A drone flyaway is commonly feared by almost majority of their users. If RC signal is lost, DJI drones are programmed to return to home (RTH) on their own but some users have witnessed what is often dreaded as “flyway.” According to users’ flight data, as listed on DJI’s official website, the majority users have experienced a flyaway because of a few common pilot errors. Here are some simple steps you should take to prevent your drone from flying away.
Set a Home Point
Make sure to set a home point before the take-off. A message is displayed in the app as soon as the home point is set. Also, a green icon for the home point will be visible on the user’s map. This setting would help you ensure that your aircraft returns back home safely. Do note that GPS signal strength of minimum 4 bars is required for this.
Reset your Home point if you’re not static
If you are not in a static position (such as driving a car or riding a bike), your home point might not reset on its own. To tackle this, you should manually reset your Home Point periodically and minimise the threats of a “drone fly away”.
Ensure interference-free compass
While you need to take care of the GPS signal strength, you must also ensure that your aircraft’s compass is relatively free from any interference. GPS helps in tracing location but the compass determines the direction of your drone. The drone switches its direction towards the home point and starts flying towards it when RTH is activated, provided a compass is free from interference.
To check on the compass interference level, go to “Main Controller Settings” –> “Advanced Settings” –> “Sensors” section of DJI GO. Green colour bars would indicate that the Phantom is in a zone safe from interference. If the colour bars indicate red colour, this can be frightening hence you should move your Phantom to another location and recheck. If the color of the compass interference sticks somewhere in the red color range, then either it needs calibration or it is damaged (magnetized).
Keep the Phantom within sight
On the 1st of December, 2018, the Indian government has unveiled “Drones Regulation 1.0” for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) which sets out the rules for UAS operations. As per its rules, your drone should be kept within the line of sight as there are relatively low chances of your aircraft being crashed, if kept within sight. Fly within the line of sight or it might cause a “fly away”.
Set RTH altitude
The Phantoms have an in-built vision system to help them make their way around obstacles while RTH feature is in operation. Nevertheless, precautions should be taken from the user’s side too. To counter this, set an RTH altitude as, sometimes, the vision system may not operate effectively in low-light or may even fail to detect water, tree branches or power lines.