Flying drones is fun, but sometimes, there are situations where even though you do everything correctly, your drone just won’t take off from the ground.
Battery issues and physical damage to the drone’s internal components are the most common causes of this problem. Other causes include uncalibrated compass, propellers are not mounted properly, low batteries, too windy, drone warming up, etc. As for drone drifting issues, you can solve them by mounting the propellers correctly and calibrating the gyros and the controller.
In this article, I’m going to talk about the probable causes of your drone not taking off from the ground. I will also share some tips on how you can take care of your quadcopter. Knowing these will help you to identify the cause of your drone’s takeoff-related problems.
Common Drone Take Off Issues
Drones are very delicate and complex devices. And often they run into some technical glitches which could result in issues such as your drone not taking off from the ground. Even if the drone powers on and takes off, it might start going sideways sometimes and eventually flipping and crashing on the ground.
Here, I will talk about the most common drone take-off issues. Just have a look at them.
This is the most common scenario that hobbyists face with their drones very often. As the drone is not powering on, there will be no transmission or indication lights of any sort. If that’s the case, the first thing you should check is your drone’s batteries.
Check if the battery is charged or not. If not, take the battery out, charge it, and then place it back to see if your drone turns on. If that didn’t solve your problem, then there is a good chance that your battery is faulty. To make sure this is the case, replace the faulty battery unit with one that is in good condition and see if it works.
If your drone doesn’t turn on even after that, there is a good chance that the problem is caused by damaged components inside your drone. Such damage can occur if the drone crashed during a previous flight or water got inside its enclosure. In that case, you will need to seek professional help to repair the damage to the electronic components.
Finally, if none of the above worked for you, the problem might well be caused by a manufacturing flaw. If that’s the case, contact the company and see if you can get a replacement or refund.
Sometimes your drone will power on normally, but when you try to fly it, it will not take off. You will notice that the indicator lights are blinking and you will receive the transmission from your drone’s onboard camera. But the drone will not fly at all.
There are several things that can cause such a problem. They are:
- Physical Damage Problem
The first thing you should do if your drone turns on but doesn’t fly is to check if any part of it is damaged or not. Especially the propellers. If the propellers are damaged, your drone won’t fly. Even if it flies, there is a good chance it will crash shortly after its take-off.
Switch the propeller if you notice any damage or crack to the surface. Also, check if your propellers are set up in the right orientation. Next, do a thorough inspection of all the components of your drone. If you notice anything out of place, this could potentially be the cause of your problem.
Many modern drones use smart technology to notify their users about the real-time state of their components. So, if any issue arises with your drone, you might want to check your smartphone for such notifications.
- Drone’s Warming Up Problem
If you didn’t find anything out of place with your drone, don’t start panicking. Sometimes drones take a few minutes to heat up before liftoff. And if you are trying to fly your quad in cold weather, this could happen more frequently.
Like I’ve said before, modern quadcopters usually come equipped with smart technology. These drones will send a message to your mobile stating “Drone is warming up” or something like that. However, if your drone only comes with basic features, you might not receive such a message.
- Compass Problem
Among the probable reasons why your drone is not flying, the compass problem occurs more frequently than others. If your quadcopter detects its onboard compass is uncalibrated, it is not going to fly even if it turns on.
If that’s the case, follow the manual provided by the manufacturer to calibrate the compass and then check back and see if this solved your problem.
If you have no prior experience with putting together a drone kit, you can mess up the way propellers need to be mounted. You need to set them up in a certain configuration to generate the necessary lift force for liftoff.
So, if you set them up in the wrong orientation, your drone will not fly even while the motors are in full throttle. Make sure the propellers are tightly mounted on the motor shaft. If the mount is not tight enough, a slip could occur between the motor shaft and the propeller. And this will eventually result in your propellers not generating enough lift force.
Finally, make sure your quad’s motors are turning in the right direction. Otherwise, your drone will stay grounded even if the propellers are spinning.
Finally comes the scenario where the drone takes off a little and starts going sideways and eventually crashes. This occurs mainly due to the unbalance in the lift force generated by the propellers. Here are some of the probable reasons that could cause this unbalance:
First of all, you will need to make sure the propellers of your quadcopter are mounted in the right orientation. If not, mount them properly. In the case of quadcopters, the orientation of the propellers along the diagonals will be the same.
Next, make sure the motors are rotating in the correct direction. Now check if your drone flies normally or not.
To get a level flight, you will have to properly calibrate the internal gyros of your quadcopter. To calibrate the gyros, place your drone on a level surface first, and after binding the controller to the quadcopter, push the bulk sticks of the controller to the bottom right corner.
You will notice the LED light on your drone blink for a few moments and then go solid again. And that means you have successfully completed gyro calibration.
Controller calibration makes sure the control sticks have the correct range and center point. You need to do this to ensure a smooth and level flight of your drone. And it can help with solving your drone’s drift issue.
To calibrate your controller, follow the instructions given in your drone’s manufacturer-provided manual.
Tips For Taking Care of Your Drone
Flying drones are a lot of fun. But purchasing a new one costs a lot of money. So you should always take care of your quadcopter to the best of your ability. Here are some tips that can help you in this regard:
- Conduct a full pre-flight checklist before every flight. Make it one of your habits. This will prevent you from losing your drone due to silly mistakes that you could’ve easily avoided.
- Consider purchasing a case or a backpack suitable for storing your quadcopter. Having the right type of case or backpack will make it easy for you to carry your drone around. Plus, it will protect your drone while you are traveling with it.
- You should always prioritize taking care of the batteries of your drone. Because if they malfunction in mid-flight, your quadcopter will come crashing down to the ground. So, take extra care when it comes to maintaining batteries.
- Clean your drone regularly. When dust builds up due to continuous flying, use a soft brush or canned air to clean it.
- Always check your drone for physical damage before and after every flight. If you notice any problem, like a broken or cracked propeller, repair or replace it before the next flight.
- And finally, fly responsibly and safely. Before flying your quadcopter, check the weather condition. If the weather is too windy or it is snowing or raining, you should never fly your drone in such adverse weather conditions.
Drones are complex devices and if you are not an expert, it can cause quite a hassle to fix your quadcopter when any issues occur. These being super expensive, that can be quite a headache.
Whenever a drone malfunctions, it can cause quite a panic to the owner.