As a drone pilot, it is important to make sure you execute proper preflight operations to ensure a successful mission. A lot goes into drone preflight, that’s why using a drone preflight checklist is critical to ensuring safe and legal drone operations.
This article will discuss the importance of a drone preflight checklist and how to create one that is tailored to your specific needs. It should include items from leaving for the mission, preflighting the drone, to stowing the drone after the mission.
By following a drone preflight checklist, you can minimize the chances of something going wrong during or after your flight!
What is a Drone Preflight Checklist?
It is a list of items that should be checked before each flight. The FAA and drone manufacturers advise drone pilots to follow checklists at critical points before, during, and after a mission.
A preflight checklist helps drone pilots ensure that their drone is ready for flight and has everything they need for the flight. In addition, a drone preflight checklist will help ensure that they are operating their drone safely and legally. This checklist helps prepare everything before your drone takes flight, from physical checks to validation of document requirements.
Why is a Drone Preflight Checklist Important?
A drone preflight checklist is important because it helps drone pilots ensure that their drone is ready and in good condition for flying. It also helps drone pilots remember all of the items they need for the flight. By following a drone preflight checklist, drone pilots can minimize the chances of something going wrong during or after their flight.
The Importance of Drones Today
Drone technology has advanced rapidly over the years. Drones are now being used for various purposes, including photography, videography, surveying, mapping, and more. As drone technology advances, the number of drone applications will continue to grow.
Project managers use drones to collect real-time data on building projects while surveying land more efficiently in construction. Agricultural drones help farmers increase crop yields and decrease water usage. In search and rescue operations, drones are used to locate missing persons. The medical field is also using drones to deliver supplies to remote areas.
It’s quite evident that drones have helped different sectors improve research, productivity, and risk mitigation in their respective operations. That’s why drone pilots should be more responsible for drone safety and regulations.
What to Include on Your Drone Preflight Checklist
Here is a list of items that you should include on your checklist:
- Physical checks of the drone, including the drone’s batteries, propellers, and other components.
- Checks of the drone’s flight controls.
- Checks of the drone’s camera and gimbal.
- Document requirements, such as a drone license and insurance.
- A list of emergency contact numbers.
By including these items on your drone preflight checklist, you can help ensure a safe drone flight.
Creating Your Own Drone Preflight Checklist
Drones are becoming an increasingly important tool in many industries. With the continued growth of drone technology, drone pilots need to be aware of the importance of a drone preflight checklist.
By following this checklist, drone pilots can minimize the chances of something going wrong during or after their flight. With that said, here are some tips on how to create your own checklist:
- Tailor your drone preflight checklist to your specific needs. Consider what items you need to check before each flight, and add those items to your checklist.
- Make sure to include physical checks of the drone and checks of the drone’s batteries, propellers, and other components.
- Don’t forget to include document requirements on your checklist. For example, if you’re flying a drone for commercial purposes, you’ll need to make sure you have a drone license and insurance.
- Keep your drone preflight checklist in a safe place, such as a drone logbook or on your phone. This way, you can refer to it before each flight.
By following these tips, you can create your own checklist tailored to your specific needs.
Sample Drone Preflight Checklist
To help you get started, here is a sample:
Before Leaving Home
- Make sure the batteries (including the extras), controller, and phone are charged.
- Any necessary accessories or attachments should be in the case.
- The main SD card should already be inserted in the drone, with a spare in the case.
- The weather and airspace at the mission area are okay.
Before Power Up
- Crew (if any) are briefed thoroughly regarding their roles, communication, mission objective, and emergency procedures.
- The area is clear of people or animals not involved in the operation.
- Overhead is clear in the event of an emergency or automatic ‘return to home.’
- Check weather and airspace again to confirm if it’s still okay to execute drone flight.
- Propellers are in good condition (properly attached, rotates freely, damage-free, and clean).
- The gimbal cover is properly removed.
- Motors are in good condition and are free from debris.
- The SD card is secure.
- The lens and filters are clean and clear.
- Battery conditions are optimal.
- RF and GPS signal strength are good (both video and control).
- Photo and video settings are set correctly.
- RTH altitude is sufficient to clear obstacles like trees.
- Propellers are balanced and vibration-free
- No unusual noises from the motors after startup.
- The drone initialization sequence is error-free.
Right After Takeoff
- The drone is hovering accurately without any drift.
- Remove control is operating correctly and accurately.
- Aircraft respond correctly to control inputs at a minimum altitude (higher than two meters).
- Battery power is sufficient for landing.
- The path of descent is clear and free of any obstruction
- The landing area is clear of people or animals.
- Turn off the Drone
- Check for any damage
- Verify propellers for any damage
- Check debris inside the motor
- Check the gimbal and lens.
- Replace gimbal cover
- Check battery levels and condition.
If you’ve yet to know what to put into your drone preflight checklist, this sample will help give you an idea. Remember to tailor it to your specific drone and needs and make changes to your checklist when necessary.
Why Use DataMyte?
If you’re looking to create an intuitive drone preflight checklist that you can streamline and share with your team online, make sure to use DataMyte and its Digital Clipboard.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software that helps you create, edit, and manage your drone preflight checklist as well as other checklists and forms. With DataMyte, you can:
- Create, automate and manage your drone preflight checklist.
- Share your drone preflight checklist with your team online.
- Collect data and signatures electronically.
- And much more!
Try the DataMyte Digital Clipboard today and see how it can help you streamline your drone preflight checklist process!
A drone preflight checklist is an important tool that helps drone pilots ensure that their drone is ready for flight. By following a drone preflight checklist, you can ensure a safe and legal drone operation. So go ahead and create one today using the DataMyte Digital Clipboard.
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