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How GPS Tracker Can Help Prevent Drone Flyaways

How GPS Tracker Can Help Prevent Drone Flyaways

Andrew McMennamy

Imagine you’re flying your drone, capturing stunning videos, when suddenly it flies away, never to be seen again! Sounds scary, right?

Drones are amazing gadgets that can take photos and videos from the sky. But sometimes, drones can crash or fly away unexpectedly. This can happen due to signal loss, strong winds, or technical issues. Losing a drone is a big problem because they are expensive and often carry valuable footage.

Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem: GPS trackers. These handy devices can help you keep track of your drone and bring it back safely if it goes off course. Let's find out how GPS trackers can save your drone from flyaway and crashes.

1. Causes of Drone Flyaway

Even with the latest technology, drone flyaway are still common. Let’s look at some causes and how to prevent them:

  • Flying Beyond Visual Line of Sight: When you fly your drone too far, it might go beyond your line of sight. This can cause it to fly away or get lost. Always keep your drone within your visual range to prevent this.
  • Incorrect Home Point Setup: Many drones have a "Return To Home" (RTH) feature, but you must set it up correctly. If you’re moving while flying your drone, update the home point so it can return to you safely.
  • Poorly Calibrated Compass: Calibrating your drone’s compass is crucial. If not done properly, the drone can become misaligned with the Earth's magnetic field, causing it to fly away. Always calibrate the compass before flying, especially in new locations.
  • Flying in Atti Mode: Atti mode (Altitude Through Barometric Pressure) turns off the GPS, making the drone harder to control. Unless you're an expert, avoid flying in this mode to prevent losing your drone.
  • Hardware Failure: Sometimes, drones can have hardware issues beyond your control. To avoid problems, always check your drone’s condition by flying it at low altitudes before taking it higher.
  • Flight Controller Misconfiguration: If you build your drone, ensure the flight controller is properly configured. Misconfiguration can lead to malfunctions and cause the drone to fly away.
  • Electromagnetic Interference: Flying near power lines or cell towers can interfere with your drone’s signal, causing it to fly away. Avoid these areas when flying your drone.
  • Battery Failure Issue: A faulty battery that loses power too quickly can cause your drone to fly away. Also, if you fly your drone too far without enough power to return, it might get lost.
  • Harsh Weather: Harsh weather is a common cause of drone flyaway. Strong winds can push your drone off course, and heavy rain can make it difficult to control, leading to flyaway.
  • Firmware Update Problems: A faulty firmware update on your drone or its battery can cause problems. Sometimes, the drone might think the battery is out of power even if it’s charged, making it try to land in an unexpected area.
  • Beginners Pilot Error: Beginners often push their drones too far, causing flyaway. Lack of experience and flying skills can lead to losing control of the drone.
  • Flying Too Close or Too Low to Objects: Flying too close to buildings or too low to the ground can interrupt your drone’s signal. Keep a safe distance from obstacles to maintain control.
  • Low RTH Altitude Setting: Set the Return to Home (RTH) altitude high enough to avoid obstacles. If set too low, your drone might crash into buildings or trees on its way back.
  • Not Paying Attention: The biggest mistake is not paying full attention to your drone. Like driving a car, you need to stay focused to avoid accidents or flyaway.

1.1. How to Prevent Your Drone from Flyaway

Preventing drone crashes and flyaway can be done with the same strategies. Follow these tips to keep your drone safe:

How to Prevent Your Drone from Flyaway
  • Always keep your drone in sight while flying. If you can see it, you’re less likely to lose control, preventing crashes and flyaway.
  • Don’t rely only on GPS. Your drone needs a well-calibrated compass to orient itself correctly, especially in Return to Home (RTH) mode. Regularly recalibrate the compass to avoid crashes and flyaway.
  • Before take-off, set a Home Point where your drone will automatically return if you activate RTH, the batteries get low, or the signal is lost. Also, set an RTH altitude higher than nearby buildings, trees, and other obstacles.
  • Always do a pre-flight check. Ensure the batteries are secure and fully charged, the controller is working properly and linked to the drone, and all components are functioning as expected.
  • Stay away from power lines, communication towers, and large industrial devices that can cause electromagnetic interference. These can disrupt your drone’s signal, leading to crashes or flyaway.

