like JoeBob's idea to have 3 GPS and 3 non GPS dependent modes; not the way I fly, but only because I am already used to my set up.  But if I were starting again, I would go that route.  I also like Richard Kennedy's comment stating to "set your yaw behavior to follow the GPS course. If you ever lose orientation you can hit RTL. If you are having poor GPS or bad HDOP this will at least probably get the copter aimed back towards you. Now flip it back to alt hold or stab or alt hold and push the stick forward to fly back to you without needing GPS."  From DG, "have one switch (stab) without Simple/Super Simple enabled." This will allow you to easily bring your copter back. Just keep in mind that (IIRC) Simple Mode is GPS dependent.
    • Set up fails safe modes (I use LAND for battery and RTL for signal loss, but it's a personal choice).  I, like Richard Kennedy, use verbal cues on battery, but I still rather have the fail safe set up...
    • Also, like Richard Kennedy commented, "pay very close attention to detail with the wiring. More than once I had issues that turned out to be a bad wire probably because it simply got tugged on a bit during handling. Make them as neat as possible and protected as best you can."  Pay special attention to places where cables could get snagged or damaged from vibrations.
    • Make sure direction is easy to identify.  Colors or LED's are the way to go.  I personally use LED's arranged in the typical navigation pattern (and have both strobes and solid lights).  If you go with LED's, make sure they are bright, otherwise, they become invisible during the day.
    • Learn to fly; either get a sim or a small quad and fly in your house.  I learned with a small $30 quad that basically only flew in STAB mode, and I learned with that.

    PART II: Pre-flight

    This you will check before each flight.

    • Propellers are tightened properly and there is no damage to them
    • Battery is properly charged (you can do this with the MavLink, but I always have a visual cue to help identify charged and spent batteries; in my case, the silicon plug on the connector).  This includes not only your flight battery, but ALL your batteries (transmitter, tablet, video monitor, etc.)
    • GPS, radio and MLink antennas (and video if applicable) are correctly set-up
    • All thumb nuts (like the ones holding a Y6 arms in place) are locked down tightly
    • Battery is securely in place (would be ugly if the battery fell off during flight, now, wouldn't it?)
    • From PhilNZ, "Don't ever compromise the arming checks, if it won't arm find out why."  I find the tablet to be a great tool for figuring issues out.

    PART III: Flight

    I count as flight everything you do after you plug the battery in.

    • As Russell Stutzman stated, "make sure your aircraft is sitting level and still after plugging in the battery. Wait for calibrations to finish before moving the aircraft."
    • Also from Russel, "it is very important to wait for the GPS to get a good lock and hdp at or below 2, 8+ satellites usually."
    • Turn your GoPro on (if applicable); you have no idea how many times I have missed great shots because I forgot this...
    • Before taking off, make sure your telemetry and video links are working correctly.  Check flight mode, GPS signal, battery level, etc. before take off.  Remember, any problem in the ground will only get magnified in the air...
    • Use your tablet/phone/PC to tell you the battery levels during flight.
    • Another from Richard Kennedy: "Keep in mind you can always disengage the controller taking over IF you flip your mode switch. For instance if the copter seems to be losing altitude it could be trigger by a temporary error and set itself into land mode. Simply flip your mode switch then back to stab and take over.  Remember if it doesn’t seem to be reacting to your stick commands it’s probably in some form of guided mode. Take control back by doing the above and get it back or landed asap to see what the problem was."
    • One from Andy Roberts: "Enable the geo fence especially if flying in a new area." (this is more intended for when you are starting to fly; once you are comfortable, I would not do this)
    • Another from DG: "When in doubt, go UP!"
    • Do not fly above 400 ft, and always start flying close to you; the farther and higher you fly, the harder it is to tell the direction of the craft, and the easier it is to loose control.
    • As soon as your drone lands, switch to STAB mode and throttle all the way down.  You will save a fortune in props this way...

    Anyway, these are the ones I can think of right now.  I am sure there are more, but I am just not getting to them.


    • Simple Mode is NOT GPS dependent!

      • WTF Emin, did you read this?

This reply was deleted.


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