Things to Check Before Flying a Drone

To ensure that your drone flying experiences are consistently successful, here are some guidelines on how to get ready to fly your drone.

The key here is consistency. Develop a good habit of checking the same things each time before your fly your drone. This will save you a lot of hassle in the future.

Here are the essential things to check before flying a drone. Understand that you cannot proceed with the next step until the proceeding steps check out. We will address each of these items in more detail below:

  • Conduct a pre-flight inspection
  • Power up your remote
  • Power up your drone
  • Perform an IMU calibration
  • Record your home position
  • Verify your GPS lock

After receiving a satisfactory check on each of these items, you are ready for launch.

Pre-Flight Drone Checklist

I recommend that you reproduce these items on a printed checklist. Keep records of each time you fly and take detailed notes. While it may sound tedious, you will find this information valuable one day.

Conduct a pre-flight inspection

Ensure that none of your propellers have over ten hours of flight time. Propellers should be replaced after ten hours as their reliability goes way down after that.

Check your unit for any loose screws.

Ensure that you are at least twenty-five feet away from large metal objects, like storage buildings or cars.

Stay clear of anything made of reinforced concrete, like a parking garage or steps.

Ensure that no person is closers than fifty feet from your drone.

Power-up your remote

You must turn on the remote before turning on the drone. Additionally, your remote needs to be the very last thing you switch off after you land – and it must be after turning off your drone.

You must be aware that whenever your drone launches, the remote logs your drone’s starting location. And then, when the drone lands, the remote also notes its landing position.

Therefore, if you were to turn off the remote before turning off your drone, the controller’s signal is lost. So when you turn on the drone next time, it realizes that the position has changed and may attempt to fly to your last “home” location.

This is why you must turn on your remote first before turning on your drone. It will ensure that the drone establishes an instant updated connection with the remote and won’t fly away.

Power up your drone

Ensure that interference exists between the remote and the drone. The things you are looking for are power lines, microwaves, Wi-Fi routers, and even your cell phone. Try to stay more than ten feet away from any of these devices, and you should be fine. Unless you are using a drone app, it’s a good idea to leave your phone in the car or at home.

Be sure to perform a compass calibration if you fly more than thirty miles from your previous flying location. However, never do a compass calibration near anything made from steel, as that could scramble your calibration.

Perform an IMU calibration

You probably won’t see this in a Section 333 Exemption form. But you’ll need to periodically conduct this calibration – beginning with the time you first unpack your new drone. The reason is that the firmware is being updated continuously for a variety of issues.

When you use the most current version of firmware, it will drastically lower your chances of experiencing a drone flyaway.

Record your home position

This is extremely important! You must record your home position because if your drone loses its signal from the remote, it will fly to the last known home position, and you will have a flyaway.

The good news is that most modern drones do this automatically, but you need to be sure of this.

Verify your GPS lock

Your current GPS lock is usually established along with your home position. When you get that home position, and the GPS locked, you will be ready for take-off.

Happy flying!