2. What to Do When Your Drone Lost or Flyaway

Sometimes, even when we are careful, we can still lose our drone. Here are some steps to follow if the worst happens:

  • Leave Your Controller On: Keep your drone's controller turned on. The sound of the drone’s spinning propellers might help you find it, especially if it’s nearby. Listen carefully for the whirring sound.
  • Search Your Neighbourhood: Take a walk around the area where you were flying your drone. Look in all the places it could have landed, including trees, rooftops, and yards. Sometimes, just walking around can help you spot it.
  • Put Up Signs: Use the old-fashioned way of finding lost items: put up signs around your neighbourhood. You can also print flyers with a picture and description of your drone, then distribute them to neighbours or post them on community boards.
  • Act Quickly: Don’t waste time looking for your drone. The sooner you start searching, the better your chances of finding it. Waiting too long might mean someone else finds it first or it gets damaged.
  • Invest in a GPS Tracker: Consider using a GPS tracker on your drone. This will allow you to see its exact location if it gets lost. A GPS tracker like Tracki can save you time and make it much easier to recover your drone.

3. How GPS Trackers Work and their Benefits for Drones

A GPS tracker is a small device that uses satellites to determine its location. It’s lightweight and easy to attach to drones using adhesive strips, velcro, or mounts. Once attached, the GPS tracker sends real-time location data to your smartphone or computer. If your drone flies away or gets lost, you can quickly find its exact location using the GPS data, making it easier to recover your drone.

Using GPS trackers on drones offers several important benefits that can enhance your flying experience and ensure the safety of your drone.

  • Prevention of Loss: Knowing your drone’s location at all times helps prevent it from getting lost. With a GPS tracker, you can always see where your drone is, so if it starts to fly away, you can quickly guide it back or find it before it gets too far.
  • Ease of Recovery: If your drone does fly away, a GPS tracker makes it easy to find. The tracker sends real-time location data to your phone or computer, allowing you to pinpoint exactly where your drone is. This way, you can recover it quickly without much hassle.
  • Increased Safety: Tracking your drone with a GPS helps keep it within a safe zone. By knowing its location, you can avoid flying it into restricted or dangerous areas, preventing accidents and ensuring a safe flying experience.

4. How to Choose the Right GPS Tracker for Your Drone

Selecting the best GPS tracker for your drone is essential for ensuring safe and reliable flights. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Size and Weight: Choose a lightweight GPS tracker for your drone, like the Tracki GPS Tracker. Heavy trackers can affect your drone's flight and performance.
  • Battery Life: A GPS tracker with a long battery life is crucial. This ensures your drone can be tracked for extended periods, even on long flights.
  • Accuracy: Make sure the tracker provides accurate location tracking. This helps you find your drone quickly and precisely if it gets lost.
  • Compatibility: The GPS tracker should be compatible with your drone. Check that it works well with your drone's system to avoid any issues. The Tracki GPS Tracker is a versatile option that fits many drone models.

5. How a GPS Tracker Can Help Prevent Drone Flyaway

GPS trackers can play an important role in preventing drone flyaway, thanks to their advanced features, especially those found in Tracki devices.

How a GPS Tracker Can Help Prevent Drone Flyaway
  • Tracki GPS trackers have real-time tracking features that help you locate your drone at any moment. They provide regular location updates every ten, thirty, or sixty seconds, ensuring you always know where your drone is. 
  • Tracki devices offer a hybrid combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and GSM connections, providing reliable connectivity no matter where you are. This is especially helpful when flying in areas with limited signal. 
  • Tracki’s devices also have worldwide access, so you can use your drone in other countries without worrying about losing it.
  • Additionally, Tracki GPS trackers have speed and motion alerts, notifying you if your drone suddenly moves erratically or faster than expected, even when it’s out of your line of sight. 
  • With one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market, you don’t have to worry about the tracker turning off during a flight.

Conclusion

Drones are fantastic for capturing aerial photos and videos, but they can sometimes fly away or crash. Understanding the common causes, such as signal loss, bad weather, and pilot error, and taking preventive measures like keeping your drone in sight, recalibrating the compass, and performing pre-flight checks, can reduce these risks. 

Investing in a GPS tracker like Tracki provides real-time tracking, easy recovery, and increased safety. By following these steps, you can enjoy a safer and more reliable flying experience, knowing your drone is protected and easy to find if lost.

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Andrew McMennamy
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