Safety Checklist for Your UAV

Safety is the number 1 thing that everybody is concerned about. Especially when it comes to flying UAV’s. There are a series of precautions you must take in order to assure a safe flight. I have put together my own pre-flight checklist which I think is an excellent way of ensuring a safe flight. Especially if you are a beginner, you MUST READ THIS POST!!!  Since I own a DJI Inspire 1, this checklist is designed for that machine, but it is also applicable for other DJI UAV’s and other brands as well.


Pre-Flight Check list

  • Visual inspection for defects
  • Batteries fully charged and checked – Transmitter, UAS, iPad, iPhone
  • Props tightened and locked
  • SD card in camera
  • Lens cap removed
  • ND Filter needed Yes / No
  • iPad monitor brightness set to high and hood installed
  • Antennae up and parallel
  • Transmitter turned on (press once, release, then press and hold for 3 seconds)
  • Ensure Transmitter is in P Mode
  • UAS turned on (press once, release, then press and hold for 3 seconds)
  • Flick the transformation switch on transmitter up and down 4 times quickly to convert from travel mode to flight mode or use the app
  • DJI Pilot app quit and restarted, no other running apps on iPad
  • Tap bar at top of app (Safe to Fly GPS) for full status
  • Maps are cached (move the map around, zoom in an out)
  • Compass calibration (orange rotate 360 deg on flat, camera facing away from you, turn green nose down, camera near nuts) Light will go off and change to blinking green
  • IMU check / recalibration
  • Minimum return height adjusted (check for tallest object and set accordingly)
  • Clear frequency selected
  • Beginner Mode selected
  • UAS placed in safe launch and recover position
  • Green flashing light = GPS lock and safe to fly
  • Home point reprogrammed via app
  • Video recording started
  • Area clear of people / obstructions
  • Do not use auto take-off or auto land – BUGS!
  • Take Off

Flight Check List

  • Hover close for 20 seconds. Look / Listen for defects
  • Confirm expected stick operation
  • Raise landing gear
  • Monitor battery power
  • Monitor signal strength
  • Keep line-of-sight with UAS if possible
  • Return to home at 30% battery
  • Landing gear down


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