Pre-flight Checklist

I'm working on a APM pre-flight checklist.  Here is what I have so far.  What would you add? How would you change the order?

ArduPilot Mega Drone Pre-flight Checklist

  1.  
    1. battery voltage
    2. motor disconnected - power ON
    3. switch APM to test mode
    4. run planner - enter terminal mode 
      1. radio setup / test 
      2. verify senors - gyros, IMU
      3. load way points verify HOME location 
      4. verify PID
    5. switch APM to flight mode
    6. run ground station 
      1. verify telemetry data 
      2. load flight plan way points
    7. radio / receiver range check
    8. check balance
      Your should always balance your RC airplane before coming to the flying field. However, it is always a good idea to check the forward/backward balance one more time before the first flight of
      each day. Remember that the fuel tank must be empty when checking the
      balance.
    9. verify all connections - connect motor
    10. verify GPS lock and BUTTON UP
      1. R/C equipment correctly located and fixed (not loose). 
      2. R/C equipment connections OK (this can be visual if you have plugs cable tied or otherwise secured). 
      3. All linkages correctly attached (check clevises etc). 
      4. All flying surfaces correctly and securely attached (for models with removable wings etc). 
      5. All control surfaces correctly attached and unobstructed (elevator / rudder / aileron / undercarriage etc). 
      6. Propeller correctly attached and undamaged. 
      7. Undercarriage correctly attached with free movement of wheels and retracts (where installed). 
      8. Pitot tube clear (where installed). 
      9. Static ports clear (where installed). 
      10. Canopy / hatches secure.
    11. start engine and tune (gas engine)
      It's a good idea to hold your airplane vertically with the nose upward while running your engine at full throttle to make sure it will run when in
      this position while in the air.
    12. Manual control - elevator, rudder, aileron's, throttle
      Make sure the control surfaces are moving correctly with each stick movement of the transmitter.
    13. switch to each UAV mode. In each,  move plane to confirm that the control surfaces are moving correctly when you pitch and roll the plane.
    14. Clear for takeoff

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  • Mark's Check List is very good for systems that are proven.  

    Here is an alternative Check List you might use during system development and evaluation.

    (I hope the formatting doesn't get too messed up during the transfer to the discussion.)

     

                                   UAV APM MISSION CHECK LIST

                                                   FLIGHT #  

    DATE:______  AIRCRAFT: ______________        LOCATION:___________________

     

    TEMP:______ WIND SPEED/DIRECTION:  _____/_____ CLOUD COVER:_________

     

                                        PRE - PRE FLIGHT  (HANGER)

    APM Version                     ___________

    Planner Version                 ___________

    HK GCS Version                ___________

    PID .param File Name        ___________

    WP  File Name                  ___________

     

                                                 NOTE: PROP REMOVED!

    [  ]   TX and RX Power ON in RC Mode  BIND AS REQUIRED

    [  ]   APM in CLI Mode (Planner -> COM 4 - 115200  -> terminal  USB)

    [  ]   setup > erase > reset > radio

    [  ]   Remove all LOG files  (logs ->  erase)

    [  ]   Verify Mode assignments  (setup -> modes)

                        Switch down              ______

                        Switch mid                 ______

                        Switch up                   ______

    [  ]   Verify XBees  test > xbee  Range Test with C-CTU

                           UN PLUG USB

     

    [  ]   APM to Fly Mode  -   reset - Observe LED sequences - Wait for GCS Lock 

           Start Mega Planner  COM5 - 57600 -> Connect

           Planner to Configuration Mode

    [  ]   Load .para file    Write Pads

                 Planner to Flight Planner Mode

    [  ]   Planner > Read WPs Verify Correct  If not, Load WP file,

                                                                            Write WPs

                 Planner to Flight Data Mode

    [  ]   Verify Connection, Verify Map, Verify Home

    [  ]   Change Flight Mode from RC to STABILIZE (or FBW A) to AUTO  Verify with Flight Data

