Have a Safe Flight¶
This chapter describes how to control the drone using the Operator’s Control and gearing the drone manually. To learn how to instruct the drone to carry out autonomous missions, please see chapter beXStream® platform and the beXStream® platform.
Take-off and landing¶
When setting up for a manual flight, first go through the checklist described in section Before flight checklist Set the drone in a leveled surface and open all the propellers. After this, turn the power on, and for the first start of the day, wait at least 30 seconds for the GPS to get a good signal. Click the hardware safety switch, which enables arming the drone and get to a safe spot, with good visibility over it. It is a good idea to be aligned with the drone front (you are heading the same direction of the drone).
Make sure the you are in the desired flying mode (Cine, Position or Sport) and hold the throttle joystick down.
You can now arm the drone. This should get the propellers spinning, but not with enough thrust to lift the drone. Then, give it more throttle to make it go up. Ideally it should ascend to about 10 meters (relative to its takeoff spot) after which you can retract the landing gear and fly the drone (while in manual mode, always make sure you maintain LoS of the drone and that you know which part is its front).
In order to improve the controllability of the drone and to ensure that it is distinguishable even in lower light conditions from other flying vehicles, the HEIFU® comprises one light below each rotor (being the front lights blue and all the others green).
To land the drone, bring it near the landing spot that you have chosen (should be a clear spot with no chance of collision) and activate the landing mode. Activating this mode will automatically activate the landing gear and the drone will come down faster until it reaches 10 meters (relative to takeoff altitude). After reaching this altitude it will slow down and descend until it lands. Throughout this process, the pilot always has control of yaw, pitch and roll, so small adjustments can be made to ensure a safe landing. After the drone touches the ground, you should disarm it. Also, you should press the hardware safety switch right afterwards.
There are two safety levels for the battery that are programed on the flight controller and they will be set off if the battery drops below the recommended flight levels. The first level of safety will trigger an RTL (Return To Land) event and the drone will return to where it took off and land. If the drone reaches a critical level of battery (the second safety level) it will trigger an automatic attempt of landing no matter where it is.
These safety levels were programmed as a failsafe in case of an unusual event, but you should always try to make sure that they are not reached, especially when designing an autonomous mission.
Safety Guidelines before a flight¶
Flying a drone can be joyful, but it imposes some responsibility in complying with several rules:
Make sure your drone is properly insured.
Check no-fly zones and limitations in the area you want to fly to.
Never lose sight of the drone.
Maintain a safe distance between the drone and people, animals, and other aircraft. A minimum distance of 150m from residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational areas shall be maintained.
Immediately inform the national aviation authority of your jurisdiction if your drones are involved in an accident causing serious or fatal injury to a person or affecting a manned aircraft.
Operate the drone within the limits set out in the manufacturer’s instructions.
For more information about safety guidelines, please visit EASA’s official website.
Manually gearing the flight¶
During the flight, you can alternate between all the flight modes. During takeoff, you should always prefer Altitude Hold as referred in section Take-off and landing Before flying carefully study section Operator Control to understand the commands on the Operator Control. When alternating between flight modes, make sure you understand the differences in what comes to throttle. As an example, Stabilize flight mode will require far less throttle to keep the drone still in a position, despite the fact that it requires much more control from the pilot in terms of adjustments to throttle, roll, pitch and yaw. As such, when you change from Stabilize to Altitude Hold you should adjust the throttle immediately to avoid altitude loss.
Note that Position Hold mode relies mainly on the GPS position and as such you should be aware that its behavior will be highly dependent on the quality of the GPS signal. When you disable Position Hold, the drone will get back to the previous mode.
Switch between auto and manual operations¶
To take full advantage of the autonomous mode, you can make use of the autonomous missions’ feature (refer to section Mission builder). To execute an autonomous mission that was already downloaded to the drone, you should first have the drone armed and a pilot with LoS. At this stage, you can activate the Autonomous Mode and the drone will takeoff and execute the mission.
Remember that the pilot always has the highest priority in terms of control, meaning that you can, at any time, change to a manual mode to regain control of the drone. In case you need to do so, you must be aware of the throttle position, which must be compliant with the status of the drone. For this reason, Beyond Vision recommends that before activating the Autonomous Mode, you should set it to Altitude Hold mode right after the arming of the drone, and have the throttle at center position. This ensures that, if you need to disable the Autonomous Mode, the throttle is already at a safe position to regain control.
Operator Control failsafe¶
While flying, there are situations that might affect the connection between the radio controller and the drone. These might even completely cut the communication between them. In this case, the drone has a radio failsafe mechanism that will trigger if:
The pilot turns off the Operator Control for more than 0.5 seconds;
The vehicle travels outside of Operator Control range and signal is lost for more than 0.5 seconds;
The pilot forces the throttle channel below the minimum from the transmitter
If this happens, the radio failsafe is triggered, and the drone activates the RTL, eventually recovering the data link. This will not happen however if the drone is in Auto Mode mission, or if it is already landing.
If the HEIFU® is disarmed, no failsafe will take place.
If the HEIFU® is armed but has landed, it will immediately disarm;
If the HEIFU® is armed in Stabilize or Acro modes, and the throttle input is at the minimum, it will immediately disarm;
Otherwise, it will take the actions as configured in the parameters described below.
If the failsafe clears (i.e. transmitter and receiver regain contact) the drone will remain in its failsafe mode and it will not automatically return to the previous flight mode.
While flying, in the event of a rotor failure, normal landing is still likely possible, but you should make sure that you change to a manual flight mode, because the drone can become less stable (due to loss of balance between the rotors) and lose altitude (due to loss of the thrust by that rotor). In this case, you should compensate by adding throttle and use more yaw.
While flying, in the event of an imminent collision, you can make a disarm emergency on the drone. However, this should be last resort as the drone will crash and make some damages.