You spent a lot of time planning and you finally head out to the field to launch your drone. After hitting the fly button everything initializes, and the drone just hovers. In this guide, we will cover the basic, troubleshooting steps for hovering and the reasons why.
Basic Hovering Troubleshooting Steps:
(Using an Air 2S drone? See a detailed hovering explanation at the end of this page)
- Verify your hardware, firmware, and app versions are up to date
Check for updates or NFZ notices in DJI.
- Read more about NFZ and LAANC troubleshooting here
- If you are in a LAANC area, we recommend lowering the planned altitude by 5 to 10 feet to give the drone some wiggle room.
Calibrate the drone Compass
- You can do this in the DJI app. It's important to calibrate the compass often.
Ensure the drone controller is in P or N mode depending on your drone model.
- Having the controller in A, C, or S mode will certainly cause issues when launching the drone.
- Disable obstacle avoidance (if available)
- Restart the drone, controller, and mobile device and attempt to start the flight
Using an Air 2S drone?
The Air 2S is unique as compared to other DJI drones, in that the connection between the drone and the RC (Remote Controller) is vital for the drone to continue the mission. On other DJI drones, we send the waypoints to the drone, and the drone stores them internally. This means the drone can keep going on its mission even if the RC connection is lost or interrupted.
With the Air 2S, waypoints are sent in real-time. That means if the signal from the RC is interrupted in any way, the drone will hover until reconnected.
Troubleshooting Hovering in the Air 2S:
1. Ensure the signal between the controller and RC is strong, and that the USB from the RC to the mobile device is always intact and connected.
2. Calibrate the compass and gimble. You can do this in DJI Fly. It's important to calibrate the compass often, and in fact, we recommend you do this every time you fly your drone. Compass issues can be the number one cause of hovering behavior.
3. Double-check and make sure the drone's firmware is up to date, as well as the version of DroneDeploy.
4. Ensure the drone controller is in N mode. Positioning mode is what makes autonomous flight possible. Having the controller in C or S mode will certainly cause issues when launching the drone in a mission.
Once you've done these four things, close out of DJI and reopen DroneDeploy to start the mission.
What causes hovering?
Hovering issues are typically related to hardware, environmental factors, or the use of a drone in No-Fly Zones.
1. If related to hardware, you would likely see issues with the drone in other settings such as within the DJI app.
2. Hovering can also be caused by environmental factors such as GPS issues or Remote Control (RC) connection issues.
If it’s GPS-related you'll generally get an in-app warning but sometimes there are silent compass errors that will not notify you. There are many things that can disrupt your GPS signals, including cloud cover, mountains, and foliage. The compass of the drone, which communicates with the GPS, allows the drone to know its heading or direction in space. The compass has an internal magnetometer that can be affected by things like reinforced concrete, buildings, and antennas which can also result in poor GPS. These are all considerations to take into account when choosing a place to plan a mission, and more importantly where to start the mission. To avoid GPS issues, we recommend calibrating your compass prior to taking off. Should you need to bring the drone home during a hovering event caused by poor GPS you’ll want to return the drone manually.
If it’s an RC connection issue you will generally get a notification in-app of this. When this happens your drone may hover if this is what you had set it to do in DJI in the event RC connection is lost. You may need to get closer to the drone and re-establish the connection should you want to take over manually.
3. Finally, there is an SDK (Software Developer Kit) bug with DJI that will cause the drone to hover in No-Fly Zones (NFZ). Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to fly with the DroneDeploy app in NFZs due to these technical limitations with DJI's SDK, which DroneDeploy is built on. As a result, we may not be able to execute the flight. If you were not in a No-Fly-Zone though this would not be the issue.