The FAA, drone manufacturers, and common sense all advise that drone pilots follow checklists at critical points before, during, and after a mission. This page is about the preflight through post-flight checklist that I personally use when flying a drone for either Part 107 or recreational reasons. It covers checklist items from leaving for the mission, to preflighting the drone, through stowing the drone after the mission. You can download a printable PDF copy here if you like, but understand that this is simply the checklist that I use. It may or may not be suitable for your flying.
Most of the items on the checklist are self-explanatory, so I'll just run through them quickly to emphasize a few areas that could do with some comments or explanation.
There are few things worse than traveling all the way to a mission site to find that you've forgotten something like the Micro SD card, the anti-collision light for a night mission, or the cable that attaches your mobile phone or TRIPLTEK tablet to your remote control; or to find that the weather is bad or that the airspace is restricted. I check these things before I leave for the mission to avoid wasted trips. If I'll be flying near an airport or need to carry an aviation radio transceiver to comply with a waiver or authorization, then I make sure I have that, too.
A few of the above items bear explanation.
Regarding item (d), most buildings, in particular, have sources of potential magnetic or RF (radio-frequency) interference. Steel roofs, blower motors, and radio antennas are the most obvious examples. I also check for overhead wires and other obstacles.
It's important to know where these interference and other potential interference sources are so you can avoid them, or at least exercise caution when operating around them.
Item (h) is something that both newbies and experienced pilots sometimes overlook: removing the gimbal cover before flying. You can seriously damage the gimbal if you do this too many times.
Item (j) refers to a quirk of the Autel EVO II series. If you push too hard while closing the SD slot cover, you can eject the SD card. So I always double-check it before a flight.
Item (b) is the one that most-often catches new pilots off-guard. Let me explain.
Drone controllers or apps usually have a default return-to-home altitude, typically about 100 feet (about 30 meters). That's the altitude to which the drone will climb before executing an RTH. If the trees, terrain, or obstacles around you are higher than that, you need to set the RTH altitude high enough to enable the drone to comfortably clear them if it executes an RTH, either by your command or automatically.
All this means is that when I take off, I pause the ascent at about three feet (about one meter) to make sure the drone holds its position; and then ascend just high enough to avoid hitting anyone (or anything) while I move the drone forwards and backwards, and then left and right. It's to make sure the controller and the drone's flight control mechanisms are functioning properly. If there's a problem, recalibrating the drone usually solves it.
This is all common sense. The thing that trips up new pilots sometimes is when the battery level is too low for the aircraft to return to home. That usually happens because the drone is fighting a headwind on the way back to the launch area. In that case, your best option is to fly to the closest suitable landing area, and descend and land there. Otherwise your drone may wind up landing (or crashing) in an area from which you can't retrieve it.
Again, this is all common sense: You want to give your drone a once-over before stowing it away so you can correct any problems before the next mission. Of particular importance is checking the battery's condition, not just its charge level. If it's swollen or hot (not just warm, but hot) to the touch, then you need to buy a new battery. Damaged LiPo batteries can explode. They can also cause your drone to crash.
Once again, this is just the checklist that I use. It's not the end-all of drone checklists. Consult your drone's operating manual for guidance about creating a drone flight checklist of your own.
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