Let's Talk Aircraft Flight!
Aircraft, including drones, play a significant role in how we travel, move supplies, and get a better view of our planet, all of which inspire movement to new places and encourage further understanding of our evolving technology.
When flying an unmanned aircraft, there are a lot of things to consider. Safety is of the utmost importance when using your drone. I like to keep a mental pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight checklist to ensure a successful flight. I decided to put my checklists on some digital paper, if you will, to share with you! If you’re interested in flying aircraft, you’re in the right place.
Before you fly your aircraft, you’ll want to go through this checklist to help prevent in-flight complications or forgotten items.
- First Check. Make sure everything is in place and that nothing is broken. Hairline fractures, while seemingly small, can cause vibrations in the air that lead to breakage and crashing. Next, make sure all of your equipment is ready to go! This includes cables and props.
- Get charged up. Make sure your remote controller is charged! You would be amazed by how often people forget to charge batteries or forget them altogether.
- Make sure you have the necessary updates. Not having the newest firmware for the aircraft, remote controller, app, and batteries can also result in flight complications. Make sure you have the latest version of the app you will be using to fly as well as the most recent update on your IOS or Android device. Out-of-date apps can cause complications that you would not want to have in the field.
- Check your SD card. You want to have plenty of room for your awesome content. No images left behind! On that note, ensure you have plenty of storage.
- Check the weather for your flight. Then double-check it.
- You’ll need cleared airspace and approval to fly. Clear skies are your friend in this scenario.
- Controlled Area. Make sure you have a controlled area for take-off and landing. This is essential to our main task at hand: ensuring everyone’s safety.
You’re ready to fly! Here are some things you should do in-flight to ensure success:
- Keep an eye on aircraft specs. Battery life is key. If you run out of battery, your aircraft will quite literally fall out of the sky. In other words: the worst-case scenario will happen.
- Watch out for other aircraft. This is where your visual observer comes in handy. Remember that manned aircraft have the right of way. Always yield to save yourself and others from an aircraft crash!
- Mark your flying area. You don’t want anyone to distract you from your flight. I have had someone grab my arm as a joke while flying. I suggest marking off your area with cones! Once again, safety first.
After you land, you’ll want to go through this checklist to close out your flight and get set up for your next one.
- Power down your aircraft. Wait until the aircraft has landed and your props are inactive. Next, power down the remote controller. Remember, this order is important.
- Let the battery cool off. This is helpful with storage and charging. Think of it like running a marathon: you’re going to want to walk off some of the heat and tension you built up after running for so long. Similarly, your battery needs that same recovery time.
- Post-flight inspection. Check all of your components for damage, and make sure you’re good to go for your next flight!
- Transfer data to a storage device. Make sure your SD card is ready for next time.
- Storage. Store your aircraft in a safe, dry place to make sure it’s ready to go for your next flight! Don’t have a safe place? Check out our full line of cases.
There You Have It... Let's Fly Some Drones!
Flying aircraft is exciting and can lead to many new discoveries and overall knowledge of people, places, and technology. However, there are necessary precautions one must take when handling such a responsibility.
Hopefully, these pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight checklists were useful to you. Each step is important to the overall success of the drone flight, and I encourage readers to take them into careful consideration. Remember safety above all else!
Once you have this in mind and checked off the necessary boxes on our lists here, you’re ready to go. If you have any questions we are happy to answer them!