Tuesday, May 23, 2017
How to Recover Your Drone When Disorientated



At Flyby Technology we have over 600 years of combined piloting experience. We would like to share some of that expertise with you, to help with the problems that occur most often. The procedure below was designed by a Flyby Technology instructor to help us give a method of recovery from a situation frequently experienced by drone pilots flying in Mode 2.


As the size of drones decreases, the risk of disorientation increases. We would like to show you how you can resolve the problem with 2 steps. It is a drill you can practice and perfect in your own time, we commend it to you.

When you first discover that you no longer have knowledge of the direction in which your drone is pointing, stop. Plan your next steps. 

Step One:

Push the right stick forward to half way and observe which way the drone moves with respect to left or right, relative to the background, a cloud, tree or building etc.  This is known as the backdrop technique. Keep forward motion applied throughout; unless that would cause a collision.  The drone, in most cases, will move either left or right across the backdrop.

Step 2:

If the drone is going left in the sky

Use the left stick to gently apply left yaw and do so until the aircraft no longer moves left. Remove the yaw but maintain the  forward motion and the drone will fly towards you. 

If the drone is going right in the sky

Use the left stick to apply right yaw, until the drone no longer moves to the right. The drone will be flying towards you. 

If the drone does not move left or right

On the rare occasion the drone is pointing either away from you or towards you apply left yaw and keep the aircraft flying forwards.  If you have left yaw applied and the aircraft is moving right across the backdrop you must follow the above advice and reverse the yaw control and apply right yaw etc.

It should be noted that the amount of relative lateral movement will depend on a number of factors e.g. wind strength and direction, initial direction that the aircraft is facing and the amount of YAW input being applied. Therefore, careful, correct control and monitoring of that particular control input will be key to the efficiency of the technique.

Once the aircraft is recovered nearer to the Pilot  and the disorientation has been resolved then the exercise can be terminated.

It is so important to maintain about half forward stick throughout this recovery manoeuvre. Stopping will cause more confusion. The above describes the stick movements when the controller is set to the default of Mode 2. This training can now be used to prevent you having to abort a flight by pressing “Return to Home.”  We know there are a number of ways to accomplish this same recovery, but this is the most efficient, only requiring 2 steps.  It is a technique you will thank us for over and over again.  Safe flying!