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Flight Phases

Flying a drone always has several distinct flight phases and a few key decision points. Even the most easy to use systems require a basic level of understanding of these.

  1. Prearm check: Mundane things can bring a drone down, so checking is important
    • Flight battery fully charged?
    • Are all propellers attached securely?
    • Are all sensors ok (in the basic case: does the status led of the autopilot indicate green for go?)
  2. Arming: this is an important moment
    • Arming is only allowed in manual / stabilized modes for safety reasons
    • The drone will remember the arming position and if asked to return to land, will come back to this spot (its the 0, 0, 0 position)
    • Multicopters will spin their props at idle to indicate they are armed
    • To arm, hit the arming button in the GCS or put the throttle lever to the bottom-right position
  3. Preflight check
    • All rudders / control surfaces operating properly in manual mode?
    • Do control surfaces react correctly in stabilize mode?
    • Multicopters: Does the throttle response?
  4. Launch:
    • Is the area / sky clear to launch?
    • If the launch fails, is there space to abort or at least safely crash?
  5. Flight
    • Does the system remain in radio range?
    • If something goes wrong, do I know how to switch to manual control and land, or at least hit RTL?
  6. Landing
    • Is the approach path clear?
    • Is the landing spot clear?
  7. Disarming
    • To disarm, hit the safety button on the drone (all drones) or disarm via throttle lever bottom-left (multicopters only)
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