    [  ]   Change Mode to STABILIZE or FBW A

    [  ]   Bank and pitch Aircraft - Verify aircraft control surfaces move in the correct direction

    [  ]   Change Mode to RC. - Verify proper control surface and throttle RC response

     

    HK GCS PREFLIGHT  (If used)

    [  ]   Cell Phone ON - LapTop WiFi Connected

    [  ]   Connect COM (COM5) Verify Serial Data

    [  ]   On Google Earth disp. 'Overhead'  'Set Home' 

    [  ]   Read Waypoints - verify intended flight path

    [  ]   ON GCS disp. set Home Alt., Zero Yaw

    [  ]   Go to 'Data File'; Enter File Name _________

     

    MEGA PLANNER  If Used)

    [  ]   Connect COM (COM5) Verify Serial Data

    [  ]   Flight Mode  Verify Map. 

    [  ]   Verify Home position - Set Altitude

     

                                         AIRCRAFT PRE FLIGHT

    [  ]   Install Wing - Hook up Pitot tube

    [  ]   Install Prop

    [  ]   Check and record flight battery voltage, size: ______/_______

    [  ]   Verify proper CG

    [  ]   RC Transmitter set to proper aircraft/model     BIND AS REQUIRED

    [  ]   Verify pitot and static tubes are clear

    [  ]   Change Mode from RC to STABILIZE to AUTO 

           - NOTE:  THIS WILL CAUSE THE MOTOR TO COME ON WHEN IN AUTO!!

    [  ]   Change Mode to STABILIZE or FBW A

    [  ]   Bank and pitch Aircraft - Verify aircraft control surfaces move in the correct direction

    [  ]   Change Mode to RC. - Verify proper control surface and throttle RC response

    [  ]   Range Check

     

    [  ]   Start GCS Record

    [  ]   Take off and start timer  -  Reset GCS timer

     

                                        POST FLIGHT

    [  ]   STOP RECORDER

    [  ]   Record flight battery voltage.       ____________

    [  ]   Record flight time                       ____________

    [  ]   Verify and save log files              ____________

    [  ]   Save .param file                         ____________

     

                                          MISSION LOG

    Aircraft Configuration: ______________________

    Aircraft changes since last flight: _________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

     

    Payload: ______________________________________________________________

     

    WP File: ________________________________

    WP Description: ________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________________

     

    Mission Objectives: _____________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

     

    Flight Data:_____________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

     

    Post Flight Analysis:_______________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

     

    Additional Notes: ________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________

     

    form updated 06/16/11

     

  • 3D Robotics
    Mark, once you've got all the input if you can edit the post to reflect the latest greatest thinking, I can copy it over to the wiki. Thanks for starting this!
  • As a daily pre-flight, this is good. My suggestions as follows:

     

    For the radio checks, perhaps add a failsafe check (where configured).

     

    I would perhaps add some further checks to the airframe such as :

    • R/C equipment correctly located and fixed (not loose).
    • R/C equipment connections OK (this can be visual if you have plugs cable tied or otherwise secured).
    • All linkages correctly attached (check clevises etc).
    • All flying surfaces correctly and securely attached (for models with removable wings etc).
    • All control surfaces correctly attached and unobstructed (elevator / rudder / aileron / undercarriage etc).
    • Propeller correctly attached and undamaged.
    • Undercarriage correctly attached with free movement of wheels and retracts (where installed).
    • Pitot tube clear (where installed).
    • Static ports clear (where installed).
    • Canopy / hatches secure.

    Clearly, inbetween flights on the same day, you will need nothing like the full check-list, but it's a good daily. Should take all of 10 minutes at most to pre-flight and could save you a lot of problems. I am amazed at just how many r/c aircraft pilots do not properly pre-flight.


    There is a whole other gamut of checks for helicopters that I would be happy to supply.

  • 3D Robotics
    I'd add 13: switch to stabilize mode with the plane in your hand and confirm that the control surfaces are moving correctly when you pitch and roll the plane.
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