Drones are some of the most coveted electronic devices aside from phones and computers and drone crashes are happening more often. Drones have evolved from military purposes to commercial and private use such as real estate and photography. However, there is still a significant risk as they are susceptible to crashing.
If you are flying a drone that costs a thousand dollars or more, visions of your drone crashing or flying out of your control have probably crossed your mind a few times. After a drone crash, it is reasonable that your drone won’t survive or that you can still pick up the drone once it has taken off.
Top Reasons For Drone Accidents And How To Avoid Them?
Distraction is the simplest case. Unfortunately, it happens more often even with experienced pilots. You might be flying the drone when talking to a friend or sometimes you are flying without paying attention to obstacles near the drone. There are cases where you have to go back a bit to take better shots and sometimes you are not aware of the obstacles behind the drone.
Always make sure that the drone is in your sight all the time. If this is not possible, then ask a friend to alert you when the drone is near obstacles.
Several factors can interfere with the connection of the drone with the controller. For example, if you are having a smartphone or smartwatch, they send out Wi-Fi signals that can interfere with the drone’s flight. Also, power lines, industrial machinery, or cell phone towers are having magnetic fields that can interfere with electronic devices such as drones.
Apart from all the interferences, metal or concrete buildings, cars, or ship’s radar can interfere with the connection with the drone. Hence, during the interference, it becomes difficult to control and protect the drone from damage.
Flying in FPV (first-person view) is similar to flying backward. FPV provides a real-time video feed from the drone camera. You can buy the glasses to see the stream in 3D. However, you will most likely encounter some obstacles as you are not aware of the surroundings of the drone. When you are flying the drone in open areas, there should be someone alerting you when the drone is near an obstacle.
Automatic Fly Modes
Autonomous drones come with automatic flight modes such as ActiveTrack, Return-to-home, Automatic Takeoff, etc. that are some of the advanced and best features in drone technology. Automatic fly modes can be one of the causes of drone accidents. It is because they are not piloted by the remote pilot/user.
During automatic RTH or take-off, the drone tends to move at a higher altitude. It is now known what the drone will collide with during the automatic flight modes.
Not Doing A Preflight Check
Some pre-checks include calibrating the compass, checking the battery, checking propellers and motors, and selecting the correct flight mode. If you skip any of the precheck, there are fair chances that the drone might crash. It is because, during the flight, the drone detects a problem and does not function properly.
Another important precheck skipped by most drone users is the locking of GPS. The drone must orient itself and choose the coordinates of the takeoff location. As a result, it returns home quickly if there are any problems. If you don’t lock the GPS, there are fair chances of a drone accident.
|While At Home|
|Check Weather||Drone Battery Fully Charged|
|Controller Fully Charged||App Updated|
|Firmware Updated||SD Card Formatted|
|All Gear Ready||Check NOTAMS|
|Research Flight Area||Get Permissions|
|Notify Spectators||Unpack Equipment|
|Insert SD Card||Remove Gimbal Lock|
|Inspect Drone||Calibrate Compass|
|Check Satellite Strength||Check Signal Strength|
|Ensure RTH Is Set||Specify Log Sig. Action|
|Hover nearby for 20 seconds||Listen and Watch For Any Abnormalities|
|Test Controls||Continuously Monitor Signal Strength|
|Keep Drone In Sight|
|Turn Off The Drone and Then The Controller||Ensure Desired Footage Was Captured|
|Inspect Drone For Any Damage||Fasten Gimbal Lock|
|Pack Equipment and Log Flight|
If you are flying a drone for the first time, then flying it indoors is a risky thing. It is because the drone is hidden from the GPS satellites. As a result, you cannot rely on the GPS when flying indoors. Also, the sensors may not work as they should either, because you may not be close to the ground. The absence of these two characteristics makes it difficult to maintain a stable hover.
The obstacle detection mechanism might not be working properly due to various obstacles inside the buildings. The drone often stops when it detects a barrier which makes it difficult to fly. When a drone loses a connection, it can try to return home. The return home function might cause the drone to rise higher while crashing the drone in the ceiling or other objects.
Still, there is a demand for drone pilots capable of flying indoors. This comes with a practice where you can fly a drone inside the building.
Flying Past The Visual Line-Of-Sight
The advanced and autonomous drones have an operational range of up to 7 kilometers. However, the latest rules by the FAA require the drone pilots to fly in line of sight, which is typically less than 3 miles. Firstly, flying too far can result in signal distortion due to interferences such as power lines, towers, cell phones, buildings, etc.
Secondly, flying too far causes the batteries to drain quickly. It is because the drone travels a long distance to return home. Some drones are designed to calculate the distance and warn the user of the drone when the drone goes too far. The batteries of the drone are depleted in the mid-flight and as a result, a drone accident happens.
When you push the drone too far, it can drain the battery before the trip of return home begins. Most drones are designed to return home at 30% and as a result, they will automatically land at 15% battery levels. Also, factors like wind, rain, and wet conditions cause the drone to consume more power. As a result, the drone might crash or land on trees, oceans, rivers, ponds, rocks, etc.
How Often Does Drone Crash?
Since the drones were commercially and privately available for all the users, the drone manufacturers have been working on advancements in the technology. It means that drone accidents are caused due to errors of the pilot. Hence, drone accidents happen:
- If the drone is pushed too hard.
- If the drone is prone to crashing.
- When you don’t focus on the pre-checks before flying the drone.
- When the drone is not regularly maintained.
On the other hand, some inevitable circumstances cause drone accidents such as:
- Extreme Weather Conditions
- Low Battery Level
- Malfunction In The Drone
To avoid any kind of drone accident, you need to be careful while flying the drone at higher altitudes or far from sight.
Drone Accidents – Top Reasons
With advancements in drone technology, it is not easy to crash a drone. Most drone accidents are caused due to a lack of practice and negligence of the pilot’s role. Sometimes drone accidents can be as dangerous as they seem to be. There have been some cases where the drone crashed into planes, airports, railcars, or sometimes high-profile political places. Since then, FAA guidelines have been preventing such accidents.
Apart from the major drone accidents, beginners or sometimes professionals experience a drone crash. It happens when the pilot or user flies the drone out of bounds or without the precheck list. As a result, the users might lose an expensive drone because they did not have enough practice or sometimes were out of practice. Therefore, make sure that you know the reasons for the drone accidents and you know how to avoid them.