Ah-hah! It’s a fine day for some surveying work or maybe some aerial video production but…
YOUR DRONE KEEPS CRASHING!
If you’re a fully certified pilot, have some pretty credible experience under your belt and have been flying for some time, a crashing drone is very frustrating. It honestly makes some pilots question their expertise.
10 Reason Why Your Drone Keeps Crashing
1. Observing Flight by the screen ONLY
Yes, we know the screens are awesome. All those coordinates, all those lines. Makes you reminisce your childhood days of playing on your old game console. But again, unless you are using an FPV or racing drone with Fat Shark goggles, you have to look at your drone. The screen’s purpose is to give you information about what the drone is seeing but you should be vigilant to actually look at where your drone is. Don’t focus so much on the screen from Point A to Point B. You’ll get there.
2. Using Automatic Flight Mode Carelessly
There is nothing wrong with using automatic flight mode. After all, it’s there to be used so you can focus on data that you are capturing or the quality of the shots for a cinematic video. But don’t use it just because of the convenience. Look at the site where you are flying first, make sure it is clear for the drone to fly in. The last thing you want is a drone caught in branches high up.
3. Sports Mode When Not Needed
A faster drone is an awesome drone, yes? But this is not a race all the time. Feed your adrenaline rush when the coast is clear. But if the location has many elements like trees, bushes, buildings or any type of obstruction, stay calm and fly normally.
4. GPS Connections Unstable
Accuracy and precision is the name of the game in any type of drone operation, whether it be for surveying or video production. Drones are meant to connect to multiple satellites to fly with ease. Without a stable connection, that drone can just drift away. Connect to at least 7 satellites before flying!
5. No Pre-Flight Checkup
Have you ever done something huge and not prepare for it? And knowing it would be huge, will you even go ahead with it without any preparation? Flying a drone may sound simple but flying it with a specific purpose at hand requires you to anticipate scenarios. You have to know the flight path, the nominal speed you will have etc. You have to check for loose parts, batteries, some imbalance in the load, connections and even alignment of the antennas. The key to a smooth flight is preparation.
6. Relying Only on the App Visuals
Three words: Line of sight. How can you fly a drone if you can’t see it? Going back to our first bullet, always maintain a visual with your drone. If you can’t see what you’re flying, you can pretty much expect nothing else from a lost drone except crashing it somewhere. The worst part is not even knowing what it looks like when you finally see it.
The next bullet points are very basic things that even experts fail to take care of. Some of these items are also nature-driven, so this time it’s really not you.
Ah, technology and batteries. In today’s world where sources of portable power are getting bigger, this is still quite a problem for some operators. Battery life depends on a lot of things, especially for a drone. An extra hot day will cause the battery to drain faster, a heavier load will also eat up more power. Don’t be complacent on the fact that most drones are programmed to fly back once it reaches a low battery level. Make sure the batteries you are using is enough for a full flight.
8. Interference from signals
Much like knowing the fly zones, a drone is designed to fly smoothly as long as there is minimal to no disturbances within the frequency it operates on. There are numerous signals to deal with so make sure that the channel you will operate your drone on is clear for the area. The last thing you want is a drone dropping like a fly because you lost signal.
9. Wind or natural elements
The Middle East is known for massive sandstorms, even in the urban areas. This is something you cannot control, of course. We can only do so much against the forces of nature. The best way to tackle this is to take the weather report for the next 3 days so you can anticipate. You can also use Sports Mode to make the drone fly faster against the wind but this will drain the battery faster. So take note of all these points and see if it will be worth the flight or not.
10. Pilot Error
Yes, you read that right. There is no perfect pilot. No matter how many certificates or flight hours you have, things happen. It might be a misfired button or a switch that you forgot to flick. It may also be even your judgment of the area or maybe nerves because you are unfamiliar with the area. IT HAPPENS. Practice is your friend and eventually, every terrain will be yours.