When understanding the safety of flying your DJI drone with the DroneDeploy application, it is important to first understand how our application is interacting with your drone.
Essentially, the DroneDeploy application is wirelessly programming a set of waypoints into your DJI drone and the drone is following those waypoints. The last waypoint is located above the takeoff location for a safe landing.
Having a calibrated compass is critical to a safe flight and one of the most frequent causes of flyaways. Therefore, DroneDeploy will not allow the drone to takeoff if there is an issue with the compass. To best minimize compass-related flyaways, the best advice is to calibrate the compass before each flight, especially when flying in a different area.
The GPS module has a built-in magnetic field sensor for measuring the geomagnetic field, which is not the same in all areas. The GPS module will not work unless the Compass Module has been connected.
You should keep the compass module away from magnetic objects. Otherwise, it may damage the compass module and lead the aircraft to work abnormally or even be out of control. Make sure to keep away from other electronic equipment when calibrating and flying. If calibration failures continue, it might suggest that there is magnetic interference or material in the area and you should consider avoiding flying in that area.
If your Phantom is hovering in a circular pattern or flies to the left when attempting to fly straight forward, or to the right if you are trying to fly backward, then you have a clear sign to calibrate the compass
This DJI video gives further information on your drone's compass and how to calibrate.
Avoid flying near high-tension power lines, cellphone antennas or microwave antennas. They are known to interfere with communication between the transmitter and receiver.
GPS Loss Avoidance
GPS is used by your DJI drone to fly autonomous missions with the DroneDeploy app and to know its position in space. If you do not reach the minimum amount of GPS signals required to take off you will not be able to take off and start the mission.
There are many things that can disrupt your GPS signals, including cloud cover, mountains, and foliage. The GPS also communicates with the compass. The compass allows the drone to know its heading or direction in space. If the compass has not been calibrated, the GPS will not allow the drone to initiate a mission. The compass has an internal magnetometer that can be affected by things like reinforced concrete, buildings, and antennas. These are all considerations to take into account when choosing a place to plan a mission, and more importantly where to start the mission.
Setting a Home Point
It's wise to let your drone sit on the ground for a minute or two before you take off. You should also avoid taking off from metallic objects such as the hood of a vehicle. You want to wait until you see a blinking green light for 10-15 seconds. Your DJI drone needs communication with six or more satellites for at least eight seconds before you take off in order to have a home point marked.
When you take off, you will see a rapid flash green light, which confirms the home point has been marked.
Setting a home point is critical to flight safety, as it gives the drone a reference to return in case of an interruption in your control link. If you ever experience a disconnection, hit the home button on your controller to return your drone.
Returning to Home
When flying with DroneDeploy, you'll be prompted to switch to
F mode for Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 series, as well as M100
P mode for Phantom 4 and Inspire 2
P mode for Mavic Pro
If at any point you are feeling uncomfortable, take manual control over the drone:
Switch to P mode for Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 series
Switch to S mode for Phantom 4 and Inspire 2
Switch to S mode for Mavic Pro
Or initiate a Return to Landing using the RC or home button on the app.
You can set up your DJI settings in your DJI app so that you choose how your drone reacts should you lose the remote control signal. You may want to consider switching it hover until you can regain signal so your drone does not land somewhere unexpected.
The settings can be accessed in your DJI app. Go to Settings > Main Controller Settings > Advanced Settings > Remote Controller Signal Lost
From here user can select between 3 settings:
Drone hardware issues can cause issues during flight with DroneDeploy. Because of this, it is important to make sure your drone is in good physical condition and is regularly maintained. Should you see issues during flight even on current firmware, pilots should test in DJI apps or restore to factory settings to see if there may be potential hardware issues. If you suspect your drone does have hardware issues you will want to reach out to the manufacturer.