Many drone operators fly only in FPV (first person view) mode so they are relying on the cameras feed to navigate the drone. This is a great way to see the world from a different perspective, but what happens if you lose video signal with your drone? You’re not going to be able to rely on the video to get the drone back home, so you’re going to have to bring it back visually. In this video we go over what to do if you lose video signal with your drone!
Step 1: GPS Mode
The first thing that you want to do when you lose video signal with your drone is put it into GPS flight mode. This setting can be different on various drones, but it’s the basic mode that all modern drones have and use right out of the box. By placing it into GPS flight mode, you’re going to have the drone stop and stay on the same spot and not float around with the wind like it does in ATTI mode. By doing this, you’re going to be able to visually acquire the drone…
Step 2: Visually acquire the drone
If you don’t have video signal you’re going to have to visually acquire the drone. Hopefully you have kept track of where you are flying and will be able to quickly visually acquire the drone. If you haven’t been keeping track, ask your spotter for the drones location. If you are unable to visually acquire the drone, you have no choice but to engage return to home. That isn’t ideal in all situations, so we’ll go over that in a subsequent video. For now, ensure that you always have visual of your drone.
Step 3: Square the landing gear to you
Generally no matter how far the drone is, you’re going to be able to see it’s shape, and see if the landing gear is square to you or not. If it’s on an angle, rotate the drone either left or right until you can see that the drones landing gear is square to you. It doesn’t matter which way the drone faces at this point as we will figure that out with the next step.
Step 4: Determine which way the drone is facing
Now that we have the landing gear square, we need to determine which way the drone is actually facing so that we can bring it back safely. Rather than randomly making inputs on your controller, start off by only using the right stick. First move the right stick to the right and see how the drone reacts.
- If you see the drone move to the right, then you know that the drone is facing away from you.
- If you see the drone move to the left, then you know that the drone is facing towards you.
If you don’t see any obvious movement to the right or left, then you know that the drone is facing either right or left. In this instance, move the right stick up to see how the drone reacts.
- If the drone moves to the left, then the drone is facing left.
- If the drone moves to the right, then the drone is facing right.
If your drone is facing to the right or left, then rotate it 90 degrees so that it is facing away from you. If your drone is facing towards you, rotate it 180 degrees so that it is facing away from you. Now that we know which way the drone is facing, we can bring it back home.
Step 5: Bring the drone back to you
Now that we know that the drone is facing away from you, we can easily bring it back. With the landing gear square to you, move the right stick down and watch as the drone slowly comes back to you. Depending on your altitude and distance away, it may not look like the drone is moving, but don’t give up quite yet as it is moving back towards you. Eventually you’ll be able to see that it’s moving closer to you.
Another step that you can implement if there are no obstructions, is to move down on the left stick to lower your altitude as you bring the drone closer to you.
I hope this helps if you’re ever in the situation where you lose video signal with your drone. Remember, practice makes perfect so before this happens in the real world, be sure to practice keeping a visual of your drone and bringing it back to you without using the video signal. Remember to log your flights, practice a lot, and go over your checklists before every flight. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below in the comments section!